Who is Jonlouis?

A man in search of meaning. Depicting human emotions through visual works.

Tell me something about yourself that people don’t know, but should?

I don’t have any formal training as an artist, everything is learned on the spot through trial and error.

What does your morning routine look like?
Wake up, challenge my self physically in the gym, eat, shower up and paint- that’s where my mental challenge comes in. I treat my studio time as a job, working 9 hours a day and taking short breaks. Consistency is key in my career.

How has travel impacted your work?
Something that I introduced to my practice this past few years is taking inspiration tours, usually road trips to National parks. Nature brings in a special component to my space art.

How did your love for art originate? 

..And how did astronauts become the forefront of your work?

It wasn’t until my early adult life that I dedicated my self to art, I always had an interest. Growing up in the Space Coast in FL, astronauts were a daily concept that slowly made their way into my visual communication.

What were some of your struggles in the beginning of your career?

None of it was easy- up until today I find myself still struggling. One thing that has improved through it all was my persistence and confidence as a creative. I find that if you are not struggling, you may not be challenging yourself in your practice. 

Who has had the most impact on your life?

God. I grew up with a strong spiritual influence and to this day it is the foundation that keeps me strong in all aspects of my life.

What are 3 key values you stand by?

Substance, consistency and authenticity.

Who is Joe Migraine?

Joe Migraine is the social media version of me that experiences all the best parts of my life. There's a reason I use a made up name online - I want a sort of separation of church (social media) and state (everyday life) to some extent. It works well as a way for me to have a creative outlet to showcase my collecting while staying relatively anonymous. I created the pseudonym over a decade ago and I still like it today.  

Tell me something about yourself that people don’t know, but should?

I'm not a risk taker and I live a pretty traditional millennial life. I like my 9-5 and having a meaningful impact on a big business. I think the idea of being an entrepreneur is fantasized by most but in reality it's not all that glamourous. On a normal day I spend 10 hours at my desk, typing long emails and being on video calls. What people see on social media is what I can make with the free time that I have, which isn't much, but it's still fun. People would probably find it surprising that I'm extremely frugal. I only got cable last year because I didn't want to spend $70/month on it for the longest time. I rarely go out to eat and when I went to an office, I packed my lunch every day. 

What are your current favorite pieces in your collection?

Over the last two years people have been dumping money into collectibles that are highly speculative and don't have much long term value. Things that are more fads than true alternative assets in my opinion. Some of my favorite pieces right now are some of my older limited edition KAWS pieces and higher end prints from artists like Hebru Brantley and Damien Hirst. High end art stuff is bulletproof from an investment standpoint. Recently I've also been obsessed with vintage sealed video games, but I'm still just getting started in building the collection I want there.

What’s something you can’t live without?

I'm always running out of packing supplies like boxes, tape, and bubble wrap. I do so much buying and selling to feed my collecting habit, my one bedroom condo looks like a small warehouse at times. Also my Dyson fan. If I don't have that I can't fall asleep. 

How has anxiety affected your life? And how have you overcome It?

My mental health was absolutely wrecked during peak COVID when everyone was staying at home. I would go days or even weeks without real face to face human interaction and that eventually led to panic attacks and anxiety levels I've never experienced before. I had to really step back and assess my priorities, which meant trying new things like going to yoga and seeing a therapist. I was most frustrated by how long it took me to feel better, but I'm happy to say my new habits have allowed me to feel like myself again recently. 

What are some of the pros and cons you’ve experienced on your journey to today?

Putting yourself out there on social media is not for everyone. There's days where I hate having all the eyeballs on me and I just want to go off the grid. The big benefit is the relationships I've made through it. When you have a strong following, you can talk to other creators and make relationships with industry people pretty easily. Overall I think my social presence is a net benefit, but it's not without its drawbacks.

Miami or New York? & why?

New York will always be the mecca for basically everything, but I'm so used to Miami though at this point it's hard to see myself ever going back to living in New York. You can't beat the weather and the tax benefits just allow me to have more funds for collecting the things I love. 

Is there any advice that you could give to someone who looks up to you?

You can make a career out of anything you love. If you have specific knowledge, you can monetize it. I somehow leveraged my specific knowledge of Supreme into the launchpad for my career. On a different note, what you see in terms of my collection was built over more than a decade. You won't build a meaningful collection overnight. Start small and keep building - you'll get there. 

What can your audience look forward to from Joe Migraine?

