Jared Yazzie is Diné and the owner of OXDX Clothing. He also happens to be the brother of previous NextGen Native guest and NASA engineer, Aaron Yazzie.
Jared went to the University of Arizona on a full ride scholarship to study engineering. But after a few years, he realized that path was not for him. Jared left the university and enrolled at Pima Community College. He would transition into arts. During this time he started to sell shirts out of his car trunk. This is where the hustle of what would become OXDX began.
The Beginning of OXDX
After college Jared went to work for a screen print shop. He continued to design and print his own shirts. On the weekends, Jared traveled to the reservation to sell his merchandise. He found that while he was onto something, not everyone was supportive. Jared had to learn how to listen to negative feedback while not internalizing it.
Originally, Jared’s company was called Overdose. The name was taken from a lyric in Lupe Fiasco’s “Baba Says Cool for Thought” where a line warns not to “overdose on the cool.” Jared found the lyrics resonated with his experience moving from the rez to a city where there was potential to overdose on everything a city has to offer. Overtime, Overdose evolved into OXDX and the name has stuck ever since.
OXDX is building a following. Perhaps the company’s most famous design to date is the “Native Americans Discovered Columbus” tee. Jared designed it but did not understand how big of a hit it would be until Jessica Metcalf put the shirt on her Beyond Buckskin Boutique.
Another design is making a resurgence after Bobby Wilson of the 1491s wore a “Mis-Rep” shirt on The Daily Show during a segment about the R******s. That particular shirt is an homage to the Misfits, one of the Yazzie brothers’ favorite punk bands, combined with a message about misappropriation.
Yazzie is working to build his brand into something much bigger than it is currently. He wants it to be more than just a t-shirt company, and he wants it to be recognized beyond just Native communities. He is grinding to get to this point, and he is close to being able to do OXDX full time. But for now he is putting in long hours working both his day job and then doing OXDX afterwards.
This was a great conversation that ran the gamut of shifting focus, grinding to build a business, utilizing other Native companies, supporting other Native artists, and remaining true to oneself and their vision. Be sure to check out the entire episode.