DJ: Genuine Legacy
DJ began his custom apparel business, The Genuine Legacy, in May of this year.
The purpose of the business was to raise money for DJ’s top surgery as a transgender man. He said the surgery will cost $7-10,000.
“I always liked clothes and I started looking into it,” said DJ. “I started hitting up YouTube videos, studying everything and thought ‘You know what, I’m just going to give it a try.’ I bought a used screen printing kit off of Craigslist and taught myself how to do it.”
DJ liked the idea of leaving a legacy behind.
“I’m probably not going to be able to have kids so I just wanted to leave something behind to be remembered,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be a gay or lesbian company. I wanted it to be for everybody.”
A lot of DJ’s custom shirts, hoodies and stickers promote social awareness. One of the first t-shirts he made had “Kindness Costs Nothing” on the front.
DJ’s business also helps charities and makes donations to places like the Guilford County Animal Shelter with his business. With his #LillysLoveProject, he sells shirts featuring his pitbull, Lilly, and part of the funds go to the animal shelter.
One of DJ’s favorite parts of the business is getting to do whatever he wants.
“I’m a retired DJ, so music is a huge thing to me,” he said. “I was just sitting there one day and I was like, ‘You know, music makes everything better’ so I made t-shirts that say ‘Music makes everything better.’”
What DJ struggles with is getting his name out there.
“I’m trying to figure out how businesses did it before without social media, unless you have a shop,” he said. “I don’t have a shop, but I cut hair all day and I’m hoping that after my surgery that I’ll have more money to play with and maybe I can rent a shop or something.”
His plan is for The Genuine Legacy to one day be self-sustaining.
“I take out of my paycheck but I love it,” he said. “Right now I’m focusing on my top surgery, I got to get that done before anything really changes cause they could change it where it’s not possible or something. I’m not trying to go overseas.
“I found a surgeon in Charlotte; I’d like to keep it local.”