Dillon DeJesus Founded what is seen in my eyes as the fastest growing customs business I’ve seen yet, Dillon picked up his first paintbrush in the fall of 2011 and since then it has taken him to places unimaginable, like backstage to rap artist Trinidad James concert to give him a special custom shoe he made for him, and designing shoes that would be worn by leading NFL superstars. So without any further delay here is the 708ChicagoSole Exclusive with Dejesus Customs!
708) You’ve been featured on Nice Kicks Gridiron Kicks multiple times. Did you reach out to the players, or did they come to you? & How was it making shoes that would be played in by NFL’s greatest like Joe Fauria and Eric Ebron?
DeJesus) Actually any of the big name athletes ive done have all come through seeing my work on my Instagram and other social media outlets. Social media are an incredible thing for business since we get to put out free advertisements. Mike Neal of the packers was actually the first NFL client I had to wear our shoes on field while Fauria and Ebron shortly followed. It truly is an unbelievable experience cause when I started customizing shoes I never would have expected to see our work on NFL fields or NBA courts.
708) What are your thoughts on the fines NFL players have to pay for their custom kicks?
DeJesus) The NFL is rough with their fines, almost everyday you hear about players being fined for an array of different reasons. As far as cleats go I don’t think they should fine them as long as the cleats go with the team uniforms or represent a message like Breast Cancer Awareness which the NFL supports itself. The players should definitely be able to express themselves and their personalities with their cleats.
708) Has the ban on custom kicks hurt your business? Or has it helped it?
DeJesus) The ban on custom kicks hasn’t hurt business because the NFL didn’t completely out law custom cleats as a whole really they more or less said the Nike Swoosh needs to be completely visible on cleats so the customizers can just directly paint over it, which is something we never did in the first place, I always try to incorporate the swoosh with the design as a whole.
708) When and how did you begin doing customs in the first place?
DeJesus) The first time I customized a shoe was Fall of 2011, I saw el cappy did a pair of South Beach 6’s and since I didn’t have the real south beach lebron 8’s at the time I decided I would try to make a pair of the 6’s for myself, they took me about 4 months to finish because I kept putting them off hitting different roadblocks trying to complete them but when I finished I posted on FB just to show people in the sneaker community and it really took off from there.
708) Where do you gain your inspiration if you’re doing a pair from scratch?
DeJesus) When I start a brand new pair where I have full artistic freedom I always want them to be something real original that people haven’t seen before, whether its taking the model and placing crazy loud vibrant prints that haven’t been incorporated on the shoe previously or coming up with a way to incorporate a superhero theme or movie theme onto a specific model I always just want people to have that, Wow I’ve never seen something like that before expression when they see a pair of our shoes.
708) What separates you or makes you better than other small customization business?
DeJesus) I believe what separates DeJesus Customs from other small business is we really and truly care about every single customer we’ve ever heard, were first off very appreciative they came to us in the first place and my goal is to try to make every single one of our customers not only a returning customer but someone who wants to show off our work to their friends and help spread the word. I try to have constant communication with anyone whenever they would like to reach me, I give my number and direct contact info to everyone, people say I’m crazy because you should separate work from personal life but this is my life, I eat sleep and breathe this everyday.
708) Where do you want to see Dejesus Customs one year from now?
DeJesus) One year from now I hope DeJesus Customs has a couple more employees right now, right now I do this full-time all day everyday with the help of my younger brother who is graduating high school this year, so hopefully next year with his college schedule we can count of him more and add another 1-2 people to help us full-time to speed up our turnaround time while still making sure every single order is properly taken care of.
708) What is your favorite customization that you did in the past?
DeJesus) If I had to choose my favorite pair we did it would be the Dragonzord Lebron X’s, growing up I was a huge power ranger fan and still am, so when someone approached about a power ranger shoe I was super excited, and thanks to social media Jason David Frank (the original green ranger) saw them and we have been in contact recently about doing some work for him. Absolutely crazy that we get to speak with and work with people who I grew up idolizing.
708) What can you say to other Customizers wanting to start their own business?
DeJesus) My word to other customizers would be to take your time and do A LOT of research, everything is accessible to us with the internet so make sure you use the web since its a resource right at your fingertips, it will take a lot of trial and error but you can’t shy away from that it will only make you better, also treat every customer with respect. Not every customer you get will be easy to work with but you have to be patient and be thankful these people wanna spend money with you in the first place. You also never know who your customer may be friends with, ive had some big opportunities come my way just by word of mouth of our customers spreading the word since they liked how we worked with them
708) If you had to say something to the entire sneaker community in a whole what would it be?
DeJesus) If I had to say something to the sneaker community as a whole it would probably be try to stop spreading the hate, too many times our sneaker community has been on the news for the wrong reasons like meetups gone bad or robbing malls. Of course the news seems to miss out on the good stuff we do such as shoe drives and younger kids raising money at their high schools by hosting sneaker events there still is a lot of nonsense going on a daily basis I see on social media. I’ve met a lot of awesome connections and friends just from my love of sneakers and more people need to embrace that were all here for the same thing a love for shoes.
A great interview from DeJesus Customs speaking on the sneaker community, advice to younger customizers, and more! Defiantly keep an eye out for DeJesus Customs there on the rise to the top with their stunning customs & find some pics at the end of this article!!
You can check out the amazing DeJesus Website HERE!
also be sure to check out DeJesus on Instagram HERE!