Mar. 6, 2023 --
Imagine an athletic teenager, about to move to a new community and enroll at a new school, eager to continue his basketball career when … boom, a tragic car accident changes everything. Well, for Heights High junior London Mitchell, that was just the impetus he needed to launch the clothing line that he’d been thinking about for years.
In July 2020, his family’s car was struck head-on by a man who had fallen asleep behind the wheel while high on methamphetamine. During his days of recovery in a Cincinnati hospital, London decided the time was now to take the next step. And the name of his clothing line reflects all he had been through: OneChance
He believes you “only have one chance to live life, so live it to the fullest.” That’s exactly what he’s doing, having dropped his first line of hoodies, t-shirts and joggers on his birthday just two months after the accident. And his hustle is being recognized, as London recently qualified for the State of Ohio DECA competition in Columbus. He was one of three Heights High DECA/Marketing Management students to qualify for the tournament which recognizes emerging leaders and entrepreneurs.
London also recently learned that he is being awarded a microgrant from John Carroll University’s Muldoon Center for Entrepreneurship. He intends to use the grant, along with proceeds from his sales, to rent studio space for designing, packaging, shipping and marketing his goods. London wants to manage as many aspects of the process on his own and is the main photographer of his clothing, using friends and classmates as models. In fact, it was Heights High photography teacher Nancy Rich who encouraged him to apply for the grant in the first place. “Ms. Rich was very surprised” when he heard from John Carroll. And as for London, “I felt amazed.”
Not only has he received a monetary gift, he also is paired with a JCU Business major who will serve as a mentor to him as he grows his business and tries to leverage his success to secure more funding. But that success is already coming, sometimes in surprising ways.
London recently dropped hoodies with Dennis Rodman’s image on them, having ordered just thirty. But when he woke up the next morning, OneChance
had blown up on TikTok and he had an inbox full of order requests. One of them was from a name he recognized, Malaki Branham of the San Antonio Spurs. At first, he thought it was just a joke, or maybe someone who happened to share the same name.
But when he read through the order form, “I saw that he had a 216 number and a San Antonio address. And I knew it was really him.” Branham graduated from St. Vincent-St. Mary’s in Akron and went on to play for Ohio State before joining the NBA. London reached out and the two have continued to communicate, with London sending more clothing and Branham proudly wearing it. They even had the chance to meet when the Spurs came to Cleveland to play the Cavs.
Beyond celebrity endorsements, London uses his business to spread a message of positivity and social justice. Images of Rosa Parks and Malcom X adorn his hoodies alongside messages like “Let peace set you free,” “You must never be fearful of what you are doing when it is right,” and “By any means necessary.” This Heights junior is definitely living his life to the fullest.