The cofounders of the popular apparel company Orange Juice The Brand (OJTB) have quite a quirky origin story.
In what usually unfolds to be two paths that never cross again, the cofounders Joshua Gao and Molly Jiang challenged the impossible by starting a company while in a relationship together and, more impressively, grew the company even after splitting ways.
They were in their final year of high school in Toronto, and they had just started dating for only a few months, when they recognized that Gao’s knack for problem solving and Jiang’s natural artistic talent could be coupled as a high potential clothing brand.
Heavily inspired by entrepreneurs and philanthropists in their own communities, the tag team duo sought to create a story within their products that could be a meaningful stepping stone for young women to push past social glass ceilings.
With this ideal in mind, the first year of operations was far from their, admittedly, naive expectations for growth. The duo would spend sleepless nights building their website, amending designs for new collections, and finding suppliers within The States and overseas. On the day of their first launch, July 17th of 2017, spoilers, but orders did not pour in. It was an unsteady flow of a few orders a day and unexpectedly, due to personal reasons, the two split ways.
The brand fell silent for months, but most importantly, and this may be obvious now, Gao and Jiang mutually wanted to remain friends and continue growing the brand. This is where the current Orange Juice The Brand story has flourished from, the founders live by a tagline to ‘Challenge The Ordinary’ and to push past their own mental ceilings.
To date, the company has seen widespread North American success with several of their products, such as the ‘Social Media Case’ and the ‘White Tank Top’, go viral on TikTok and Instagram, garnering a surplus of 15 million collective views.
As Gao and Jiang continue to grow what has become a million dollar brand, they hope to be able to continue producing high quality products that help youth challenge themselves in how they express themselves through fashion.