1. What is something not too many people know about you?
Many are unaware that I am the eldest sibling of nine. I was born in Akron, Ohio, of two very young parents and was the first of what would eventually be nine children- collectively among my parents and their spouses. I was essentially born into leadership among a family with poor circumstances. I took on the role of guiding my loved ones toward a better life, and with the support of my siblings especially, we have changed the narrative of our family’s disposition.
2. What are your biggest passions?
That’s not the easiest question to answer. I have many, many purposes that I am passionate about. However, if I were to narrow down my “biggest” or most paramount passions, I would name three purposes: Education- the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; Creating/ being a creative- the pursuit of free expression of the mind and body into something that can be translated or interpreted freely by others. And lastly, Ubuntu (n): a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity– which I understand to be a philosophy of humanness, or the understanding of one’s humanness in relation to our brothers and sisters. I am passionate about the pursuit of human compassion, and encouraging others to make an effort to pursue compassion.
3. What are your goals for the future?
This is also a difficult question for me, for I have had, have, and will have ever-changing goals. I grew up absolutely sure that I was going to pursue an education in medicine, or something of the like. I eventually graduated college with the goal (and plan in motion) of becoming a research psychologist. And at the moment, I’m pursuing none of these things, for which I am grateful- though none of these pursuits are outside the realm of possibility if life takes me there.
Today, I have found happiness in what I am pursuing: understanding, knowing, creating, leading, learning. I would like to continue on the path that I am on, in letting life lead me organically; while finding truth and purpose. Maybe one day I’ll own a world-renown fashion company, maybe one day I’ll be researching and working to change the narrative of violence in black communities, maybe one day I’ll have nine kids of my own (crossing my fingers that doesn’t happen), but my goal is to continue to motivate, educate, and create.
4. What is your definition of success?
Success is definitely one of philosophies that is relative to the person. Although, I imagine I share a similar understanding and definition of success as many others. I value success in that, I believe success lives in one’s happiness and contentment. Yes, I’d love to be monetarily wealthy- absolutely. Hopefully one day I will make that happen. But more than that, I want to be successful in that my loved ones know that I love them, and that my influence on others is a positive and healthy one.
5. Tell us something about the projects you're working on.
I’ve currently been involved in a handful of projects. But the ones that I am most invested in involve: Boysterous, a company that I started last year with the help and dedication of two of my brothers, and an incredibly talented and passionate gaggle of friends. We are exploring and influencing the world of connecting people through the freedom of art and fashion. I love the process of creating a conversation with my designs alongside my photography, it’s incredibly liberating.
On a completely different page, outside of the pursuits of fashion and photography, I’m also a partner in a start-up company in Charleston, South Carolina called Save SC. We are working on projects to change the narrative of pollution, waste, and energy with innovation in technology and education. Although, this particular project is still in its infancy, so keep an eye out for good things to come!
Featured: Kaiya, Anna Blake, Mason Steele, J'ree Corbin, Giovanna Richard