top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureLiterature's Jewel

HSM, here “to inspire the fallen, the forgotten, and the underdog.”


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.


10 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page