“Pose for the camera now, flick flick, pose for the camera now, flick flick…”
Yo baby yo baby yooooooooooo, man when I say I’m never camera ready today wasn’t going to be the day for that foolery. Got a chance to link with Michael Harris, Mikey for short. Side note: don’t quote me cause i can call him that I don’t know ’bout the rest of y’all, lol. I had a chance to nitpick his brain about his business endeavors and his recent flourish of business through photography.
After a drawn out five years of employment at Pepsi, Mikey positioned himself to be the man in charge of himself, boss status, literally. He made a need for the people a purpose for him to fulfill, so far so good. Sometimes it takes the pressures of life to force the diamond from within to shine through. Make sure to check out his website to look over his work and to contact him for work!!
“I believe in miracles, and uhhh ooooohhhhhh a miracle…”
So I’m sitting in freaking Starbucks down East Liberty, “East End” for those millennials, and I’m eating my maple chicken *bombbbbbbbb* from Whole Foods staring out the window thinking…this is it commitment is key *sucks teeth* I freaking left my questions at home, but fudge it he’s dope I’ll just have to wing this interview. Thank goodness I did because it was thee greatest, most inspirational conversation ever.
I met Brian Burley a little over a decade ago but at that time he was a senior, future graduate from Schenley High School, now known as Obama International. WE ARE SPARTANS!! Who would’ve thought his future plans were going to be bigger than the city housing the dream of the the goal.
Jump forward now, not only is Brian a Schenley graduate and Pitt Alumni; receiving his MBA, now he is an accredited author of the book, YNGBLKPGH. Young Black Pittsburgh is a book comprised together of 100+ success stories of black entrepreneurs in the city of Pittsburgh, “Rewriting our future. One letter at a time.” If you haven’t purchased a copy you need to get yours ASAP!!
Brian has found a way to create, give, and show are youth that we are more than just reality television and negative stereotypes. He has the vision to know and see through the strength behind the truths we seek, and there’s a book to prove it. By the way this is such a dope picture of us and though my freaking belt is shifted *smacks forehead* my fit is sooooo freaking cute. *sighs* I love getting dressed for life.
Click below to hear this dope conversation!! Smooches!!
“Ni**a teach me, ni**a teach me, all this learning here is for you…”
On this brisk afternoon I made it to Market Square in downtown Pittsburgh to link with the beautiful Breanna McGee, public figure, at Starbucks to sip and talk about her progress and continued growth so far as an entrepreneur in the city of Pittsburgh. Not onle can this black queen dance her ass (watch your mouth) off, she is also an educator alongside Propel School, a model, leader, and the director of administration of PGEnt, LLC. Pirate Gang all day!! Check out @pirategang412 !!
Side note, if you haven’t noticed my fave color is green and technically I’m still partially a red head so ignore all that new growth, lol. *ahemm*
Now it’s been almost 5 years since meeting the talented Bree while working retail at H&M inside of Ross Park Mall and the growth of this young lady has surpassed from our initial connection. Starting off at Point Park University, Bree is currently a senior at Pitt University who choreographs and plan events to bridge together the gap of the art world of Pittsburgh.
Click the link below to listen to our great conversation and interview!
Busy is an understatement right now for this young man Camerin Camo Nesbit. He’s more than aware of these times, he’s literally the #CulturalGeist. Though his year is already planned out I was able to squeeze in a quick interview..cause I’m so dope *raise the roof* ahemmm, just to update myself while informing everyone else on what’s happening and what’s to come.
I headed to downtown on Liberty Avenue to an local art gallery called SPACE to link with Camerin. By the way, this was literally my first time in there too, man our city has so many talented people. As I walk thru the gallery I found Cam in the back rooms, and at first I didn’t even know it was him because I previously met him but he was sitting down, so to see this tall handsome man look over at me and smile I had to do a double, lol.
This man as had viewings at The Flower House, the Carnegie Museum, Boom Concepts, and the Braddock library; the list goes on and on. He was able to create his own lane with his own vision and because of that he is able to life as he climbs.
Also, SHOUT OUT BOOM CONCEPTS they have created a cultural space to present, share, and enforce growth within the cultural diversities of Pittsburgh!!
” If I hit it one time, I’ma pipe her…If I hit it two times, then I like her…If I f**k three times, I’ma wife her…It ain’t safe for the black or the white girls…It ain’t safe, it ain’t safe
It ain’t safe, it ain’t safe….”
So in my previous interview post made with artist Cue Perry, I was wearing a light blue t-shirt with a double image of the Pittsburgh city view by @ForeignIslandx. I was asked where I received it from so I decided on writing a quick blog just so that everyone can have the chance to support this mans Black Magic.
