J. Kelly Hoey

Innovator Insights: Detroit’s Jessica R. Simmons, Founder of DSR Apparel @dsrapparel

Name: Jessica R. Simmons Title: Owner of DSR Apparel Twitter: @dsrapparel

Who is the DSR Apparel woman? Someone who is just like its founder, Jessica Simmons. Jessica and I met at Techtown Detroit during a stop on Comcast’s Tomorrow Tour. Jessica had been following me on Twitter, signed up for the event and came armed with a signature “Smart, Bold, Ambitious” DSR Apparel t-shirt for me. Yes, she had sized up my support for woman entrepreneurs and those who ambitiously pursue their ventures, exactly. I immediately ditched the top I was wearing and delivered my keynote in DSR. To quote Jessica, the DSR Apparel woman is: Ambitious. Audacious. Confident, but never cocky. She’s got passion. She’s got fire. She’s not a quitter, She’s a fighter. And even when times get tough, And things aren’t going her way, She doesn’t stop, She keeps going. She’s brave. She’s bold. She’s fearless.She’s unstoppable. She’s you. She’s me. She’s Jessica.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Jessica: I’m an entrepreneur because I’ve always wanted to own my own t-shirt company. I’ve always wanted to run my own business.

Me: What problem would you like solved?

Jessica: Equality. All across the board. I’d love for us all to treat and respect each other as equals.

Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?

Jessica: I wish I had known how hard it would be to start a company from scratch.

Me: What does success look like for you?

Jessica: Living life on my own terms.

Me: Who are your heroes?

Jessica: My mother, my two sisters and Diane von Furstenberg. All are very strong, inspiring, kick ass women.

Me: What is your best discovery?

Jessica: African black soap. Best thing ever for acne prone skin.

Me: What would the title of your biography be?

Jessica: You’re Not Like All The Other Girls…

Me: What is your biggest regret?

Jessica: In grade school I was an outsider. There was another girl named Donia who was also a bit of an outsider that was picked on too. I guess she was drawn to me because neither of us were very popular and both got picked on. I regret that I didn’t take the time to connect with her and get to know her better, given that we both were in the same boat.

Me: Anything else we should know about?

Jessica: I’d like to add that DSR Apparel is committed to empowering women. 10% of sales are donated to charities empowering girls and women.

This post originally appeared on Kelly Hoey’s website. Keep up to date with Kelly’s latest Insights by signing up for her Innovator Insights newsletter.


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