Brittany Sha’Vonne is a guru of creative writing. An HBCU graduate in Public Relations from Hampton University with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Brittany is the founding CEO of Inscribe By Brittany. Since 2013, her company offers creative consulting, web design, academic, and professional writing help. A diamond shaped by her own rough patches, Brittany has surpassed the brutal reality of growing up in South Central LA, while being the first in her family to achieve higher education. She embraces her upbringing and makes it her mission to overcome negative expectations, claim her rightful position, and prove deeper truths- no matter where you are from, all queens belong on a throne. An avid coffee connoisseur and fashionista, it is no wonder her style of work has been critically acclaimed as “phenomenal” and called “an artist in her writing.” Brittany strives to bring fresh ideas to her clients so that the hustle mentality does not stop with her talent but helps to manifest new hustlers. A natural gifting is easily recognizable in her body of work. Brittany Sha’Vonne does not present the hustle, she inscribed it.
Brittany, how do you define hustle and how has it changed over time?
Doing what you have to do to make things happen; giving it all you can; going against the grain; following your dreams and stepping outside of your comfort zone to do so. Back in the day, I believe our culture had a way of classifying hustle as anything related to the streets and “getting money.” That may be true but over time we’ve learned that there are various types of hustles and in fact, anyone can be a hustler. It’s not something that’s directly tied to “the streets” alone. We’ve now learned to perceive hustle beyond the surface level. Now, we focus more on the process and the mentality of the hustle; the character development; the transitions; the blood, sweat, and tears tied to reaching that desired level of success. I say all of this to say that I think over time the definition of hustle has definitely changed. While it was once about what people do, now it’s more so about who they’re becoming in the process of getting to where they want to be.
Where do you find the passion to help others succeed in their business?
You know what? I just love to see people win so I’ll say the passion is definitely fueled by my clients. Majority of them work in service- oriented fields and they are some of the most compassionate and selfless people I’ve ever met. When I sit down and talk to them about their passion, their goals and their “why,” I am blown away by the amazing things they share. I love a good story that’s raw, real and relatable and my clients have all brought that to the table. I believe that God gave me the gift of storytelling through writing and consulting; but it’s a gift He gave me to use as a tool for helping others advance. I feel like it’s such a special gift, which is why I say my business was the product of “divine inspiration.” I don’t take it lightly at all and I’d be doing Him a disservice if I didn’t use it to the fullest when assisting my clients. The world needs to see more authenticity; we need to hear from those who are changing the world in positive and selfless ways. If I, through my gifts, can be the gateway to that, then I’m here for it.
How important is it for people to have creative direction from a consultant in their entrepreneurial pursuits?
I think having a creative consultant is very important. As a creative consultant myself, I also have one. It’s always good to have fresh eyes from an outside perspective. Creative consultants are great accountability partners that bring encouragement and new energy (which is especially needed on rainy days). They can give clear direction and they can also bring to life new themes and ideas that may be hidden beneath the surface. They can speak directly to the heart of the entrepreneur and influence him or her to broaden horizons and aim even higher than before.
Is there such a thing as a bad writer?
Absolutely not! Whenever I come across content that is either directionally, grammatically or verbally challenging, I like to call it “colorful.” That’s my way of saying it’s different and that is okay. Everyone has a unique voice, and everyone has something special to share with the world. The tweaking just comes in the way their story is being told. Some people have a way with words and some people do not but that does not necessarily mean that he or she is a bad writer; they just need someone to show them how to present their content in the best way that works for them.
In order of importance: Hair, Coffee, Fashion, Writing?
Oooo this is hard!!!! Ok. Coffee is definitely first because I need it to function. It fuels my brain power. I’d put hair and fashion together and put them second because I do take pride in feeling/looking my best…that’s a form of self-care for me and when I feel good, I perform at my best. And then writing because without inspiration from the first three, I wouldn’t be as inspired to work on my creativity as a writer.
What novelist influenced your writing?
Toni Morrison! I first read her books in my AP English class in high school and I was like “Wowww who is this woman?” (Of course, that was my favorite class, so I actually paid attention and did the reading when assigned haha!) I think she’s an incredibly gifted and thought- provoking writer. Her themes, verbiage, and writing structure are unmatched. She makes her readers think and I love the way she traces bits of history in her books. She inspires me to stay true to myself while still evoking elements of relevance in my content.
How do you define your success?
Accomplishing things, I once perceived to be impossible or unachievable. For me this especially relates to being a black millennial woman…who was raised in south central. With a not so privileged financial status….and with my father not always being present in my life. Unfortunately, in our world, all of those things scream “statistic” and not going very far in life. My definition of success is being able (through personal milestones, etc.) to prove that all of those stereotypes are wrong.
What is one resource our viewers can tap into today toget them started in your field of writing and consulting?