I honestly don't really know. I definitely want to make more video content, but beyond that I don't have a plan for it other than to post things I like to create and find exciting. If I'm not posting, it's a good sign because that means my phone is away and I'm being more present with life. I guess the only thing that's guaranteed is pictures of pasta - that won't change anytime soon.

Brandon Jenkins


Who is Brandon Jenkins? 

Damn, ok. We're starting off in the deep end. At this moment, I'd just say Brandon Jenkins is a man in development. A person trying to learn how to fly an airplane, while it's already in the air. 

Tell me something about yourself, that people don’t know, but should?

I'm pretty shy. I feel like that might play wrong in a lot of spaces and maybe not what people expect or want. But despite being sort of public in the professional sense, I'm actually pretty private personally, and that can double down in to me being shy. It can take a minute for me to sort of warm up to a room. And when I get going, I'm going, and will talk for hours. But ultimately I'm toward the introverted end of the spectrum. And for the most part I'm cool with that. It gives me space to observe and think and listen. 

What are some core values you stand by?

The golden rule is a pretty simple one: Treat people the way you want to be treated. My mom instilled that pretty early on in me. Also  I'm big on earning your shit and owning your shit. Like you gotta put in and do the lifting to be among the counted. Have a point of view that is your own. And when you fuck up, just be like yo I fucked up. You know, just hold your own, stand on your own two no matter which way the wind blows. 

What’s something that you can share about yourself that would be beneficial for someone who admires you?

I'm an overthinker. It's what allows me to sort of use X-ray vision when it comes to problem solving, or generate ideas really quickly. But sometimes it can result in paralysis. I'm only sharing that, cause it's what's on my mind right now in this very moment and I tend to connect with other overthinkers. And if you're one, I'd encourage you to make sure you're paying attention to your intuition just as much as you're intellectualizing. Strike a relationship between the two. My best moments come from that harmony.

What are your thoughts on mental health in today's age and how do you cope?

I think there's a ton of conversations about mental health happening these days, which seems positive, and ideally creates more options. But I also fear that some of the language associated with it is being weaponized at times. I dunno. I think for me, I've found some value in talking things out loud and developing my own personal take on what's going on in my life and acknowledging what makes me feel on the edge, and trying to course correct a bit. This year has definitely been one of the hardest years, especially mentally. 

What are your pet peeves?

Fraudulence. Selfishness. Mental laziness. All of those are used as shortcuts, but actually waste a ton of time and are generally just disappointing traits. Like it's the thing you encounter in a person that might initially make you mad for the way it affects you, but the lasting feeling is just like "Oh damn, that's what they got to work with? What a bummer, that ain't it." An older person once told one of my parents "Brandon won't suffer a fool." And it's true. If I spot these in a person, I usually try to euro-step that. Those are hard things to tolerate for the way I'm built. 

What's something you can’t live without?

Ideas, man. Fucking ideas. I need to be constructing ideas and I need to be hearing ideas. Typically my mind is always racing and I like to be mentally stimulated. I've been like this my entire life. And while it can be kind of taxing at times... it's the moments my mind goes flat, I can get a little difficult to deal with. I need mental movement to keep my own shit on solid ground. It's weird because I love the act of stillness, but I like my mind to be in motion.

What Is The Best Thing That Happened To You During The Past Week?

Even though we just had Christmas and I got to spend time with family, I think one of the best things was that I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a long time on the street in Soho. We had a great convo, but I also think it's because it was random. Living during a pandemic, I'm hardly outside moving and shaking. I miss the good random things that can happen from just being out in the world, especially in New York City. It's a big part of what I love about the city, and a pretty necessary source of stimulation for my person. We've been stripped of that, among other things. Waking up everyday and working and living in your home for months is a blessing, but you kind of know the score before the game ends. It's nice to just catch that randomness and be thrown into something good that you weren't expecting, and have some new insight or interaction that inspires or informs you.

What was your upbringing like? How has It shaped you today?

I was fortunate, because for the most part I had cool parents, in a safe environment, who did what they could to hold us down. Love, safety, and care seem simple, but as I get older I can see that the abundance or the absence of those are the dividing line when it comes to a lot of lifestyles and world views. Having those needs met gave me the freedom to lean into other aspects of myself like curiosity, creativity, the ability to see things from multiple vantage points. For a lot of people those things are  a privilege or luxury in their upbringing, where as for me they were fostered and fueled. I'm positive I wouldn't be who I am today or doing the things I'm doing today if it weren't for my family and the environment they built around me. 