Also, by the way my freaking make up….squeals…so awesome!! It’s freaking s’awesome!! I love how Jackie gets me right every time. That highlighter had me glowing, and of course I was wearing her lashes ‘Khloe’. *sighs* I wish I could pack her away so she can beat my face everyday, lol. Definitely my go to for my photo ops and outings.
However, a few weeks ago I got a chance to do some work with my friend, Ron Bush, CEO founder of @ForeignIslandx clothing. Currently you can find his styles at Timebomb on Penn Avenue, Culture Kicks & Clothing in Wilkinsburg, Mo Gear down East Liberty, and Lundon inside Ross Park Mall; next to H&M.
A little bit about the brand itself, the brand itself started just a little over five months ago with June 6, 2017 being the first date of his released design. Which, I may add, is black man magic at its finest. Being that consistent enough with branding and marketing is key. Not only was he able to just brand himself but the business; and to have so many brick and mortar avenues to reach his products shows he has major good business work ethics.
“I got ’em by a landslide, we talkin’ about races…You know this’ll never be a tie, just look at they laces…You know careers take off, just gotta be patient…”
I was too excited to sleep, knowing today, after work I would get a moment to sit down with Lashawn. I’m always so nervous around Lashawn, she has a beautiful spirit and soul…literally dope!! She invited me into her home, and omg her home was so comfy, it was a real live adult home. Adulting can be hard but she definitely created a peaceful space for herself.
We both were color coordinating and whatnot, though I sweated myself to death from me being so dang nervous, lol. Great minds think alike is what I heard *shrugs shoulders*. I’m wearing my throwback @fareshbrand from their first freshly picked collection. Before I could start my questioning, we caught up, and spoke of business endeavors. She also gave me jewels of business which is always a blessing. Now let’s get to business.
Q & A
What was your turning point when you knew you wanted to do what made you happy?
For business, ummm I guess like seeing the reaction on the kids faces going inside the school, seeing the same kids waiting on me every morning gave a need and it was something I enjoyed doing because at the time in that business I was getting paid to be myself and once I was able to put a number on my worth and I was granted that amount it gave more assurance. And music is my happy place it makes me happy it gives me a rush, a thrill.
What were the first routes you took when going into business for yourself?
Well I was more hands on in person networking, it was one of my stronger points, and I was real big on social media. I threw events, like the woman’s business empowerment luncheon and giving back to the kids and community is how I stayed a float so many years.
What exactly is Strong Ambitious Women, LLC?
It’s a self esteem development business focused around African American women to help boost confidence and master their strengths.
In business what opportunities have you created for yourself?
I became an author…just starting a business behind self esteem I was able to produce two self created books and created curriculums that are used in the school systems I frequent and I started clothing lines.
How much has your business evolved from where you started?
Well I started out volunteering to now my business brings in over $60k, yearly. I started with no contacts to several contracts. Some of the schools I’ve built a relationship with, because of my proven self esteem curriculum is Grandview, king after school programs, the Grayson center, Youth Places, and Strox school district.
What’s next for SAW, LLC? More independent projects or any collaborations?
Well right now I have my new kids apparel dropping called “I am somebody” and I’m working on a children book right now called “I am me”. Also, February 16th is Shawn reed day I’m looking to do a charity event to giveback to single mothers and fatherless children.
Do you have a Knight and shining armor or are you the queen of your own queendom?
I do have a man, had one for a while he’s a private person and I’m a private person and that’s good, that’s why we’ve been riding for so long. He lets me do all the brain work, he believes in me and I’m proud of him as he is me.
Well that’s all I have from Lashawn, her queendom is beautiful, her empire is great..expect more from this queen! Black woman magic at its purest! Oooohhh and she had some goodies for me *squeals* lol. Make sure to follow her @queen_sboo for more updates on her and the business she provides. Smooches!!
“I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my s**t” -Erykah Badu
On this rainy day my thoughts were, on crap I got work, dang I got school tonight, *reads text* oh I am suppose to link with Cue. My day is starting to look up, lol. As I walk into Lefty’s on Penn Avenue in the Strip District, I have the urge to have a drink just so I can relax before midterms..then I remembered this is why I opted not to drink any more now smh. I look around and spot Cue sitting in the back left corner, thumbing through his phone.
I greet him with a smile and he looks up with sleepy eyes. The price of success, lack of sleep, but the process leads to great progress, just need to be continuous with the work behind it. And by the looks of it he knows all about it, so rather him and I waste time I jump right into Q & A.
Wait, hold up before I forget…peep my shirt, I’m wearing my boy Ron Bush clothing @foreignislandx. Make sure to check him out!! Now back to the questions…
Q & A
At which point in your life did you realize you would pour your heart into your art?
Ummm that’s a good one. Once i noticed that people liked it and that it could a career. And I’m like this is real shit I gotta put some work into this.
What’s the artistic community like in Pittsburgh?
