Arlington Woman Launches Fashion Made to Motivate

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Amber Johnson proudly shows off a few pieces in the new collection of her contemporary streetwear brand called Jamber.

The pieces are unisex, loose-fitting and interchangeable between women and men.

"I wasn't a fashion major. I was a major in exercise science. I draw inspiration from a lot of different things, and I just wanted to do something different and something where I could be in my own lane," said Johnson, the founder and CEO of Jamber.

"A little story about why I chose a unisex brand. I come from the athletic world. And I always wanted to be able to go into different departments and wear a little bit of anything, shop in the men's section, shop in the women's section. So, I combined it to where I can make it to be for everybody, " said Johnson.

The idea started to take shape during her days as the women's basketball manager at UT Arlington, then after college working at a company that hosted elite tournaments for women's high school players.

"I had the vision when I was about 20. I'm 32 right now. And the vision pulled me. It still continues to pull me," Johnson said.

The big push to make that decade-long vision real came in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic with an offer from her boss at Premier Basketball where she worked as the director of operations.

"He came to my office and said I believe in your vision. I want you to go get it. So, he gave me a leave of absence and continued to pay my salary for eight months," Johnson explained.

By month six, during the outbreak of the COVID-19, Johnson hadn't secured any retail orders for her clothing line, but knew chasing her dream was the right thing to do.

Uncertain of the future, Johnson stepped out on faith, realizing this was her time to live out what Jamber stood for. She would be resilient and persevere. She informed her boss she wouldn't be returning to Premier Basketball. He wished her well. A few days later, he sold the company.

In a statement to NBC 5, Joey Simmons said, "I did it because of Amber's loyalty in helping me build Premier Basketball for 12 years. Life is about taking care of those who take care of you."

That kind of boss is rare but Johnson believes the resilience that kept her dream alive is in everyone. That's why the tagline on her brand is Made to Motivate.

"Jamber is more than selling clothes. It's about motivating people to follow their own dreams and pursue their own visions and successes," she said. "And right now, I know there are a lot of people out of work and I'm here to inspire you to tell you, you can go out and you can win big."

The Jamber line is sold online but Johnson's vision is to get it into stores.

"Retail stores worldwide. On billboards. In every major city. As well as on magazine covers," Johnson predicts.

As for the name of the brand, Jamber was her childhood nickname and now stands for Just Anticipating More By Exercising Resilience.

"We all go through storms in life, but if you keep looking forward, everything's going to be okay," Johnson said.

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