WHAT IS THE MISSION OF ‘SUCCESS IS A LIFESTYLE’?
Our mission is to increase the enrollment of students of color, in institutions of higher education and improve the retention and graduation rate of those students. We travel to different universities and institutions running programs and seminars to teach students success principles. The principles we teach are not only to help them not only get through college but to succeed in the rest of their life.
IN WHAT WAYS DO YOU AIM TO COMMUNICATE THIS?
Through the clothing because for me it’s another vehicle, to reach more and more people.Something that was suggested to me was to try long form writing to share more of my story, so people can not only understand where I’ve come from, how I’ve come to these philosophies and connect with who I am as a human. A key component to me is story telling. Passing down knowledge so others may pass it around.
“I think success has a varying definition for everyone, it’s going to depend on your environment growing up, who you’re around, what you’re exposed to, and what you hope for yourself.”
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE STUDENTS AND VARIOUS INDIVIDUALS THAT WOULD BENEFIT FROM THE BRAND?
Talking to them 1:1. I currently work full time as an academic advisor so I get a lot of my interactions with students through that. I have some of my friends that work at other institutions that bring me in to run programs and give speeches and I’ll connect with students during those programs and usually follow up through social media to stay in touch with them.
THINKING ABOUT TODAY’S DIVIDED CLIMATE AND THE STRUGGLES WE FACE AHEAD, WHAT DOES SUCCESS LOOK LIKE FOR A PERSON OF COLOR?
I think success has a varying definition for everyone, it’s going to depend on your environment growing up, who you’re around, what you’re exposed to, and what you hope for yourself. I think we have to define success for ourselves and for people of color we definitely need to be educated and for me being educated in whatever form. College isn’t necessarily for everyone but that doesn’t mean you’re not educated. Just having life experience can be educational for people. I think our success hinges on fellowship and educating people with wisdom and love so that more people can have access to that information. We need each other and like I mentioned before we can’t succeed on our own. We need each other to build. It’s so easy for us to be divided right now.
I think the media distracts folks from what’s real. Take this Chris Brown and Soulja Boy beef right now. Not to say that Chris Brown and Soulja boy’s beef isn’t uncommon for them, but for everybody else how common is that for people? How many people have the time to do that stuff? We’re more focused on putting food on the table, keeping a roof over our head, trying to get our kids to go to school and so I think we’re missing that. We’re distracted by material vices that we see in movies, hear in music and forget that fact that a lot of our kids can’t read.
HOW DO YOU ATTRACT THE PERSON THAT’S NOT LOOKING FOR THE MESSAGE OF SUCCESS IS A LIFESTYLE?
I think it’s all in the way you package it in a way that they’ll receive it. So sometimes it is using those same tools, using the music, using the videos, in this case using the clothing and creating it in appeal ways so that it looks cool, so when you talk about it grabs the listener into thinking oh yeah this is a mindset I can adapt to.
WHAT IS THE LEGACY THAT YOU WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND?
All I ever want is for people to say I cared and loved the world more than others and with others.