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Stephen, the creator and founder of HSM gave us the opportunity to speak with him on his journey with entrepreneurship and following his dreams.

Stephen, who also goes by Sleek, currently resides in Central MD but originally was born in Louisiana. According to Stephen it was Cali and MD that “taught” him his ways. I would assume that means, his fashion sense and being able to capture the love and creativity of the black community. Being inspired by the generations before us and aways having an eye for fashion and style it was only natural that Stephen started an embroidery and clothing line.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

So Stephen, tell us how HSM came about? How did you get the idea to start an embroidery service/clothing line and what does HSM stand for? HSM we know actually stands for Heaven Sent MF. But honestly what does that mean for the business?


STEPHEN:

I wanted to create a movement that inspires those who chose to be themselves even when the world wants to mold them into someone else.


In 2013 was when I first came up with the name. I didn’t start using it for business until 2015. It was more aligned with writing back then.


Heavensentmf is short for Heaven Sent Menaces Forever it is an oxymoron for people to be themselves.




WE SEE YOU SHINING:

That’s what's up. I like that. Going against the grain and moving forward to do what's real and authentic to you.


As I believe many know, starting a business is not always easy. Especially on the pocket, but there are so many ways to go about it. How exactly did you start your venture?


STEPHEN:

Everything so far has been out of my own pockets. Other than a small team it’s just me.



WE SEE YOU SHINING:

To clarify HSM does custom embroidery and has a clothing line?




STEPHEN:

Yes, custom embroidery services as well as my own clothing line. Du-rags, bonnets, short sets, hats, and personal or business customized embroidery.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Amazing! I’ve watched some of your videos when you’re sewing the embroidery and it’s pretty cool to watch. Your dedication to your business and the message behind it is very inspiring. Although we are only seeing the finished outcome there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.

As business owners know the most important and probably the hardest thing to do is get and build up a clientele base. How do you go about doing so?


STEPHEN:

For one, I bring value, speak to my target audience's needs. Don’t be too pushy, people tend to run away from those trying to force sales.


As for marketing, word of mouth and creating valuable content is how I market my business. Definitely the content I post on my social media platform.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

There has been a shift in people trying to make sure they are supporting the black community in all ways. You have also made sure to impact your community with your brand, although welcoming all, it is specifically catered to the black culture. Why is that?


STEPHEN:

I honestly was tired of everybody else capitalizing off of our pain and in the same breath telling us to get over whatever traumatizing event that's happening. We define what’s cool and I’m in the position to not let anybody take that from me.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

That’s real. I am glad you decided to make a positive impact for our community and help preserve, and exercise our natural talents and creativity. Yet, theirs time and dedication put behind your business to get it where you want it to. Knowing that you dedicate 5-7 hours a day on HSM, where do you see HSM in the next 5-10 years?



STEPHEN:

A well respected organization that showcases more than just embroidery services.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:


Do you plan on putting HSM in Stores? If so

Which ones?


STEPHEN:

I would only put my products in store if I could retain ownership. That’s not extremely high on my priorities list at the moment.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

I can definitely hear you out there. Being an entrepreneur your business are your babies and retaining ownership of them is super important.

What would you say was your driving force to become an entrepreneur?


STEPHEN:

Understanding my gifts are far too great to go to waste because I’m fulfilling someone else’s dream.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Wow. That’s dope. Some of us really don’t realize that. Although it’s no problem doing what makes you happy and comfortable, but knowing you can do so much more is such a driving force.


It may be satisfying, but it can be a struggle to stay motivated when our numbers are not reflecting the sweat we put behind it. What motivates you and keep you going on those days and who inspires you to keep going?


STEPHEN:

The thoughts that all the people who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself were right.

Definitely my parents.



WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Yes, yes. Those true supporters and believers can make such an impact. I am glad and I am sure many others are too that you continue to be reminded of that. But let’s be real. All that does not eliminate the doubts when we run into a wall or the frustration of it all. What is your greatest fear and how do you manage it?


STEPHEN:

That I run out of time before I fulfill my purpose. Some Days I don't, others I recognize the root and take it from there.



WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Such a vulnerable fear, but yet very realistic. Well we know that fear will not be an issue for you either way.


Stay focused I am sure helps you get through those fears as well. What key activities would you recommend to those who are trying to start their own business and what skills should they hone to be successful at doing so?


STEPHEN:

Reading, understanding your why when it comes to business. Being around like minded people.


Patience, Time Management, Consistency



WE SEE YOU SHINING:


So reading is fundamental.

Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula in becoming a successful entrepreneur?


STEPHEN:

Simplicity: the greatest things in life, good or bad, are all simple.



WE SEE YOU SHINING:


True. We do love to overcomplicate things. I like that a lot, and with saying that what would you define as being successful?


STEPHEN:

The impact that you leave behind. How many people can I inspire or influence before it’s all over for me is my purpose.



WE SEE YOU SHINING:

In a way that is a very unselfish idea of success. Wanting to give something to others for them to use and flourish with in their journey. Beautiful way to see it. Last question before we conclude the interview is one I love personally becomes I think it really gives us a better understanding of those we are interviewing. So Stephen, if you were to write a book and name it what would it be called and why?


STEPHEN:

Forever Unforetold, simply because no one on this planet knows what my story is or how it will end.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:


Facts! That's real. Thank you so much Stephen for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with us! I hope everyone checks you out on IG @heaventsentmf and on the website at http://www.heaventsentmf.com.


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Updated: Aug 25, 2021



Moriah Coleman, the creator and founder of The Soul House, allowed us to speak with her on her new journey. She is helping the community find creative healing and self-discovery through education and multiple avenues of expression. She has collaborated with individuals from all walks of life to help educate and promote self-growth and emotional expression.


