Presenting My Non-Profit, Style Lottery

Check out my organization, Style Lottery! Style Lottery is a social enterprise dedicated to sustainable fashion and fashion philanthropy.  with the desire to uplift young women in the community. Style Lottery, through nominations from community members, selects hardworking women and men from low-income communities and gives them the gift of a free clothing.

Visit the site at

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Website Designed by Timi Komonibo & Featured Picture by Bunmi Ishola

Strategies For Holiness

This post is from my podcast The LightBright Podcast. It’s my online space to have virtual conversations about faith. Take a listen to the full episode below. I’ve also included my notes and a transcript, if you’re short on time. 

Being a Christian can be challenging in today’s world. There are different places where you could come across strongholds or habits in your life that are not productive to a strong Christian walk. So today I wanted to talk about strategies for keeping your life holy.

At no point does God expect us to be perfect— which is why we have Jesus Christ who is the perfect sacrifice. But I remember when I was younger, and I was constantly running to the altar, because I had an area of sin that had a little bit of an addictive hold on me. And I struggled with sin patterns for decades, if I’m honest. And now that I’m in my 30s, I’m starting to think about different strategies to hep me overcome. When you get free when the Holy Spirit breaks a hold off of your life, the plan is to stay free. If I think about the times where I’ve had the longest streaks of success, when I’ve been able to abstain or have been victorious over areas of sin, it’s because I had a plan. So today we’re going to talk about how to have a plan—Six strategies for holiness.

1. Identify your personal triggers.

When I stumbled in the area of sexual sin and lust, I really struggled first in my mind before I even ever tried to do anything physically. So my personal triggers could have been anything. So observing yourself, What usually starts you in that spiral of negative and non productive thinking, is it stress? Is it loneliness? Is it relational tension? Oddly, I found that when people talk about an area where I have previously struggled, I would then start to think about that thing. Even certain conversations would even trigger it for me, sometimes it would be movies, or even someone insinuating something about an area. And so for you observing yourself, where areas where those personal triggers popped up.

2. Know yourself and recognize your relapse warning signs.

The language I’m using is actually language that’s very similar to what addicts have to do when they are recovering. I think that some areas of sin are especially addictive, especially when we’re thinking about things like substance abuse, or sexual sin, those tend to have a very addictive hold on us. And so we actually have to treat ourselves like recovering addicts. It sounds a little extreme, but our brains get really hooked on the serotonin, how high and how happy we feel when we’re doing some of these things. And so we have to really address it, like the the scientific addictive behavior that it is. Your personal relapse warning signs could be when you start thinking less rationally, start behaving less responsibly. For me, I would recognize there would be certain times where I’d be so strict with myself. And then I get tired of being so strict, and I’d say, Oh my gosh, like I don’t even care does it even matter. And I would find myself starting to think less rationally starting to maybe justify certain behaviors in my mind way before I did anything, the relapse warning signs were there. If you find yourself returning to a problematic thinking pattern that you used to have, put yourself on alert.

3. Reconstruct old routines and habits

We are all human beings and in our lives, we have natural desires and needs that are programmed into our bodies. At times we can have non-productive ways of fulfilling those needs. So do not allow your mind to make you feel like you’re a bad person for wanting to fulfill these needs. However, we have to reconstruct and replace these destructive patterns with ones that better serve us.

4. Surround yourself with community

As a human being, you need interaction with people. You need to be able to have friends, people who know you, and people whom you know, the really great thing about community is that it’s a place that not only can you receive love and support, but you can also give love and support. Many times when we have been in patterns of kind of stumbling and struggling, we feel like we have nothing to give. But sometimes the things that we’ve kind of messily stumbled through can be the things that people need to learn about in order to be free. And so in community, we find that our imperfection is actually appreciated, because that humanity that is in us is something that people want to partake in.

I highly recommend finding a community of people going back to the example of how people who are coming out of addictive lifestyles, a something that’s very effective for people because they have open and transparent conversations about areas where they’re struggling, find at least one friend that you can be honest with. Whether it’s your accountability partner reflecting your actions back to you, or you reminding yourself through your journal or through a voice note, all of those things are ways that you can stay on this path of growth, and progress.

