Bravery Blog #5
Meet David Josef – women’s fashion designer and owner of “David Josef Fashions”. He is an incredible and inspirational person who has always been brave. I had the honor of interviewing him this past week and found out some of the struggles he has faced and overcome. I truly believe that everyone can learn something from what he had to say.
As always, I started this interview off by asking “Are you brave?” His answer was the fastest “YES!” I ever received and I loved it! He is brave and he is proud to be brave, there was no doubt in that. He began to tell me that being brave isn’t a daily thing but situational. Growing up in the 70’s as a gay man was extremely difficult for him but that never stopped him from being who he was. He never pretended to be something he wasn’t, even through the bullying. Instead of hiding in his room, he put on his reversible vest and let his personality shine.
Growing up gay wasn’t his only struggle. In 2008 he had to make a huge decision involving his business. As many business owners know, making decisions on behalf of your business is not only scary but also extremely brave. Owning your own business means you are being self-sufficient and making changes that involve that can’t be easy. He decided to go from having a huge company with a lot of employees in the South End, to just himself in Waltham. It ended up being the best decision he ever made.
Another struggle he faced was the betrayal of his family. Being one of three sons wasn’t the easiest, but as his business began to grow, he wanted to help out one of his brother’s who was having a hard time. He did this by offering him a job at “David Josef Fashions”. That was a big mistake because his brother robbed, stole, and completely betrayed him. This forced David to make the decision of cutting off contact with his brother, which led to cutting off contact with the rest of his family. This was definitely not something he enjoyed doing but he had no choice.
How does someone who has faced so many hardships find purpose in his pain? David does charity work with Aimee Takaha – founder of “Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary”. “Aimee’s Farm Animal Sanctuary” is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and rehomes neglected and abused animals. Aimee provides the animals with both temporary and long-term shelter in a safe environment with medical attention and proper nutrition. On Tuesday, April 12 at West End Johnnie’s, she will host this year’s fundraiser “Fashion To The Rescue”. Here there will be showcase fashions by David Josef, Denise Hajjar, and iamKreyol. With accessories by Lindsay Tia, Emily Kuvin, and Marie Galvin. If you are interested in this event you can purchase tickets here.
I ended this interview by asking David, “What inspires you and who do you want to empower?” He told me that his inspiration is with his charity work at the farm and with his clients. He wants to empower every single lady who walks through his door and wants to show them that their beauty is still there.
What does David inspire you to do?