There was an article that I wrote back in 2016 and it was one of my FAVORITES! It didn't make it to publication, but I thought it would be fun to share it with you here for Throwback Thursday! I pray that you enjoy the read.
Washington DC native, Apuje Kalu is making his mark in the world of fashion. He is a Fashion Stylist and the Creative Director of his own brand Apuje Kalu, and also works as the Senior Fashion Editor of 360 Magazine.
Somewhere between undergrad and him working as an IT Consultant his industrial engineering background and love for fashion collided. He says, “Like engineering, fashion is about shapes and how things flow together. Engineering helped me pragmatically. Having an analytic background alongside being creative really helps in how I style.”
In high school, Kalu and a few of his friends began their own t-shirt company and set themselves apart by designing customized appliqués, cuts, and lettering. As it pertains to styling in particular, Kalu shares, “I transitioned into doing test shoots for models after doing engagement and lifestyle shoots and [while] helping models build their portfolios, I was building my own.”
As a celebrity stylist, the nature of his work requires him to travel a great deal from one coast to the other; going between DC, New York, and L.A. (where he currently resides). Kalu’s portfolio is extensive; working with A- list clientele like Ne-yo, Sanaa Lathan, Eve, Jussie Smollett, Keke Palmer, Cedric the Entertainer, Cameron Monaghan and Regina Hall just to name a few.
Inquiring minds want to know, is fashion and style synonymous? Kalu believes, “Fashion and style are cousins but they are not brother and sister. They are similar but there are stark differences. I feel like if someone is stylish they have a point of view. If you have style than you understand fashion, but just because you know fashion and what’s trending does not mean that you understand what it means to be stylish.”
Practical Styling Apuje-isms
Know your body type
Update your signature pieces: trench coat, little black dress, 2 good pair of pumps (black and nude)
and don’t be afraid of color
A Trench coat
A Moto jacket
At least one good tailored suit and a nice watch
"When Ears Are Deaf To Words, Music Speaks"
I had the distinct pleasure to chat with Moriah Gabrielle, an Indie Pop artist in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. Moriah has made a name for herself as a singer/songwriter and has penned a few ballads and conscious melodies, for herself and other independent artists. Her most recent release is a song called "When Will We Matter" a lyric heavy track sung and performed by The Gaskill Girls. She has performed on stages big and small during her time in New York, where she worked on perfecting her craft, while in school at St. John's University and graduated last May. She is now back home, continuing to stretch herself to bring a new sound, and share a piece of her heart with the world. Moriah Gabrielle was kind enough to Spill the Tea about her likes and dislikes, music that stays in her rotation and what she enjoys about being an artist. It was truly a privilege to have her at Simply Ari Media Headquarters, and I think after you check out our conversation, you'll get to know her a little better as well.
SAM: What does your YouTube search say about you?
MG: I sing, so usually I am searching for song lyrics or karaoke versions of music. Also I love social experiments; I was a psychology major at St. John's University in Queens, New York. Sometimes I like looking a cooking videos, and beauty definitely, specifically skin care, self care and home décor videos.
SAM: Who is an artist that people wouldn't expect you to have on your playlist?
MG: I don't know if people would expect me to have Tupac on my playlist. Yeah, a lot of oldies and Christian artists, indie artists yeah, but I don't think they would know that I like rap on the low.
SAM: I like it. Tupac Shakur who knew!
SAM: Do you think that social media is overrated?
MG: Because I was born in this time, people would probably say that this is weird for me to say, but I do feel that it's overrated on the low. I love social media in the sense that I like connecting with other people. However, I don't like social media because I think it can also hinder connecting with people in real life. That being said, I like it as a tool or resource to connect with real people in real time, in real life. I don't like the hype of social media, and the push to be something that you're not or trying to gain followers who aren't really truly there for you, or friends who aren't really there for you. I have a very tight-knit group of people in my life, so I think to some extent I like it as a resource, but honestly, I think it can be quite tiresome and time consuming. But I use it for what I need to do [as an artist]
SAM: You mentioned that you watch makeup tutorials on YouTube in your free time, so do you have a favorite make up tip and have you tried it?
MG: That's a really good question. I don't know if this is a tip as much as it is a rule of thumb, but a good primer can just set your makeup right. It really can. Finding your type of skin whether it be combination, oily, or dry; a good primer that matches your skin type is really important just to add that finishing flawless vibe. Yeah, a good primer's it. And if nothing else, mascara and lip gloss is always a bet.
SAM: Ok. That's good insight.
