I feel you


There I was in Old Navy and a woman was on line completely embarrassed. Her toddler was having a crisis about a Spiderman toy conveniently placed on the end cap near the registers.  As a former retail slave I can appreciate how the strategic placement of add-on/upsell items can help your total sales for the day. However, it’s a parent’s worst nightmare! This kid was rolling all over the floor, he was emitting blood curdling screams,  and he was bright red. Dear distressed mom…I feel you. 

I used to hate people who parked their cars all the way in the back of a corporate parking lot.  It’s indirectly arrogant.  First, you’re implying your car is way too nice to be parked next to my Kia. Second,  why aren’t you trying to park closest to the entrance like the rest of us? Are you in need of additional exercise?  Are you not running late like I am? Now I kind of feel like I want to be segregated from the mundane reality of parking in my appointed stable! I want to come to work early so I can afford those few minutes to walk from the car in the back of the lot to the entrance door. So Mr Mercedes Benz… I feel you.  
Did you know that negativity is contagious? It might be time to realize that although you Clorox wipe your car interior, office and you hand sanitize after touching the gas pump, you still have to build an immunity to other things. Your mental health is important!  Your attitude determines your potential. Have you noticed the villain in almost every film is trying to steal “super powers”? Don’t give away your God given power. You are loving.. you are good…you are selfless and you are powerful!  Once you let someone else influence your good intentions,  you sacrifice your power. What does power give you? Strength.  Without strength you are weak. When your immune system is weak what can happen?  Dear Paranoia…I feel you.

I squeeze my toothpaste from the bottom of the tube. I didn’t always do that. It aesthetically looks better but that isn’t why I do it. It reminds me to get everything I can out of my resources and tools (i.e: education, employment etc.) I dry clean valuables.  A lot of things are about presentation. What is toothpaste for? Preserving your smile, your brand, and your health. Dear Colgate…I feel you.

We grow and change every day and that’s okay. Embrace who you are becoming and allow others to slowly have the time to adapt to the new you. Pray for those you can’t reach with words and hope that you can affect them through action or example.

Is there something you used to hate that you can now relate to? I’d love your feedback.  Leave a comment or tweet me @shutyamouthnow.


Black Mote Inc – Interview with Todd Hinds


I have a secret…

I love clothes! In fact, I love “stuff” period. If the item is marketed efficiently,  I’m all over it! Most people don’t know this about me because I don’t splurge on myself often and I only purchase what needs to be replaced.  Currently I’m looking for a “Mommy weekend sweatsuit”, a winter coat, and some boots. The thing is, I HATE to look like everyone else.  I go out of my way to be extremely unique or excessively simplistic.  So when I see a line that is classy and daring…I’m in!! Black Mote Inc is eye catching (not in that “What the _____does he have on?” kind of way.) Its clean and appropriate for just about whatever venue you are bold enough to wear it to. I had the privilege of interviewing the creator and picking the brain of a true “Diamond in the rough.”


SYMACMU: How would you like your clothing line to influence black culture?

I would like my clothing line to influence black culture by providing a product that is solely designed and manufactured by people of my culture. The designs are inspired and created to fit all walks of my culture. It dresses everyone from the hip-hop culture all the way to the trendy business man.


SYMACMU: Who is your target audience?

My target audience would be the trend setters. Whether it’s the fashion forward freshmen starting college or the fashionista blogger. I would say the age ranges from 18-40. In today’s world not everyone has the means to have multiple wardrobes. Their is a niche of customers who come from urban areas and can’t let go of certain looks. Casual has a standard in terms of colors, style, fit. By putting these two together you can now cater to more people not just solely one type of customer. It doesn’t limit anyone. Gives the buyer more of an option as well as trying new styles and feeling safe in their purchase.

SYMACMU: Was this a lifelong dream or a newfound passion?

This has been always a lifelong dream. I’ve been into fashion for a long time. Picking out my outfits from a young age to designing my own pieces. I always wanted to create fresh and unique ideas that people could wear and feel confident in.

SYMACMU: In terms of identity, individuality and clothing do you “judge a book by its cover?” Are you justified?

I would say that in my industry what you wear is like your walking resume. So yes, what you wear identifies you in ways that perhaps a librarian wouldn’t read into it but a stylist/fashionista would.

SYMACMU: In your opinion, what is a “Fashion Don‘t?”

A fashion don’t is putting on something that you don’t feel confident in. Once you put it on, “own” it! Another fashion don’t is putting down someone else’s sense of style because you don’t get it. Not everyone is going to be trendy and fashion forward, but the fact that they dared to be different and think outside of the box shouldn’t be looked down upon.

You can find more looks on Todd’s website: http://www.blackmoteinc.com

Like it? Love it? Indifferent? Leave a comment here or contact us on Twitter @shutyamouthnow

So Sorry


“Hey Daddy! What’s going on?” I couldn’t hide the excitement in my voice.  I love hearing from my dad.
“Pop’s gone to be with Jesus,”  he said matter of factly.

He never was one for small talk.

All I could think to myself was,  “Jesus who?  Like…THE Jesus? ! Wait-are you trying to romantically say he’s. ..”

I cried. Snot dripped out of my nose.   Broke down right there in the passenger seat of my car.  My partner was at the wheel silent.  He knew what happened from the one sided context clues. When I ended the conversation with my dad, he softly said ,”Babe, I’m so sorry.” I was too.

I was so sorry.

He was 92. Great life.  Proud man. Accomplished.  Veteran.  Disciplined.  I wasted so much time. I procrastinated so much. There were so many things I wanted him to be proud of.  When someone lives that long you have this false sense of mortality. You forget who is truly in charge. You forget your days are numbered.

He was tall, handsome and he only spoke if he had something profound to say. He would always talk about his “good looking family.” He taught us to take care of one another. He absolutely adored his wife!  It was deeper than love. It was what musicians sing about and what artists try to paint. It was what philosophers die trying to define.

I will miss trying to impress you and prove to you that I am as tough as my male cousins.  I will miss trying to help with the family business. I will miss your sweet smile…it was so genuine.  I know I couldn’t keep you here forever.  I know I took you for granted.

I am so sorry. ..
…I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I love you Papa Ben.

By: Shaun Nickens