Bio: Poet, spoken word artist, activist, designer and founder/CEO of Black Supply Co. LLC. The St. Louis native is also a United States Marine Corps veteran and attended Missouri Baptist University.
Q & A by Cami Thomas
Q: Thanks for sitting down with me (figuratively of course). What have you been up to lately?
A: Thanks for wanting to even connect with me. Truly humbled. As of late, I've been busier than ever. Getting Black Supply Co. operating and still being an artist is a tricky task, but I'm blessed and managing it all.
Q: I’ve seen a lot of your stuff while I’ve been out and about in St. Louis. That must feel good seeing so many people rocking your apparel items in your hometown. What’s been the main feedback from the peers around you?
I think the city is, and will always be, a canvas for me. I get inspired mostly by the people I interact with. Some days, I just drive around St. Louis and brainstorm.
[On favorite Nelly song] I'm operating with a splash of ratchetness, and for that reason, nothing will ever compare to Tip Drill
A: My family and friends are extremely supportive. It's kinda hard for me to even enjoy it because I'm always thinking about the next design or I'm always focused on the “next sale”. I work really hard for my brand and I put a lot of myself into it. I think that's why so many folks gravitate to it because it's coming from an honest place. More than anything though, I'm just always grinding. My crew will tell me, “you killing it right now”, but I always feel like I need to be doing more. I think that's what drives me the most, keeping them encouraged.
Q: Has being a St. Louis native had any impact on the designs you choose, or served as a source of inspiration for you?
A: I think The City is and always will be a canvas for me. I get inspired mostly by the people I interact with. Some days, I just drive around STL and brainstorm. The energy is unique and I create differently as well. I'm in a great creative space right now and it feels good knowing that other people are on the same frequency as I am.
Q: Your apparel items are well on their way to becoming a local staple, especially with millennials. Where do you see the brand in two years?
A: By 2018, Black Supply Co. will have a flagship store in St. Louis that will offer brand apparel, accessories, goods, etc. A lot of collaborations with other designers in St. Louis will have been in the works. A lot of things are in the works now, but I don't wanna give up too much, but I don't plan on slowing down anytime soon.
Q: Young creatives often find trouble finding monetary support for their endeavours. You seemed to have cracked the formula on that. Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
A: It's gonna sound cliche and simple, but it's so potent: INVEST IN YOURSELF. I was just using whatever money I had left over after bills to get the things I needed to get started. I've always had a hustler spirit. I remember when I sold my first shirt, I said to myself, “If I can sell one, I can sell a million.” That's the hunger I wake up with everyday. Plus, I just have been blessed and God has moved a lot of things around in my life that's helping me grow and find purpose.