SAM: How do you practice self-care?
MG: Oh in so many ways. I deep condition my hair, lighting a candle just for some me time, doing a facial, working out, and definitely writing music. Music for me is definitely therapy, so music 90% of the time. Being in prayer, any of those things.
SAM: Ok, proverbial question, for all the naturalistas out there, which one is better: Deep conditioning or a protein treatment?
MG: No, you can't ask that! They are two different things! Every naturalista is going to be on this page like "What is she about to say?!"
SAM: Ok, hahaha, let me rephrase the question: Which one do you enjoy more? I'll ask that.
MG: Well, this is deep because I really care about hair care. Deep conditioners are lit. You can do them every week. Please do them every week guys. Though, a protein treatment just gives you life! You can only do a protein treatment every 4 to 6 weeks. It's just that thought that you can only have it for once a month, and you get your hair poppin' , that one time, you have to choose [carefully] when that occasion's happening. The protein treatment is like, "Oh my gosh the curls are going to pop today." But deep conditioners are the underlying regimen so it's nice to have a deep conditioner but, protein treatments can take your curls to another level.
SAM: I like that answer. It was very detailed, hahaha
MG: Yeah that level of detail was necessary. I don't want the naturalistas coming for you or me either!
SAM: What is something that you'd love to do if money or fear were no object?
MG: Besides performing, because I love it and it also a fearful thing sometimes especially releasing your own music. A random thing that I would actually really like to do is to be a race car driver. I drive 35 mph on the daily, but in my heart of hearts, I would love to drive a Farrari, or a Porshe, or a Lamborghini, and drive like crazy fast on a track and open road. Similar to Fast and the Furious kind of stuff. But you know the whole thought process of … dying, hinders me from acting on it.
SAM: Wow ok, I would have never guessed that.
MG: I know right? You learn something new every day.
SAM: Yeah I guess you do.
SAM: You have a fashionable edgy style. What's your favorite accessory to wear?
MG: I love an eclectic earring. It's really simplistic. I don't need a very excessive earring. I want something that's a little different that can set the tone for the outfit.
SAM: And our last question, What is your idea of a perfect day?
MG: Wow we went through these fast! Not waking up before 10am, somewhere in that day there would be crab cakes and dumplings, quality time with family, being with friends, music obviously, prayer time, and doing an activity like a game night or going ice skating, and having good food.
SAM: I love that. Is there anything else that you want to share with the Simply Ari audience? Social Media handles? What you're working on? Any new projects to be on the look out for?
MG: Yeah! Actually, I am working on an EP right now. I am SUPER excited about it. I've been working on it for a while. And you can find me on Instagram and on Twitter. Thank you Simply Ari for having me.
Well, you heard it here first! Be on the look out for Moriah Gabrielle's EP coming soon, and please follow her on her social media platforms!
Moriah Gabrielle Handles:
"You are capable of more than you know."
In nature, emeralds are formed when three distinct elements: chromium, vanadium, and iron are found within a mineral called, beryl. Chromium is a "brittle, hard, transition metal." Vanadium is also "a hard, transition metal, yet it is malleable." And iron is "a metal that helps to shape a lot of the earth’s inner and outer core." Interestingly, the mineral in which these metals must be found to create such a rare and beautiful gemstone, beryl, is a combination of aluminum and oxygen. Aluminum is a metal that is able to repel corrosion through a process called, passivation which means, it is not affected by the environment. And oxygen, is the life-supporting element of the air.
Emeralds are tough, unique and complex, just like Emerald Millard, the creator and founder of Emerald City Boutique. By day, Millard works as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. She spends her time caring for children, helping them to regain their confidence and their strength. By night, she works on building her business as an online boutique owner where she has the opportunity to build the confidence of her clientele through fashion. Millard describes her personal style as a balance of cute, girly and comfortable. As a self-identified introvert, she typically shies away from drawing a lot of attention to herself, but as a recently married woman, she and her husband attend events more regularly, causing her to rethink her wardrobe and still find ways to stay true to her unique flair. Emerald’s brand message is, “Be Unapologetic About Being Authentically You.”
At Emerald City Boutique, customers can shop a variety of styles ranging from chic, statement, to every day pieces that are sure to be a great addition to any woman’s wardrobe. What sets this boutique apart from others is Emerald’s personal touch. On the website, there is a section called “Shop Emerald’s Closet.” This unique feature was inspired by the comments that Millard would receive on her social media pages from people who liked what she was wearing and wanted to know where to purchase the articles of clothing. Millard is not stingy about sharing and being a blessing to others. When asked why this was an important part of her brand, she responded, “If it’s not in my boutique, something I got from somewhere else and I feel like I’m not going to wear it again, why not resell it so that someone else can have it in their closet to enjoy.” It is that type of attitude that will help her go far in life and in business.
