Lexington native Chris Hudson, 25, always knew he wanted to inspire change in his community.
"Growing up as young people, we struggle with our identity. So I prayed to God and asked him to reveal to me what my purpose was," Hudson said.
He started thinking about the phrase "life's journey and thought it would be a good name for a clothing line that featured motivational sayings.
The young entrepreneur quickly ran into some trademark problems when a logo he was working on, using a part of the Harley-Davidson logo, prompted the motorcycle manufacturer to threaten to sue.
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He decided to suspend that dream temporarily and focus on school. He enrolled in Bauder College in Atlanta, a private school for fashion and merchandising training. Two years into his education, he was involved in a serious car accident.
While recovering from his injuries, Hudson envisioned a new logo for Life's Journey Clothing that featured a man with a backpack and a walking stick. Having a new idea for a logo rekindled his dream of a clothing line.
"My whole vision is to be able to use my purpose to uplift individuals in the community," he said. "Everyone has a life journey, and I think it is important that we inspire people. So the clothing line consists of inspirational pieces that can help you through your daily journey and get you thinking positive."
His dream was alive and well, but he wasn't receiving much support from friends or family. He didn't let that stop him.
"No one around me was really supporting what I was doing; they were questioning me," said Hudson, a Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate and a father of one.
"The first two people that really believed were my friends Anthony Lewis and Deandre Adams. I felt if I could reach two people, I can reach 2,000."
That's what Hudson hopes to do at Life's Journey Runway Summer 2011 Fashion Showcase, which will feature his clothing, on Saturday at the Lyric Theatre.
"It's not only to showcase Life's Journey but to showcase individuals and their talents as well," Hudson said. "I want people in the Lexington community to have some alternative entertainment."
The show will feature clothing from Life's Journey (Lifesjourneyclothing.com), which includes T-shirts and accessories, and the premiere of a new line featuring more T-shirt designs and some children's designs.
Fashions from the clothing boutique Oneness Premium (originators of the CATS baseball cap. See Oneness287.com) also will be shown. There will be performances from local music acts, stand-up comedians and poets, and music from local disc jockey DJWarrenPEACE.
Thomas Jarber, 29, a minister at Greater New Hope Christian Center in Lexington, will be the main speaker.
Jarber had been in prison on a drug-related charge from ages 18 to 23. While serving time, Jarber received reading materials from ministers that changed his life.
"My transition started to take place then because I was at a place of solitude," Jarber said. "I not only started to experience change, but transformation."
After getting out of prison, Jarber enrolled in a Bible college and became an ordained minister.
Since then, he has devoted his time to helping young people, some of whom he knew during his drug-selling days, to realize their purpose. That will be the topic when he speaks Saturday.
"We're seeing violence on a daily basis in our communities," Jarber said, referring to recent slayings of Lexington youths. "I felt the Lord leading me in the direction to speak on the attack against our generation. I want people to understand we've all been created on purpose, with a purpose and for a purpose."
Hudson, who is a member of Jarber's church and a part of his ministry, said he invited Jarber to speak because Jarber is a living example of the message Hudson wants to send through his clothing line.
"That's what Life's Journey is all about," Hudson said. "You can make one mistake, but you can redirect your potential and turn it into something good. ... That's what life is about."
Hudson will donate a portion of the proceeds from the show to the Boys & Girls Club.
"I want to give back to the youth to keep them off of the streets and to provide more things that they need," Hudson said. "I feel that donating money to them may help with those things."