Jordan Jervis has spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. But this hasn’t stopped him pursuing his dream of becoming a clothing designer. Here he tells us about his dreams, his business and his plans for the future.

"I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and designer. So back in 2013, I applied for many jobs within the fashion industry and unfortunately got rejected many times. This was because I needed more experience, but I couldn't get any because of my disability. During this year, I was also attending psychology meetings where I became very close with my two mentors Colin and Aiden. I told these guys I wanted to make a clothing line; they told me, ‘you have no experience, but anything is possible’. These guys taught me emotional intelligence and mindfulness which gave me the right mind set. So even though I had no experience, I had the correct mind set.

In 2014 I attended London Fashion Week. Before going, I felt very out of place because it is intimidating for someone who is disabled; but still I decided this was the correct industry for me.
Even though I had no experience, and experience is the only way to get into this industry, I was not going to be beaten or back down. So I thought long and hard about how to get in. I decided that I had to launch my own brand, there was so much competition at the time and reasons as to why I shouldn’t launch my brand, which is why I did it!

Launching my brand

I knew it would be a hard journey, but a journey I had to take: so I took the first step. I bought a sewing machine. I had no idea how to use it but I managed to make a stylish bag I still use today. I experimented, making other things which were a complete disaster, but I didn’t give up. I received great motivation and met people I didn’t want to let down. People soon realised what I was trying to do and helped; someone I most appreciate for this is Leon. Leon introduced me to his step-dad Mark who owned a printing shop; Mark helped me take my brand to the next level. I made a 10-piece clothing line and got all the money I had together to order 99 t-shirts.

Within three weeks I had all my clothing manufactured and given to me in a big brown box. I knew the next step was to sell the products, but I had no money to promote myself. I had to come up with a plan quick. I rang Leon one day during the summer of 2014 and asked if he would wear my clothing for a photo shoot, he said yes. I also had my eye on a photographer and now had a reason to ring and meet her. She kindly agreed to the photo shoot and did an amazing job. I used these photos for my online boutique. But still I wasn’t getting any sales. I was a bit stuck, but they say the key to success is to never be satisfied, which I wasn't and never am. 

Opening doors

So I decided the next best step was to sell the clothing face to face. I dressed Leon in the clothing, printed a lot of business cards and went to London! We tried and tried but still no sales. To get sales I knew I’d need to do something which would take my brand to the next level. I had my eyes and ears open for ways forward when Mark told me to showcase my designs at the Essex Fashion Week. I smirked a little but soon decided I had to, for the brand, so I did. Essex Fashion Week really took me to the next level, not so much the brand but I met a lot of amazing people I have stayed in contact with and we have even hosted shows in Mayfair.

What's next? 

The next step for my business will be to visit the Berlin Christmas Market and have a stall there on 15 and 16 December to sell the clothing I’ve designed. I would love it if you could spread the word and support me!"

If you would like click here to support Jordan’s business, or watch Jordan talking about his dream on the BBC. You can also find Jordan online at the following accounts:

Facebook @jordanjervisuk

Twitter @JordanJervis

Instagram @Jordan_Jervis 

Email [email protected]