RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – If you ask Jalan Ward about what makes him proud, he will say his family.

“It goes back to my mother and my father,” he said.

He will also say where he grew up.

“I can go for days just about what the south of Raleigh entails and what it brings. It’s a beautiful part of Raleigh,” Ward said smiling.

Lastly, Ward will say his alma mater makes him proud.

“An HBCU especially [North Carolina] A&T. What it brings on you. It’s something that I can’t even explain,” he stated.

All those things lead Ward to decide to launch his company, The Proud Black Brand.

“The Proud Black Brand really came to me in a dream,” he said.

Ward created it in 2019 while contemplating a career as a dentist.

“We are dabbling into everything. It’s not apparel. It’s not clothing. We are trying to convey experiences and show these kids for sure about what it means to be a proud black person,” he explained.

It is a multi-media, clothing, and lifestyle company. The company does everything from storytelling to clothes to books.

“That’s what the Proud Black Brand truly is. It’s for you to feel empowered,” Ward mentioned.

According to Bloomberg, the number of black business owners in operation surged to almost 1.5 million this past fall, which is up 38 percent from February 2020.

As for Ward and his company, he’s even caught the attention of Phoenix Sun’s Point Guard Chris Paul. Ward connected with Paul through Paul’s cousin.

Paul was spotted recently sporting a Proud Black Brand sweatshirt.

“I just couldn’t believe someone that I’ve always looked up to wear something that I created. It was a full-circle moment,” Ward stated. “I really know now that God put me in this position to take this brand and then motivate kids.”

Ward said he plans to continue to work with Chris Paul and his team. He also just hired a team of writers.