I’d definitely have to give major props to YouTube on this one. There are so many good resources out there, but I’ve found (especially during quarantine) that YouTube has been at the top of my list. On YouTube, there is literally a knowledgeable and life-changing professional who has amazing content for ANYTHING you need, and everything is quickly accessible. Also, if you’re not able to invest in a consultant or coach, YouTube is a good place to start as the majority of the content is free. I’ve been able to perfect my craft and creativity through constantly feeding my spirit with coaching and inspirational content for entrepreneurs, and I’ve also gained financial insight pertinent to contracts, pricing, and owning a business in general. One channel I really want to highlight in particular is Tony Gaskins. He is a great life coach with amazing resources and he also gives free nuggets on a weekly basis in his “Small Business Saturday” videos. I also want to add in a bonus resource that has provided me with so many gems as an entrepreneur: Teachable.com. I’ve attended a few online webinars there that were led by a variety of insightful experts, and some of them were free! I’d highly recommend.
The Hustle don’t stop, it’s just beginning.
Donovan Jackson is the gifted hands of handcrafted leather goods. His Atlanta-based company, Smith and Lee Handmade, has posh leathers prized from exotic species including, the Mississippiensis alligator, the South African ostrich, Southeast Asian python, and shagreen from the great depths of the sea. He has made luxury more affordable by creating a business that takes purchased tanned leather, recycled major fashion designer bags such as Prada and Hermes, and transforms them into newly designed, authentic and original high fashion item. Established in 2015, Donovan’s product line has grown to consist of wallets, passport holders, watch straps, luggage tags, leather bracelets, key chains and fobs, lighter sleeves, and phone cases customizable by color, threading, engraving and most importantly, quality leather. A master tanner, product authenticator and leatherworker, he is not new to the game – Donovan has made hustle into a luxury (or is it luxury into a hustle).
Don, how do you define hustle and how has it changed over time?
I define hustle as a particular set of initiatives that generate financial rewards tailored to the goals of the individual who initiated the hustle.
Who is Smith and Lee Handmade?
Smith and Lee is named after my parents. Smith is my mother’s maiden name and Lee is my father’s middle name. I wasn’t the easiest person to raise, so naming the business after them is my way of thanking them for their amazing efforts.
How did you discover that you wanted to make handmade luxury goods?
It was a hobby. I started off simply making leather wallets for myself in 2015. The wallets were horrible, but because they were for personal use only, I was happy as long as it could hold my cards and cash. In terms of luxury goods, the hobby simply snowballed into what it is today.
In a world that sees luxury goods as expensive and highclass, you’ve made it affordable and personable, what is your motivation?
The funny thing is, only the items on my website and Instagram are “affordable”. I have clients who are purchasing $1,000 alligator wallets. However, I know most people cannot comfortably afford those items, so I do not post them or promote them. Honestly, most people have a skewed understanding of a luxury good. For example, if you consider something handmade a luxury good, then a Louis Vuitton wallet is NOT a luxury good by definition. If you consider something expensive a luxury good, then anything out of your tax bracket is technically a luxury good and a “normal” good for anyone who can afford it with ease. People really forget this part.
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Custom made for “all the ladies in the place with style and grace!” No, seriously, the puffy hearts make great bag charms and additions to your keys. You pick the thread, edge paint and up to three initials, I’ll do the rest. SWIPE OVER to see how they look with the new hardware! Handmade by a true artisan... . . . . . #Custom #Bespoke #handmade #customleathergoods #bespokeleathergoods #bagaccessories #luxury #bagcharms #charms #luxuryhandbags #Artisan #art
Do you feel as if you are competing against established major fashion designer companies such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton- or starting your own market?
No, I’m not competing with them at all. There are over 300 million people in America, to date, I’ve had over 2,000 clients and over $200K in sales. That’s nothing in comparison to them. I’m literally a small fry. However, my method of creating my items is exactly modeled after Hermes. The ENTIRE process is done by hand.
NOT ONE MACHINE is used in the production of my work. Not many can appreciate that and those are typically the people that I do not want as clients. Lastly, with so many distractions, staying focused is tough, but I left my corporate job in 2019 as a Content Specialist. It paid quite well, however, I wanted to focus all of my efforts on my business. I truly believe in the fact that you only live once, and you should do all that you can for the best life you can live. Side note, if people knew how much plastic was used by these brands, they wouldn’t buy anything. The monogram canvas is plastic. I wish people knew this.
How do you define your success?
I don’t have a definition for success. I measure my life by happiness. If I’m not happy, then I’m not successful. For example, I’m now extremely financially well off and I can PROMISE YOU, the money makes living more comfortable, but it does not bring happiness. I felt more successful when I had less, but that’s an entirely different conversation, but it needs to be stated.
Do you have any influencers to your work?
Dapper Dan and Hermes.
What is one resource our viewers can tap into today to get them started in your field of hand crafting and building a business?
YouTube would be the best place for people to start if they’re interested in leather crafting. There are way more resources there than when I first started in 2015. However, it is a very difficult process. I can’t sugarcoat that. It’s extremely time consuming and took me two years to master the stitching alone.
