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Conversations with Kenneth Marshall

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenneth Marshall.

Kenneth, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Oakland California is where my story begins. I was born in a bathtub with my nine years old brother assisting my substance impaired mother. Nine months later, we were left alone when the police took my mother to jail. Two months after being abandoned, caring homeless people in the neighborhood told the police about the existence of me and my brother. I was adopted at two and a half years old. Prior to my blessed adoption, I was placed in multiple foster homes. My brother was placed in a long-term group home where he remained until he aged out of the foster care system. I only saw him once for a brief moment until we were reunited when I was five years old. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area was a multicultural experience. I started playing the piano at ten years old, even though I would pretend to strike the keys at my grandmother’s kitchen table from the first time I was at her house. By the time I was twelve, I was actively playing in my churches youth band. In addition to playing the piano and competitive soccer and participating on the swim team, I developed a love for videography and photography.

By the time we moved to North Carolina when I was 14.5 years old, my right brain was taking over. I fell in love with all things creative and ultimately gave up swimming, soccer and sports, for music, missions and ministry. I didn’t know when I was the Prince in our Kindergarten performance of The Nutcracker that my talents would be nurtured and I would become a musician, performer, videographer and more. My college training at UNC School of the Arts & High Point University equipped me to excel. I was an Electronic Media Production major and developed my skills. Upon graduating from college, I was determined to move back to CA, the place I call home but this time, I intentionally landed in Southern California.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My journey has not been smooth, but I’m grateful for having been adopted and loved unconditionally. Some of the struggles included dealing with the stigma of being adopted. I’ve always considered it a positive because out of the millions of children available, my parents chose me. I’ve had learning disabilities or what they call “High Functioning Process” issues for as long as I can remember. I am also dyslexic. School was often challenging. Personal tutors and Learning Center staff helped me tremendously. My college graduation day was epic and truly one of the best experiences of my life.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a Senior Media Production manager at AT&T. My activities include consulting with 50 clients to create and produce video content for AT&T’s T University. I specialize in pre to post-video production, from concept to end product. I consult, create, edit, etc. I wear many different hats. It is truly great to have the opportunity to do it all. I am a creative in the Los Angeles area, known for my uniqueness and authentic perspective. The project doesn’t matter. I thrive in a collaborative and creative environment. This is how my company, OPEN, and non-profit were created. I was collaborating with some of my college friends. Open stands for Ordinary People Expecting Nothing. We are an apparel LA-based nonprofit focused on inspiring positivity and creativity in our communities through the support of programs in the arts, education and exploration. Our team provides support through entrepreneurship and philanthropy to raise awareness and funds for our partners. While primarily self-funded, the proceeds from apparel sales, and donations, help our foundation to provide financial support and resources to our partners. We support organizations that align with our values and are making a positive impact for others. We do this because we want to be the change we want to see in the world!

Open. seeks to establish a recognizable and iconic brand that evokes a sense of creative empowerment, freedom, and risk-taking. While open. is a clothing company at heart, we use our platform to highlight and promote special projects with ordinary people who are positively impacting the world around them. Our goal is to establish a community of Ordinary People who value appreciation, ambition, and creativity in their individual pursuit towards a greater, collective goal. Our values at open. are: We value creative self-expression, We value the Individual and the Team, We value embracing the challenge, We value the intrinsic worth of a blank canvas, We value the artistic talent in all of us. I am very proud of being the founder and CEO of open. I am most proud of the things I’ve been a part of to impact the lives of others. From providing much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to our 10 cities Hunger Relief event we put on with the Social Justice League. I’ve used my creative talents and passions to make life better for others. This seems to set me apart from many others. Nothing is about my personal gain. I just want to leave it better than I found it.

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
If someone would like to join or financially support the cause head over to beopen.us for all of the latest products and projects.

Pricing:

  • open. staple tee $25.00
  • open. statement tee $35.00

Contact Info:

  • Email: ken@beopen.us
  • Website: beopen.us
  • Instagram: @open.clothing
  • Facebook: @openclothingLA
  • Twitter: @openclothingLA


Image Credits:

Jasmine Rollins Elizabet Puksto Kyle Miller Ken Marshall

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