Have You Ever Made A Decision That Changed Your Entire Life? If So, What Was It?

I took a sales job in Erie, Pennsylvania fresh out of school. It's a pretty miserable place especially when you're coming from the places I was in like New Jersey, New York and Atlanta. But I went out there because I got shook about my ability to roll the dice in NYC after college. I was gambling by working at an unpaid internship at an ad agency. So with some external pressure, I folded and took the "sure" thing. Well, I hated that shit. But I'm glad I went out there, because I needed to see that, to experience that. Basically, If you can figure out what ain't for you, you have a better shot at pursuing what is for you. And it just left me with the lesson that you're essentially always gamblign in some way, so you might as well bet on yourself.

What’s The Best Bad Decision You Ever Made?

Getting myself fired from that same job in Erie, Pennsylvania haha. You worked on your own schedule and I straight up just did not go to work after a while. It's one of the most irresponsible and immature things I've ever done and truly some first world shit... but man I knew I had no business out there. I should have probably just quit like an adult, but I was still sort of a kid. But,getting fired made them hit me off with the big unemployment coins. Which ultimately funded my existence for like the next year and a half. It kept my head above water and gave me the cushion I needed to be able to work for free in NYC for a few months to get some much needed experience and start me on my path that I'm on now. 

Gia Seo

Who is Gia Seo ? 

I ask myself that every day. For now Gia Seo is a work in progress.

Tell me something about yourself, that people don’t know, but should? 

I really enjoy me time! I think most people probably know that by now, but recently I have been trying to break out of my shell and experience people and places more. I guess that’s something most people don’t know..yet!

What are some core values you stand by?

Work ethic. Loyalty. Respect when deserved. Positivity through solutions. Education. Commitment. Sharing.

       What's your thoughts on social media?

It’s always my devils advocate...

 What does your daily routine look like? 

I admit, I don’t really have a daily routine. Each day is different (unless I’m working of course). I guess the one thing that stays consistent is walking my dog and having a coffee to start my day!

 What are some of your biggest struggles?

Some days are better than others! My biggest struggle is self doubt. Even if I have done something a thousand times, I allow myself to doubt my process whether it be an outside influence or an inner one. Most of the time, your gut feeling is king. But every day I work through it by allowing myself the time to be patient. 

What's something that you can share about yourself that would be beneficial for someone who admires you? 

Admiration should be deserved, you have to put in the work to lay the foundation so even when you fall, you have a starting point.

How do you manage your mental health?

I acknowledge that I come with flaws, but I am ok to accept these said flaws, as long as I am self aware and motivated to do the work. And on days I feel especially drained, I find something that stimulates my mind in different ways to perhaps see solutions I didn’t see before. But every day is a new opportunity, I try to remind myself of that.

   Is your upbringing a reflection of your current position in life? 

100%. My parents taught everything that I am proud of that is apart of me. They taught me that work ethic is tiring but rewarding. They taught me longevity over temporary gratification. They taught me compassion over violence, education over ignorance, dedication over indifference. Basically I am a splitting image of my parents, inside and out, and I could not be more proud. They made me the creative I am today, alongside the culture and community that raised me.

Jared Blake & Ed Be

Who is Jared Blake ?

I would say 1st and foremost I'm a student, I'm about study and reflection and I attempt to translate my findings in the fews ways and platforms I know how. 

Who is Ed Be?

Damn. I feel so seen haha. I've led a plethora of lives leading up to now, as we all have. I was born in Florida and moved to New York for high school and have been here pretty much ever since. Studied medical lab sciences to appease my mom's wishes and since I graduated, I've never turned back. I keep a small circle with some very good friends. Got into interiors & more specifically furniture completely by accident about 3.5 years ago. Now I can't stop digesting and tinkering around with It.

 Tell me something about yourself, that people don’t know, but should?

Jared: My lady, Faith works in the design industry and is a great influence on my work. They say behind every great man is a great woman; not that she's behind me or that I'm great but you get my point. If you do your research you'll find that there's usually a Ray to a Charles Eames and an Annie to a Josef Albers and the list goes on. It should come up more, I think it's funny because we'll never know those pillow talk convos; men are at times slower to see things that our counterparts see immediately. This balance and counterbalance is necessary for anything great to be visualized. The Ego is a trip forreal. 