5. Practice self discipline & self compassion

Self discipline is a great gift to yourself because it carries over into other areas of your life. With each wise decision, you began to reprogram your brain to tell the story that you are good at self discipline, that you are able to keep to a plan and be successful at it. Along with self discipline, you must also have self compassion. Even if you are somebody who has a really great streak of self discipline and you slip up, you must have grace for yourself when you I make a mistake. I’m going to get back right on it and start again. So it’s really great to keep track of your progress, whether that is a habit tracker, or even just a note on your phone that says hey, I did this thing. Success. For a few days, but also not being bummed out when you have breaks, that doesn’t mean that you were unsuccessful, that means your streak might start all over again. But it’s another opportunity to be victorious over an area of your life.

6. Celebrate milestones

Your brains is wired for reward and it loves when you do something great, so reward yourselves for good choices. Go ahead and celebrate every single thing, even if it seems small or insignificant. As you do this, you are building a case for your ability to overcome things that formerly tripped you up. Your daily choices become your habits and your habits becomes your lifestyle. The cumulative effect of everything you’re doing is helping you build strategies for holiness and leading you to a freer life.

Strategies for Holiness The LightBright Podcast

The set of strategies above (along with the help of the Holy Spirit) have really freed me and are keeping my free in my walk with God. It’s not about being perfect; it’s about every day asking Jesus Christ to guide me to make me stronger. And the places where I’m weak, I lean on the Holy Spirit very heavily to give me strength. The Bible says that in my weakness, he is strong. So I count on the Holy Spirit empowering me for every good work that he has called me to.

I want to speak to anyone who feels discouraged, or maybe even disqualified because they have an area of sin that they struggle with habitually. Jesus Christ wants you to be free. And this freedom is not something that is easily attained. Freedom is something that happens every single day, decision by decision. And so I don’t think there’s anybody out there who is completely free, every day, we have to take up our cross and follow Him. And so that means we have to put down the habits that would help stop us from walking towards what God called us to do. So we put aside all the things that would help make us stumble, and we pick up the things that God would have for us. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. At no point, can anyone come and tell you that you are not a child of God, God has chosen you. And it is Him who will purify you every single day.

So I want to pray a prayer of repentance for any of us who need it. In order to be holy, like God is holy, we have to ask for His help. We can’t do it in our own strength. It’s not something that as human beings we are naturally wired to do. So it takes the supernatural strength of God to make us holy. So let us pray.


In Jesus name, Lord, I thank you for your sacrifice on the cross, I thank you that you are perfect. You are the spotless lamb. And you knew ahead of time that we would need so much salvation from our sins, that we would need a spotless lamb to stay and take our place. It’s us who should have received the wages of sin, but you took death in our place. So God first we thank you for that. And God, I pray for my brothers and sisters who are listening, who are struggling in some area of sin that day, maybe have not been successful in in the path and pass and so Lord, I pray for your grace. I pray for your grace to help them through every single day, I pray that you help them to be victorious over the areas where they might struggle. God, I pray that you give them strength. And I pray that they remember your heart towards them that you want them to live a life of holiness, and you are going to help them to do that. And so I pray that you would speak to them in the areas of their lives where they need a conviction to turn away from sin, and the places where they have been condemned in the past. I pray that you show them that you love them, and that your love for them leads them to repentance. And so God I pray for all that are listening that we would Have the boldness to step away from lifestyles and habits and patterns that do not please you. And instead, we will run towards the things that would help us be stronger in our walk. God, we’re not perfect and we don’t pretend to be helpless, to be vulnerable to find community where we can be ourselves and we can confess our sins to one another, and form strategies for holiness. Thank you, Lord, for loving us. Thank you for calling us to holiness. And thank you for your Holy Spirit, who helps us every day to be more and more like you. Amen.

Clean & Vegan Makeup: ELATE COSMETICS

I recently got the chance to try out a green beauty brand called Elate Cosmetics. The Elate Cosmetics team was gracious enough to send me some of their products to try out. I tried these items: Elate Essential MascaraElate Vibrant Lipstick – BlazeSunkiss BronzerFull Tint Foundation – ChestnutUniversal Crème – Bliss, and Elate Brow Balm- Raven.

