Again, thanks to everyone for playing a part in the growth of Concrete Cakes over the past year. In 2013, we’ll continue bringing you great content in hopes that it’ll offer guidance and inspiration as you pursue your goals. Below is part two of our top 20 highlights of 2012, where we show you the final 10. Again, this list wasn’t intended to be a “best of” feature, more so a highlight reel that gives you the best idea of what Concrete Cakes is all about. Expect even more in 2013. Happy New Year everybody!
10. My Clique (T’s vs. Tanks, The Coalition, Peace N Philly)
One of the most important ideals an entrepreneur must have is the ideal of collective progress. The concept is simple. As individuals our progress is shaped by our physical limits but as a group, those limits don’t exist. In 2012, we saw unity amongst the young community of artists and entrepreneurs and the results were quite impressive. Concrete Cakes was blessed to be able to document some of these events.
BEYOND THE BASICS: THE SUCCESS OF TEES VS TANKS
- Curran Swint of the clothing brand, Kings Rule Together (KRT) came up with the idea to host of charity basketball tournament for which he would bring together all the local clothing brands to serve as teams.
- A few things happened as a result:
- Great marketing exposure for the local brands
- Dozens of kids were given school supplies
- The community saw Black youths doing something positive
- See the full feature and recap video here: http://www.concretecakes.com/krt-tees-vs-tanks-basketball/
THE COALITION: OFFICIAL RECAP
- Five of the city’s most notable brands in terms of fashion and music (Chill Moody, Abstract Thought, KRT, Beano, Villa) came together “like voltron” to form a collective for the purpose of hosting quality events and community service programs.
- There first event was a talent showcase held at the legendary Sigma Soundstage and Concrete Cakes was there to catch the action
- See the full feature and video here: http://www.concretecakes.com/the-coalition-sigma-sound/
UNDER THE INFLUENCE: PEACE N PHILLY EXTRAVAGANZA
- Nehemiah Davis, the head of NEO DAVISO and PEACE N PHILLY decided to host an extravagant back-to-school event in Malcolm X Park in West Philly that would include everything from face painting and pony rides to free food and free haircuts and braids.
- Several hundred people descended onto the park which meant that Nehemiah need to have as many hands on deck as possible.
- Concrete Cakes covered the event but also noted the power of influence, an essential quality of leadership.
- See the full feature and video here: http://www.concretecakes.com/peace-n-philly/
9. BUSINESS VS RELATIONSHIPS (by Kathryn Epps)
To build anything of value, you have to start with a solid foundation. Just as important as your savings or network, is your emotional support system. When (not if) situations occur that cause you to second guess your pursuits, you’re going to need that special someone to be in your corner. So it’s vital to maintain those relationships while taking care of business. Kathryn Epps is a business owner and fiance’ who knows how to balance the two roles. In Kathryn’s article, Business Vs Relationships, she gives advice on how to do the same.
Read the article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/business-v-relationships/
8. THREE WAYS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Once you’ve planted the seeds of your business, you’ll have to grow it or else it will wither. Rayce Rollins, accountant and contributing writer, discusses the only three fundamental ways to grow your business in terms of actual customer acquisition. This is easily one of the most practical posts we’ve published and one that I refer to often when making business decisions.
Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/three-ways-to-grow-your-business/
7. POETIC JUSTICE (VOICES IN POWER)
This year, we saw the emergence of a young group of poets who popularized the phrase, “We are only heard, if we speak” with the goal of encouraging everyone to use their voice as a means to elicit the power of influence. The group’s founder Luis Marrero along with standout poets, Kyron Hickman and Dulcinel Nunez were gracious enough to let us join them in their creative process. The result was a series of videos that demonstrate the group’s lyrical prowess and charisma. Easily one of our fan-favorite group of features.
VOICES IN POWER: KYRON HICKMAN
THE BADDEST B*TCH: DULCINEL NUNEZ (VOICES IN POWER)
VOICES IN POWER: LUIS MARRERO
6. PARTY TIME (THE ENTREE SERIES & N.B.A JAM)
As I mentioned earlier, throwing events has become an effective way to grow your brand because of the personal interaction and more control of ROI. In 2012, Concrete Cakes took its first steps into the arena of event planning and to our elation, our efforts were well received. Our first event series called, Entree was a collaboration with the consultant firm, Common Ground Management (CGM) in which we re-created the dinner-and-a-movie date night. We showcased independent films, had each event catered by a different local restaurant and provided a platform for local businesses to have face-to-face interaction with potential customers. The second event we produced was more of a stress reliever from the everyday grind; a 90‘s party called N.B.A Jam (No. Bulsh*t. Allowed). But in true Concrete Cakes fashion, we decided to include a DJ showcase, where three DJ’s put on their best 10 minute sets. DJ AyeBoogie, Phamous DJ, and DJ Heat along with house DJ R to DA IZZA kept the party completely free from BS. Both events were very instrumental in the growth of Concrete Cakes.