Social media is a marketing tool that can help launch businesses from one level to the next. As a young entrepreneur, Millard admittedly is a bit green. She mentioned, “owning this boutique has stretched me in the area of sharing more of myself and my life. I am learning and trying to increase my knowledge and strength in that area.” Rest assured, as she continues to work, learn, grow and expand her business, she has a support system that is helping her transition smoothly into the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries; namely, Tamara Hush Lee, founder and creator of the notable Hush Boutique. Emerald says that Lee not only serves as a style influence for her but also as a friend and style mentor.
Millard declared, “There are no rules in fashion.” In her new entrepreneurial pursuit, she is offering a fresh perspective, establishing herself as a strong voice, learning how to be flexible in her marketing approach, and how to remain unfazed by what society deems as trendy or not. Emerald desires to build a brand that celebrates every woman and aspires to have Emerald City Boutique be the central hub for all things beauty. She wants to promote positivity and a Christian message through her life, her professional work, through her business, and through her wardrobe. Exciting things are on the horizon for this gem! We are looking forward to seeing her shine.
To get connected with Emerald City Boutique just follow the yellow brick road to @loveemarldcity on Instagram or visit the website at www.loveemeraldcity.com
About Emeralds. https://www.fourmine.com/education/gemstone-education/emerald-gemstone/formation
“There is a difference between being loud to be heard and being loud with a purpose.”
Jocelynn Matthews. To know her is to love her. She is a dancer, choreographer, motivational speaker, a vlogger and identifies herself as a “God-made” mogul. She uses her sphere of influence to inspire and extend the love of Christ with others and expresses herself through dance and now through her writing. This five-foot powerhouse has authored her first independent work entitled, “Thickems and the Dance Floor: Overcoming the Negatives of Being a Plus-Sized Dancer”, now available on Amazon. This book was a labor of love. In 100 pages, readers will have the opportunity to walk with Jocelynn as she transparently shares her experiences of life, loss, and discovery and how dance became a welcomed friend and her means of creative expression during the most pivotal times in her life. In her own words she says, “This book is about how dance helped me overcome in life and offers life lessons that readers can relate to. I wrote it for anyone who has a desire to overcome stereotypes.”
Matthews has been dancing since the tender age of three. However, she says she fell in love with dance around the age of thirteen. There was a stint of time where she had to step away from dancing do to complications with asthma, but Jocelynn never missed a beat. At the age of sixteen, she came back stronger and began teaching and choreographing. Her dance journey has spanned from dancing with dance companies, to ministering through dance at different churches, and she had a desire to learn more. Matthews spent time independently nurturing her gift and studying her craft and learned different styles of dance like African, Modern, Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Gola. She now teaches with choreographer, LaMika Martin, director at Dynamic Moves Dance Studio in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
There is an unfair stigma that plagues the dance industry as it pertains to how dancers ought to look. Matthews said, “In the dance world, you often see women who are between a size zero to a size two, women who are fair in their complexion, and have long hair.” Jocelynn proudly says that she does not, nor does she desire to fit that mold. Her petite stature rocks a size fourteen, she has short hair and flexes her melanin with confidence and a smile. She says, “for me as a thicker girl, I feel like God gave me this body to transform, and shake and move atmospheres.” In 2017, she worked in conjunction with a few other women on a book compilation, in which she contributed a chapter about her experience with overcoming low self-esteem. Of that opportunity, she recalled the writing process being, “so therapeutic and so healing.” As she began to pen her thoughts, she shared that the enemy would try to distract her and bring up things from her past, but the more she wrote, the more her faith rose and she was reminded of her identity in Christ and began to remind the enemy of Who her God is. Matthews was inspired to write her own book, sharing her story and telling her truth.
In our society, the term “Plus Size” is having a major moment. When asked what it means to be a part of this larger conversation, now as author, Matthews replied, “growing up [ specifically from teen age years into adulthood], it seemed as though the perception of being “thick” was a bad thing. Thick is not sloppy, it’s not nasty. Everyone has their preference. Thick is beautiful. When I saw how society started embracing Ashley Graham, the plus-sized model and Akira Armstrong and her dance group, Pretty Big Movement, and began to see how it was affecting people’s attitudes in a more positive direction, I was amazed and inspired. To know that somebody understands how you feel and understands the backlash that comes with this, but still presses and pushes and grinds for what they want. When I saw more of that, I said, “Yes! We’re in there. Finally, now we have a voice.” Being a part of that community is what keeps her motivated.