As a dark skin Black woman, I have an added challenge in finding green makeup that matches my skin tone. By some kind of magic, Elate Cosmetics manages to be Vegan, Cruelty-Free, Toxin Free, Gluten Free while actually get the job done. I found that using Elate Cosmetics gave me a natural no-makeup look.

Watch my full review here:

5 Stars for Packaging

I was very impressed with Elate Cosmetic’s packaging. The items were sent in a cardboard box, nestled in compostable packing peanuts.The only amount of waste created was from the label stickers. Elate Cosmetics chose a beautiful bamboo for their brushes and compact cases. I especially loved the fact that the bronzer I got had a magnetic insert that I could switch out and use in the compact case. I was delighted every time I saw the products inside my bag. They were gorgeous to look at.


5 Stars for Ingredients

I loved seeing recognizable ingredients like castor seed oil, jojoba oil, rice bran, coconut, etc. The green ingredients lent themselves to a skin-like finish on the makeup. The mascara is so simple but gives my curly lashes a wide-eyed and natural look. The coverage of the foundation was full and not too heavy, which I liked. I wanted to love the Eco-Brow balm because of it’s beautiful packaging but I wasn’t a huge fan of the way it filled in my brows, rather than sculpting them. For those who want a more natural brow look, the Eco-Brow balm might be perfect.


3 stars
3 stars for Color Diversity

I give this rating fully acknowledging that Elate Cosmetic has carefully curated collection of makeup products. As I was looking for a suitable shade for my skin tone, I found that there were typically two dark options (a medium and a dark brown). The problem I had was with the undertones of both shades. I once went outside wearing full-tint foundation in the color chestnut, and I noticed it had an orangey-red tone to it once it oxidized. I felt like the deep options needed a little more formulating to fit deeper skin tones. On top of that, there are 3 concealer shades, none of them exactly suitable for people with deeper skin tones. I am not personally replacing my foundations/powders just yet because of the undertone issue but those whose skins tones are offered might not have an issue.

Do you have a favorite green makeup brand? Drop your faves in the comment section!

TMI with Timi: Menstrual Cups 101

I’ve been getting many questions about having a “greener” period, so I made a video all about it. Here’s everything you’ve been afraid to ask about the menstrual cup. Please don’t watch if you are skirmish about natural processes relating to women’s bodies. I am not an expert, simply an enthusiast sharing information.

What’s In My Bag: Minimal Waste Essentials

Take a peek into my bag as I get ready for a weekend trip to NYC. These are some tips to fit your favorite product into your carry-on or personal bag.

Products featured in the video:
1. ESPEROS BAGS backpack:

2. Braggs Apple Cider vinegar

3. Steel tongue scraper:

4. Rosehip oil

5. Licorice root extract (oil)

6. Diva Cup (menstrual cup) or Lunette cup

7. Rose water

8. Nivea lotion

9. Altoid mints

What are your must-haves for a trip?

Photo Diary 1: All of Me


I am no stranger to public speaking. I have spoken on countless platforms from the steps of commencement at The University of Texas at Austin to the TEDx stage at Syracuse University, but every time I’m asked to give remarks I’m just as nervous as the first time.

I have a love-hate relationship with the stage. It intimidates me and brings out the best in me. From an outsider’s perspective, my pre-speaking routine is pretty bizarre. If you listen closely in the mornings, you can hear me talking to myself emphatically in the shower. I’m practicing my inflection and almost always using my hands. Needless to say, my fingers are prunes by the time I’m done. I hardly ever memorize my speeches anymore. I prefer the art of storytelling. I believe that if what you’re saying is true, it will flow from your heart.

Before I get on stage, you can find me pacing back and forth, murmuring my remarks under my breath. Most likely, my stomach is turning and my body is tingling. I’m not certain if I’m having an allergic reaction to this speaking opportunity or just feeling nervous energy. Whatever it is, as soon as I step onto the stage, everything fades away and I transform into my public speaker persona. She is my alter-ego. Timi Komo, the girl boss. The fashion philanthropy crusader. She easily charms the crowd, demanding their attention. Gone are her awkward mannerisms. No one can tell she used to be tremendously shy in middle school. She is so bold that sometimes she overwhelms me.

