We had the good fortune of connecting with Andra’ Calvin Brown II and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andra’ Calvin, what role has risk played in your life or career?

Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Talk about chemical makeup. Now, that leaves you to only wonder about that 1% right? What could that remaining 1% possibly be? Assuming that I, Andra Calvin Brown II am responsible for getting us to that perfect score, I am only left with one answer for you. Dear diary, my answer is risk. Risk is that remaining 1%. Risk is something boys don’t take. Risk is what makes a man. Do not dismiss the value and importance of risk. Most contemplate not risking it all because fear sets in, however most may claim themselves as being “logical” or “reasonable”. But that’s completely okay! Or is it? I want you to answer this question to yourself internally. Can my future self deal with the anguish and distress of never knowing what could have been? My answer was no, how about yours? Life drove me to the edge and risk made me jump. A “logical” person would then say, “Well nobody told you to jump!” Then I, Andra Calvin Brown II would proudly proceed to ask Mr. Logical, “Well if I never jumped, how would I have known I could fly?”

Although I am nowhere near my desired arrival point, I cannot discount how far I have come. Risk taking essentially got me here. I quit my job May 11th, 2021. Six years of employment abruptly interrupted by a fed up, risk taking, faith walking entrepreneur. Every weekend since then, my business Bymyselfornothing LLC has had the pleasure of being booked at a variety of vendor events in which our earnings and exposure have gradually increased after each appearance. When it’s all said and done I can sleep in peace at night knowing I bet on myself. It’s safe to say I won the wager. Risk awarded me freedom, and that freedom awarded me happiness.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

Bymyself that’s me. Bymyself Cal, that’s me too. To strengthen self-love, self-reliance, and self-prosperity is the goal with all of this. You see we’ve all been by ourselves rather that be physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. But, how do you cope with it all? Are you coping at all? I wanted to start something I feel everyone could relate to. I was at the lowest of lows in all of the aspects I named. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Emotionally. I felt bymyself to the very core and it’s a feeling that had overridden my system. I AM bymyself. I despised the thought of me feeling like I needed anybody. It was safe to say that it was me vs the world in my head. There was simply nothing or no-one who could do a thing to prove me otherwise. Coincidentally, that hurt drove me to be the best Andra Calvin Brown II that I could be. I did it well and proudly. Instead of taking my pain and causing that same pain to others I wanted to turn it into something beautiful and everlasting. I credit God for that. What would be my mark on the world? How could I ensure that generations from now my family will have more than a fighting chance in this thing we call life? How can people see what I see and how I see it? Bymyselfornothing.

Although Bymyselfornothing was made an LLC in January of 2020, it was already a lifestyle and movement in my head. I represented it every day for 5 years. Only thing that changed was transferring the message and lifestyle aspect to the clothing. I think we got here today business wise because of the X factor. Before you put on any of our clothing, you hear bymyself. You see bymyself. But most importantly, you FEEL bymyself. That’s the X factor. The feeling. I’ve always observed the foundation of the most successful brands however most of them tend to not stand for much. Where are you coming from with it? Is it all about making a dollar? Outside of your pieces or garments looking good, what else are you providing the consumer or audience? But that’s completely okay if it ends with the gear. My approach to all of this was different from the jump because I was living and walking in it way before I showed the world my viewpoint. Can you relate to being by yourself? Just know Bymyselfornothing LLC stands for something.

I want the world to know that it’s okay. It’s okay if they left you. It’s okay if they hurt you. It’s okay if they treat you like you don’t exist. Your heart is pumping blood through your body allowing you to read this today. Personally, I’d say that’s the epitome of your very existence. I want the world to know that the lone wolf is energy. I want the world to know that “The Grass is Greener Bymyself”. I want the world to know that “Unlike the leaves, I get up when I Fall”. I want the world to know that Bymyself Cal, Bymyself B, and Bymyself AR are on the verge of building up the most successful brand the world has ever seen, proudly made in Baltimore.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
To be completely honest, coming from Baltimore it may be a little difficult to answer this question. I think we still make the most out of everything we do have though, if you know you know. See I’m a Sagittarius so if you visited around my Birthday in November, you’d hop off the plane and we’d make our way straight down to M&T Bank Stadium for Thursday Night Football. After the Ravens win Fells Point would be the spot to be, drinks on me! The next morning, we would hit Chef Bizzles for breakfast. I recommend the Bizzle Mini’s, candied bacon, & fried potatoes. Yessir! After that we might go ahead and kick it with Seven, Griffsauce, & Bill Carl at Pump No. 9 . I’m going to vote for a corned beef sandwich From Attman’s followed by a cool two-three hour recording session with Yung Brazi at the school. We’d probably finish the night at Noah’s crib for sure, that’s always been the spot. Lastly, I’d make sure we had a Bymyselfornothing Pop Up Shop scheduled the same weekend so you can get the full bymyself experience live. Trust and believe there’s more to be done though, but I guess you’ll just have to come visit me yourself to see!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

