We had the good fortune of connecting with Cody Durden and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cody, what role has risk played in your life or career?
“There’s no reward in life without risk” this is one of the quotes I live by. All the people that is considered successful, somehow took a risk in their life. I have taken risks so far that has been favorable for me and my business.
At the end of 2019 I started Street Politicians. We were a small team just doing community work before our apparel launched. Beginning of March, I was furloughed from my job. After a couple of weeks I created a plan to take this free time that I now have to focus on Street Politicians LLC. I had money saved and completely invested my last into the company. Within that time frame, I successfully created a team to continue to help us grow from so many aspects including social media marketing – photography. Our social media presence grew and we created a photography company under the parent company Street Politicians LLC. One of our exciting accomplishments is that we have a commercial project that made national television. Shoutout to the gameboard “Flikit Flikit” that brought us on to this project.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently an application support specialist. I started my career by joining a yearlong program called YearUp which placed me into an internship with Oath. That’s where I fortunately met Tyler Bell my mentor and Kwame Bowen. I was the retail and corporate support technician for The Collected Group, which was the parent company of three clothing brands, Joie, Equipmentfr, & Current Elliott. I was first line of contact for all of the developers, designers, accountant, human resources and pretty much the whole infrastructure. I learned bits and pieces from everyone before I even decided to create Street Politicians. I hated how fake the corporate space was. And if I am lucky enough to have the brand reach that stature, I want to be the complete opposite. I want to be genuine, helpful, and an actual leader to my team. I want to demonstrate how to successfully run a company, so when they are ready to branch off and do their thing, I would love to be the one they mold their leadership after. As someone that receive several accolades in every company I work with, for me to be laid off, furlough, and dispensable. I learned skillsets from every opportunity for me to elevate Street Politicians. I am thankful for the connections I made throughout my whole corporate career. I have people that loves the brand and what we are currently doing and offer their support off of the kindness of their heart. Unfortunately, throughout my professional career I did notice nepotism and favoritism, I knew this is something I will never do and the person I will never become.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Honestly as someone that doesn’t go out as much, it’s a little difficult to answer. First I would take them to the farmers market in DTLA. It’s kind of like an if you know you know. Even though I hate the beach, everyone around me loves it. I would take them to Venice and live up that whole experience. Probably take them to a bar in Culver City. Next day take them to Santa Clarita to go to Six Flags. Six Flags normally is an all-day thing. Take them out to El Toritos in Marina Del Rey. Good scenery and pretty good food. We would probably all go to one of my friend’s house. Normally when we do that, we ended up creating our own party. if it’s a weekend I would take them to watch a flag football game in Santa Clarita. A lot of the flag football players are my contact football players I coach.I would love for them to enjoy some good games and meet my football kids. Honestly, I know this sounds boring but that just shows how much I really don’t do much.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, I would like to give a shoutout to Mama Politician. She is one of the core reasons why the brand flourished this year. She also played a huge roll in founding SP as well as the reason why I am able to scale our operations.
I have two mentors. Huge shoutout to @LeneseCalleea the owner of @LC_ApparelConsulting. She plays a tremendous role in why I am able to open up our operation center and photo studio. Within our short tenure, she has been able to assist me with the expansion and infrastructure to grow and open up our operations center.
@1Tylerbell is my mentor as well. He has been in my life since 2017. He is a serial entrepreneur/ Partner to @Elevento1. It is funny because I do not think he noticed how I followed in his footsteps from the corporate space to the serial entrepreneurial space. I am a strong advocate towards mentorship. Lanese and Tyler have experienced struggles and turmoil that I may one day face now in my adventures present and future. Their guidance is the reason I am able to conquer every obstacle that may come my way.
In my community outreach I am thankful for the partnership with Kwame & Newob Outreach nonprofit organization. With this partnership we are able to organize community events that help the unhoused community. Last year for the holiday season we were able to gift toys to DCFS, The Boys and Girls Club as well as the West Adams district for the third year in the row. The connections that we have made through Newob will continue to help us grow and reinvest into our communities.
Now the rest of the praise should go to my team. I definitely couldn’t do it without them and wouldn’t be anything without.
@_Shawnnnaas_ gives me constructive criticism that I sometimes do not want to hear but I definitely need. She is the point of contact to our community outreach events. She also helps make my visions come a little closer to reality.
@saicraa & @TheTalaAbbadi are my social media gurus. Within the last year, not only did they help with our pop-up events; They are a big reason why the brand accumulated 450+ followers and 150+ subscribers on our website. With over 200+ orders and 275+ products. It was their social media marketing genius that helped get the brand going.
@FatDyl_, @Jkfranks_, @D_Fucci @BossTwaan, & @Why_Calvin. Even though they are the faces of the brand. They invested their money, time, and supported the vision and dream before it was a reality. These people are definitely the backbone to Street Politicians LLC.
I want to also give a huge shoutout to Matthew for working long hours on these crazy projects and getting the ball rolling with our film.
Last but not least. I definitely could not forget to mention my brother from another mother @ShootSumnJuan/@ModelSumnJuan. He has become a top tier photographer. My partner and right-hand man to F.Y.E Visuals, this guy drives 2 & a half hours to every event, photoshoots, etc. He understood the vision through text messages and has been locked in ever since. And not to mention we are creating something real special right now.
I am thankful to everyone who supported me and the brand thud far and it is exciting because this is honestly just the beginning of an amazing journey.
My Mother Shawna Tala Sam The whole Arcia tribe The whole Andersons family Calvin Deandre Daniel Twaan Dylan Jiman Shootsumn Juan & Modelsumn Juan Landi & landislather Kwame and Newob outreach I want to thank the hundreds of followers and supporters that show countless love to us every day. You are the reason why are able to grow and develop this into something amazing!