This Sneakerhead Turned His Passion Into His Paycheck

Written by Abner Jackson III

Alex Johnson is a sneakerhead that turned his passion into a paycheck and started his own business. Alex started his own business XanderCustomz and has his own sneaker brand The Xander Collection. The Pontiac, MI native is a young entrepreneur and one of the best at what he does.

 

Tell readers about Xandercustomz and how long have you been in business for?

I’m a sneaker customizer based out of Pontiac, MI. I’ve been doing shoes since 2015

How long have you been a custom sneaker designer for and did you take any specific training to become one?

I’ve been doing shoes since 2015 and I pretty much started customizing shoes in my dad garage. I was playing around never had any specific training, I just learned from the years of me doing them.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your field of work?

My biggest accomplishment that I’ve made is now I have my own sneaker brand (The Xander Collection) and I’m looking forward to having them in stores very soon.

What is your favorite shoe to design and why?

My favorite design of my custom sneakers would have to be the Air Jordan 11 BHM (Black History Month) Collab with Jc Customs. Cause it feels good to do a shoe Dedicated to the culture.

What current items are your best sellers?

Custom Air Jordan 11 “Royal blue”

If you could give any entrepreneur/ business owner any advice about starting a business, what would it be?

Stay consistent and stay hungry. Never give up

What is unique about your business?

That I can make any color sneaker you may need for any occasion. Things you cannot get in the stores.

Tell readers about your Xander Way Promotional Tour and are you going to do one this year?

The Xander Way Promotional Tour was crazy lots of love and support from the cities I visited. I want to do a bigger tour this year and take it to the west coast

What habits helped make your business successful?

Being hungry and just getting my name out there. I’m a very consistent person. I also feel like I have to make it happen.

Do you design anything else other than shoes? If not have you thought about designing other items.

At this time just sneakers, maybe in the future I’ll get into clothes.

Where do you see your business in five years from now?

To have my own store front where you can bring your kicks in. Have them customized and also teach sneaker customizing classes.

Thank you again for your time and letting our readers get to know you. Please let everyone know how you can be reached ( twitter, IG, FB, websites, etc.)?

( Instagram) @Xandercustomz ( FB) Xandercustomz (Website) www.xandercustomz.com

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Clothing Designer Roosevelt Broome IV

Interview by Dominique Bancey
What’s your name?
– “Roosevelt Broome IV”

How old are you?
– “22”

What is the name of your business?
– “Rich Apparels.”

When did you begin working towards said business?
“Rich Apparels began as a hobby. I remember sitting in my room on a group chat with two of my friends at the time and they were persistent that I should create something for my 30 thousand followers. After a couple of hours of thinking, I decided to create my first ever Rich Apparels t-shirt. I remember it was a black shirt, with a black/white floral print with the word ‘RICH’ in the middle. After creating my first Rich Apparels shirt, my cousin and I went Downtown and had a mini-photoshoot and once I placed the shirt online, to my surprise, my followers loved it!”

How long have you envisioned starting it?
– “Starting a clothing brand was an idea that I always had. Back in High School, I would experiment with many different styles to test boundaries and set trends of my own. I would shop at thrift stores for jackets, flannel button-ups, jean jackets, etc and I would rip them up myself or add patches to create them into a fashionable garment. Then when I would go to school, my classmates would ask “Hey Roosevelt, where’d you get that jacket from?” Happily, I would let them know that I created it myself but purchased the pieces from the thrift store.”

Have you always wanted to become an entrepreneur? If yes, why?
“I knew at an early age that I wanted to do something artistically whether it was being a clothing designer, an acting, a singer, etc. I still plan on pursuing those ventures however I am starting with my clothing brand Rich Apparels to be a stepping stone.”

How would you describe being an entrepreneur?
“Being an entrepreneur is rewarding. You have to maintain tough skin in order to be in the industry of entrepreneurship. You have to accept failure as a learning experience and challenge yourself to step away from your comfort zone and test boundaries. In the fashion industry, in particular, there are so many individuals out there creating clothes and you have to think “What exactly sets you apart from the rest?” and “What is my purpose?” Allow those two answers to propel you and inspire you to never quit.”