Ed: I stay hungrier for success than my demeanor leads on. Left home at 17 with $300 cash and a duffel bag to live on my own. I tried to reach out to friends/anyone to see if they had a room for rent. Didn't hear back for a few days so I ended up having to sleep on the train for two nights before regaining a roof over my head. 

How do you stay organized?

Jared: Right now we're using Trello which is a big help but holistically I have a folder on my desktop entitled "Set/Forget" where I just dump everything. I take most of the photos on our feed and it becomes overwhelming if not organized properly. I'm not an organized person, I'm always looking forward too much but I'm learning that organization of the mind is important and too much organizational retention hinders forward thinking. So I set and forget. Maybe that's the opposite of organization but it works for me. Liberation. In addition, teamwork makes the dream work, find a partner more organized than yourself so you don't have to be, you can carry the load in other areas more suitable for your skill set..some people are natural organizers, I'm not. I just go with the flow, set/forget. 

Ed: It's tough, honestly. I've always shrugged at a planner growing up. I preferred to keep a mental note. As the shop continues to grow, that mentality has to continue to grow as well. I've got like three note apps and another app called Trello that my homie Jesse put me on to. Helps me democratize priorities and keep a better work/life balance. Its super important to take time out of the week and spend time with your loved ones. You don't get time back.

How important is research and development to you?

Jared: Crucial. Perfection is difficult but good can always be better; this comes from refinement and repetition. Because of our access to information there's many blueprints of great things, paths, and strategies, you just have to look for them. I once read that Noguchi used to finish certain sculptures almost 10 years after he stopped working on them. He traveled the world, learned more things, did his research THEN came back and cut things in half or put it upside down years later, that's great. Research and development should be called Research and application. Patience is key.    

Ed: Research is education and education is a key to knowledge. Knowledge equals power and the foundation to start empowering our own. After we empower with knowledge, we develop systems to build and strengthen our community. Same goes for everything.

What does the typical day look like for you?

Jared: There's no such thing for me, I know people say that in certain industries but really I couldn't even tell you ha. I would say most of my time is spent driving / sourcing / scouring / shooting...Man I'm on the road so much I'm more of a truck driver than anything if I'm honest, but I accept this responsibility. I was prepped for this at an early age, I love the wheel. The typical is changing for us, hopefully it's more time to take personal photos, travel a little bit more and think more broadly.  

Ed: I've been the busiest I've ever been in my life while learning everything on the fly. Many days actually end up being 8AM-8PM. 9-11AM deliver. 11:30 store set up, 12PM open shop to sell, have conversations, and collaborate, 5PM close, sourcing/deliveries until 7/8PM. I would have dreaded this working for someone else. I'm happy the entire time. We've built our own sustainable model to survive and more importantly, thrive.

I'm sure it's always changing but what is currently your favorite piece of furniture? And why?

Jared: We have a Kevi Task chair designed by Jorgen Rasmussen. It's really reductionist; We come across a lot of desk chairs but this one is the lightest, sturdiest, one of the oldest, and has the simplest mechanisms I've ever seen on a desk chair. It's almost skeltal. If the term less is more is a thing then this chair definitely does the least with the most impact. 

Ed: My favorite piece of furniture ever is the 'Hoop' chair by Piero Palange and Werther Toffoloni. I missed out on one a few years back that I'm still kicking myself over. It was made in the 70s in Italy and just has all the right sensibilities for a lounge chair. On top of that, its super light.

What has been a big obstacle in your life? How did you overcome It?

Jared: Being a Black man in america and owning everything that comes with that. I never had self doubt or self hate but growing up all you see is the white kids with more and the black kids with less. I remember early BET making me feel important to be black even if we didn't have much. This isn't something to overcome but something to embrace..even though we have tremendous hurdles we have tremendous talent derived through our adversity and struggle. Karma really is a bitch sometimes, my strength is from my struggle and vice versa lol..The goal now is to funnel these strengths appropriately, more and more rappers are circumventing the system by putting out music independently and that's important. Ownership over your strengths.    

Ed: Being a 'model minority.' Overcoming Asian(/American) male stereotypes. I recognize that my struggles are not the same or as difficult as some other BIPOC groups. Still, trying to overcome them on a day to day basis. At the root of it all, we should all try to understand each other's differences and proactively take concern in each other's problems.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life?

