Highly Favored: The Winners Circle

On Saturday July 29, 2017, Wa Boogie of Highly Favored Clothing hosted her first event at Greenhouse Loft in Highland Park, New Jersey entitled, “The Winners Circle“. The Winners Circle aims to empower and inspire up and coming creatives to pursue their dreams and leverage their passions.

Moderated by Cat Peoples, the panel consisted of Jessica Franklin (Heygorjess), Gia Peppers, and Khalil Malamug who are all respectively building their own brands and creating their own lanes in the worlds of business, fashion, and media.

For more on this event as well as future events, please be sure to check out Highly Favored Clothing on Facebook for the latest. Ohhhhh…we almost forgot, “How can you look like the brother and sister duo in the photos wearing Highly Favored?”

…We got you covered, be sure to check out: highlyfavored3.com!!!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency and content platform. We specialize in brand strategy, content development, and storytelling. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to bridge the gap and build value between brands, communities, and culture. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

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The Thinking Class: K-Swiss

Kswiss-Home

Photo via Kippered.

On Tuesday July 11, 2017, I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s interview with Barney Waters (President) and Patrick Buchanan (Global Marketing Director) of the globally iconic brand, K-Swiss. Throughout the course of this 43 minute interview and call-in session, a lot was discussed. In particular, I was personally intrigued with the overall conversation on entrepreneurship and sneaker culture.

With the market domination of sneaker brands such as Adidas and Nike, Barney shared his following philosophy, “If you can’t be first, be different” (10:46). Barney also went on to mention that Nike pretty much owns the athletic category while Adidas owns the cool kid celebrity category. So…what does K-Swiss plan to do? According to this interview, K-Swiss aims to cater to entrepreneurs who are creating and leading their own businesses. In fact, as I’m writing this article, I just thought of the following idea:

In addition to aiming to cater to entrepreneurs, how about we add the category of “Thought leaders” to this conversation? These “Thought leaders” are those who aspire to create their own cultural movements and shift society through advocacy, business, education, health, social impact, etc. I believe that as a collective, the future leaders of society will be as diverse and multi-faceted as we have ever seen in the past. If I had to come up with a name for this category, I would entitle it… “The Thinking Class.”

Imagine the day we live to see the President of The White House casually rocking a pair of sneakers on a daily basis. What will these sneakers look like? What will these sneakers represent? Most importantly, what brand is going to be responsible for creating these sneakers? Due to my natural curiosity and passion for wanting to bridge the gap between brands, communities, and culture, I ask myself similar questions all of the time.

If K-Swiss is to really invest in the philosophy and process of entrepreneurship and thought leadership, I do believe that they can successfully create and dominate their own lane. Will the products have to be stylish and stellar? Absolutely! However, what is it that can potentially bring K-Swiss to the next level? Supporting the culture and lifestyle which they aim to engage with. Selling products is transactional. Yet, engaging with and supporting the development and growth of the culture and lifestyle around those products is transformational.

As Gary always says, “It’s thinking marathon over sprint.” Living in accordance to creating our own legacy is determined by our daily actions. When our behavior is in alignment with what we want our legacy to be, our true greatness begins to rise to the surface. So, what might K-Swiss want to consider doing to spearhead a new revolution of emerging leaders?

Leaders Create Leaders

Photo via Gerard Adams.

1. Ask Questions – I believe that all of the right questions eventually lead toward the right answers. Communication is vital and often overlooked. When brands express an interest in actually listening to and learning from their current audience and potential consumers, gains are usually made. Consumers always want the best products. As consumers, we would usually stay with a brand that receives feedback well and improves on something that we like as opposed to spending energy to entirely taking our business somewhere else. It’s natural, we’re creatures of habit…at least for the most part!

2. Address Challenges – With all of the challenges and problems that currently exist across the globe, what brands are endorsing and supporting the thought leaders across various industries who are working to address these challenges? There’s so much great work happening. I’m sure that authors, architects, doctors, educators, engineers, etc would love to be acknowledged, appreciated, and supported for the amazing work that they do on a day to day basis.

As Gary often says, “Every business and brand should be thinking like a media company.” I often like to say, “Content creates conversation, conversation creates opportunity, and opportunity creates impact (educational, financial, social, etc). As a consumer, when I see brands that align with and support causes which address challenges bigger than the products and/or services the brand sells, I feel more inclined to trust and engage with that brand in some capacity or another.

3. Provide Tools and Resources – In order to effectively address any problem or challenge, we must always be equipped with the proper tools and resources. This may include capital, insight, relationships, etc. I believe that the brands who are helping to connect the world are also the brands who are helping to change the world. One of the reasons why I believe that content production is so important is because it adds value in ways that products do not. Content can educate, empower, entertain, inspire, and inform. Audio content is just as important as video content which is just as important as written content.