Slow. Real slow..growing but slow.
What are your artistic inspirations behind your art?
Ummm my personality my randomness and being spontaneous. Having fun being random.
What are the different style collections you offer?
Anything. I’m able to do anything. Time willing. Only time I’m not able to do something is if I don’t have the time but ain’t shit free I’m willing to do whatever if someone pays me.
What was your first thought after your first sell as an artist?
Oh shit this is working someone gave me money for something I made and I didn’t even have a price. I thought I was a joke.
What are some upcoming events that is as consumers can attend to support?
Everything is top secret lol I find out tomorrow if I can showcase at the county center. I have local body painting events coming up. I also, have an event coming up in February as well.
Is the great cue man in love or still finding himself?
I’m extremely single I’m not finding myself I already knew who I was I have that firm grip. But I mean of course I’ve mature I kinda hate when ppl say that cause what do you have to find. I’m single not dating or talking but I’m in a serious relationship with art.
Okay okay I’ll let him go because art doesn’t sleep but this midterm is calling. Definitely an artist to look out for you never know what to expect, just know that you’ll be seeing more of the Cue man!! Following him on Instagram @cbperry_ to see more of his work and next event! Black man magic at its truest! Smooches!!
Follow me on Instagram @oxosmoochesxox
#Blogger #Fashion #PGH #Studio24 #Leftys
Black man magic never looked as good as suave Rafiyq Cromwell. Meeting me in the food court of Ross Park Mall, I sat down thumbing through my phone just to look up and see the most perfect smile ever, side note: everyone always greets me with a smile, it gotta be my awesome aura or something *shrugs shoulders*.
“I knew that was you soon as I seen your hair”, says Rafiyq. Yup time for a new look, lol.
We got a chance to talk retail and personal before getting into the interview and we both agree these everyday customers believe that they are always right, so technically even when they are wrong they are right, lol. As flashy, but on the calm, his Maison Margiela shoes and Saturday’s NYC shirt was, his background speaks in even larger volumes. This young man has thrived on receiving he’s bachelors of science degree from Slippery Rock University in sport management, then started his own clothing line called PK6EMP, that now has evolved into a sports marketing and management company that does contract negotiation, marketing and managing, financial advising, and education continuation. You just never know what to expect from this great man except for greatness.
We started with Q’s & A’s right after catching up because, Forever21 so great they granted me with an whole half hour break *raise the roof 2x* so I’m using it to my advantage and decided to share with you all.
“Yoooooooooo what’s up with you…”
When first going into business for yourself what avenues did you take to brand yourself? Ooohhhhh, so first things first I went on like an unorthodox way I went about it. Cause social media was up but I kinda used CCAC cafeteria, because everybody woul always be in there. Me and my boy made T-shirt’s, bought the brand, and we literally were standing on the table saying, “We got T-shirts for sell!” Then I pushed it on twitter and the first big thing I made was a commercial and put it on YouTube. So that’s how I started and got down.
What made you start with clothing?
Honestly it was it was a quick way for marketing and I legally couldn’t do representation because I was playing ball at the time so I couldn’t. But clothing was a quick and cheap way to get money for my future business plans.
What exactly does Dreamers Worldwide Sports Representation do?
Ummmm, so what we do, we make sure that our athletes essentially get set up thru the process of sports during and after sports. We have an education continuation program that we are working to secure thru Kent state so players can receive their degree while still playing sports as well.
You have evolved so much from where you started, has this always been your path?
Ummm, I wouldn’t say this was always the path I’ve envision but that’s where we fall short as human, they say you wanna make God laugh tell him your path, lol. So I can’t say that this hasn’t been in mind but this is where I’m headed.
With you being 26yrs young, do you see your brand evolving anymore past the evolution it has already made?
Oh for sure you know especially with this draft class coming out I feel like these business moves are really taking things to the next level as a sports representation
Do you plan on touching back into fashion as a separated entity of business for yourself?
I do want to because even though fashion wasn’t the original plan I got good at it and before since people knew I own the company they would want discounts. So I want to wait and become more solidified so that you don’t see my face attached to it but you know it’s my business.
As fine and successful as you are, are you a taken mister or a free man?
Hahahaaaaaa I’m definitely taken and I want to keep being an upstanding man that I told myself i would grow into.
That’s the scoop, coming from mister boss man himself. If you want to reach him his contact info is email@example.com && Twitter and Instagram @DreamersWrldwde.
You know I got the sauce…you know I’m saucy && it’s always wet a bishhh never had to use lip gloss, Fenty gloss at that. And if you ain’t know last night I had the Midas touch. I pulled up to the South Side last night around 11pm to get ready to head into Devils and Dolls for the first Halloween bash for the weekend. I sat in the car listening to Rihanna, while I polish my toes and fingernails in all this glittery gold; I literally wasn’t playing bout having a golden touch lol.