Jocelynn’s desire is to love on others so that they can learn to love more on themselves. This is a lesson that she learned through the school of hard knocks. In the past, she had difficulty striking the balance between pleasing others and remaining true to herself. She mentioned that she, “always wanted to be a people pleaser.” The underlying pressure to give the appearance of having it all together is a weighty burden for anyone, but for Jocelynn it took a dark turn. The light at the end of her tunnel was the realization that “everyone cannot be pleased.” She profoundly said, “[by] Wearing the mask, you only hurt yourself. While the person you are trying to please is living his or her life, you are silently struggling with depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide because you tried to please someone else for a moment? Absolutely not.” That was the moment things began to turn in her favor. She chose to break up with the idea of perfection and found her voice and her freedom. Using dance as her outlet, she began to overcome. Now, she encourages others to love who you are, be transparent, so that you don’t have to hurt yourself at the end. That is the reason behind her passion. She went on to say, “It is a dark world, and that’s where we as creatives can come in and change it. You can change your atmosphere by your walk, your talk, your movement and your presence.” There is power in that.
Matthews discovered that the power that she possessed inside of her as a woman and as a dancer could change somebody’s life. She shared that at the age of twenty-six, people nicknamed her, “Powerhouse” not because she was loud and had a big personality, but because they saw something in her that they believed had enough power behind it to change the atmosphere. And because they believed in her so strongly, it gave her permission to believe it for herself.
She created a mission statement for herself and for her followers that says, “No one can be you, but you. Have the freedom to be you.” In her explanation of the quote she stated, “it means do not allow anyone make you feel bad about who God created you to be. There is nobody in the world that is you. There are plenty of destinies in the world, but there is one destiny that belongs to you [and only you can fulfill it.]
As an author and as a dancer, Matthews said, “If I could I would change the entire world, but to impact somebody, that one person, means everything to me.” She has learned that as you pursue the God-dreams in your heart, there is a process of humbling yourself and it definitely takes you somewhere. There is a yielding to the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit that takes place and an obedience that is required of you, to reach the people that He wants you to reach, not for your own glory but for His.
Her pastor shared with her this thought, “What you do has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with who is going to come across your path the more you walk this earth.” In a moment of clarity, Jocelynn concluded that that profound truth explained why we endured the pain and go through difficult seasons in our lives. The situation and our perseverance through it may have been the very thing that inspired someone else to keep going.
“You have the ability to impact. So WHY NOT?”
Through her life and her testimony, Jocelynn Matthews is inspiring us all to overcome out loud.
If you would like to get connected with Jocelynn, you can find her on Instagram @iamjocelynnmatthews and subscribe to her YouTube channel, I Am Jocelynn Matthews
"Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible."
Every now and again there are artists who come around that transcend a specific genre of music. It is those special artists who define the culture. They are not afraid to be unboxed and they welcome the process of creating a sound that is uniquely their own. These are the trailblazers. These are the sound makers who disrupt the society in which we live and cause listeners to think more deeply about what is going on in the world around them. They are catalysts for change.
There is a band coming out of the Washington DC Metropolitan area, who is getting ready to shake up the music industry in a profound and exciting way. Allow me to introduce to you in an exclusive interview, One More Block.
I had the distinct privilege to sit down with One More Block's band leader and drummer, Thomas Morris and its lead singer and one of its writers, Amanda Olsavsky Hu. We discussed a plethora of topics, but our focus was on the music they’re creating, the mission vision of the band and the creative approach they are taking to minister to the masses. One More Block Band was birthed out of a God-inspired dream given to Morris and a desire to stretch himself as a professional musician: stepping out on faith and trusting the Lord for the things he could not yet see. It was in his obedience that God began to provide the avenues and the people to bring this vision to life. As he obeyed, the Lord was faithful to supply.
In his own words Morris stated, “One More Block is a testimony of being close to where you want to be, but a lot of times people give up because they don’t really know how close they are. And the Lord is simply saying, “Just one more block.” Take one more step.” A lot of people quit right before they get [to where God is trying to take them] there.” For Hu, the name of the band was also significant. She shared that she had “given up on music” years prior and found herself discouraged because of people and lack of aligning visions. These things caused her to go through a “spiritual depression.” Hu mentioned that for her, music is interconnected with her faith walk. She found herself in a season where she no longer had the desire to do any music. It wasn’t until Morris reached out to her and explained the vision of this new project he was putting into the works that she dusted of off a dream that had become dormant. She said that, “it was like the Lord saying, “Amanda, I have one more block. Let’s do this again.”” For Hu, there has been “a revitalization musically and spiritually because the opportunity to be a part of One More Block.”