Should K-Swiss become more than a sneaker company? Should K-Swiss become a media company who just happens to sell sneakers? Should K-Swiss aim to equip and empower thought leaders with the tools and resources necessary to shift culture and change the world at large? Should K-Swiss begin to identify and partner with organizations and programs across various industries and sectors such as The Aspen Institute, Ted Talks, SXSW, and Zeitgeist? Picture K-Swiss as not only the official sneaker, but more importantly a cultural contributor and supporter to platforms such as these. How might this look? I guess we shall see…

Lastly, it’s only right that I share some of my favorite looks:

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking brand strategist, curator, and educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development and social impact. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Behind The Hustle, Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

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We Are The CHANGE!

New Brunswick Pic

Photo via @welovehubcity taken by Dewon Wilson.

Every day we wake up is a day where we are given an opportunity to answer the following question, “How might we go about making our world a better place?”

We all have different duties and hold different positions, roles, and responsibilities throughout this massive planet: We are activists. We are artists. We are builders. We are creators. We are doctors. We are educators. We are entrepreneurs. We are fighters. We are lawyers. We are leaders. We are CHANGE!

Regardless of our “title”, we are absolutely the change we wish to see in the world. When we see a challenge, it is up to us to utilize whatever skills, talents, and resources we can bring to the table to address the challenges we see around us. Although as individuals we may fail to solve many, as communities working together, we can and will eventually find solutions to our challenges.

We are the exact CHANGE we’re looking for!

What are we doing TODAY to manifest our GREATEST potential?

Words inspired by Keith Jones II.

Photography by Dewon Wilson of Dewon Wilson Photography.

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Behind The Hustle, Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about bridging the gap and building value between brands, communities, and culture. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

How Might We Value Equity?

This post was originally published on LinkedIn on May 7, 2017.

On Sunday May 7, 2017, as I was reading pg. 29 of Keith Ferrazzi‘s, “Never Eat Alone”, I came across a tool which he uses called, “The Relationship Action Plan.” This plan is separated into 3 parts:

1. Developing goals that will help us fulfill our mission.

2. Connecting these goals to the people, places, and things (resources) that will help us get the job done.

3. Determining the best way to reach out to the people who can help us to accomplish our goals.

As I was reading this, it made me reflect on one of my #7DaysOfWisdom videos which I shot back in September of 2016. In this video, I discussed the relationship between sweat equity, relationship equity, and financial equity. In addition to Keith’s “Relationship Action Plan”, I believe that it is highly important for us to understand and value equity.

Equity is something which we can all learn and earn. It starts with the amount of work we decide to put in (sweat equity). Through our sweat equity, we will eventually begin to build the connections and relationships (relationship equity) which lead to opportunities to increase our financial equity and the impact we can have on the lives of others. Let’s stay focused and have fun pursuing the things we love to do in life. Live legendary, leave a legacy!

What are your thoughts on sweat equity, relationship equity, and financial equity? 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 In this video, I discuss the relationship between sweat equity, relationship equity, and financial equity. I believe that it is highly important for us to understand and value equity. Equity is something which we can all learn and earn. It all starts with the amount of work we decide to put in (sweat). Through our sweat equity, we will eventually begin to build the connections and relationships which lead to opportunities to increase our financial equity and the impact we can have on the lives of others. 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 Let's stay focused and have fun pursuing the things we love to do in life. Live legendary, leave a legacy! 👇🏾👇🏾👇🏾 #7DaysOfWisdom #ALOVERSAmbition

A post shared by aquaus. (@aquaus) on

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

Why Fall In Love With Our Fears?

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Photo via Lewis Howes.

When we listened to the 478th episode of Lewis Howes’ “School of Greatness” podcast earlier this morning with Kyle Cease, we were completely blown away with the amount of valuable insight we gained in just 1 hour and 28 minutes. With a new book slated to release on Tuesday May 2, 2017 entitled, “I Hope I Screw This Up”, Kyle made time to sit down with Lewis and dive deep into the topics of creativity, fear, happiness, and love.

Kyle Cease Book

Photo via Kyle Cease.

Fall In Love With Not Knowing!

Do our goals allow us to attain our happiness or does our happiness allow us to attain our goals? We often live in an illusion that, “When something happens, I’ll be happy” says Kyle. However, when we think like this, what we are actually saying is, “We are in lack without having whatever it is we feel will make us happy.” As a result, we become attached to the people and things we think we want and thus end up losing.

On the contrary, when we love us enough, we will attract all of which we deem to be desirable. When we try less, we allow more. When we’re happy, great things happen. We don’t always have to know how to do something or when to do it. When we fall in love with not knowing, we move freely from our heart and create our own definition of perfection.

