The t-shirt designer behind Mango Drip has a message for you

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Jeremy Jackson has a message for you. More than one, in fact, and you can show it off on his line of clothing and other merchandise available all over LGBTQ Atlanta.

CHANGE

YOUR COMFORT ZONE WILL KILL YOU

EQUALITY

MADE BY GOD

BE KIND

YOU/WILL/BE/OK

And those are just a few. If you don’t know the Atlanta designer, you just might know his t-shirts, hoodies, bags, outerwear and mugs. The Mango Drip. The line is carried at Brushstrokes, Crafted, Bill Hallman and other popular Atlanta retailers. Brushstrokes even has designs exclusive to its store, featured in an ad in the current issue of Q magazine.

Jackson talked with Q about his often-difficult early life and seeing his way through it to “encourage self-discovery and growth” through the Mango Drip line.

What was life like for you growing up in Georgia?

Honestly, my foster care experience was unfavorable. There were never any constants in my life after I was put into the foster care system.

I bounced around so much that it was hard to develop or maintain relationships with anyone. As an adult, the whole experience has left me in a state of searching. I search for who I am, I search for who I want to be and where I belong.

I was placed in a [queer-inclusive Atlanta non-profit CHRIS 180] group home when I was in the 10th grade. Prior to CHRIS Kids, I had been enrolled in six different high schools, so there was an excessive amount of moving and bouncing around from foster family to institution to foster family. They provided me with a stable place to live, which allowed me to finish school without moving around.

How did you start designing t-shirts?

I’ve always been interested in being able to express myself through fashion. I gave making shirts a shot in 2011, and although it didn’t work out for me then, I was able to pick back up my dreams of starting a clothing line in 2018. I went out and bought a bunch of t-shirt making equipment, and I jumped in head first.

Is there a theme in your designs?

The Mango Drip is a brand that encourages self-discovery and growth. Mango Drip is here to be a platform for discussions relating to physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health and discussions involving social and environmental issues.

If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be?

Madonna definitely tops this list. Growing up with all the troubles going on in my life, I always looked up to Madonna in a motherly type way. Aside from the music, I’ve always been inspired by how strong of a woman she is, her support for the gay community and her work ethic.

Steve Jobs’ work ethic inspires me as well. Being able to push against the unconventional and unpopular is very inspiring. It is difficult to go against the flow of life and that’s exactly what he did. I’d love to have a chat.

Puff Daddy is also a boss. I love his confidence and the way he carries himself as a black man. I’d love to be in his presence and talk business.

What’s next for you and the Mango Drip?

We are working on creating a YouTube channel that will produce videos with discussions relating to physical/mental/emotional/spiritual health and discussions involving social and environmental issues. We are also continuing to work on building Mango Drip into a supportive community that encourages self-growth and development.

Photos by Russ Youngblood. Check out the Mango Drip merch at themangodrip.com, onInstagram and Facebook.

This interview originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the latest issue online here:

Pick up each new edition of Q magazine at LGBTQ and queer-friendly venues around Atlanta.

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