*SCREAMING* I'LL NEVER SELL OUT. #KnowThat
Many of you know passion lies within my purpose and brand, but what you don't know is the amount of inquiries I get monthly from different people who basically think I'm going to "sell out."
Im in this for the long run, art & creating is my passion and whether or not everyone has realized the worth in my work, I do and I live by it. I would die for my purpose, its one of the only things that has kept me alive.
I live to create, inspire, motivate, and enlighten. And I use my creations as a tool to help express this message. I'll NEVER sell out. I put hard hand work, time, sweat, and love into all of my creations, this is where the value really comes in. #StayTrue
People often try to give me "tips" on how I should or could be running my brand, they tell me "How come you don't send free clothes to this celebrity or ask them to post you?" Well, this is my vision and anyone who doesn't know me personally enough (and I mean the human I am now not old versions of me) is not in the place to understand where I'm coming from with my vision. There is a bigger picture, and often I don't feel the need to explain myself to people speaking of what I want to do and what my plans for expansion are, I've learned to speak less and do more. All I can really do is show you what I'm here to do, not just tell you. And believe me I work hard using the little resources I currently have to bring my vision to life, I don't get much financial help and very little investments if any at all. I work hard for myself, by myself because I know hard work works, and I'm willing to grind for mine. Creating art is my full time occupation and the only thing that pays my bills.
I've had many artists with large following, all the way from 20k to 6M followers (& no I'm not exaggerating, yes I said 6 million) contact me about wearing my clothes and collaborating with my brand. Celebrity's teams, labels, dancers of this celebrity or photographers who shot that, etc. etc. You never seen me post them or vise versa because I don't care to mooch off of anyone else's "clout" as many call it...most of the time I turn down these offers. And here is why.
Unfortunately I've noticed the larger the following of artist often the less genuinely the support.
People contact me name dropping, and throwing around their number of followers as if this has ever been something thats paid MY bills or as if I've ever been an artist who cared about biting from other people's "clout." I have friends/associates who are ALREADY celebrities and like I said.. that never paid my bills. #ComeCorrect
These artists and their teams contact me not only thinking but ASSUMING because I don't have a certain amount of followers they can use their own as leverage for free clothes and basically free time/energy.
I think they expect me to jump the gun so quick when they parade their following, to just be willing to send out free merch, or work free.. as if thats how a business approach should actually work. Unfortunately for their interest.. thats not why I'm in this business and in order to work with me you must COME CORRECT.
People are so quick to spend hundreds of dollars on brands with "hype" or larger following who's quality of merch sometimes doesn't even compare to what I actually put into my garments.
It doesn't make the slightest bit of sense to me to say that you love my work, respect my craft, and want to support me as an artist; yet being in a position to cut a budget (EVEN IF ITS SMALL) and not willing to do so.
I'm just truly flabbergasted that people think they can play me for a fool, it is an insult to my intelligence. I AM SERIOUS ABOUT MY CRAFT and have spent years now building myself as an artist and not only an artist but as a real BUSINESS WOMEN. Because Lord knows that in this industry you can have all the talent but if you don't know how to play your cards right EVERYONE will think they can walk right over you, and use you.
SO YES I'VE DONE RESEARCH, and yes I've taken some fashion/business classes to expand my knowledge, DO NOT BE FOOLED BY MY AGE. I am very intelligent (not to toot my own horn but to be up front & honest) People only know what you tell them so THIS IS ME TELLING YOU that I don't care how many followers you have, or what celebrities you've worked with, or even if you ARE a celebrity, thats great but.. I WILL ALWAYS KEEP MY DIGNITY, I AM NOT A SELL OUT FOR "CLOUT."
You can't walk into any major brand or company and walk out with free merchandise without the correct approach or business proposal. And this isn't to say that I'm completely not willing to support artists mutually who don't have a budget.. its more so to say that the approach means everything to me in doing business, and if someone parades their following as one of the first things they say to me.. that already shows me their interest or perspective of approach. Again, I cannot be fooled. I see through the fake love, and support.
Or you know what? Maybe artists have no clue what they're doing because they were introduced into this industry in a different fashion then myself.. however this post is to provide insight on a better way to communicate, contact, and approach me for collaborations with my brand or self.
Be honest from the jump, if someone is interested in working with me or my brand without a budget.. I would much rather them inform me of their lack of capital from the beginning; rather then wasting my time beating around the bush to let me know they were hoping for tradework. Lets talk about budget, don't avoid the conversation because as you know I AM a business and not just an artist. I am a very understanding person, I've been there before and am willing to tradework if my time and energy is genuinely respected and accounted for from the beginning. Offer a deal to trade-work, I appreciate people letting me know why they are interested in my brand or me as an artist, and being honest about what they have to offer for trade, as opposed to assuming that I take recognition for trade. There is a difference in this approach, and I can see it let alone feel it. If someone has seen my work or page, by the time they've decided to contact me I'm sure they know that I am all about energy, and community. I care about the time and energy put into my work, I will do what works for the BOTH of us, I am willing at times I'm able to. I am still growing, and expanding my business so I understand how things can be beneficial to me, however I will not sell my dignity just for recognition if I feel someone has not come correct.
Feel the passion in my tone when you are reading this because I mean every single word typed. Bless you, and THANK YOU for reading, for your support.
P.s- Do not Dm me about collaborations, submit on my website, or email me
(I prefer submission because thats what they're there for). Theres a section on the personal side of my page and the brand side specifically for submissions, and more info on collaboration inquiries.