What pushed you to  start this business?
– “The necessity for diversity. I wanted my clothing brand to have meaning and purpose. I want my brand to exude and embody empowerment and diversity. For example, for my last collection “Revolt”, I had shirts such as ‘only want you’ and ‘savage’ alongside a male crop top with the word ‘masculine’ across the front- I wanted to show that men can be vulnerable and masculine at the same time. I use Rich Apparels to speak out for topics I deem necessary and important to discuss. My slogan of my clothing brand is the “the t-shirt for any occasion” I want to show my existing customers as well as my new customers how to dress up or down a Rich Apparels t-shirt.”

What would you say has been the most difficult thing so far in being an entrepreneur?
– “The most difficult part in being an entrepreneur/fashion designer is relevancy. Things are changing constantly and there is a ton of pressure on keeping up with the trends and grasping people’s attention and keeping them engaged. With my brand Rich Apparels in particular, I think I have gained enough of people’s’ attention to keep them engaged in wanting more pieces from my future collections. Once individuals recognize your growth, hunger, and consistency for success and recognition, oddly enough, your buyers recognize that and will buy into your business. Anyone can start a business, however, not many businesses maintain longevity and that is what I am striving for.”

What would you classify as the best part of being an entrepreneur?
– “The best part of being a fashion designer is inspiring individuals. There are times where I want to completely put up the white flag and give up however, I will have someone message me on social media or telling me face to face how much my clothing brand has inspired them to start their own business or the positive impact my brand has had on them. I want to continue the path of inspiring generations before and after me, to take those dreams and mold them into your reality. Sometimes our biggest competitors are ourselves and once we overcome that and our fears, opportunities are endless.”

Would you advise others to become entrepreneurs as well? And why?
– “Absolutely! I believe that every single person in this world has a gift/talent in some way that could contribute to their entrepreneurship goal and could bring something radically different to the business world. At times, we battle “What would people say or think about this idea?” and people end up talking themselves out of possibly changing the world. This world is filled with dreamers and thinkers who are so creative however they should be pushed into putting their ideas out there in the world.”

What would you say to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?
– “To anyone who is wanting to start their own business, my advice would be to take your ideas and run with them. When starting your business, always think of your purpose- Why am I starting this business? What do I hope to accomplish? Who am I trying to impact? Once you discover your purpose, everything will fall into place. I am always pushing my best friends as well as people I encounter to always push yourself beyond to what you can think. There are no limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence and imagination. Limitations only exist if you force them upon yourself within your mind.”

Finally, tell us what to look out for as it relates to your business and any other information you would like to contribute.
– “A lot of people think I have reached my goal of getting my clothes into stores doing, doing countless number of press and doing fashion weeks, however, people have not even seen the half of what I want to accomplish. Only my three best friends know my ultimate goal. I will share my ultimate goals once I have achieved them but in the meantime, I am constantly setting new goals for myself each and every day. In 2018, I myself as well as my brand are taking a shift in a different direction. Next year makes 5 years for Rich Apparels which means growth so I will just say everyone needs to buckle up because it will be quite the ride.”

As Mr. Roosevelt Broome IV stated, being an entrepreneur is a difficult task, but you have to be aware of what you want and the impact you want to have on others. I think it is safe to say that there is much to look out for at Rich Apparels.

If you are interested, you can check out Mr. Broome’s clothing like at richapparels.bigcartel.com and his Instagram is soberichs.

Until next time.

Actor Julian Brittano Partners With International Association of Women on New Venture To Honor Women

Julian Brittano is not only a rising actor on the move, but an activist and voice for various cause based organizations for women. We spoke with him about his new partnership with IAW ( formerly NAPW,) along with taking a deeper look into the man in front of the lens.

Most fans know you from being apart of the “Greenleaf” show cast, which is produced by Oprah Winfrey. What were you doing before acting, and how did you get started.

I owned a club and restaurant in Virginia. Fortunately for me, I ended up having to be shut down. It messed me up for a little while, but I bounced back. I was alone one day and came to a place of clarity within myself of who I am. So the path began from there starting as a background actor for two weeks to landing on Greenleaf.