Jared: It's hard to name just one person but it would have to be my father, he's seen things in my future that I was unable to..Sometimes I'm still not able to. He instilled confidence and obedience in me that's required to move in this shifting landscape. He's also given me the ability to be/feel chosen for something above my understanding which is the 1st key to unlocking your true potential. belief in the unbelievable.

Ed: My wife, Maria. She's my best friend, my rock. I've known her for over 10 years, but we only started dating a few years back and got married just a couple of years ago. Her attention to detail and innate creativity definitely has been a driving force behind my eventual interest for design that led to a passion for design as a whole. Building a life and home together has been a lesson in compromise. We push each other to new limits that I haven't experienced ever from a partner. I hope that I do the same for her. I think we're both finally realizing each of our individual career dreams and new challenges are rising everyday. I know we can get through them together and come out on top. I find solace and comfort in her, but I also find challenge in her.   

D'ana Nunez

Who is D’ana Nunez?

I am  a multi-disciplinary Puerto Rican  artist, a daughter and someones annoying sister and friend.

Tell me something about yourself, that people don’t know, but should?

Before I die, I want to dance in a musical or  walk the runway. 

*c r i n g e*

What are some core values you stand by?

I have one: Proactivity. 

What's something that you can share about yourself that would be beneficial for someone who admires you?

You're only as good as you practice and I say that because I'm currently revisiting Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and he breaks down the 10,000 Hour Rule. So I'm simply putting the time into my craft and I think any artist experiencing a rut or just beginning to explore; should put the time in and enjoy the process.   

What's your thoughts of the words tolerance and patience?

When I think about those words, I immediately think of how much I implement the two on a day to day basis. Especially during a massive shift in what we once deemed normal.
In the creative realm, I like to think we exercise tolerance and patience daily and I can assume, it's the same for any industry. It's necessary.

What makes you happy?

Currently? I'd say my 6am mornings make me happy. Being up and at it that early feels so second nature.

What are some of your biggest struggles?

Phew! Another story for another day yet we all have them and in some sick way I'm grateful for them.

What does your daily routine look like?
I'm currently in the midst of reframing it because I got a little too cozy with my last routine. I'll report back.

What does success look like to you? 

Not sure because everyday seems to define it differently and I'm not entirely sure if I always agree with it. At this point success is the small things, like an embrace, breaking bread with your tribe or being able to take the days as they come. Success in 2020 looks a lot different. 

Ashlynn Echavarria

Who is Ashlynn Echavarria?

A strong, electric, and creative women. Super ambitious and fearless. I think I’m a great listener, I definitely mastered being able to understand perspectives. I’m still growing, and becoming a better version of myself, each and everyday; sending positive energy and blessings to everyone! 

Tell me something about yourself, that people don’t know, but should?

I literally have never tried hot sauce, and don’t make any plans on it. I’m not too crazy on the spicy stuff. 

Having a niche or being a jack of many trades?

Being a jack of many trades, for sure. I say this because, in the world we live in now, it’s great to have different talents. We all have the resources to continue to teach ourselves anything at our disposal. The opportunities are endless, so why stop at one ? 

What’s something you're currently looking forward to?

Currently looking forward to what the future holds. I’m a full-time stylist and going to school online. Definitely looking forward to graduating and expanding my small business. Tapping into different mediums to see where my creativity can take me. Looking forward to collaborating with brands in the future. 

What does your Dominican heritage mean to you?

I think, when I was younger, their was so much confusion around me identifying as an Afro-Latina. As a kid I moved around a lot from New York to Miami and Atlanta; confused as to what being Dominican really meant and my peers at the time shamed it. Moving back to New York at 13, I realized how important my roots and culture was to me. My Dominican heritage means everything to me. I’m a proud Dominican Afro-Latina and I always allow my voice to be heard for my family and my country. I love embracing my culture and using it within my creativity. 

What currently inspires you? 

I wanna say everything within and around me. Anything from nature and music to reading and traveling. My imagination runs wild with no limits. 

Is there anything your audience should be looking forward to from you?

My prints! I started a very small series DIOS Y AMOR of prints for a cause. Donating 50% of the proceeds to The Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Emergency Release Fund for the LGBTQ+ community and The Bronx Freedom Fund. I definitely want to tap into architecture and nature prints for the future. Allowing my audience to see the way I interpret color and  more styling shoots and projects with the amazing 3rdconcept! 

Ephraim Johnson

Who is Ephraim Johnson?

