We caught up with the brilliant and insightful BJ Wingfield a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
BJ, appreciate you joining us today. Did you always know you wanted to pursue a creative or artistic career? When did you first know?
I’ll have to say my senior year of high schoo (Cleveland Central Catholic, in 2013. Not only having the support from my immediate family members, having peers from my high school willing to purchase clothing I created was when I knew this was the perfect profession to pursue. Knowing your creations can turn a complete stranger into a supportive friends, that’s inspiring!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Welcoming all new readers. My name is BJ Wingfield, fashion designer/stylist known as BWJ21. Born & raised in Cleveland, OH. I managed to inspire peers in the field of fashion. As a kid, I always had the passion for fashion but my senior year of high school is when I officially turned my talent into a business. I started a cool graphic tee shirt line called “L.A.M.E – Living As Me Everyday” with my cousin, Charvez Wingfield. The logo itself attracted so many interested supporters. Now years later, I’m still creating in the fashion world, but on a more serious level.
My brand BWJ21 provides a unique but hip, fashionable style of fashion. Creating phenomenal 1 of 1 designs, small collections & custom pieces for all ages.
As a designer, my job is to not only sell the products but make sure my clients/potential clients feel like the world’s famous model while wearing my designs. Creating a comfortable relationship & atmosphere for us all.
For those reasons, I’m proud of the example that I’ve been to so many upcoming designers after me.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
Unlearning how not to cheat yourself as a business owner. Realizing the time, talent & effort it took you to get where you are now. Where you are heading. Understanding those important factors of your life, helps you gain & restore your value.
Cheating yourself, can have an effect on your income & personal beliefs. Unsure of your worth, causes you to accept less for you labor. Allowing discounts because their “family” or a “friend”.
Trust me, I’ve been there. Discounts after discounts. But after realizing my worth, talent & self-respect, I couldn’t allow it to go any further. The product was leaving, but the income wasn’t growing. STOP CHEATING YOURSELF! Trust the process & your potential buyers.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
There’s been so many difficult times that caused me to regroup as a business owner. I’ll say the hardest one recently was being invited to NYFW & not being able to attend.
With many reasons, the main one that hit me the hardest… was realizing you need a TEAM. A team of people that can handle situations you may have overlooked, couldn’t manage, etc.. It’s impossible to run a business by yourself. Not having the proper forces needed to have the perfect runway performance made me step back & regroup. Analyzing deeper than myself. Understanding my purpose for the brand & the potential help needed to run things properly.
- Instagram: @bwj_21