As a previous club owner and entrepreneur, how did that experience prepare you for life as an entertainer on the big screen?

Well, on the big screen and tv it is my responsibility to (entertain)engage the viewer, and have them connect to the story. So I’m able to use all of my life experiences as an entrepreneur and club owner, which has allowed me to connect and interact with many different types of cultures and lifestyles.

We know that preparation is key with anything you want to do in life. What are some things you do to prepare your each role you take on?

First I like to look at the overall vibe of the story/ agenda. Once the main characters are identified, then I imagine how my role assists in the story.

Touching a little more on entrepreneurship, what are some things you learned about overcoming failure, being persistent and consistent?

My perspective on failure is simply another opportunity to perfect ones ability to handle a given situation. We all have differentiated learning. So each consistent and persistent attempt at something allows you to learn every aspect of your business, which is a core value of being an entrepreneur.

You seem to have a deep connection working with various women’s organizations. Tell us about your experience with them, and your connection to these organizations as a young male.

As a man that was raised by strong minded women, I was privey first hand to their perspectives and views on different social issues. I’ve also been blessed to have some close female friends that confide in me. With that said, when I realized I had a platform that I can help open up conversation amongst the community by stepping into a gap that most would run from. I’m learning more and more each day that I lend my support and time to help the women empowerment movement.

Speaking of women’s organizations, Tell us about your new partnership with IAW ( formerly NAPW), and was it so important for you partner with them in particular.

They offer a valuable resource of collective networks amongst women of three generations due to the commonality of entrepreneurship and business. I feel like partnering with groups like IAW in particular adds a component to my SOW (Save Our Women) initiative. Which at the end of the day thats is why RTB is a great platform for all women to come together, celebrate and learn from one another.

What are some of the goals that you hope to accomplish through your partnership with this organization?

I would like to see more balance in our society at large between men and women. I also am believing that this will serve as a platform that other male supporters can join in and assist.

What are 3 things your fans don’t know about you that you want them to know?

1. I play multiple music instruments.
2. I used to be 320lbs at one point. But thru dedication and patience, I dropped down to 240lbs, now Veggie Life is what I enjoy.
3. I can only come up with 2.

What advice do you have for upcoming actors and importance of having patience on your way to the top?

You must be patient as well as equally aware of YOUR timing. Not what other people expect or intend for you. Know your own intentions, and why you want to attain certain levels of success. Many people want it all for the fame and popularity. I say, that will all be there if you commit yourself to serving humanity first with your gifts and talents.

What Makes A Great Leader?

Written By Dominique Bancey
Many persons have different opinions of what it means to be a leader. Being a great leader, will lead to a successful business, so what makes a great leader?

Transparency. As a leader, you have to strip off that mask you used to wear. If the people you’re leading think that you are hiding things then they won’t trust or believe in you. Therefore, you have to be transparent. The things you say will need to align with the things you do.

Focus. This should be known. As a leader, if you are not focused, then no one else around you will be either and that means that no work would be done. You have to focus on your duties so you can motivate your team to focus on theirs as well.

Confidence. If you aren’t confident in what you’re doing, then why would your team be?

Integrity. Honesty is the best policy. If you focus on being your authentic self and putting that forth for everyone to see, then your team members and company will inherit this key feature.

Inspiration. Something in life has to inspire you to be someone or do something. This inspiration could be small, big, simple or complex, it doesn’t matter. As long as you as a leader find something to inspire you, your team will find something to inspire them as well.

Passion. You have to love what you are doing in order to motivate and inspire others to want to help you to achieve the goals you have set. If you are doing something just to do it then you will tend to have a ‘don’t care’ attitude and you won’t put in much effort or time into ensuring that it is successful.

Being a leader isn’t the easiest job in the world, but it’s not necessarily the hardest either. Many say that leaders are born, not made, what say you?

Until next time.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Creative and Artist Ravin Lawson

Interview by Abner Jackson III

When did you realize you wanted to become an artist and was there any artist who work influenced you the most?
Art found me at a young age. I have been drawing as long as I can remember and started selling my graffiti sketches to my classmates in 4th grade.

