The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

He wants you!

Student entrepreneur’s unique marketing campaign for a unique product

Alia Cruz | Guest Writer
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Business major Jeremiah Lewis puts his education to practical use, as he flashes a card promoting his clothing line, American Failure. Photo by ||Kimberly Nguyen||[email protected]

Jeremiah Lewis wants you to know that you’re an American Failure. However, he wants you to flaunt it like he does.

The budding entrepreneur is the brains behind online T-shirt company American Failure, which mixes fashion with democracy. His T-shirts display the company’s distinctive name and logo.

Lewis also wants you to be a model. In case you didn’t notice, Lewis wants you to be a lot of things.

Despite the strictly business demeanor Lewis gives off, he’s really just a goofy young man with a huge smile, who is known to give strangers gifts and yell, “Have a great day!” His life is full of entrepreneurial ventures, both personal and professional.

A few months ago, Lewis sat down and decided to set up a “just because” schedule. In this schedule, Lewis planned to do a good or odd deed every day. For example, Lewis brought Starbucks gift cards and handed them to random strangers on the street, saying, “Whatever you’ve done to make this world better, thank you.”

“I’ve gotten some strange looks,” Lewis says.

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He has an upcoming scheme to spread joy by giving away hundreds of candy bars Downtown at the end of May.

“Jeremiah is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” says friend Desiree Davenport.

Lewis’ willingness to give back and be a people person is apparent in his professional projects. The business major, who attends City College, American River College and Sacramento State simultaneously, started the T-shirt company in the beginning of 2008. The West Sacramento company, deemed American Failure, sells shirts with a signature logo that serves as a representation of American failures. His Web site not only sells shirts, it doubles as a democratic blog where current issues are addressed and discussed.

T-shirts for sale on the site include the Roundel and Jingoism. An accompanying description to the Jingoism shirt: “Defined as extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive foreign policy. This shirt represents the contradiction in our actions. On one hand you have the repulsive nation of Americana political jingo. While on the other you have us.”

“I love what it stands for,” says City College Srna Gjorgjevic who was one of the first to purchase an American Failure T-shirt and who loves donning Lewis’ product. “I love what it stands for. It’s not an empty logo. It has significance that I can identify with. When I wear it, I feel like I’m a part of something. American Failure says, ‘I’m American. I’m kind of a failure, but so what. I’m proud of it. I’m not afraid to criticize the America that I love.’”

Jeremiah Lewis also wants you to be a model. Instead of unrealistically glamorizing his product, he asks those who have purchased his shirts to send photos of themselves sporting them. This has proven to be popular, as people are more than willing to play model.

“I had to start telling people, ‘One picture, please,’ because, man, do people like to see themselves on the Internet,” Lewis says.

If you see an American Failure T-shirt-clad Lewis on the street, and he hands you a gift, with a big smile and greeting, don’t be afraid. Take it.

American Failure T-shirts can be seen at

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