We had the good fortune of connecting with Jermaine Hopkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jermaine, how do you think about risk?
When people think of risk they automatically assume of the negatives of the risks. Risk is a 50/50 chance to some and it has to work or it has to work to others. I’m on the side of “it has to work or it has to work”. Jump out of your comfort zone and stay true and consistent to what you’re risking for. Study, plan and execute and it’s not so much of a risk anymore. The risk factor is just starting and stepping out of your normal, once your out of that phase it’s totally on you.

Risk taking is apart of life whether small or big. The bigger the risk the bigger the reward. Risk taking has always played a major role in my life, I’ve always been a risk taker but I’ve scaled back to being a more strategic risk taker. The number one rule to risk taking is believing in yourself and having the confidence while doing it and great results come out of that with consistency behind it. Failing is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing because it teaches you how to approach a situation if faced with it again. Dreaming big and believing in yourself while taking risk and of course manifesting positivity into the universe is a dangerous combo that works when you do.

The greatest risk I took was selling a major part of my sneaker collection and dumping it all into the brand and I don’t regret it at all. For several months I was going back and forth with myself about it, then I finally went through with it. It hurt deeply but it was for a bigger purpose that I was after and I knew I had to take that risk. I didn’t have it all figured out and that’s the beauty of taking risks, you never know what’s on the other side.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story ?

When I started this brand, I had the mission and focus to enlighten the mental health aspect a lot of people mask as they grow through their journey of life. The brand was cultivated at a time where I was at my lowest and I was trying to communicate my feelings through designs. Communicating my feelings through designs was a masking tool I used where I felt like I could be understood in a way where I always felt unheard and misunderstood. At a point of figuring myself out, I didn’t like discussing the things I felt or was going through internally. It was more of an isolation thing for me and not showing signs of weakness. Creating the brand was something that grounded me as I connected with people through sneakers and I realized that we all had similarities and pain within us from experiences that were either out of our control or just the cards that life has dealt us. Sneakers connected us to share stories and it was deeper than the sneakers from that moment. While creating the brand I learned so much about myself as I connected with others and they shared how they handled the things we view as negatives within their lives. It’s safe to say sneakers truly saved me which is why I say “Happiness Comes in Pairs” because it’s deeper than materialistic possessions, it’s about the connections that were formed from sneakers and how sneakers can help you find yourself in a way. The same way we are so delicate about our sneakers with cleaning and avoiding things we know that will damage our SOLES [sneakers] is the same thing we should do for ourselves personally to protect our souls.

The term Brotherly represents family, love, selflessness, and humanity. The term SOLE is interchangeable with the word SOUL. Our shoe soles play a vital role in making sure the foundation and structure of our shoes stay together; and our souls play a major role in us as humans making sure we stay together internally. Without either or what do you have ? Nothing… Our soles led us to connect souls and we all share happiness that comes in pairs.

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?
Well I’m not a LA native quite yet but here are some of the things that I do when I travel from Philly.

– Anything involving nature whether its a hike, or hitting one of the parks within LA. One of my favorites would have to be Runyon Canyon park where you can overlook the city or just connecting with nature in general.

-Venice is one of the places to hit for the experiences and it’s inspirational to see the different cultures come together and the talent that is displayed from the performers along the beach.

-Something I do all the time is go house viewing of the multi-million dollar homes all throughout LA

-Definitely finding spots to eat on TikTok but my go to is Daves Hot or YardHouse at LA Live to get the Long Beach Tea, and fried calamari. A new spot on my list to try is Juicy Pizza .

-I personally love to freestyle when I go to LA because for some reason I just feel grounded when I’m there. I can do absolutely nothing with my time and I will perfectly be ok with that. One thing that I did discover was the coast of Malibu and how beautiful and relaxing it is.

-Checking out fashion district

LA is a place where it feels like a safe haven for creatives, there’s so much room and opportunity to create from the different aesthetics around the city. It’s like a goldmine for creators and people who get inspired by the littlest things.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My biggest shoutout has to go to my babies Jordi and Johan, these two are the reason I go so hard and are the center of my why.

There are entirely to many people to thank or dedicate a shoutout to specifically. I want to shout out everyone that supports and spreads the vision of the brand and without y’all we wouldn’t be continuously growing as we are.

A lot of people played a vital role in who I am today. They say it takes a village and that’s definitely what it took to get to where I am.

A big shoutout to the sneaker community. Being able to connect and meet people throughout the world is inspiring and is a drive that also keeps me going. Hearing different stories and what sneakers mean to people is why I started this brand because of what sneakers did for me. Definitely want to shoutout the driving force of the community which is the women. The women are often overlooked but play a large role in the community.

Website: https://blysole.com

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jhop047

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blysole

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blys0le

Image Credits
Shanel “MsPaparazzi” Smith | https://www.instagram.com/mspaparazzi/ JRTheKidProductions | The Fifth Media | https://www.instagram.com/jrthekidproductions/ LamzEffektProd | https://www.instagram.com/lamzeffektprod/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.