Tell readers about your Mlndsoul and RavinFresh website? How did you come up with the idea to start those websites.
Melanated Soul (MLNDSOUL.com) was created to ‘Consciously engage the dynamic in Black Culture.’ In a world that constantly feeds us negative images, I felt it was necessary to put out positive apparel for our young Kings and Queens to look up to. RavinFresh.com is set to launch in February 2018 and will be another creative outlet for my Art and Apparel.

How long have you been artist for and did you take any specific training to become one?
I have been creating my whole life, however I didn’t take it seriously until college. I have no formal training whatsoever.

What do you feel separates your art from others?
I feel that my life, experiences, multiple talents, and perspective separates me from anyone else.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your field of work?
I’m not sure what my biggest accomplishment is but, hopefully, it is yet to come!

What is your favorite painting and why?
I dont have one specifically, but I love doing my “splash marley” paintings. I would say that’s my signature look right now.

Where do you see your companies at in five years from now?
In five years I see Melanated Soul being a well known clothing brand and my artwork (Freshpaintz) to be in thousands of homes across the world.

Bravo TV Reality Star, Entrepreneur, and Real Estate Agent Genise Shelton Covers the Jan/Feb 2018 Issue of VEU Magazine

Bravo TV Reality Star, Entrepreneur, and Real Estate Agent Genise Shelton Covers the Jan/Feb 2018 Issue of VEU Magazine. We spoke to Genise about her entrepreneurial journey, her journey to reality TV, and the start of her sex trafficking foundation Our Children’s Keeper.  In this issue we also feature R&B Singer VEDO on his musical career  from being on THE VOICE Television show, to his continued journey as a singer and songwriter, Orlando nightlife entrepreneur Tony Khuu, and Becky Davis. We also have our usual business, entrepreneurship and other lifestyle articles in health, fashion,  food and more.

How to Build a Successful Business With a Romantic Partner.

Written by Dominique Bancey

Building a business is extremely difficult, but building one with someone you are romantically involved with, can be even more challenging. If you wish to build a business with a partner, or if you are wondering how they do it, read on.

Celebration. Being business and romantic partners is indeed a challenge, however, neither one of you should forget that if something good happens, there is no harm in celebrating. With each goal that is reached, and each success that is attained, allow yourselves to take a break and celebrate each of these. This will allow the both of you to realize that you are doing a great job at being business partners.

Observation. Though the both of you are focusing on your tasks, take some time out to observe what the other is doing. After observing, compliment them. This will let them know that you realize the hard work they are doing to allow the both of you to succeed as business partners.

Accuracy. Before starting the business, sit down and have a talk. Ensure that the both of you have clear and accurate thoughts as to your strengths and weaknesses, what each of you could contribute to the business as separate individuals.

Agreement. Another thing you have to pay attention, make sure that you both agree as to what exactly you are working towards. Ensure that each of you share the same vision for the company. If one person starts to steer away from that vision, the other can talk to them about it to get them back on track.

Balance. This is one of the most important factors. Create a balance with work and life. Form a middle ground. Discuss what should be talked about at work, separate from at home. This will also inspire your team as they will take note that the both of you are goal-oriented and do not allow your personal lives to get in the way of business.

Many individuals tend to steer far away from building a business with a partner, however, it may not be as difficult as it seems, if you follow these simple tips.

Until next time.

8 Books That Helped Elon Musk Become a Maverick Billionaire

Written by Benjamin Roussey

Tech billionaire and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, is a role model for millions of people worldwide and he did appear in Iron Man II despite that movie being pitiful (the final action scene was about 6 minutes and totally anticlimactic). If you have always aspired to be like him and wanted to achieve even 10 percent of the success he has, you could always start by reading the books that helped shape the revolutionary entrepreneur.

Here are the eight books that Elon Musk thinks helped him become a billionaire.

1. Structures: Or Why Things Don’t Fall Down by J.E. Gordon

Musk has said that this book is good for those who want to know the basics of structural design. It also provides a lighter explanation about the science behind SpaceX.

2. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson

The maverick entrepreneur regards Benjamin Franklin as one of his heroes. The book showed Musk that how in spite of being a runaway kid and having nothing, Franklin still become so successful – as a diplomat, scientist, inventor, author, and entrepreneur.

3. Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

Albert Einstein’s biography had a marked influence on Musk, especially famous quotes of the theoretical physicist which have a direct bearing on the entrepreneur’s vision for his companies.

4. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

Bostrom’s book discusses the challenges that can occur if computational intelligence rises above human intelligence, which is a real concern in today’s world with the advent of artificial intelligence.

5. Merchants of Doubt by Erik M. Conway and Naomi Oreskes

The book revolves around an argument by two historians who believe that the facts concerning many public health issues have been deliberately muddied by scientists with corporate and political connections. You may want to be careful about this since we know that global warming facts have been altered to suit socialist interests.

6. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This is a classic book that talks about greed, competition, and survival. Musk said that the heroes of the books he reads always have a sense of duty to save the planet.

7. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel

The book focuses on the necessity of unique thinking among founders of startups. Moreover, it provides an interesting explanation for creating super successful ventures.

8. The Foundation trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Musk learnt that civilizations move in cycles from this book, something that inspired him to pursue his own radical ambitions.

All these books helped make Musk the man he is today and hopefully they will inspire you too in your professional journey. If you want to read another outstanding book, Taylor Caldwell’s Dear and Glorious Physician is amazing.

How to Make Your Small Online Business Appear Larger Than It Is

Written by Dominique Bancey

When just starting up a business, it tends to be nerve-racking, and for the most part, many will tend to underestimate you due to lack of size or experience. However, you can easily create an illusion to make others believe that your business is larger than it actually is.

1. Try to get your social media following ‘sky high’.

As customers, the first thing they will tend to look for, is how many followers you have on social media. With a growing time in technology, they cannot really help themselves because this is how they find out how many persons are interested in your business and what you have to offer. You may wonder how to gain more followers each day, but the best thing to do is network. Follow persons who have similar businesses, comment under their posts, get the attention of their customers as they just might come check out your page.

2. Create an email address that is specific to your domain.

Having a personalized or customized website domain is one thing, but having an email address that lines up with this domain will make individuals take you more seriously. They will view you as more professional. For example, if your company’s website domain is hairandlashes.com but then your email would be hairandlashes@yahoo.com, instead you should have an email like l.trish@hairandlashes.com.

3. Get A Virtual Office

This would come at a cost to you, however, it would impress customers to stick with you and they would recommend you to their friends or family. Some virtual offices allow you to get a mailing address, local phone number, book conference rooms and access to break rooms or reception areas. Depending on where you are from or the plans you choose, the prices will tend to have a wide range. However, you should do your research to find the one that works best for the type of company you have and type of customers you have as well.

Having a small, online business doesn’t mean that you should stick to being small. Sometimes it pays off to create an illusion.

Until next time.

4 Money Habits We Should All Keep

Written by Dominique Bancey

Set a major financial goal. Making goals for your finances is one of the best things you could do. Whether it be an amount you wish to reach at the end of a week, month, or year, it will allow you to save without even thinking about it.

Budget. Budget. Budget. Growing up you probably always heard your parents talking about budgets, and even though you may have overlooked it, you need to pay attention to budgets. Making a budget at the beginning of each month will ensure that you do not spend more than you need to.

➢ Keep track of your net worth. Hearing ‘net worth’ is usually associated with businesses or even celebrities. However, it is not that difficult to calculate your own net worth. You can do so by summing up all your assets then subtracting your liabilities. By doing so on a schedule (every 3-6 months), you will ensure that you are sticking to the budgets you make each month.

Make a payment to your credit card every week. Usually, most persons tend to make payments to their credit card at the end of every month. However, it would be better to pay it at the end of each week. This will make sure that you do not spend money that should be contributed towards it, on something else.
➢ Keep a journal of what you spend for the month. It is good to build up a good money habit. Impulse spending each month leads to a bad money habit. Having a journal will ensure that you make regular payments each month.

Keep receipts. Always ask for a receipt whenever you make a purchase.

You do not necessarily have to keep them for a long period of time, but you could copy them into your journal so that you can keep track of exact spending habits.

Forming a good money habit is not easy, but following these tips (and more), could make it easier. Try these tips and build up your habits.

Until next time.