We had the good fortune of connecting with Nik Hampshire and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nik, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I personally just couldn’t abide allowing other people to dictate such a large amount of my life. When and where I had to be. The freedom to travel and work when and how I want has always been really important to me. I’ve always just strived to be as me as I possibly could while exploring and finding how I fit into the world around me and being stuck in a place working 5 days a week to put money into other peoples pockets and allow THEM the freedoms I wanted just never sat well with me. My freedom and creativity is worth more to me than a steady paycheck so I’ve been working for myself in one capacity or another for most of my life even when I had other jobs. The goal was always to work for myself so that I could be free to get the most out of this world and life as I possibly could!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always been the creative type and always been a bit of a hustler. I can remember being 8 years old folding notebook paper into little origami rings and frogs and walking around my apartment building selling them to my neighbors for .25 cents. I’ve done a clothing line before, I used to rap and make beats and perform on stages. I’ve opened for 2 wu tang members! I started modeling back in 2014 and started shooting in 2018. I just am driven to create and I like to try different things!
I guess in any art I do, whatever the medium of choice that day happens to be, I hope people can see a little bit of who I am and what I find important in life. Freedom to be oneself is vital to who I am and thats the kind of message I strive to present in all my creative endeavors. When I model, I try to be me and expressive creatively, when I shoot folks, I do my best to allow them to be who they are as confidently as possible. I want to push them to reveal who they are and what they want to express.
I will say the hardest part about my career thus far is trusting the process. It’s hard to let go and not have that steady paycheck and not know when the next work will come but any time I’ve just leaned into my work and my creativity and reached out creatively I seem to find the right people at the right time that connects me to the next vibe. I’m a very “go with the flow” kind of person. I like to take whats coming and redirect it in ways that I can ride rather than trying to work against the stream.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
WELL I moved to LA 4 months before COVID so to be honest I haven’t gotten the greatest opportunity to explore LA in depth and am still exploring myself but I do have spots I like. I live in Venice and personally really love the beach. I have two bikes, skateboards, surfboards and onewheels and really love popping out for hours just cruising along the beach. (I got 2 of everything for this exact scenario haha). I’m a great fan of comedy and love hitting up the comedy store and the laugh factory. I’m also a massive nerd so the Star Wars bar Scum & Villainy is a must! Everyone loves the beach of course so i like to bring folks up to el matador beach cuz who doesn’t love that view! For food honestly my favorite spot so far is the little taco spot on Lincoln and brooks after 4pm every night called PRIMOS! An absolute must haha! Then Maybe Disney if we got some time cuz who doesn’t love the happiest place on earth! Like I said tho, I’m still exploring myself so anyone reading this wanna show me some spots hit me up!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I really gotta give most of the credit to my parents and my grandparents. While none of them have pursued careers in the arts they’ve instilled in me the confidence to be as openly and unapologetically me as I could be. They gave me the courage to think creatively when pursuing a career in life and forge a path of my own despite not having anyone close to me to look to who pursued a similar career path. In a world that puts people into boxes, especially black folks, I’ve always been driven to be uniquely myself and its because of the love and support of my parents and grandparents that I’ve had the strength and belief that I could be successful in doing so.
Paola Ortiz Kadar vernes Kiuiairica Brendan Mitch Nik Hampshire Aimee Lindi LaTisha Todd Sanniyah Bae