I finally walked over to head inside the location, thank goodness Jeremy was securing the door cause he secured my entrance *shrugs shoulders* I walk in hearing them play Asco 100k, walked to the bar and seen the beautiful Aliya Wray, host, dressed like a beautiful Egyptian Goddess, I made sure to give her some love. Then I started to look around and realize that Devils and Dolls had a remodel *smacks forehead * I literally had to do a double back because I thought I was at the wrong place, meanwhile my goofy self just haven’t been out in a long time, lol.
I head over to the next room to jam with the deejay, Mike Brazil (DJ GirlQuitPlayin’), who I think was dressed like a philsbury dough boy or Michelin man, idk but trust me he was taking up space, lol. I waited on the first performance of the night and by surprise is was my friend bubby from the group SCR. He performed his first dolo solo single.
Next up was Stunna2Fly, and trust when I say the crowd went crazy, they were going crazy, singing along to songs I never heard of but now it’s stuck in my head, ughhh, the titles were “Blow Bands” and “Freak Bi**h” #Classics. Then big worm, I mean Eric Fisher showed up to help Aliya with hosting. Rydah was doing her thing walking thru the crowd vibing with everyone. Just an over all great way to start the Halloween escapades.
The costume ideas for the evening were so much fun and unique, there was this one girl who was covered in money but the skirt worn with it was a burlap bag, Chuckie and his bride but my favorite one for the evening were the group of girls who were dressed up like the Rugrats; Susie was the cutest. And though I didn’t get a chance throw a Halloween outfit together so I kept telling everyone who took a picture with me that they’ve won themselves a trophy for tonight, lol, literally I had the Midas touch. Smooches!!
Follow me on Instagram: @oxosmoochesxox
Liquid Gold Bodusuit- Forever21
Acid Washed Cropped Denim- IDK it was in my mommy’s closet *shrugs*
Uber everywhere pre-rolls in my VIP…skrrt skrrt….as I watch Reggie Howze, CEO H.O.S., hop out of his uber, I wait on him to enter the Market District cafe, located in shadyside. Of course he’s branded in his brand, all black windbreaker with letter “H” and cracked hearts all over, walking towards me with his Colgate smile. Greeted with a hug he goes on to tell me about his morning because why wouldn’t I want to hear how awesome his life is, uhhhh he’s actually living it *shrugs shoulders*. Plus I was looking extra relaxed today because I was headed to class so any conversation that isn’t school related is fine by me.
Exhausted from all his hard work he’s been putting in, he still made time for me. Awesomeness!! We jumped right into Q & A because of course I’m a college student who always runs late, *psst* but my grade speaks for itself though, lol.
What made you want to take the initiative to start your own business brand?
I didn’t have a job. was looking but no one would hire me and I don’t even have a record or smoke. I was on my way to sleep and woke up in the middle of the night drew the design down during the weekend and made my first prototype of the shirt and it just took off form there.
What does the brand HOS represent?
It’s you being passionate about whatever you like to do. The heart represents the love the crack represents the struggle. It’s not easy but that’s how I came up with the meaning and design, didn’t want to just be heart broken but at that time I was vulnerable not being able to find a job, it can be heartbreaking but I wanted it to relate to all levels.
Why the name HOS?
Heart on a sleeve…it speaks for itself everyone says Ona sleeve but its Heart On a Sleeve.
How do you plan to expand on business?
You can see that I take my design and I’ll add different flavors and stuff characters and sport teams and reach different demographics but when you can tap into different things it puts it out there a little more than the average stuff…that’s how I’ve been able to be consistent and be able to sale stuff on a consistent basis like kids parties or someone comes in town, our sport team always generate all year round. Penguins always do good they won back to back championships.
How can your apparel be purchased?
I have a website, pop up shops, Instagram, PayPal, cash app, or you can bring cash for something I already have. All items are hand crafted so I don’t start unless I get paid first.
What’s next for HOS?
Storefront..I just want to do more production. I would like to do a tour of local designers together. If I have a store I’ll really do well cause people buy off impulse and with a store I can meet the demand. More people want to buy black too and support so I’m working to create a convenience.
Now just for fun…with your heart on your sleeve what does your love life look like? Single? I’m single, don’t nobody like me…lol you know why cause I’m out everyday and when the weekend rolls around the girls all wanna be in ya snap take pictures stuff like that so when that happens it makes others assume cause the girls in ya snap become your shorty or something. But I’m single but I work too much for anybody.
O.J. like, “I’m not black, I’m O.J.”
(most recent design)
There you have it royals, in his own words. Dope man..dope designer…to see all the latest updates check him out on Instagram @oreginalpix and follow him on Facebook @Regge Howze. Smooches.