This group consists of eleven (11) members which include singers and an arranger along with a host of instrumentalists ranging from drums to a fiddle. Morris said, “It’s a big team, but everyone is working together.” When asked to describe the band’s sound, Morris and Hu chuckled to themselves because the sound is as eclectic as the band itself. Hu stated that the band is “still trying to figure it out. It really is a hybrid. Because we have so many different experiences, and the background music is so diverse as a collective, we are defining our own space.” They are part alternative, part rock, part country, part blue grass, with some Christian Contemporary Music (CCM) sprinkled into the mix. One More Block is redefining music with an undefined sound.
The band’s first single, “He Lives in Me” had been stirring around in Morris’ spirit for approximately two years before he released the idea to anyone else. Hu divulged that he sent a rough cut of the track to her in a voice memo and then another member of the band transposed what Morris originally had and sent it back to her to write the lyrics to. Her vocal background is in Southern Gospel and Bluegrass. She shared that in the process of creating the story around the track, she “had this memory of her great grandmother on her death bed singing hymns.” She went on to say, “the first line [of “He Lives in Me”] is “The old hymns say “My Savior’s alive!” Literally, each section is based on a hymn that I remember singing growing up.”
The creative process for the members of One More Block Band stems from faith, their individual experiences and is backed by the Word of God. Hu said when writing, “I didn’t want to just write things on a page and throw it out there. I wanted to believe what I was writing. I didn’t want it to just rhyme. I wanted it to be truth.” This is their winning combination.
The endeavor has not been an easy lift for them to carry, but Morris has been reminded that “to do this takes faith.” He said, “I don’t have it all, but the Lord is providing. The problem is that a lot of times the Lord will give you a vision, but all you see is what you don’t have… He sees what He’s going to do. Once you understand that, you can get more things done.”
It’s admirable that as their most recent song is continuing to gain traction across various platforms, they are already working on sharing others with their growing audience on a full-length album prayerfully in the Spring. One song that they seem to be excited about releasing is entitled “More.” Morris explained that “We are at a place where there is a lot of turmoil going on. There is a lot of senseless killing and crime. In this time there is a lot of fear. Everyone is operating in fear and in defense, which is understandable, but no one is asking for more of the Lord. I want this song to help people understand that we need to ask for more of Him. We need Him more than ever!”
We will definitely be on the lookout for that!
This moment for One More Block Band is described as “big.” For Morris it’s because he’s been able to see “how relationships come together.” Friendships that have spanned over a number of years are coming back around for such a time as this. Hu said this moment serves as a reminder that “God is not defined by timelines.”
The overarching theme of our interview was that if arriving to a place is our sole purpose for moving in a direction, we can miss all of the beautiful things that God desires to show us on the way to the destination.
One More Block is, "ready to be known to the world" and they are learning to enjoy the journey along the way.
Be sure to follow One More Block on the following Social Media platforms:
And Don't forget to purchase their song, "He Lives In Me" available everywhere music is sold!
To know Craig is to know a man with great depth. His passion for the Lord and his continual pursuit of Him, inspires those around him. He walks out his faith daily and exhibits a posture of humility; which makes him approachable, likable, and authentic.
Now, Craig has penned a project that is sure to the world a glimpse of his soul. In his new book, Ps & Qs: The Journey to Becoming Prime Quality. Hines shares deep insights, inspired by his late grandfather, Thomas Alton Glover Jr. and pulls from places in his life that are real and relatable.
My hope is that as you read through our interview together and hear the sentiments of some of those closest to him, you will get to know this emerging author a little better.
"Humility is not hiding, but it's using what God gave you for His glory and trusting it. To be courageous enough to move on it, and trust Him with the rest."
SAM: What was the inspiration for Ps & Qs: Journey to Becoming Prime Quality?
Craig: God being the push behind it, the inspiration, just Him ordering my steps mentally and from a spiritual sense. In a natural sense, definitely my grandfather. All my life, he [my grandfather] told me Ps and Qs. That was like his "I love you", but to him, that meant "mind your manners, be on your best behavior and do the right thing." It [surely] means those same things today, but just growing and maturing, it expanded in definition. He was my father-figure, predominantly for my entire life, so when he passed it was rough, but I never knew that that phrase [Ps & Qs] would be echoed in my heart forever.
