Jaden Grant, a WKU student from Louisville, has a desire to live out his dreams despite adversity.
Grant, 19, is involved with the WKU Intercultural Student Engagement Center as an ISEC scholar. He is also an entrepreneur and the CEO of his own clothing brand, Jiggy Styles.
Grant said the name of his brand holds tremendous value for his loved ones, business partners and colleagues.
“I remember growing up, A$AP Rocky said in the one of his interviews the word ‘jiggy’ is defined as different,” Grant said. “You move different, talk different, not being from the same parts … the word defined me.”
Grant said Jiggy Styles looks to provide a unique aspect to the clothing industry, and it already has.
“One of my goals was to ensure that I am providing stuff that people would immediately buy,” Grant said.
On the brand’s Instagram page — in big bold letters — the words “DARE YOURSELF TO BE DIFFERENT” can be read at the very top of the profile.
From crewnecks, sweatshirts, tank tops and other accessories, Jiggy Styles offers a selection for both men and women.
The clothing, which is described as “Street Wear Mixed With Urban Style,” is growing rapidly.
On the Instagram page, there are quotes about expressing the importance of self determination and the ability to never be satisfied, including the quote, “Invest into yourself. Fashion fades. Style is eternal.”
Grant, also known as Rico, is seen as a man with many hats. Along with being a full-time student, Grant tries to be a voice for the youth of his city and influence younger kids in Bowling Green.
“Growing up, I didn’t have it easy,” Grant said. “I was tested, and I’m very blessed and fortunate enough to be able to talk to you about my story.”
Grant has a support system. Longtime friend Gary Trowel had nothing but positive things to say about Grant.
“Jaden is one of the hardest-working people I know,” Trowel said. “Whenever he wants something done, trust me, he’s gonna get it taken care of. Jaden has completely turned his life around. He use to be out here, but that’s what change is all about. Jaden loves to see people do great things in life as well as holding people accountable.”
Seneca Crump, the assistant residence hall director of Hugh Poland Hall and adviser of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, said he had great respect for Grant.
“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Rico, aka my lil’ bro, for about nine months now, and I’m truly inspired by his perseverance and commitment to better himself and those around him,” Crump said. “Rico is the pure example of a young man grinding to achieve his big dreams, and that’s what I respect the most about him. He’s proven to me that he’s not settling for just anything in life, which is truly inspiring to see in a young man at his age.”
Grant said he looks to continue to take his brand to the next level and in the near future would love to possibly bring Jiggy Styles to the WKU bookstore to expand the Hilltopper spirit. The recent death of rapper Nipsey Hussle had an impact on Grant. He said he wanted to have an influence similar to that which Nipsey had — not only on his generation but also on his community.
He said he thinks of the first stanza from Nipsey Hussle’s song “I Do This” every day.
“Well, who would you want to define you? / Someone else or yourself?” Sinister Pook said in the song’s spoken-word introduction. “Whatever you do, homie, give your heart to it / And stay strong.”
Features reporter Mark Webster Jr. can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected]