Spelman Students Uses Streetwear Brand to Highlight HBCU Artistry
Photo From: Summer Soleil;
By: Kaitlyn Whitner
To fully embrace black history month this year, it would be crazy not to highlight the black creators and entrepreneurs within our very own backyard. These AUC students have gone above and beyond to accomplish their goals and break boundaries by doing things that haven’t been seen before, so as we celebrate black history month, we also want to celebrate their accomplishments of ensuring black excellence goes beyond our generations. Today our focus is one Summer Clemons, a Junior at Spelman College from Atlanta, GA.
Her Business, SOLEILBYSC, is a streetwear-based clothing line focused on creating HBCU merchandise for students to represent their schools differently than we usually see in HBCU merch. Her brand targets and attracts an audience of men, women, and children ages 15 and up, HBCU students, grads, and potential students who want to show off their HBCU pride. I had the opportunity to interview Summer to learn more about the purpose and journey behind her clothing line.
What is your business at its core/root? What inspired this endeavor?
My business, SOLEILBYSC, purpose is to highlight the unique artistry found in students and the culture of HBCUs in the United States. This journey came about through a natural love for sewing and making clothes since I was younger.
Why is it essential to support and celebrate black businesses?
It is essential to support and celebrate black businesses because they are crucial to the stability of our economy by creating jobs and wealth in our most vulnerable communities and providing unique goods and services for all customers.
What has the process been like for growing your business? Have you had any setbacks, and how did you overcome them?
The process of growing my business has definitely been a journey. I understand why people say being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job. My business has gone through many different stages; at first, I did see success, but there was a time when I thought of stopping due to months of very few to almost no orders for weeks. But one thing that significantly helps your business grow is social media. All it takes is one viral video to change the trajectory of your business.
Do you have any words for other potential black creators/entrepreneurs?
MARKETING. MANIFEST. MAINTAIN.
Those three words are the best advice I could give to any black creators/entrepreneurs. Marketing plays a massive part in your business’s success. You can sell anything as long as your marketing is excellent. Once you perfect how to market your products to your target audience, you will see growth in your business. I believe the mind is a very powerful tool, so manifesting your goals just makes the most sense. Plan out your goals for your business for the month, six months, and a year. Make sure to re-read or say them to help keep yourself focused on your goals. Lastly, maintain a positive mindset about your business and a good work-life balance for your health and wellness.
Where can people find your work/ business?
Copy Edited By: Marlon “MJ” Scott