I am not always that girl that people see on stage. That fact used to make me feel a bit like an impostor. Being on a platform gives the added (and often unrealistic) pressure that you always have to be ON. And although you don’t owe anyone perfection, you do owe yourself a healthy dose of self-love. I have learned to embrace the duplicity of my personality. I can deliver a killer presentation to a crowd of hundreds and I can also do an interpretative dance to Disney’s “Frozen” soundtrack for preschoolers. Both sides of me offer something of value. Quirky, confident, dramatic, or pensive– I am worthy of love.

I never want to lose my human, unpolished side. It is part of my essence. I am constantly growing into my true authentic self and I challenge everyone to do the same. I challenge you: Find out who you are when no one’s watching. Examine your natural reaction to adversity (tweet this). Explore your maximum impact environment. These aspects are crucial if we’re want to be leaders that actually make a difference in the world around us.

Photo cred: Gesiye Komo
Note: Impostor Syndrome (or the feeling that you’re somehow inadequate for the job you’re doing or opportunities you have) is not that uncommon among high achievers and go getters. In fact, it’s a sign that you’re on the right track. You’re getting things done and blowing your own expectations out of the water!

Before I Leave 2015 Behind…

I don’t know about you but when I don’t reflect, I get ungrateful. When I don’t look back on where I started, I miss how much I’ve grown.

A couple days into the 2016 new year, someone asked me how 2015 had been for me. With a labored sigh, I replied “In all honesty, it was a tough year.” I hadn’t told a lie– 2015 was sprinkled with unexpected let-downs and challenges. Social media has a way of compiling a highlight reel of our lives that gives the false impression of a perfect life. While I was winning awards and getting speaking engagements, I was grappling with the reality of a dwindling savings account. One day, when I’m ready, I will tell you all that story. It’s one of true friendship and God’s provision. I’ll save it for another day.

Right now I want to take you back to how I started the year. I wrote down a vision for what I wanted to see in the next 365 day. I included my ambitions, my hopes, and my motivations. I believe that the way you start (with optimism and hope) frames how you’ll approach the year, with all its good and its bad.

Vision Board for 2015

“Go. See. Do”

I had purposed in my mind that I wanted to take a solo trip after I graduated with my Masters degree. I was nervous and was constantly checking Google Flight alerts for tickets during my lunch breaks. My destination of choice? Copenhagen, Denmark. I love biking culture and I had heard it’s a safe place for a woman to travel alone. I caught huge a break with a roundtrip ticket for under $600. On my trip, I stayed at the Urban House in Denmark and hopped over to Germany to visit friends and learn about sustainable fashion at H&M Starting House. I’d recommend a solo trip to anyone who’s ever considered it.

Be Happy. Live Well.

Happiness to me consists of spending time with loved ones and being free to be myself. Living far away from my family and friends, the things I cherish the most are unexpected phone calls, care packages, and authentic acts of friendship. In order for me to “live well,” I had to shed dead weight that was not helping me develop as an individual. It can be difficult to let go of relationships and things that used to fit you. Once those things become a hinderance, it’s necessary to remove them from your life. As a recovering people-pleaser, I still struggle with the need to justify my actions but a dear friend challenged me to start living for an audience of one. As long as God is pleased with my actions, I don’t owe anyone anything. I have said many times before that I am fiercely protective of my happiness— as we all should be. Before you invite people, habits, and things into your life, examine them thoroughly. And let them in only if they will make you a better version of yourself.

Finance Bar Graphics (22)


One day, I was praying and I thought what big and specific thing could I ask of God? I declared, “I want to have 5 speaking engagements this year.” As the months rolled by, I had almost forgotten my prayer. But emails and calls started pouring in and on December 4th, I found myself on stage at an award ceremony, giving remarks about sustainable fashion. It was my fifth and final speaking engagement for the year. Sometimes, I still feel like the nerdy girl who reads articles about textile waste for fun and it’s humbling that people want to hear what I have to say. The Word says, You have not because you do not ask (James 4:2). God is not intimidated by our ambition. Ask Him for what you want and when you do, ASK BIG.

