Brooklyn Young | Staff Writers
Hampton University has always been well-known for its trendsetters and innovators. Many Hamptonians still uphold that reputation by using their creativity to not only influence others but also create change in their communities. Hamptonians have used their creativity to start their own brands and create impactful content. Some of your favorite YouTube vloggers, fashion designers and original magazine creators got their start at Hampton. Here is a glimpse of some entrepreneurs from Ogre, Quintessence and Onyx classes.
Don’t forget the accent mark.
Accent Films started off as your typical college YouTube vlog in 2018. As time progressed, Bria Dickerson, better known as Bria DéShaun, has made her mark on Hampton’s campus by commemorating social moments as “the student body’s historian,” and creating promo videos. The meaning behind the accent is to “put emphasis on your purpose [and] put an accent on your wildest dreams,” said Dickerson. This brand allows the inner creative in Dickerson to be depicted visually and expose her authenticity in various projects. Accent Films is also a direct reflection of her journey as an individual and as an entrepreneur.
“You can be carefree in who you are and do it without hesitation,” said Dickerson.
Recently, Accent Films collaborated with the Greer Dawson Wilson Student Leadership Training Program (SLP) for its 20th anniversary of the Black History Extravaganza (BHX) by creating a short film, “Tales of an HBCU.” You can stream this on SLP’s YouTube channel now.
Dickerson is a junior, journalism major with a minor in leadership studies and cinema studies from Bear, Delaware.
With encouragement from friends and family, Trajan Baker, a sophomore architecture major from Winston-Salem, created his fashion brand Crafted Vision, which is now known as COVRT. At COVRT, you can have it your way with his unique clothing customizations. Baker hand paints jeans, jackets, shoes, hats and just about any clothing item you can think of. The brand is symbolic to self-discovery and revealing the artist within everyone.
“My acronym for artist is a rare talented individual seeking truth,” said Baker.
The relationship between Baker and his clientele are most meaningful and seeing them wear his designs makes him extremely proud. On average, it takes between 10 to 20 hours for Baker to make a single piece. Right now, COVRT is creating a graphic sweatshirt line and painting series. Baker is looking forward to where his brand will go and hoping to be a featured brand in a Hampton event like Springfest. Trajan Baker is a sophomore, architecture major from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dictionary.com defines epoch (EPOK) as “the beginning of a distinctive period in history of something.” This Virginia and New York based brand began with two fashion-forward individuals making t-shirts in a bedroom in the Harbor Apartments for fun. Austin Johnson, a senior marketing major from Hampton, Virginia and Jarrett Dines, a senior strategic communications major from Queens, New York constantly strive to take chances and continue going after new avenues to gain even more exposure for their brand.
“Buying into a concept; you are in your Epok,” said Johnson. “Each piece is personal.”
Opening doors and creating better access to resources for the next entrepreneur is the ultimate goal for Johnson and Dines.
“Jarrett and I knew we were gonna make history, this is just the beginning,” said Johnson.
Over the past two years, EPOK has had pop-up shops in New York and Virginia, countless photoshoots and has even shipped orders to London. For these entrepreneurs, they see no limits.
Austin Johnson is a senior, marketing major from Hampton, Virginia. Jarrett Dines is a senior, strategic communications major from Queens, New York.
Reign the Magazine
Editor-in-Chief and journalism student, Tasha Smith, a junior from Baltimore, launched the first issue of Reign the Magazine on January 1, 2021. The magazine was created to exhibit Black content, including fashion, beauty, culture and music. Smith’s goal is to create an enjoyable and inclusive atmosphere, where everyone involved feels comfortable showcasing their creativity.
“I want to create a community that celebrates Black joy and creativity,” said Smith.
Smith was inspired by lifestyle journalist Elaine Welteroth.
“I have read her book ad nauseum,” Smith said.
Since the Black youth is so impressionable, Smith mainly targets this demographic.
“I am sick of feeling like I have to ‘skate around’ my Blackness for white people,” said Smith. Knowing the importance of unapologetically loving and accepting your Blackness is the Magazine’s endgame.
Currently, Reign the Magazine is working on the March issue, which is the first style issue, featuring a young stylist. A new issue drops on the first of each month, so be sure to get yours March 1!
The reputation of inimitability and uniqueness that boutiques possess has always enticed Taylor Robertson, a third-year, five-year MBA major from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. That attraction and passion for fashion design created Threadz Boutique! Threadz Boutique seemed out of reach for Robertson, but with the encouragement from her mom, it became a brand.
“I just got started,” said Robertson.
Growing up with both parents being entrepreneurs, Robertson tapped into her entrepreneurial side. Robertson enjoys that she is able to deeply portray herself in her craft and offer rare clothing to women ages 17 to 40.
“Everything that I have is something that I would pick up in a store and have to buy,” said Robertson.
If you want to stand out and tap into your uniqueness, be on the lookout for new drops over at shopthreadzboutique.com.
1868 The Brand
Fashionista, Inaya Henderson, a junior strategic communications major from Atlanta, decided to put a twist on traditional university paraphernalia by launching 1868 The Brand. Representing the year that Hampton University was founded, 1868 The Brand also looks to connect the Hampton University community through apparel and accessories.
“It’s a line that encapsulates the essence of Hampton and transforms it into the form of fashion,” said Henderson.
With 1868, Henderson intends to show the world that Hampton is more than what you see on the surface, but that Hampton is full of creativity and innovation.
1868 is intended to be a classic everyday wear, whether you’re going on a Target run or on a trip, 1868 is made for it all. Currently, 1868 is working on rugs, household items, sweatsuits, workout gear, skateboards for each class and a potential collaboration with another HBCU. The newest drop is expected for summer 2021 to kick-off the summer vibes, so keep an eye out!
For anyone scared to start their business, just look at these young entrepreneurs making it happen. It is all about believing in yourself and simply taking that first step!