FUNNY STORY: I met Kern about 4 years ago on the PATH train. It was 4am and I actually thought he was a serial killer. At that time in my life, I had just gotten my own apartment and was working full-time and bartending part-time on the weekends. Needless to say, I was EXHAUSTED. I was sitting on the train, on my way home, trying to look as unapproachable as possible and I noticed this guy staring at me. It actually creeped me out so much that I was ready to run as soon as the train doors opened. He started walking toward me and handed me the most amazing sketch of me on a napkin. We talked while waited for the next train, exchanged instagram names and voila , a friendship was born.
Eventually, we found out we were neighbors , both living just blocks from each other in downtown Newark, NJ. We've supported each others' journey to realizing our dreams ever since. We've shared years of random 3am phone calls about how we have to stay inspired and keep going when one of us is feeling down.
Kern, who is a SUPER talented artist, started a movement called ROCK YOUR CROWN, inspiring people to embrace their natural hair. I've been seeing everyone , everywhere wearing a ROCK YOUR CROWN something. He called me the other day to tell me he was doing a Holiday pop up shop and I was STOKED. His pop up is a part of an initiative started up by founder Melvin Sykes that allows local business owners to sell their products from a storefront.
He has everything from stickers, to shirts, sweatshirts, bags, and buttonss. If you get lucky, he may even draw a picture of you on the spot and drop it in your bag! It's really awesome seeing one of your peers start to manifest their dreams ..creating for the love of creating.
I got more than I bargained for when I went to visit him . I had the opportunity to meet the most AMAZING group of people who were also vending. I realized at that moment - this is what happens when you keep positive, ambitious, supportive people around you - they introduce you to more positive , ambitious, supportive people.
YUDI DAVIS// Love Your Self All Natural
Meet YUDI. She's a mother of 6 (YES 6) who started a company of all natural products after her firstborn was diagnosed with cancer as an infant. She dropped out of school and learned everything she had to learn about his cancer...so much so that she said she knew more than some of his doctors. She decided to treat him naturally. Fast forward to today, HE'S a 19 y/o college student! Her skin and personality was so vibrant ..she actually might be the sweetest person I've ever met. She gave me a bag full of goodies , including the Orange Madness Hair & Body Butter Cream , a Volcanic Ash Mud Mask with Tea Tree, No. 72 Facial Moisturizer, and No. 90 Facial & Body Scrub. I told her to give me whatever made her skin look like that and she did! I've been using her products for a few days now and my skin never felt so good. I'm seriously HOOKED! If you can't make it to the pop-up shop in time, products can also be purchased online at http://dominicanformula.com
DEJA// Moda Thriftique
Meet Deja. She was super sweet and cute and oozed creativity. She has a ton of cool vintage, thrifted, pieces and creates the really dope, storytelling buttons. Her energy was everything. I love seeing young people out here doing what they love!
Olive// Black Girl Summer
Meet Olive. Olive is a creative who started a magazine called Black Girl Summer. She wants to create a platform where women of color from all around the world can see faces that look like theirs.
Meet Judith. Judith is a Fashion Collector and stylist who has been collecting clothes for decades! Her hat and spirit were LIFE!
I'm so grateful to have connected with these beautiful inspiring creatives from my city. Please support the Newark Pop Up Shops as you shop for your loved ones this holiday season!