Leaders of the New Cool 

I’m not shy about telling people that I want my startup Style Lottery to be the thought-leader in recycling textiles. We’ve been working with the circular economy for a couple of years and we have been changing the way consumers get rid of their old clothes. Sustainable fashion isn’t just the new cool, it’s going to become the new standard. This year, I challenged myself to be true to my convictions. I adjusted my shopping habits and now more than half my closet is second-hand. I enjoy fashion and I recognize its ability to connect and empower communities. I am an outspoken advocate for sustainable fashion. You know what qualifies us as leaders? Our closets, our wallets, and what we chose to use them for.

Necessary Goods

I dabbled in the zero waste world for a bit and learned some great ways to lower my carbon footprint. I attended SXSW Eco, tried composting, eliminated meat from my diet, and read The Zero Waste Home from cover to cover. At the end of the day, I identified the necessities and the excesses in my life. I focused on getting basic staples and timeless pieces that will last several seasons. I have chosen to adopt a minimal waste lifestyle, where I work to minimize my environmental impact. Ever since I made the switch, I have less stuff and more substance. I’m aware that not everyone can fit all their trash into a mason jar, but if we can all reduce our waste in some way, we can make the world a better place.


Writing this post was therapeutic for me. In retrospect, I can see that I had a fantastic year. Although I didn’t get all the answers I wanted in 2015, I know that God will complete the work He started. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. It says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

That promise from God is enough optimism and hope to launch me into 2016. I cannot wait to see how His plans unfold in my life.


Did you make a vision board this year? Or make New Years resolutions? If so, what were your main themes for 2016? Leave a comment below :)

Swishing Things Up A Little

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This season, we’ve upgraded the Style Lottery shopping experience. The first thing most people noticed was that we changed the name of our events.

So why a swish instead of a swap? It’s because swapping is simply about exchanging clothes while swishes are about creating community. Having lived in three cities in the last three years, I know from experience that meeting new people can be somewhat intimidating. Style Lottery brings people together and creates a sense of community around fashion. Our swish events happen on 3 levels (college, city, and community). Our events are our way of making our communities feel more intimate and our impact more evident.

For this event, we teamed up with a local creative collective called goDesignDC to create a unique shopping experience for our guests. The creative geniuses behind the collective (Obi and Amanda) gave us the boutique look we were going for. Here are a few highlights from the event.

A thoughtful & sustainably designed space


Style Lottery is serious about sustainability, so teaming up with goDesignDC was a match made in Heaven. The team build the ceiling fixtures and racks from locally sourced and recycled materials. If you want to see more of their design vision, check out their Instagram page.

The chance to meet new people in your community _MG_8351

We love when our social circles overlap and our friends meet each other. Friends can turn into style soulmates in a matter of minutes. We witnessed it happen several times throughout the event. A style soulmate is someone who wears a similar size in clothing. Although you didn’t intend to, you end up picking up most of the things she brought to the swish. Once you find her, you decide you have too much in common not to be friends in real life. You exchange numbers and decide to go on a roadtrip to Philly together. That last part actually did happened at our last event. We couldn’t have made it up if we tried.

A curated boutique experience


Our guests’ favorite part about our events is our ever-changing inventory. As the swish goes on, new items are brought out onto the floor. We had blogger and stylist, Buki Peters of Style With Buki, in the building helping guests style their swish finds. For guests at home missing out on the action, Buki also did a LIVE style session on Periscope.

The option to recycle clothes


For this swish event, we were fortunate to partner with a local H&M store. The leftover clothing was donated to the store’s recycling program. Most people don’t know that H&M will give you a 15% off coupon for recycling with them. To reward the ladies for lowering their carbon footprints, we made sure that each woman received a 15% off coupon for her contributions.


Thank you to everyone who made it to our first ever City Swish in DC. We’re always looking to improve your shopping experience for our guests. The feedback we received from our guests has been fantastic!  If you’ve ever been to one of our events, we’d love to hear from you. Please take 2 minutes to fill out our survey.

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   Photo cred: Obi Okolo (goDesignDC)

5 Brands With Perks To Last a Lifetime

When it comes to shopping, I am beginning to realize that a brand’s promise can be more important that the sticker price of its products. There are some brands that take their commitment to quality and customer service to a higher level. I’m talking about brands that care about a product from the minute you purchase it to the second it gets a rip in it. Read below to explore 5 brands that offer lifetime/satisfaction guarantees for their products.