SAM: What does Prime Quality mean to you?
Craig: To me, "Prime Quality" means when you reach a point where you realize that you never stop becoming your greatest self. I don't believe that there are any peaks in God. The higher you go in Him, the better you are in your life. So, if God is infinite, than so is your potential, so is your ability, so is your love, so is your greatness, so is the glory that He'll bring through you. Prime Quality is the best state that you can possibly reach. You reach your greatest self when you realize you never stop becoming it.
SAM: For whom was this book written?
Craig: [giggling] It's dedicated to my grandfather. But really, it was me being obedient to God. It was Him leading me to do it; without necessarily knowing the destination, [it was important for me to] just write, just express, just speak, pray-- release. The clarity came more through it as it got closer to its last page being completed. I want hearts to absorb what God said through me, but it was also for myself.
SAM: Would you say that this process was cathartic for you?
Craig: I would say yes. My grandfather passed my senior year of college. I think of him everyday, but through [my] maturing, it moved from grieving to glory. I had to grieve first, because that made the glory more powerful. It was rough, Lord knows His grace has been with me through every phase of it, so it has been well worth it, truly.
SAM: Why was it important for a book like this to be written now?
Craig: I work at Bishop McNamara High School [our alma mater, C/O 2009] and I am afforded the opportunity, privilege and blessing to teach 9th grade [Freshman Seminar]. With everything I've received from that school, I count it a blessing every day to try to sow back into it. I find myself telling my students and their parents, "would you want your senior year self to thank your freshman year self?" You want to work in such a way now, that your older self thanks you. So you asked why was this is important now? [It's] because the Ps and Qs are going to always be with me; I know that as a 26-year-old now, it will mean more when I'm 30. It will mean more when I'm 35 and so on. This was so necessary because [of ] the peace that was attached to it. [It] just lets me know where I am, in alignment with His will.
SAM: What do you hope as the author for readers to take away from Ps & Qs?
Craig: I believe that God sets things up in a way where He'll bring you to something at the right time. He allows for your circumstances to be tailored to you. So I believe that [for] the readers wherever they are in life, it will speak to that place. I want them to get this: I want them to believe in themselves. "Don't condemn yourself for where you are in your life, because every single season is contributing that better you. All of the trials and the triumphs. Respect your process and [learn to] appreciate your pain. Embrace those moments and hold God's hand through it all because often times we have no idea what He's stirring up inside of us. "
Believe in the unknown and let your faith serve you in that place.
SAM: What have you learned since writing the book?
Craig: I've learned that I am never going to stop learning. I've learned to understand that perfection should not be my goal. Not perfection, but progression. I've also learned to write and speak even if it doesn't sound correct to me at that time. Though it may not sound correct to you, you don't know how it [your perspective] may resonate with somebody else. And I've learned not to write for perfection; but to do it authentically.
SAM: What series of events brought you to this point; wanting to share your story in this way?
Craig: What led to all of this was my grandfather's passing and just the role that he served in my life as a young man, all the way up to me as an adult and just the love and the upbringing [that] had always [been] sowed into me. I wanted to trust my gift. I guess this is my first attempt to sow a seed into the world: to teach that humility is not hiding, but it's using what God gave you for His glory and trusting it. To be courageous enough to move on it, and trust Him with the rest.
SAM: If you could describe this moment or title this chapter of your life, what would it be?
Craig: "Lost in Gratefulness"
"This whole time I thought I'd been teaching him, but he's been teaching me. Craig's got such a mature soul. Sometimes he just inspires you to want more, to do more and bite the bullet and take life as it is. He's inspired me in so many different ways. He's motivation and I can't wait to see him grow even more."
- Remington Culver
"Craig is different. The way his carries himself, the way that he talks to people: he always has something nice to say about people, he's always there for everybody. You don't see that a lot these days and it's good to see that from this special young brother."
- Danny "Sleepy" Thompson
"Craig has been an influence to my spirit."
- Janay Boughton
"Craig's humility inspires me. He's by far the most humble person I have ever met."
- Jasmine Duke
"Congratulations on a job well done. You have done impeccable work. I'm so proud of you. I'm always here to support you in every endeavor. I want you to remember the next charge that I gave you, which is "three by thirty."--I want to be calling him Dr. Hines"
- Lesia Banks
7/11/2016 0 Comments