It’s always good to run into someone who’s trying to better themselves. Good ideas, and great brands deserve to be celebrated. Check out my interview with Hasan Yates, CEO of Masculine Footwear.
KarmaJonez: How did Masculine footwear come about?
1. I started chasing my passion..which was fashion. I wanted to create new trends and one thing that I always loved was shoes. I stepped away from corporate America to chase this dream in an industry that has very few African American designers. Looking to make a change!
KarmaJonez: Tell me about the name. I think it’s interesting.
2. The name “Masculine” comes from researching the history of my name. When I looked, I found that it meant “MASCULINE”, strong and great strength, which I display in everything I do.
KarmaJonez: Where are you from, and how old are you?
3. I’m 29 years old. I will be 30 in October. I’m from a small town called Walterboro, South Carolina, a close knit community where everybody knows everybody, but really I’m just a country boy who loves the city!
KarmaJonez: What has the response been to your footwear?
4. The response to our footwear has been great. It’s just been overwhelming to see people from other countries sending us messages saying how they like the designs, you know. Then in the states from Vegas, to California, to New York and Chicago, everybody’s just been showing love and supporting my vision as a young black entrepreneur.
He talks about how honored he was to have Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan rocking his shoe line.
“It’s been a blessing to meet someone I use to watch on television growing up and for him to receive me like that is such a humbling experience. He’s such a humble person as well I might add, I reached out to him when I did my first pre-release launch and he was intrigued by our footwear and responded the next day. I also reached out to Kirk Frost from LHHATL, Big Mike Clemons famous Gospel drummer and husband to COCO from the R&B group SWV.”
KarmaJonez: What obstacles have you encountered with your business?
5. I would say a lot of the people that I was looking forward to supporting the brand are not supporting. It seems like there’s more strangers showing support more than the people that I truly know. That’s the only thing that really had me puzzled, but from watching a lot of entrepreneurs and looking up to the greats they all have encountered this problem so you know I just take it with a grain of salt and keep moving.
KarmaJonez: What piece of advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
6. The first thing as a entrepreneur is to invest in yourself! Make sure whatever you’re doing you have a passion for it. If you don’t have a passion for it, you’re going to keep moving around in circles..and then you’ll be 70 years old and haven’t found your purpose in life. God gave us all gifts, I found mine through prayer and meditation.
KarmaJonez: What’s your next step in your business?
7. I’m looking to partner up with some people and give back to those who need it. We also have a organization called A Helping Hand Foundation for the homeless. We look to open up a chain of our Masculine Footwear stores. We have clothes coming along with accessories such as backpacks, belts, cologne..you know the whole complete brand. With the help from my lovely wife Shaterica who is the CFO of our company, we are creating a luxurious line of heels and wedges for women. We know ladies love to step out in style and be different so that’s what we are offering.We are even thinking about opening a restaurant lounge in the city of Atlanta. The sky’s the limit!
The sky IS the limit. That’s definitely the attitude to have, Hasan!