We had the good fortune of connecting with Sam Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sam, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I truly believe entrepreneurship is 30% business acumen, 20% creativity and 50% self discovery and understanding. The most important factor behind my success has been my openness to grow.. in various ways. Many of the roadblocks I experienced in business were attributed to fear fueled by insecurity and ignorance. Although I am more vulnerable, I am stronger for it- both personally and in business.
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 was a vibrant, newly graduated twenty-something when I decided to be fearless and share my Art with the world. I believe Art is one of the most authentic means of storytelling for humanity. Fashion is an Art for me.. a means of communicating without having to speak. I taught myself to draw at an early age. Tracing my mothers old fashion magazines brought me so much joy however I knew exploring fashion as a career was not a solid means of survival from my parents’ perspective. Fashion was my freedom yet it felt so unobtainable. Without any formal fashion training, I continued sketching, getting better and sharing my work with high school friends, quickly earning their admiration as a creative spirit. I began experimenting with designing accessories- taking things a part and putting them back together. Deconstruction and reconstruction came so naturally. I wasn’t fully confident enough to sell my wares until approached by a fellow fashionista in awe of my new Feather earrings, She couldn’t wait for me to make her a pair, so much that she purchased the ones I was wearing that day. I shifted my focus to creating bracelets in 2007. Developing a distinct beading technique helped to separate my work from others. And then life happened. The experience of Marriage and Motherhood rocked my world, reshaping me to the core, This new space created an uncertainty.. a darkness. I sought refuge in my Art more- growing more familiar with the healing properties of each stone. After gaining some clarity, I pulled myself out of the shadows. Transparency is a vital part of my story- there is healing in sharing our experiences. Arriving to this point in my business has not been easy… it’s felt lonely in spaces yet very eye opening. I have been overwhelmed.. sometimes with responsibility and sometimes with gratitude but I wouldn’t trade it for the world! The best advice I can offer is to “start now and perfect later”. If we are given too much space to judge our experience for what it isn’t, we destroy the masterpiece that it could become.
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?
Super tricky per COVID – R House for lunch – Hampden for exploring and light shopping – Visit The Spice Suite in DC – shop at Nubian Hueman – Cocktails at busboys & poets – Dinner at The Wharf in DC The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to shoutout Ajah Doswell of the K.E.Y.S. Empower program. She is a phenomenal leader in the community and is always willing to serve as a connector and collaborator for youth programs throughout Baltimore city,
Sam image captured by Kellie Finch Photography