CLICK THE LINK FOR EVENT PHOTOS: http://www.concretecakes.com/concrete-cakes-events/
5. FOOD FOR THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS (by Dom London)
In the haze of late nights and early mornings, in pursuit of our dreams, we often neglect the very things that allow us to function in the first place; our minds and bodies. Both of which, have ties to what we put into our bodies. African Americans specifically have to be even more mindful of what we eat based on our unique biological make up. Essentially, if you have a high-performance vehicle, you can’t put regular gas in it for long without having to make a few trips to the shop. Although a newcomer to the Concrete Cakes team, Dom London’s article on nutrition for the noire is one of the most important editorials we’ve posted this year.
Click the link for the full article: http://www.concretecakes.com/food-for-thoughts-and-actions/
4. THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER (KIERAN LOFTUS, NIK C, RICKY CODIO)
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say sacrifice and hard work are too. As a photographer, you not only have to have a great eye for beauty, but you also must have a whatever-it-takes mentality given the nature of your craft. In 2012 we saw Nik C endure freezing cold weather while trekking through the woods to create her vision. We also spoke with Ricky Codio and found out that he spent countless hours learning his craft and building his brand one event at a time to now having photography be his sole income. And in the most eye-opening experience with the site, we saw Kieran Loftus risk his safety searching for beauty in the ugliness of Philly’s most plighted areas.
CRAZY TALENTED: NIK C PHOTOGRAPHY (video)
SIMPLY EXQUISITE: RICKY CODIO PHOTOGRAPHY
A LIFE IN THE DAY: KIERAN PHOTOGRAPHY (video)
3. MY 2 CENTS
I read a lot; mostly about human behavior, history and business, of course. And every now and then, I’ll write something that I feel needs to be read because of it’s importance to the pursuit.
LAW 10 – INFECTION: AVOID THE UNLUCKY (BUT WHAT ABOUT MY FRIENDS?)
- This post draws from Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. For law 10, Greene discusses the importance of avoiding the unhappy and unlucky as they will undoubtedly spread their misfortune to you. However, Greene didn’t account for the circumstance in which the unlucky party is a friend or family member. In this article I talk about how to tell if the person’s misfortune is by chance or self-inflicted.
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/law-10-avoid-the-unlucky/
HOW TO AVOID THE SIDE-HUSTLE TRAP
- This post is simple. There’s a big difference between an entrepreneurial pursuit and a side-hustle. One has the potential to generate wealth and the other is just something to put a little extra money in your pocket. Some of us talk about being entrepreneurs but sometimes our actions demonstrate that we’re only concerned with making a few extra bucks. To take a sincere step into the world of entrepreneurship, some things have to be done.
- Read the full article here: http://www.concretecakes.com/how-to-avoid-the-side-hustle-trap/
2. THE LEGEND OF IVBEN TAQIY
I believe that our strongest motivator comes from the desire to achieve self-actualization. More than money and more than fame, the desire to realize our potential and to be truly happy is what drives us the most. When I met with visual artist, Ivben Taqiy, we talked at length about his desire to be “legendary” which is a term used in relation to the concept of self-actualization. It’s not a word I hear often when interviewing people. But if we are truly motivated by achieving self-actualization, why aren’t more people using words like, “legendary” to describe their goals? I think it’s because we’re consumed with the lower levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, preventing us from focusing on the top. What makes Ivben Taqiy’s story so special is that not only does he talk about being a legend, but every move he makes follows suit.
FINDING FOREVER: THE LEGEND OF IVBEN TAQIY
IVBEN TAQIY PRESENTS: ART JAM (RECAP)
1. RE-MODELED EXPECTATIONS: THE STORY OF MATTHEW FERRARINI
Matthew Ferrarini is the owner of Ferrarini Kitchens and Baths, a highly successful family-run home remodeling company. What makes Matthew’s story so special is that it is a true microcosm of everything Concrete Cakes represents. It’s not your cliche story of triumph over adversity (although these elements are present) but a realistic look at entrepreneurship in its purest form. Matthew had some very fortunate circumstances and some very unfortunate circumstances, of which he had to maneuver around. He worked hard, he worked smart and he was creative. Matthew maintained a student mentality while developing into a leader. Most importantly, Matthew took his pursuits seriously and exceeded expectations. This is a must read.
That’s all folks!
HAPPY NEW YEAR AND KEEP GRINDING IN 2013!
If you like what you see, LIKE us on Facebook.
If you want to see more, FOLLOW us on Twitter.
(Posted by Garron Gibbs)