I’ve lost money with this business.
There were times I didn’t know if I even made a profit.
I keep my full-time, 40+hrs a week job and utilize these degrees.
I continue to turn my house into the trap on the weekends and fulfill orders. I continue to try and make sense of how I got here. A one time t-shirt design for a homecoming tailgate has turned into a 3 year entanglement with highs and lows. But thankfully, 2020 has given us permission to admit our entanglements.
N’Stylegia and I were definitely entangled. From July 2017 until May 2020, we were going to keep this love affair a secret. You stay at yo’ house and I stay at mine. And don’t be walking up to me in public like you know me. People may get the wrong impression.
However, this year I decided to set myself free. It served me no purpose to fear the reactions of others. To wait in the shadows until I was good enough. To reject chances until the moment was perfect. AND DON’T ACT like you don’t do it too! Let’s call it out beloved ....
Take the words from Outkast’s 1998 hit Liberation - “Can’t worry about what a nigga think. Now see that’s liberation and baby I want it.”
BABY I WANT IT! I wanted liberation. N’Stylegia is here. She is me and I am her. She is the preservation of everything I grew up to love. She’s the south. She’s hiphop. She loves hard and slays harder. She earns degrees and quotes trap lyrics. She's soul food. She walks with you across the yard on Saturday mornings to the cafe and sips mimosas with you on the rooftops. She goes to therapy and to church. She commands attention. She makes statements without uttering a single syllable. She is strategic. She plans. She perfects.
She creates from her inner fear of losing those iconic moments from her life. When she says “Relax Relate Release”, she honors Whitley’s acceptance of black girls going to therapy. When she says “The South Got Something to Say” she honors Andre's prophetic call that Georgia would be a catalyst for change. When she says “Paine is my Hillman'' she honors the safe space of HBCUs for black kids needing refuge.
She appreciates the folks who celebrate her memories of being an 80s baby and a 90s kid. Her ability to intersect the past with the present is worth every dime and sacrificed second. From the selection of the softest fabric, creation of design, lay of the heat press and golden stamp of approval. The imperfect N’Stylegia logo on the sleeve adds the final touch and connection between her and her people. And while she can understand some may want to re-create her excellence, her works are not here for duplication. Liberate yourself from the bondage of bootlegging. The Krusty Krab shop is not the place for her works. It's 2021 babe.
For everyone else, let's get ready for some shirts to slay in, workout in and sleep in. This year, N'Stylegia will drop one shirt a month. No restock. No change in color. One dope ass shirt each month for some dope ass customers. Take it with love and spread that love to others. - xoxo