Survivor/Natural Entrepreneur/New Yorker/Brave Man/Considerate
I grew up in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn on Greene Avenue between Bedford and Nostrand. My life has been full of magic and struggle. I was kicked out at the age of 7 and was forced to wander the streets of Brooklyn. This forced me to be creative and mature at an extremely early age. I had to resort to my imagination as the number one tool to keep me alive. I went from sleeping in abandoned buildings to eating out of garbage cans and sleeping outside in the cold with a t-shirt and jeans.
While I was shivering sleeping on the local G train riding from train to train killing time, I sat there wondering why was I going through this, and I couldn’t get a answer. I would frequent Times Square since that’s where the most people were, so the chances of finding scraps or being offered food was very high.
Not only was my financial security pretty much non-existent, but my schooling was kind of a joke. Through my struggles and the need to mature at a rapid rate, I had a sincere understanding of how life worked and the purpose of it. Unfortunately, what we were being taught had nothing to do with life or how to endure it. As a result, I would always get into debates with teachers in elementary school and was kicked out too many times to count for unexpressed emotion, turned fighting.
When I reached the 5th grade entering summer school, I really wanted to do this swimming program for the summer because it was my passion. I left school and never returned. I followed my heart and went swimming and it was the greatest decision I ever made in my life. Even though I would still suffer, I didn’t mind because the suffering I endured was necessary for me to escape mediocrity.
I was an outlaw, living over the rules of society and I soon discovered there weren’t many people like me; especially those that shared a broad vision of being something in the world. I learned the traditions of society were so powerful that, everyone who I thought loved me, turned their back on me because I didn’t go to school. I felt deeply crushed and this was the first time I experienced a heartbreak. I resorted to emerging myself into the streets. I sold drugs and became violent as a means to protect myself.
Combined that with my passion for strength and fighting, I thought I had become very powerful. But it was just a sad cry, mostly just for help. I went to jail and was charged with criminal possession of a weapon. I served a few months and turned 18 in jail. A few years after that, I truly needed and wanted to be my natural self. I went to jail for possessing drugs in upstate New York. And it was exactly what I needed to break free from my own cycle. I served a year and few months, but I promised myself I would come out completely as my true self instead of holding onto this persona as a defense mechanism. I no longer wanted to survive, I wanted to thrive.
With all of this time on my hands, I started to slowly discover my value and what I was meant to be in the world. Wherever I went, I made people feel through my words. People felt good hearing my words and story, and right there I knew what I wanted to do… I wanted to inspire the world and be in a position of natural power. I discovered my role as a savior of humanity; bringing light to the world. Simply put, my dream was to be myself and change the world by being just that…myself.
Once I was out, I released all of the deeply hidden pain and shame that I suppressed for years. I continued my education and shared my life story in a series of public speaking exercises that together allowed me to free myself. Even though I was nothing on paper, in spirit I was worth something.
I was finally free both in mind, body, and soul, I committed to following my heart and pursuing all of my dreams of running the world and making a difference by building my Shante Oils brand. I constantly tell people, “Don’t let fear keep you in poverty”. I followed my heart by doing exactly what I felt I should and could do. My passion for making products allowed me to fully create a purpose for myself by being in service not only to myself, but for the world. Shante Oils allowed me to create something that the world needed and I needed to keep it that way. Shante Oils is my business and it is also an example of my bravery.
I create my products based on the ingredients I know are the most beneficial for the health of my buyers. Everything is all natural. And it takes a lot of consideration, skill and time to keep it natural. Everything I’ve been through has been shaped, molded, and funneled into these oils. This is how I forgive myself and past because I am creating a product that will make others feel good.
I’ve encountered numerous losses with my business and in those moments is when I have my brightest ideas. I’ve lost a lot of people along the way. A lot of people lied to me and didn’t help me promote or push my business. At the end of the day, I learned that those kind of people never prosper and I will if I keep going. I will never give up nor will I ever give up on the impact that my product line will have for men and women across the world.
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