In August of 2018 I had lost the one job I had been working for 3 years. Did I panic? Not really but I began to wonder what I’d do with my free time. I had started a merch store (TDOS) selling crewnecks and T-Shirts with a logo I had someone create for this blog, and to help promote my poetry book, which was also entitled The Diary of She.
Long story short, I enjoyed coming up with designs and quotes for my clothing and that’s when I decided to keep the store up instead of taking it down after the few orders I received. My mom went ahead and secured the business name and seller’s permit for me, so The Diary of She would officially be mine, at least for 5 years that is lol.
Within the year that I’ve had this online store, I’ve only had 42 orders, 41 if you take away the purchase I made for myself. For a lot of people this would be discouraging and they would probably give up, because trust I’ve been there and even now I still have my doubts. I wonder to myself, why do I continue to pay to have this domain and this website when no one really comes to it? and when they do, they just look and keep it moving. I constantly think about all the people I’ve made accommodations for, the people I’ve created extra products for, just for them to go, oh you charge way too much, you need to lower your prices. I’m sure they aren’t complaining about the basic white or red H&M shirt (or whatever brand you like) that cost just the same or even more than the graphic T-Shirt & more I’m selling. All that talk about wanting to support your local black artist (musicians, writers, painters, etc) and black business is starting to look like a lot of talk to me. Some like hearing the words SUPPORT & BLACK together but don’t actually go out of their way to do it, unless it’s a black person that has already rose to a certain level of success and are well-known. They will be the first to get the support.
BUT then, last night I was reminded why I continue with my brand, continue with the writing, continue coming up with ideas in my head, continue to keep pushing forward. I got my one order before I had called it a night and it was all because of this post I seen:
To all my black folk; let’s go buy ourselves some crowns, from a black owned business, and wear them EVERYday. Apparently our natural state (and hair) ain’t sending the right message…and then carry on while we also remind ourselves of who we really are!
It just so happened that I had the perfect hat that read “Crowned” on the front. Just like that not only did she get that hat but she ordered three other items on my store. It made me feel like I had done something great, I had given her something she could put on, make a statement and be proud of being a black woman. It’s always the support like this that keeps me going. I always say even when I think no one is watching there’s always another person around the corner going, I see you and I admire what you do. It’s the same thing with my books, I get discouraged and wonder will I ever be a bestseller but a simple DM, review and sometimes even I quote I wrote is posted and I let those doubts wash away.
I know this is what I want to do in life, continue to build my brand. So even though I have thoughts of saying fuck it, I give too much of a fuck about it to ever just let it go. Pushing through all the way to the end.