Moriah, also known as Mo was born in Baltimore, MD, and raised in Severn, MD. She went to Towson University, obtaining a B.S. in Sociology, and then the University of Southern California, where she graduated with her Masters in Social Work in 2018.


2020, such an abrupt and crazy year, led Moriah to a realization that “2020 Made The Vision Clear." This slogan led her to take the leap of faith to create The Soul House and officially introduce it to the community. Let’s hop into the interview with the creator herself.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What is The Soul House’s purpose for the community?


MORIAH:

The Soul House aims to bring those in the DC and Baltimore area to a space of creative healing, self-discovery, authentic expression and community synergy. Bringing people together on a soul level, supporting each other's growth, gifts and highest potential.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How did the idea for The Soul House come about?


MORIAH:

Working in the mental health field, I wanted to use my skills in a more creative way for the community. As an introvert, I have connected with myself a lot, what people may call "soul searching". I genuinely believe connecting with your soul is critical in maintaining balance in life and The Soul House aims to create that experience for the community. I personally crave deeper connections and more fulfilling experiences and hope to create that energy for the community.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What service does The Soul House provide and do you have a partner or do you do it all alone?


MORIAH:

Currently I am working alone and slowly building the community through word of mouth and social media connecting. My main aim is to begin solidifying a group of dedicated members to continue growing the collective.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How do you build a successful following?


MORIAH:

I'm honestly building organically by sharing my vision with friends, networking through social media and attending community events.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How do you market The Soul House and which tactics have been most successful?


MORIAH:

I intuitively create content during my free time. I do not have any specific strategies or experience in marketing. I have been considering seeking brand building support from those who expertise in this skill.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What culture do you cater to if anyone, and how did you establish it, or are you for the general population?


MORIAH:

The Soul House caters to the BIPOC, Black, Indigenous & People of Color community. This is my target audience because my vision/passion is to uplift the communities that are systematically oppressed against, reminding them of their unique power and encouraging their excellence.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How many hours a day do you work on The Soul House?


MORIAH:

I work in my career during the week, so I dedicate as much down time as I can to creatively curating and creating social media content. Depending on what is planned, I can dedicate anywhere from 4-10 hours a week. With time, I hope to have more established community involvement to hold weekly bi weekly activities.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Where do you see The Soul House in 5-10 yrs?


MORIAH:

I hope to see The Soul House have an established presence in the DC/Baltimore area known for bringing people in the community together through soul enriching connections.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

2020 has shown us that there is never a right time, the right time is now. If you want to take a leap a faith and bet on yourself, there’s no hesitation needed. In doing so we have seen a great growth in people transitioning towards the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Creating their own lives by doing what they love to do. Although it’s a dream a lot of us have, it’s not always so easy to do. This is no difference for the founder of The Soul House.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What was your driving force to become an Entrepreneur?


MORIAH:

I'm very interested in creating a life around my passions and entrepreneurship is the best route when looking to design a unique life for yourself.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What motivates you?


MORIAH:

My main motivation is wanting to create a better way of life for myself and others. Knowing that I do not have to settle for the status quo motivates me to see outside the box.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How do you generate new ideas?


MORIAH:

Most of my ideas are birthed out of my own life experiences and things I have learned and seen in life.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What has been the most difficult part in this process of growing this platform?


MORIAH:

It has been most difficult with gathering engagement through social media.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?


MORIAH:

Organization, being resourceful and persistence.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What business-related person/book/idea has inspired you the most?


MORIAH:

IG: @motherofmany_ her story has really shown me the power of believing in yourself at your lowest to make something out of nothing.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Understanding her own life experiences, as well as many others, Moriah has chosen a path of helping her community by living a truly authentic life for herself. Bob Marley and Tupac being visionaries that motivate her in her journey in nurturing The Soul house. She thrives to live a life that makes her happy and fulfilled. Realizing that knowing yourself and doing what’s true to you can also bring forth growth and opportunities to others.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

How do you define success?


MORIAH:

I define success by level of happiness and peace you can achieve in life.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?


MORIAH:

My greatest fear is living a life that I do not enjoy and I manage that by constantly doing things in my life that I enjoy.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

What are the three things you would change in the world, if you had the opportunity?


MORIAH:

Everyone would have an even playing ground to grow from (less suffering, equal distribution of resources), people would have more freedom to create a stable life they truly desire, and people would value the simple things in life more.

WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Wow. I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone choose those options before. Typically it’s peace, money, or just happiness for all. Your answers are precise and realistic. Obtainable if we truly wanted to obtain it.


Changing directions for the last two questions. What is the part of your life experience would you alter if you had the chance to?


MORIAH:

I've grown to accept all my life experiences as destiny. Altering one experience can change my entire life outcome. I like to discover how all my life experiences end up coming full circle.


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

Such an interesting view. To see the full development of our life choices. For it to all makes sense.


For the final question with us here today Moriah. If you were to write a book about yourself, how would you name it, and why?


MORIAH:

"What's the Cheat Code?"

I would name my book this because in life I'm just exploring and making sense of life as I go, seeking the truth of it all. I often joke by saying "I'm just trying to figure out the cheat code to life"


WE SEE YOU SHINING:

I love it! We are truly all here just trying to figure it out. It has been such a pleasure to speak with Moriah about her life journey and The Soul House. She is bringing so much understanding, support, and appreciation to the community and I can’t wait to see what else is in store. Who knows maybe she will be able to write that cheat code to life for us. Please go follow her on IG @theesoulhouse where you can catch motivational posts, lessons, blogs, podcasts, and Live IG interviews. Let’s help support and love our community!




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"We See You Shining!" is here to allow businesses and people to shine, gain exposure and grow. We want you to be seen and promoted all for FREE! Tell us about your business so we can spread the word and help you to SHINE!~ Shine On~

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