A Dollar and a Dream: 9 Black Men with Dope Brands


Nice piece…. details on the link

Sometimes all a man’s got is a dollar and a dream. Mix that in with a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work and what was once just a dream becomes a million dollar company, an incredible brand, or an unforgettable legacy. Jay-Z, Dame Dash, and Kareem Biggs founded Roc-A-Fella when no other label would sign them. John H. Johnson, whose publication company publishes Essence and Jet started his company on a $500 loan he borrowed against his mother’s furniture. When Robert Johnson started BET, it only ran programming for two hours a week, a far cry from how huge it is now. Sometimes a dollar and a dream are enough. These young men are putting theirs to work to make their mark.

Jaylen Bledsoe – Bledsoe Technologies, LLC [ledsoeglobal.com]

How many 17 year olds can say they’ve created their own business, worked with Facebook, Google, Walt Disney World, Jordin Sparks and Steve Harvey, and been honoured by the President of the United States? Jaylen Bledsoe can. When he was 12, he started Bledsoe Technologies, LLC, a consulting company which has now grown into a million dollar company. He is a motivational speaker and an expert on start-up businesses, entrepreneurship, increasing revenue stream, and brand and business development. His motto: “Don’t let your setback cause you to sit back, prepare for your comeback!”

Darnell Henderson [himistry.com]

Women have a thousand and one products for skincare. Men, not so much, and there are even less for men of colour. Darnell Henderson is set on changing that with his men’s skincare line. Combining his education in clinical and holistic skincare with a desire to offer products for men of all ethnicities and skin types, Henderson created H.I.M-istry. Along with his products, his website features awesome resources to help users figure out their skin type and take the best care of their skin. H.I.M-istry has been featured in Essence Magazine and the New York Times, and can be purchased both online and in Macy’s stores across the U.S.

Sherron A. Stevens – Undercover Customer [undercovercustomer.com]

Sherron Stevens didn’t let his position as a fast food worker keep him from seeing the bigger picture. In fact, he used his perspective as a frontline worker to see and understand customer service in a way that a lot of higher ups don’t. He turned his observations into his consulting firm, Undercover Customer, which offers customer service consulting, on-site evaluation, and training to help them improve the service they offer customers. He also published a book of the same title, featuring 100 simple customer service tips from a sale associate’s perspective. The book is available on Amazon.

Modele Oyewele – Trillectro [trillectro.com]

You’ve heard of Coachella and Made in America. But if you haven’t heard of Trillectro yet, pay attention. Started in 2007 by Modele ‘Modi’ Oyewele, Trillectro is the first music festival in DC to combine electronic music and hip hop. Trillectro has featured popular artists like Schoolboy Q, Casey Veggies, Big Sean, SZA, Migos, and Kehlani. Oyewele has fostered strategic partnerships with major brands like Jordan, Uber, Karmaloop, and Red Bull. Oyewele also co-founded the company DC to BC which began as a radio show and blog and has grown into a marketing, promotion, and event production agency.

Ouigi Theodore – The Brooklyn Circus [thebkcircus.com]

They say never judge a book by its cover or a man by his clothes, but Ouigi Theodore knows that what a man wears speaks volumes. It’s why he created the Brooklyn Circus, a menswear brand inspired by history. Theodore brought his passions for history, style, and the urban community together to create a brand with a purpose. It’s what he calls the 100 year plan; “…the idea of dressing with intent to redefine the American style…” Brooklyn Circus’s pieces are not mass produced, and some are vintage or feature vintage elements, so it offers wearers the opportunity to be truly unique.

Ryan Coogler – Director/writer

If you’re paying any attention to Hollywood, it’s hard not to hear Ryan Coogler’s name. Some may remember his work on the heart-wrenching Fruitvale Station, the true story of Oscar Grant who was shot by police on a BART station platform. Coogler wanted to give a bigger voice to those who were protesting Grant’s death. It’s obvious Coogler has a passion for storytelling with a purpose, and he does it very well. Most recently, he directed Creed (starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone), and he’s steadily earning his stripes as an outstanding director. He’s set to direct Marvel’s Black Panther, projected to hit theatres in 2018.

Todrick Hall – Actor/writer/singer [todrickhall.com]

Todrick Hall is an all-around entertainer. A Youtube sensation, Broadway actor, American Idol finalist, and choreographer to none other than Beyonce, Todrick Hall is making a name for himself in the entertainment world. He launched his career on Youtube, earning himself 2 million subscribers with his creative (and often hilarious) reworking of Disney classics and other pop culture pieces. Hall is currently signed under talent manager, Scooter Braun, the man behind Justin Bieber.

Chris Bennett – Soldsie [web.soldsie.com]

It’s hard to find someone nowadays who doesn’t have a Facebook or Instagram account. It’s why so many businesses are turning to social media as a marketing tool. But Chris Bennet has found a way to convert these social media networks into points of sale and direct means of earning your business cash. Soldsie allows retailers to sell their products directly from their Instagram and Facebook accounts by scheduling sales or campaigns, and posting items, prices and descriptions directly to their accounts. Buyers can then register through email and comment sold under the desired item to make the purchase. Soldsie turns the technology we use every day into a 24/7 marketplace.

Chase Reed – Sneaker Pawn USA [sneakerpawnusa.com]

Every time Jordan releases a new shoe, there are lines outside of sportswear stores for hours or days before. Sneakerhead culture is huge and Chase Reed has found a way to capitalize on it. At 14 years old, he had collected more than 200 pairs of shoes worth $30,000. His father persuaded him to sell them and with the money he started Sneaker Pawn USA, the world’s largest sneaker pawn shop. He and his father sell the shoes out of a New York apartment and online via Instagram and PayPal. Now 16, Reed is teaming up with shoe manufacturer, Relevant Customs, to release his own line of high end shoes.

via A Dollar and a Dream: 9 Black Men with Dope Brands.


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