Sometimes, you think you’re supposed to go one direction in life, when suddenly something happens that makes you question whether that’s true. That’s what happened to 22-year-old Jaffry Jan Mallari, nicknamed JJ. After getting rejected from an exclusive graphic design program at a university in Canada, he decided he didn’t need to take a graphic design course to be a successful graphic designer. He was right.

Jaffry appeared to be the exact type of student who would do well in a program like the one he applied for. He had the best grades, received a recommendation from his Communication Technology instructor, and had exceptional Language Arts grades. Everything was lined up for him, especially given that he was the only one out of the entire group interview he was a part of who knew how to use Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as how to ace social media marketing.

He thought it was a slam dunk and that he would be accepted into the program. He was wrong. A few weeks after the interview, he received a letter in the mail that would end up deciding the fate of his entire existence. JJ believes to this day that if one or two words were different in that letter, he would not be where he is today.

The letter said, “You are on the waiting list. You will be notified if there are additional openings in the future.” He was stunned. JJ couldn’t believe that he was relegated to a waiting list when he knew he was the ideal candidate for a program like the one he interviewed for. He could even see the job prospects lying before him if he was to get into that program. If he got in, he believed he would be miles ahead of any other student there.

It’s not too difficult to guess how Jaffry felt after receiving the news. He felt the weight of the world come crashing down on him. It was depressing news, to say the least. Even today, as successful as he is, he feels scorned by the experience. Yet, it is this depression that is the whole reason why his RESURGENCE brand is so successful today. After all, it’s got some serious pessimistic undertones to it.

JJ channeled the negative energy he felt creep up within him after getting rejected by the graphic design program into his new brand. It became creative inspiration for the darker designs he made for the brand, which ended up being incredibly popular. It seems JJ’s not the only one who has been going through challenges in life lately.

RSG RESURGENCE has become so popular as a streetwear brand that JJ is now making six figures annually. That is an incredible feat for a 22-year-old graphic designer who wasn’t able to get into a graphic design program.

If you want to see the phenomenal work Jaffry has done with RESURGENCE, check out his online store here.