We had the good fortune of connecting with Toya Gray Chase Adway and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toya Gray, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
We chose a creative career because it allows us to express our ideas and connect with people in different ways. We wanted people to be able to wear our clothing and truly understand the meaning behind it. We love to play around and create all kinds of new looks. The best feeling is seeing our customers own personal style combined with our creative ideas. Our goal is to always create and inspire through our streetwear brand.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Toya Gray | Curator The Gray Area
Since a child I’ve had a love and an ear for music. After working several years of building someone else’s business, I decided to put that same energy into another passion I have and The Gray Area was birthed. An entertainment curating company that gives musical artist another platform to reach their fans and perform live. The Gray Area had a great year in 2019,
3 shows down and planning for an even better 2020 and then Covid19 hit the world. How does a business that depends on attendance and human interaction survive during this time!?! Unfortunately, I had to put everything on hold but during that time I made sure I stayed creative and started planning for the next event once the world opened back up again. Fast forward to now, we are back to a place where we can plan events and I’m in the process of planning something for the end of the year. It was hard to remain positive during this major pandemic but I continued to remind myself that this is just a minor set back and that eventually I would be able to get back to the thing I love, which is feeding and connecting souls through the sounds of music.
Chase Adway | Non- Profit
Project Next Generation
I’m super excited about my non-profit that will consist of me working with the LGBTQIA youth. I look forward to helping those in need, as well as sharing my story with them which may in turn assist someone with avoiding a lot of mistakes I made in my youth. I’ve gotten to this point in my life professionally by always being a very organized go by the book type of person. I learned very quickly when creating a business that is not necessarily how things work. A lot of things are done by trial and error and by just taking a chance. You can’t be fearful when being an entrepreneur and that was something I wasn’t use to but my desire to create this opportunity to help others has outweighed my fear of failing. When facing challenges or anything I wasn’t familiar with I constantly reminded myself to not give up and to not give into the negativity of how things seemed to appear. I leaned in on my faith and knowing that anything I put my mind to, I can do it. I want the world to know that my non-profit will be about helping the youth of the LGBTQIA community while making sure they have all the tools and education needed for the next journey in their lives.
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?
OMG!! It’s always so much to do in LA. For starters, we have to go the Topanga Lookout 2 mile hike for the beautiful view of the Santa Monica mountains, the 160 feet elevation change is something everyone should experience. From there, we’ll stop by Simply Wholesome in View park for lunch, the Vegan Crab Cake burger is DELISH! The next day, breakfast at Blu Jam Café on Melrose would set our day off right. A bike ride to Santa Monica Pier to work off that Crunchy French Toast we just ate would be next. Later that night, we’ll catch a drive-in movie at the Rooftop Cinema Club. The next day, dinner at Beauty & Essex and hookah at Habibi Café to end the night but can’t forget to grab a cookie from across the street at the famous Diddy Riese Cookies. For our weekend vibes, My 2 Cents on Pico, Mama Shelter rooftop bar, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen in Inglewood, E.P. & L.P. Rooftop & Restaurant brunch and live music at Tha Alley in Leimert Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We’ve been lucky to have support from some amazing people. The three that come to mind as far as giving us our first shot as a new business our the following.
Chelley Chelle of Lestalk Radio gave us our first podcast interview as well as continuous brand promotion.
Lex King of Alexander King Films, creator of the popular LGBTQIA Web Series Queerioustv is the first production company to add Dorkie Nerd apparel on to set wardrobe for actors to wear during scenes.
Another person we really appreciate is Tasha Johnson, owner of High & Tight Barbershop which is the first business location where customers can purchase Dorkie Nerd products directly.
Photographer Info: Blue Photography Instagram: bluephotographyla