Party of 5 that’s us, my immediate family. Andra, Rene, Shandra Mone, and Andra. Yes, all of our names rhyme! We got each other covered like a canopy. Sometimes I wondered who I was more like my mom or my dad. At this stage in life I realize I’m the perfect mix between the two and I love that. I get the majority of my physical qualities, superb writing abilities, and overall calming demeanor from my mother. While on the other hand my business acumen, charismatic personality, and gift of gab comes from my father. However, it’s safe to say I get my sense of fashion equally from both of them. They built a foundation strong enough in each of their 3 kids’ lives that could withstand a few earthquakes and that’s what makes me relentless. Mom & Dad, to be honest saying thank you would be an understatement but I still thank you for it all. My sisters played a huge part in my path and development in my adolescent years. Mone brought the Fire and Shandra brought the ice. They shaped, better yet carved, a big part of who I am today in unexplainable ways. But really that’s what big sisters do, if you know then you know. What’s a team of 5 without the 6th man though? Woman in this case however, and that award goes to my Aunt Carol. Bad news I have to tell my parents? You know for sure I’m telling Aunt Carol first to test the severity of what I did wrong. Her role is unexplainable and I’m forever grateful. Grandma I miss you and I love you, thank you for everything #ClaraBell. Christmas Eve was always a spectacle to look forward to growing up and I thank my Grandma Frances so much for always making Christmas as memorable as possible.

Growing up without an older brother wasn’t as bad because I had brotherly bonds with my cousins. My earliest memories of existence have Zion front and center. Chase was the little brother I never had until he #ChizzledUp. Joshua was the only person I ever wanted to be like. Cory and I had the closest bond on my dad’s side of the family flat out. Judah was the first person who made me feel like I could do no wrong and I remember that like it was yesterday. I thank and love you all. My brothers outside of blood built my core just as much, Tracy and Raamah. That pretty much speaks for itself. Talk about from Boys To Men. Also, I’d be lying if I said fashion was always at the forefront of my life. I’d have to credit Damon for shaping the existence of my interest in streetwear clothing that transcended to my own style today. One day it just clicked though. 8 years after we met in highschool, Justin and I finally linked up at the studio and it was ovvver from there. Best believe it’s deeper than music though, #whosthekid. Solars4The9 was where the music started though. Jodie, Solesky, and Chuckie that Soundstage performance was my favorite till this day hands down. I loved every second of it.

I went through my bymyself phase in 2015, and there are some people who deserve recognition for showing me true friendship in my early adult years. Little do they know they sculpted the rebranding of Calvvvin. #GotRoddyWitMe, that might be the hashtag of the century honestly. #PullUpToThePartyWGian & #ShipItLikeNoah those go crazy too! Chris, Sirhc, Stef, Sam, and Trav; what’s understood never has to be explained. I’m proud of our accomplishments as young black men as a whole, but we know for sure it’s only the beginning of our journey. I wish I wish upon a star, that’s when I met AR. #BymyselfUnlessImWitAR to be specific. My independent music career was founded on ways I could express my feelings of being bymyself, but the only person who changed that was my bro. I wasn’t confident behind the mic until he showed me the ropes and that’s a fact. Talk about determination. Starvvvin was history. I feel like the world wasn’t ready for us at the time, but I definitely think otherwise today. Thank you for seeing my vision and bringing it to life, #InARWeTrust. You know honestly if it was up to me it’d be #Beezy4Pres in an instance but I just don’t have the power to do so {yet}. Entrusting just about every feeling that goes through your body with someone is crazy but that’s just us. Imagine being literally the exact opposite of someone while at the same time being almost the same person. It’s crazy because I’m a year and a day older than him but I feel like he teaches me more than I do him. I talked about risk earlier and the role it had on my life. That risk I took had their names written all ovvver it. They depend on me. I depend on them. We depend on each other. #bymyselfornothing. Victory I thank you for the endless support and motivation that you give every single day. From listening to my ideas first hand to dealing with my reactions to whatever else may be going on. I credit you for handling it all so well. That risk factor has your name printed in bold on it as well. VVV + V.

Lastly, I’d like to thank the City of Baltimore for raising me. I’d like to thank my Aunt Wendy & Joy Dine Academy. I’d like to thank Calvert School. I’d like to thank the Baltimore Youth Alliance. I’d like to thank Carver Center A&T. I’d like to thank Morgan State University. The connections, experiences, and relationships I made at Morgan were unmatched. I’d type that again but there’s no need. The things I learned, people I’ve met, and challenges overcome at these institutions have shaped me into the man I am today. I’d like to thank ALL of my family. My Aunts, Uncles, cousins, family friends and my friends family. ALL of the people who have had my interest at heart since day one I know who you are and best believvve I’ll never forget. You guys are the reason I’m even typing this today. I’d like to thank God for every breath I take, every step I make, and every word I say. Lastly, I’d like to thank God for the vvvision he has given me.

Website: www.bymyselfornothing.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bymyselfornothing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bymyornothing?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bymyselfornothing/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ar-42f4OgUo&list=PLPKYfheZwt2jehfMDQIp-8Mjcy9aaLo1y

Image Credits
Jodie Fenix Nile Williams & Nawwhatever! Chuckie Williams & FeelMyArt Productions Andra’ Calvin Brown II

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