Ephraim is a hard to read person. Sometimes seen as a know to all sometimes seen as not knowing enough. Ephraim is a generous caring person that loves to help and teach people about things that can help them benefit based off past experiences he has went through. Ephraim is a dot connector and a man of the people.

Tell me something about yourself that people don’t know but should?

I am a pretty decent dancer lol.

Introvert or Extrovert?

I see myself as a crossover between both.

What’s your biggest pet peeve?

My name is something that always got butchered. I do my best to explain it and pronounce it carefully, I would have to say my biggest pet peeve is when some one pronounces my name wrong. [ef-ruh-m]

How was It growing up in Alabama?

I was born and raised in NY until '99. I actually grew up in the small town of Frisco City, AL. Moving from NY to AL was a definite culture shock at the age of 9. Living in these two poplar opposite places definitely helped me see the the world around me in a broader perspective and helped me understand people. Alabama is a beautiful place with very talented people, It is a lot slower pace than NY as one could imagine. Growing up there i was into a lot of things that i carried with me from NY (Fashion, Art, Music, Sports, Video Games). The internet became a big thing around this time, We were like the first people in our neighbor hood to have Dial up/DSL. My mom is a big person I looked up to because of how she handled things after my dads death and how she supported and took care of people, friends, family, and strangers like they were one of her own. She is a legend amongst my friends and community in Frisco due to how she would cook (still trying to get her to let me patent her Sweet Potato Pie recipe) and give valuable advice to people. My mom opened up her doors to a lot of people and she is a person that always would say to me, "Ephraim, it's all about what you say and how you say it because your name and word is all you have." Growing up in Alabama i always wanted to move back to NY but as I got older, I started to understand the essence of why my parents wanted to me to grow up in Alabama.

What’s something that you’ve experienced that you would suggest to someone else? & why? 

Something that I have experienced that I would suggest to someone else is understanding how failing feels when you are so used to winning and having things your way or even going as planned. It teaches you important life lessons, helps one reflect, and shows how resilient your character is. Failure has helped me see the results as a opportunity to improve rather than to quit and take that result as the only means to an end. One of the best quotes that comes to mind is when Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until your punched in the face." I have been punched in the face a few times more than i would like but its all about how you respond and keep going from that point on. 

Can you explain internal knowledge? 

Internal knowledge a living brand that is here to help accelerate the ideas of learning, creating, and sharing to help accelerate and generate solutions through various mediums for problems in society. Through accelerating these ideas, internal knowledges mission is to promote and advance psychological freedom.

What’s some valuable advice you've picked up in your lifetime?

"Plant seeds that help people grow even if you aren't there to see the harvest."

Micheal Rotimi

Who is Micheal Rotimi?

Michael Rotimi is a curious, strong willed and creative person. I love manifesting new ideas. I’ve grown to be more and more curious about the body and mind. I love challenging myself and learning new things.

Tell me something about yourself people don’t know but should?

I went to school on a culinary scholarship. During my senior year of high school I had no idea what I wanted to study in college. My culinary teacher said she could get me some money to go to school and she took me under her wing.

What are some core values you stand by?

I stand by loyalty and hard work. I think these two age old values have been abandoned in recent times. People feel entitled or feel like they can attain what they want without putting in the work and that’s just not logical to me.

How important is it for you to help others?

Helping people is a true pleasure and passion of mine. I’ve learned that helping others is my life’s purpose. Me falling into what I do now was really fate and I appreciate every moment where I can be a part of someone's success or fulfillment.

What has been a big obstacle in your life? How did you overcome It?

My biggest obstacle was escaping my hometown, Philadelphia and adjusting to New York City. Before I moved to NYC I was a mailman for about 5 months. It was the worst job I ever had but it motivated me to get out of that situation to something more meaningful.

What's a memory you are most fond of? And why?

The day I got the call that I got a job in NYC. My first job here was a personal assistant.

What are some of your remedies to help you stay focused?

Most of the time, all it takes for me is memories of my past and where I came from. That motivates me to focus because I know I never want to go back. Other things are yoga and working out. I feel when I dedicate myself to something it helps bring focus toother areas of my life. Meditation is something that I plan to incorporate in my daily schedule as well.

Meagan Keeler

Who is Meagan Keeler?

I’m a woman moving through the creative world figuring things out one step at a time. I’ve worked in the fashion / streetwear industry almost a decade dabbling in marketing, events, sales and production. My greatest strength lies in relationship building and connecting people. I’m defined by my career but I don’t think that’s a bad thing - I’ve built my life around it and continue to surprise myself with the results. .