Donovan Jackson is soon to release “Ready-to-Ship” items. These will be premade items in his store that will ship next business day, hand stitched with initials personable to the customer. Be on the lookout for his 25% off Black Friday sale and 10% off until Christmas. You can connect with Smith & Lee Handmade for purchase and inquires on his IG account at @SmithLeeHandmade and website www.smithandleehandmade.com
The Hustle don’t stop, it’s just beginning.
Nate Henry has perfected the art form of hustling life, instead of letting life hustle him. At 22 years old, spitting a mainstream flow, Nate renewed himself after serving time in jail. Leaving behind years in the mainstream music industry, he now serves his life’s purpose to “inspire people spiritually and musically to live a life full of abundance.” Formerly known as Mehlek Pfisha in the rap game, he rebranded himself in 2018 as Kenny Knoxville when he decided to develop his hustle from Christian rapper to producer. To date, he has put out 2 albums, 1 EP, 3 singles, and interviewed on WNSB Hot 91.1 radio station. Although the studio is home to his creative space, Nate’s hustle carries on. Husband, father of 3 beautiful girls, military vet, engineer apprentice at the VA shipyard, degree candidate for electrical engineering, fitness guru, public speaker, civil rights activist and former leader of a jail youth ministry- Nate has transformed the concept of hustle into a lifestyle.
Nate, how do you define hustle, and how has it changed over time?
I used to think hustling was runnin’ the streets, movin’ packs, nickelin’ and dimin’, trying to go from a nick to a brick. But my definition changed after I went to jail for the third time. At its core, hustling, is all about leveling up. It’s that hunger for success and the determination to pile over any obstacle that stands in your way. I don’t care whether you’re hustling on the basketball court, in school, your job, or in the gym; hustling is never giving up till you achieve victory.
The levels of Kenny Knoxville can be appreciated from his first original Christian rap in 2007 “Christaholic”
What were some of your biggest roadblocks, and how did you overcome them?
Between being raised by a military father, and enlisting in the military myself, I don’t spend a lot of time being scared of roadblocks. I just do the best I can to pile over it. For example, when I started in the shipbuilding industry, I was recommended by my foreman to apply for a program called ASchool that allowed me to work part-time, and go to school part-time, but get paid full-time. I applied the same day he told me about it, only to get rejected. I proceeded to get my technology degree but still wanted a full engineering degree, so I applied again for Aschool. Four applications later, I was finally accepted as an apprentice. So, by sheer determination, I was granted access to arguably the most prestigious apprentice school in the country and I am an engineer in the shipbuilding industry.
How did you know you wanted to be a Christian rapper versus a Christian who raps?
I’ve actually worn both hats in my career. I wanted to be a Christian rapper to oppose the world that I grew up in. Over time and with a lot of studying, I wanted to call myself a Christian who raps to oppose the church that I would later learn in. At the end of the day, it’s not about the order of the two titles. To me they’re inseparable, and together they ultimately define what I do: inspire people spiritually and musically to live a life full of abundance.
What allows you to stay grounded in your career path?
Prayer, exercise, and music.
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🚨 New Music Available Aug. 21🚨 Phenomenon boasts about the only Phenomenon that matters: The dispute over the life, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. No matter what the skeptics say, one thing remains true: The Gospel of the only begotten Son of God is real and the truth should never be silenced!! Hit the link in bio to follow us on Spotify. Preorders on your favorite streaming platform start July 21st. Beats by @trapbyjack Mixed and Mastered by @rigz_carrington Cover Art by @gavtrak7 Fonts by @iconnick1 #Phenomenon #PhenomenonChallenge #KennyKnoxville #NewMusic #Christ #JesusChrist #ChristSaves #CHH #christianrap #christianrapper https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/kennyknoxville/phenomenon
How do you define your success?
Success to me is two-fold. The bigger picture of success is building an empire and giving your kids everything they need to explore their hobbies, their talents and gifts. Of course, being your own boss and taking vacations whenever you want, are great elements of the bigger definition.
I think there are also, smaller successes, and without them, there would be no way to truly appreciate the bigger success. The smaller success is enjoying the journey and the fight to the top and having peace along the way. That doesn’t mean false bliss, or never getting frustrated with failure, because no true success can come without failure. The smaller success is every time you level up. Every time you achieve something you pushed for.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
If I knew I could marry the same woman, and have the same children, it would be- stop skipping school and sleeping in class and perfect the art of studying. Also, to stop smoking weed, chasing women, and save yourself for marriage.
What is one resource our viewers can tap into today to get them started in your field?
Each person should find it in their own self to exploit their own gift and talents to achieve the success that they want. I am an open book and will give whatever knowledge I have literally, but we live in a great country.
In America, you can get a business license and turn your hobbies into a tax write-off. You don’t even have to make any money, but every dollar you spend doing what you love is tax deductible, and that means anyone can get paid to do what they love.
However, if I had to reduce it to one source, I would say the only source a person needs is God.
New Single “Phenomenon” Available August 21st. Pre-Order your copy today on your favorite streaming platform.
The Hustle don’t stop, it’s just beginning.