Something Black Made (SBM) is not your traditional lifestyle brand; it uses unique designs to uplift and aims to empower those that represent and or support the black community and black culture. Black culture has influenced each corner of the globe and continues to make profound impacts on everything from sports, music, fashion, art, literature, religion, and even cuisine. It is undeniable that black culture has impacted us all in one way or another. SBM is here to contribute to The Culture and will tell stories that inspire and empower using unique designs.
I am a dreamer. The fabric of my story is woven with pieces of what makes me whole – hope, family, faith, and the ultimate belief that you write the chapters of your story with a pen that you control.
At a young age, my comfortable and happy childhood ended because my father worked for the ousted government of a small country in West Africa. At that point in my life, I had never really thought about what my future looked like, or class, or race, or the simmering differences that stratified society in various sectors.
In establishing roots and building our version of the American dream, my family moved around a lot. Moving meant that I never could establish lasting bonds or build relationships based on trust until I moved to Kent, WA. In Kent, I found hope, home, and love.
When most teenagers were being teens, I was hustling to make ends meet as I didn’t want to move again when my family decided to. I had friends who were now family and a steady job cleaning out school buses. The streets teach you life lessons, how you apply the lessons is what really matters. I cut my hustling tooth in Kent and learned that the streets took no prisoners. It was make it or get lost, and I didn’t plan on getting lost in the system.
One thing I have to say about immigrant parents is that you have to get that college education, what you do with it, it’s up to you. After high school, I started attending community college and continued to take care of my younger siblings and myself. After community college, I enrolled at the University of Washington and received my Bachelor’s degree.
I’ve always had a keen sense of entrepreneurship. I loved the idea of owning my own business and cutting hair. Towards the end of my final year at the university, I enrolled in Barber School to get my license. Best decision. This allowed my creative juices to flow while sharpening my people’s skills.
The degree got me into corporate America and allowed me to see firsthand what really goes on behind the scenes when black young men are put in positions of leadership. This vantage point spurred me to take stock of what I want to be seen as, my representation, my culture, and my values. I was not going to bow down to fit the narrative of what a successful young black man should look like in corporate America. Rather, I was going to, through my wardrobe represent and tell the story of our people, our struggle – both beautiful and ugly-, in a way that was classic, colorful, and beautiful.
When you yield the pen to tell the narrative of your life, you take power away from your oppressor, and that’s exactly what Something Black Made is all about.
Seattle has been good to me. I reconnected with my high school love, married her, and became an instant father to her son. Together, we have two sons now. Our story continues...
The ultimate goal of SBM is to create a platform that will support positive black movements and culture. A space that will serve creatives who have something black made to share with the world. SBM aims to support black people by creating opportunities for them, and other people of color, that will allow them to unleash their passion and creativity to fulfill their dreams. SBM is here to revolutionize the clothing industry by spreading economic opportunities. This brand aims to inspire others to pursue their dreams and become successful producers and not just consumers.