Tell me something about yourself people don't know but should?

Even though most of my career has revolved around social situations where I have to be outgoing and “turn it on”; I’m actually very shy. Once you take away the work element I’m a total introvert. It’s cool to find balance between the two though, I love being forced out of my shell but have also found a lot of comfort within my alone time.

What’s something you can’t live without?

Love between myself and the people around me. What’s better than giving and receiving love? Friends, family, significant others - there’s no better feeling in the world. Then there’s also my passion for the things that I do. I can’t fake the funk and thrive off of being passionate for whatever project is in front of me. And black iced coffee, I can’t talk to anyone until I’ve had a full 16 oz cup.

What’s your perfect day look like?

I work out most mornings and an empty gym is the BEST way to start the day. Really gives me a chance to clear my head and feel productive out the gate. Let’s say this day continues on being an easy 75 degrees with just the right amount of sun. I love being outside and could walk around almost an entire day (especially in The City- when it’s nice out I’m always walking back and forth on the Williamsburg Bridge). Top it off with some quality time with friends and some sweets and it’s all I need to have a great day.

What are you most grateful for?

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to move through the world and my career by being myself. All of the things I was told would hold me back actually enabled my growth. The more genuine and authentic my approach is; the better the results. Externally I am endlessly thankful for the people I’ve met and become close with over the years. Loyalty and honesty are pillars of support and I’ve been lucky to have such solid people around me.

Who has the most impact on your life?

My older brother introduced me to subcultures - streetwear, hardcore, etc. The DIY mentality opened the world up to me. I booked punk shows from age 16-19, and this was my first stab at event life. I wrote my own zine and interviewed my friends and favorite bands. As soon as I got my license I was driving to shows in Philly and Boston on weekends; which ultimately led to me going to college in Boston. I’m from the Northside of Syracuse and there wasn’t exactly a push to go to college or even graduate high school. Traveling the northeast gave me a taste of what was out there and made me want to get out of Syracuse, and college was the easiest way to do that. My brother was also my biggest fan. He constantly told me to keep going and to never settle. He hated every boyfriend and never wanted me to be known as “someone’s girlfriend”. He was the first person I knew that wore Supreme and Bape, collected dunks and read Hypebeast- showing me there was more to fashion than the runway. I loved that streetwear democratized clothing and carried the DIY attitude over. I am lucky to have had his influence during my formative years. He got hit by a car and died in 2009 and I always feel like there are two versions of me- before and after Danny died. I went from being influenced by him to carrying things out in his memory. I still have his voice in the back of my head through every big decision.

Elissa Salas

Who is Elissa Salas?

Elissa Salas is a leader. I’ve lead myself my whole life. I know what I want.. what I don’t want & I can be very passionate about both. I’m self taught in a lot of mediums that I’m pursuing for fun and as a career & working at it everyday is my lifestyle. Something I’ve came to terms with is that the more serious I get about my work the less creative I become, so keeping a child like spirit and love within me really brings out the best in my art. It’s a balance. - I started as a dancer, then I got into photography which I still do now, everything that photography taught me is now helping me in my journey of design. I founded The Example a brand that provides everyday essentials to multi faceted people like myself.

Tell me something about yourself people don't know but should?

Something people should know about me is that it’s hard to get in contact with me lol. It’s not something I want people to take personally though. I went through this time period where I made myself accessible to everyone at all times. I’m a person people can demand a lot from naturally because I am a resource. But I had to assert myself & be more conscious about my time. If you let yourself be driven by people and their needs they’ll take advantage of you. & I don’t mean this in a bad way like oh people are selfish. It’s just facts, harness your energy.

What's something you're currently looking forward to?

Im currently looking forward to releasing all the new pieces for The Example. I took a step back from releasing anything bcus in this day in age everything is so saturated. You have to ask yourself what separates you from the rest and why you are doing it. I don’t call myself a fashion designer. I’m an artist that makes clothes and I look forward to sharing these new art pieces with everyone who believes in this & in me.

What makes you happy?

When people meet my expectations, family, and fairness. Amongst all the moral things that make me happy are the little moments like traveling, being in the sun around water, wearing something new or laying down with my partner pillow talking after a long day is something that makes me feel very happy and at peace.

What does your morning routine look like?

