We had the good fortune of connecting with John Graves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I was a teacher and becoming weary of doing that for the rest of my life. So I took time to think about things that I love that could enrich the community and the world, or at least those I come in contact with. I though that if I am going to commit my life and time to something, it has to be something I am both passionate about and enjoy doing. I needed the freedom to create and being in the classroom wasn’t giving me that avenue I needed to survive. When it came down to it, I decided to resign and before I got stuck, comfortable, safe, and unwilling to go after my dreams.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I grew up in the world of the Arts. My Grandmother owned one of Philadelphia’s premiere black theatre groups. So I was always interested and always inspired by what I saw. I am an actor, singer, dancer, writer, Director, and Producer. I use my talents to help others, inspire and cultivate other talents and gifts like mine. I never thought I could do this as a career, I thought you had to be a lucky person. That would explain my years in careers I wasn’t happy in. I’m so glad God had other plans for me. I didn’t trust my talents enough to push myself, but here I am, after finally taking the leap of faith I needed. Now I look back and it’s been 14 years since my first production and start of my entertainment company on my own and 6 years with my own studio and clothing store downtown, Philadelphia.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There’s so much to do in Philly. South St is filled with tons of eateries, shops, and centers for everybody. The nightlife is pretty lit too. If you head into town, Center City is packed with bars, stores, and exhibits. It’s all in the area. The Avenue of the Arts produces many shows for local and national companies if the arts is your thing and weekly, the city hosts different concerts, plays, events, and more. My favorite place to go is JGP Studio at 1214 South St. It’s just a cool, chill spot to network, meet cool people, shop for cool clothing items, and get involved with the arts and community events.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s true, we are the sum of our experiences and lessons. With that said, I owe much of my passions, drive, and ambition to my Grandmother, Dr. Evelyn Graves. Growing up under her and her businesses helped shape my mind and outlook on life. She was able to prove it can be done. I used all of what I saw and learned with her and those in her businesses and companies, along with what I’ve learned from some amazing or in my professors, mentors, and colleagues to keep me moving forward and not stopping. There are a lot of books as well. But more recently, The Miracle Morning, has helped me a lot in my Personal Development, which enhances me professionally.
Facebook: Heres2CoolStuff Clothing Store
Youtube: John Graves Productions
Photographer: David Criswell, Philadelphia