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Photo via Lewis Howes.

Fall In Love With Our Fears!

“Our fear isn’t of what it is we are about to do. Our fear is of choosing what it is we are about to do” says Kyle. When we step into an opportunity, our fear goes away. Whenever we’re scared to let go of something, the only reason is because our mind can measure what we will lose yet cannot see what we will gain. The more excited we become, the more we can achieve. “When we’re in a good mood, we can make anything work” says Kyle.

In addition, Kyle also mentions, “Our fear doesn’t bother us, it’s the resistance to our fear that does. Everything that we are scared of losing is going to have to be taken away from us to make room for who we really are. The universe takes from us everything that we are scared we are going to lose to show us that we are enough without it. If we have to justify why we are keeping something, we have to let go of it.”

In addition to the the full interview with Kyle Cease and Lewis Howes above, below are our favorite highlights and takeaways:

  • When we think that when something happens we’ll be happy, we’re actually saying that we are in lack without that thing. (11:44)
  • We can’t see how much money we’re losing by staying in a job we hate. (20:20)
  • Whenever we’re scared to let go of something, the only reason is because our mind can measure what we will lose yet cannot see what we will gain. (22:29)
  • The universe takes from us everything that we are scared we are going to lose to show us that we are enough without it. (30:22)
  • No one has ever broken our heart but they have broken our expectations. By breaking our expectations, they helped us to become closer to our heart. (33:36)
  • Disconnect from the collective consciousness of the victim mentality of the world. (39:08)
  • If we have to justify why we are keeping something, we have to let go of it. (45:47)
  • We pick and choose our signs sometimes to justify why we aren’t leaping. (1:04:59)
  • Being lost makes space for new innovation. (1:09:55)
  • When we’re free, we’ll have clarity. (1:10:26)

Lastly, let’s ask ourselves, “What lessons can we learn from our lows? What’s trying to emerge from what we fear of letting go? Feel free to mention and tag us on social. We would love to hear your answers!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

Discover NOW: Brandie Freely

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Photo via Brandie Freely.

#DiscoverNOW is our curatorial series aimed at creating awareness for emerging culture, lifestyle, and talent. Today, we are excited to profile Brandie Freely. Brandie is a hope dealer, mother, writer, musician, lover, and free spirit to say the least! We came across the amazing work of Brandie when we saw the image posted above on Instagram. One of the first thoughts which came to mind were, “What does this image represent?” To us, this image represents beauty, courage, cultivation, love, motherhood, promise, trust, and unity. What does this image mean to you?

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Photo via Brandie Freely.

After checking out some of Brandie’s work on her website, brandiefreely.com, we came across one of her articles entitled, “On Mothering and Growing.” In this piece, Brandie shares her six year journey as the mother of her six year old daughter, Solona. Like many mothers, Brandie strives to be the absolute best mother she possibly can. In fact, she understands that she is a mother under construction. Here’s a question for our mothers, “What is it like to be a mother under construction?” “What does motherhood mean to you?”

We’re happy to have come across the great work of Brandie and we hope that you are too! We’re also looking forward to seeing how great of a mother-daughter combo both Brandie and Solona grow up to be. Be sure to sign-up for updates and follow Brandie’s journey by checking out her website, brandiefreely.com. Enjoy!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

How Might We Start? (Curate Culture)

How might we start? Curate culture. Promote and support the work of others! Earlier this morning, I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s audio experience podcast on SoundCloud when he mentioned the following, “There’s no excuse for not talking to the world, it just doesn’t have to be our thoughts and words every time.” When I heard this, I thought of one of the sayings I’ve been sharing with people from one of my videos on Instagram back in August 2016 which goes as follows, “When we share our message with the world, we begin to attract opportunities that align with that message.”

Let’s get out there and start doing something. It doesn’t have to be “perfect.” It’s impossible to improve, iterate, and pivot if we have yet to start anything. Curate culture. Curate lifestyle. We are all curators. Our life is a museum and we choose what we want to put on display. If we’re afraid to start a website, start something on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Let’s use the environment, tools, and resources we have around us. Why settle for excuses?

For example, because I live here in New Brunswick, New Jersey, I was inspired to create a community engagement platform entitled, “We Love Hub City” aimed at promoting positivity and inspiring the City of New Brunswick, NJ. We curate the culture, lifestyle, and pulse of the city in which we live. This has led to many great opportunities to build relationships with people who I don’t even have to travel to see! How about that for convenience?

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Screenshot of We LOVE Hub City.

In closing, I really want to see people win. I want to see US WIN! I’m here to build, connect, empower, and inspire others to take action towards fulfilling their dreams. In order for me to continue walking towards my purpose, I must also continue to take action. Let’s take action together!

