CHATHAM — De'Sha Bridges wouldn't exactly call herself a fashionista, she says. But there's one thing she can never have enough of:
The 25-year-old loves them so much that she launched her sunglasses line, De’Shade Designer Eyeware, in July of 2016.
“It’s very urban and modern, but I still consider it a luxury collection,” Bridges said. “This is not for people who want to buy the $10 glasses. My glasses are very high quality.”
The Simeon graduate had no plans to become an entrepreneur in the fashion world when she headed off to Ball State as a pre-law student, she said.
After graduation she moved to Los Angeles to work in a law office, but after a year she felt bored, she said. Bridges took some television classes for a few months then became a promotional model for the vodka company CÎROC.
Today she works in the mortgage industry while growing her eyeglass business.
It was actually her employer who suggested she become an entrepreneur, Bridges said.
“I said, ‘What do I have a lot of? Let me see what I’m interested in,’” she said. “I had a lot of sunglasses. That was last April and everything just started from there," she said. "It has been crazy.”
De'Sha Bridges [Provided/De'Sha Bridges]
When she launched her company on her 25th birthday last year, the collection was for women, but she and her creative team have since added a men’s collection. A third party manufactures the product, but she said the goal is to do everything in-house. In the future there will be sunglasses for children and prescription glasses.
Since moving to L.A., Bridges said she’s working on expanding her customer base.
They’ve already hosted launch parties in Chicago and L.A. They were a part of Chicago’s annual Surround Sound of Fashion event and the company says it is working to collaborate with a New York City singer.
“My main goal within six months to a year is to solely focus on De’Shade,” Bridges said. “I told my brother when he was still in school, 'Look I think this business will go somewhere.' ”
She believes in her vision so much that she asked him to move to L.A. with her after he finished school.
Darius Bridges, 23, just graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in Communications studies.
He and his sister "just had a dream,” he said.
“We wanted to be bigger and better than what was before us. With De’Shade, you’re going to see the glasses of course, but we don’t want you to just see the glasses, we want you to see something else, something bigger.”
Darius Bridges said De’Shade’s sunglasses collection is just the beginning.
“The goal is to become a billionaire, to have generational wealth,” he said.
His sister said that a lot of people think being an entrepreneur is easy, but there’s a lot of work that must be put in.
“I'm at the point right now where people give up and say, ‘This is too hard, I would rather go to work every day,’ but this is going to make or break us.”
The glasses are marked $22 to $40.
Visit the website at www.deshade711.com.