Customers standing in line to fix their torn clothing in Patagonia’s repair truck.


For all my outdoorsy friends out there, Patagonia is a brand committed to making “high-quality stuff that lasts for years and can be repaired, so you don’t have to buy more of it.” This anti-consumerist message may seem paradoxical for a for-profit apparel brand, but Patagonia knows exactly what it’s doing. They have managed to create a customer culture that values quality items and hand-me-downs. They even created a blog that celebrates the stories behind their customer’s favorite Patagonia items, may of which have been restitched and repaired rather than being discarded or replaced.

Patagonia is so true to its promise to give well-loved clothing articles a second life that it embarked on a repairing cross-country journey. Additionally, through their “Worn Wear” recycling program, if your Patagonia gear is unrepairable, you can send it to them (or bring it into the store) to be recycled and/or repurposed. Old or new, Patagonia gear holds a lot of value. Not only will this brand last longer than most. When it finally gives up the ghost Patagonia repair technicians are ready to breathe life back into it. You can find many previously owned Patagonia pieces online and the repair promise applies to them as well. This is a brand it wouldn’t hurt to buy used.


#2. REI and #3. L.L.BEAN

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In the movie “Wild” with Reese Witherspoon starring as Cheryl Strayed, there is a scene when Witherspoon throws her hiking boots off a cliff in frustration. She later calls the company REI and they send her new boots, free of charge. A few years ago, REI customers would have told you that was a normal occurrence. Recently, REI changed its return policy to a limited warranty that covers manufacturing defects but not regular wear and tear. However, it’s big outdoors competitor L.L. Bean has maintained its 100% satisfaction guarantee promise.

The scene in “Wild” prompted me to look for comparable policies. I discovered L.L.Bean’s robust return policy. According to the website, you simply return the item and L.L. Bean will either reimburse the original purchase price or give a L.L.Bean gift card to replace the item. There was an interesting NPR article that examined how REI and L.L. Bean’s return policies affected customer loyalty. If you search online, you can hear countless stories of customers returning items more than 10 years old and getting back a new replacement. Outdoor gear can be a hefty investment but these generous return policies give customers more bang for their buck.

#4. LEVI’S

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LEVI’s jeans are known for their quality and durability. What most customers don’t realize that some LEVI’s locations have an in-house tailor shop that will make alterations, repair rips, hem and customize your jeans for you.      Customers who often have to pay to have their pants shortened or taken in can take advantage of Levi’s free tailor services. When I spoke to one of Levi’s store tailors in Copenhagen, he said that as long as you keep your receipt you can bring in your jeans for mending. Even if you don’t have a proof of purchase, you will only pay a small fee for the tailor services. To find a tailor shop near you, check out their website for locations.


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Going back to school always involved shopping for the perfect backpack. Most backpacks have to be replaced year after year, but Jansport backpacks come with a lifetime warranty that few customers take advantage of. Their warranty promise states “If your pack ever breaks down, simply return it to our warranty center. We’ll fix it or if we can;t we’ll replace it or refund it.” I may not have believed the validity of this warranty, had I not sent in my ripped backpack a couple years ago. After I filled out the form and returned it to the mailing center, Jansport sent me a message saying they had received the backpack and were in the process of replacing it. They informed me that an exact replacement of my backpack was unavailable, but gave me the option of choosing from newer Jansport designs. I selected my backpack design and a new one was delivered to my front door, free of charge. The Jansport-brand warranty makes certain that its classic backpacks will .

These brands are household names for a reason. They know how to keep customers coming back and that is why they have lifelong fans. These “give back”policies create a feeling of reciprocity that enable the customer to justify a higher price tag. Customers hand over their money knowing that, along with the item they paid for, they are also ensuring the upkeep of it as well. While the brands listed above are not perfect, they are exemplars in the apparel industry. Simply selling clothes is no longer sufficient, apparel companies must create a culture around their products. Patagonia values storytelling, REI and L.LBean celebrates adventurers, LEVI’s is the symbol of rebels, and Jansport exudes reliability. Apparel brands seeking die-hard fans must ask themselves, what is the brand promise that customer’s get with each purchase? If the answer is nothing, then it may be time to go back to the drawing board.