What inspires you? My mother inspired me the most, seeing her struggle and still make a way.
Social Media Handles: Instagram: @LFLSSHOES @The_ericjones
Your favorite song currently and the artist: IRINA- Ryan Leslie
Currently reading: I don’t read much really, I enjoy learning hands-on from other individuals.
Favorite food spot in your city: Feltner Brothers
Sweet Tea or Lemonade (it’s a Southern thing): You know we gotta mix and do the half&half
Describe yourself in one word: Rare
If you attended University/College, where did you graduate: University of Arkansas @ Fayetteville, Ar
If you are Greek, which organization: Phi Beta Sigma
Favorite place to visit/vacation: Dallas, Tx
Where are you from? I’m originally from Helena, Ar which is a small underrepresented area in southeast Arkansas.
Please provide 3-4 sentences about your role in the community or in your field, industry or career. What do you do? How did this “role” come about? How and why are you best known by others? I jumped straight out of college into the life of a full-time entrepreneur. I wear all the hats in my company, designing the shoes, marketing, factory communication, getting the product into the country, shipping out orders, etc. I’m looked up to by a good amount of people already because of the things that I am doing at my age and also the way that I brand myself on social media. The whole dapper look and designer dress shoe company kind of came about because I majored in fashion, but mostly because my mom would try to keep me in a nice suit all the time as a child.
Did you attend college and/or have formal training in your respective field or industry? Going to college and majoring in fashion taught me a lot, but I didn’t specifically learn about the shoe industry or how to successfully run a company in general. I graduated from the University of Arkansas in December of 2016 with my degree in “Apparel Merchandising & Product Development”.
What factors of your upbringing influenced your career goals? Ex. If you’re a teacher, what made you go into that field? Growing up in a poor and very misfortunate situation lead to me wanting to grind even harder because I knew that there was better out in the world for me. Seeing my mom work so hard for someone else and still barely making ends meet led to me wanting to take the leap of faith and become an entrepreneur. I knew my worth and I didn’t want to let anyone put a cap on it.
How long have you been in this career? What did you do previously? I’ve been in the career for 10 months. I was in college before and really was mainly focused on finishing school, even though I actually started the business two years ago. I only started selling product after three months into the year.
What long-term goals do you have? What steps are you currently taking in this direction? My long-term goal is to grow my company global and make it one of the biggest men’s retailers in the world. I’m utilizing social media tremendously to make it happen. I want to be able to actually “make it” doing something positive to inspire everyone that no matter where you come from or what you go through, you can honestly do anything if you put your mind to it.
Tell us about your social media presence. Do you use it in your line of work? Why or why not, is it important in your day-to-day responsibilities, platform or career? Social media is everything, my presence is great! I want to be the first to actually grow a company from nothing to something all through social media. The world is literally in our hands.
Which public figures, role models and or historical figure shaped your goals as a child and in adulthood? Any that embodies your personal values? I don’t really have too many people that are public figures that I actually “look up to”, but if I had to choose, I would say Kevin Hart & Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). Mostly because of their positive impact on the culture and the media.
What does it mean to you to be a millennial? How do you share that with others in your life, those you meet and with your peers? To me, it means actually utilizing what we have and showing older people that there are some of us actually doing positive things. Older generations look at social media as a bad thing, but when it actually just depends on how you use it. It also means overcoming all of the negative stereotypes that have been set in place for young black millennials and carrying ourselves in a more positive way on the media. I share this with others through my social media platforms by trying to make the dapper look a more desired look among young black men. I also only promote positivity and push people towards entrepreneurship a lot.
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