The truth about my morning routine is that there is no routine. It all depends on what I did the night before. It usually goes like this though: I hit the snooze button on my phone like 4 times before I wake up. I thank God, text my family group chat and wish my siblings a good day. If I worked on something the night before I’d probably look at it again with a fresh pair of eyes & make any adjustments while making a ham and cheese sandwich & getting ready for the day to face the world!

Do you have any hidden talents?

My hidden talent is that I can sing. I make music but I don’t put any of it out because I feel like the process of how I make music is so vulnerable & personal. One day though I’ll get over it & put something out.

What are some of your long term goals?

Long term goal is to wake up somewhere that’s warm all year round in the house I designed. I really enjoy architecture, at some point in my life I hope to collaborate with a professional to make my buildings come to life. I have designs that will redefine education, schools that I will open in the future. My school experience was bogus and that’s the first step that indoctrinates us. I want to change how we are prepared to live our lives. One day I’ll have a gallery and a store but my impact will be in creating an alternative practice for education

Elizabeth Beecroft

Who is Elizabeth Beecroft?

I feel like each day I'm learning more about who I am and my purpose in life. I'd say that I'm a determined, empathetic, and caring person. I love helping other people and learning about other people that I meet. I'm also a creative, an athlete, a daughter, a girlfriend, and a cat mom. I have anxiety and am often battling my own thoughts at times so I tend to be an overthinker. I'm also an extremely detail oriented person which also plays a role in being a perfectionist as well. Overall, I'm a girl trying to achieve my goals, motivate others, and make a positive impact in the world.

What inspires you?

Seeing people that I look up to or respect advocating for things they care a lot about. Allen Iverson. The people I surround myself with. Music and stage design. Good storytelling. Textures, prints and patterns that you see throughout NYC whether it be on outfits people wear, billboards, buildings, etc.

Tell me something about yourself people don't know but should?

Growing up I was big into emo/punk/pop punk bands, which is a big influence in the music I listen to today.

What's a typical day like for you?

I work for a foster care organization in Brooklyn where I am a therapist for kids in foster care, so during the weekdays, I'm there 9-5. After work, I'm usually at home working on whatever else I have going on that week, watching reality TV, or playing basketball.

What's something you're currently looking forward to?

Going back to Pennsylvania to spend the holidays with my family.

What's your biggest pet peeve?

When people clap after the plane lands and also lateness.

Do you have any big 2020 plans?

Jumping into the world of private practice as a therapist! I've been planning for quite some time and 2020 will be the year that I start down this path of my mental health career.

Ruby Sejour

Who is Ruby Sejour?

I’m still very much figuring it all out. In my heart I’m a creative & an artist & I love to love people. On the outside I’m a very mild-mannered borderline timid person. I’m in my head a lot but I love it, It helps me to see things from different challenging perspectives that aren’t always comfortable for me.

Tell me something about yourself people dont know but should?

Most people don’t know that I’m active musician. It was my first love, hobby, & first thing I was naturally good at. I played all brass instruments from the age of 8 & still even now for the most part I play weekly. There was a point in time a few years ago where I fell off, mainly because I was young & undisciplined but I’m making my way back now. Realizing daily that anything that has been learned in & through practice is never actually lost.

If you could give any piece of advice what would It be?

Maintain your integrity at all costs. If you have to cheat who you are to get it, your character won’t allow you to hold it.

What are a few things on your bucket list?

Travel. A lot of things on the bucket list life wise, marriage, fatherhood are things I look forward to generally in life.. But the most prominent right now is a trip to Africa, been wanting to visit Ethiopia for the longest.

How do you relax?

I love to get away from the city & spend time in my head. Praying meditating & sorting things out. I know that doesn’t sound typical but I really believe peace & relaxation comes from the inside out. Sun & beach isn’t going to help you much if you’re not at peace on the inside.

Nick Fulcher

Who is Nicholas Fulcher?

Hmm. Nicholas Fulcher aka NickyChulo is a creative, an explorer, and a friend. He's also a gemini so take that as you will.

Tell me something about yourself people don't know but should?

I'm very nice and respectful, but I'm also not for the play play. Respect my time and space!

Introvert or Extrovert?

Both without a doubt. Introvert when I work. Extrovert when I'm out and about, pitching a concept, or participating in speaking engagements.

Tell me about your favorite creative project?

My favorites always change, but I would have to say working with Sebastian Mikael has been my favorite. Main reason is because he came to work on his single/album covers with me. We argued, experimented, he painted, I scanned things, it was a magical collaboration that I'll never forget.

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