Senior student Jesse Chao open up about his life as a entrepreneur and artist.

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Tea Mcgilvray, Online editor

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Q: What inspires you?

I’ve always been interested in fashion, and photography is a passion I’ve always been interested in. Seeing other photographers in general and seeing fashion people in Dallas really inspired me to create the clothing line.

Q: Are you active in any other parts of the school?

I play varsity tennis, and I try to help around with men’s volleyball, too.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

Recently, it’s just been waking up, we have 7 a.m. practice, then I go to school. I’ve been shooting a lot, like photography; I’m down in Plano and Richardson a lot because that’s where a lot of my clients are. Then I go home; edit the photos; that kind of stuff.

Q: How has the brand grown and what was the process in making it?

It hasn’t really been growing; I’ve been really busy with college apps.

Me and my business partner were talking about starting a clothing line, and he said we should name it ‘Chao’ as a joke, and we started developing it. Then we thought of the idea of giving back to lower income families.

Q: Would you say the project has been rewarding in regards to giving back?

Yeah, definitely. For our first season, we are sponsoring a South Texas mission that my business partner was on, and we were able to donate some of the profit towards that.

Q: What advice would you give someone starting their own business?

Just go for it, don’t think too much about it. Definitely focus on the vision you are trying to achieve.

Q: What’s the hardest part about designing?

Definitely just trying to be original and creative. You draw a lot of inspiration from others, but that doesn’t mean you can steal from their ideas. Seeing other inspirations, drawing from that, and still being original has been the hardest part.

Q: What is your plan for the future?

Obviously, we want to grow the clothing line after all the other life stuff settles down a little. I would like to do something corporate law related to understand the fundamentals of business and understand what we can and can’t do, and through that, I can meet connections and stuff, so that’s the angle; just to grow.

Q: Name one person who inspires you in particular?

So there’s this Dallas street photographer, and he goes by the name of “High Vise. He started this community called “DTX street,” and it’s where all Dallas photographers have a community to inspire others and it’s a whole movement. I don’t know the guy personally, but seeing all the things he does and what he posts is really inspiring.

(photo courtesy of Jesse Chao)

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