S/O to Gary Vaynerchuk, VaynerMedia, and Team GaryVee for continuing to put out amazing content and inspire the world to live legendary and leave a legacy. P.S…”Patience and progress is necessary yet speed and execution is everything.”

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

Rainy Milo – You And I

Rainy-Milo

Photo via Alchetron.

It’s been over 3 years since we’ve heard from London’s own Rainy Milo. Thankfully, she’s back with her latest project, “I Knew I Had A Heart (Because I Felt It Breaking)” which was released on Friday, April 7, 2017.

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The first time we came across Rainy was in January of 2014. We were introduced to Rainy thanks to Ashley Outrageous after Rainy released the super soulful and jazz infused, “‘Bout You.” Since then, Rainy has remained on our radar.

We checked out “I Knew I Had A Heart” in it’s entirety on Soundcloud this past weekend. We were instantly intrigued by the last track entitled, “You And I.” “You And I” was written by Rainy Milo, Taurean Roye and Trackademicks. Trackademicks is also credited for production on the record. Vocal production, mixing, mastering and engineering are all thanks to Daje.

What catches our ear the most about “You And I” are the melodic chord changes and overall summer time vibe. We hope you enjoy the tune and please be sure to check out her entire project!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!

How Can Pepsi Set Precedent For Meaningful Social Dialogue?

pepsi-commercial

Photo via TV Line.

As we may know by now, Pepsi and Kendall Jenner are both on the receiving end of a very controversial advertising campaign which was originally posted on YouTube on Tuesday April 4, 2017.

I don’t traditionally address topics pertaining to trendy pop culture headlines. However, due to the massive reaction of this incident in particular, I feel more than compelled to address what can we learn from Pepsi’s mistake. In addition, I also hope that we can use this opportunity as a catalyst to create meaningful conversation, discussion, and dialogue in an effort to improve the condition of our planet and humanity across the globe.

Yesterday morning, Thursday April 6, 2017, I happened to come across Pepsi’s following press release via Twitter.

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Upon first sight, I was slightly unsettled when I read, “We did not intend to make light of any serious issue.” My first thought after reading this sentence were the three words, “any serious issue.” According to my observations and due to the overwhelming reaction to this campaign, it seems as though this advertisement turned out to be a lot more than just any serious issue. In the eyes of many, any political and social protest is a very serious issue.

Naturally, as a result of what I had observed, I felt a burning desire and responsibility to address the current issue at hand from a perspective and outlook which can inspire people to connect, engage, and transform the landscape of our current society.

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Later on in the day, after I returned from work, I felt as though is was only right for me to record a video in an effort to address and voice the following questions and concerns:

  • Can positive social action remedy negative social reaction? (6:25)
  • How can a huge mistake lead to a groundbreaking opportunity? (7:23)
  • Who needs to take action? (9:59)
  • How can we thrive if we divide? (15:13)
  • “This is an opportunity to bridge.” – Bernice A. King (16:13)
  • We all make mistakes! (18:02)
  • How can we correct our mistakes? (18:45)
  • How can we as people effectively articulate our concerns? (19:54)
  • Who’s going to lead the charge? (21:06)
  • What does leading the charge entail? (22:49)
  • The time is NOW! (23:38)

In closing, I believe that now is the perfect time to turn our intention into action. Now is the time to lead a charge where our mission is to correct the many negative deeds of humanity. The time is NOW. The moment is NOW. The second is NOW!

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(Uh • Kway • Us) Aquaus Kelley is a forward-thinking Brand Strategist, Cultural Curator, and Educator. As the Founder of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group, he specializes in identifying talent and creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. Aquaus has worked with companies and organizations such as Cornerstone Agency, City Year Miami, Universal Music Group, and W Hotels. He is extremely passionate about helping companies adapt to culture and building value between brands and their consumers centered around love. His ultimate mission is to use his influence to project positivity across the globe and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership.

Zilo – Know That I Want You

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Photo via Soundcloud.

It’s been 5 months since we’ve last heard from Zilo and we’re happy to be blessed with her lovely sound once again. This time around she hits us with her latest tune entitled, “Know That I Want You.” Sit back and enjoy because please believe, you know we will!

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A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is a brand development agency that specializes in creating opportunities for brand development, exposure, and growth. With an emphasis on culture and lifestyle, the primary focus of A Lovers Ambition Lifestyle Group is to help companies adapt to culture and build value between brands and their consumers centered around love. Our social mission is to leverage the influence of popular culture to create social change and invest in the collective future of society through the arts, education, entertainment, and leadership. We are driven by AMBITION, fueled by PASSION, inspired by INNOVATION, and suckers for STRATEGY!