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Meet Downtown Designer: Martasia Person

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martasia Person.

Martasia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started Bold Maniere sophomore year in my college dorm room. What began as a DIY Youtube channel, later on, transformed into a clothing line. At that time I was applying to FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles. After I got accepted I left my life in the Midwest and transferred schools to the West Coast. Being around creative individuals, urban brands, and opportunities, it was almost easier for me to stay committed to Bold Maniere, which at the time was just custom denim. The streets of LA definitely helped transform me as a person overall. Through individual growth, I recognized that my brand didn’t match me, That’s when I stopped doing custom orders and starting trying to transfer my brand into something that was more meaningful to who I was. My life at the time was all over the place, and it reflected on my brand. It was tough but I learned a lot through trial and error. Definitely getting to know who I am as a person, helped me understand who I am a designer, and ultimately where I wanted to take Bold Maniere.

Has it been a smooth road?
Definitely not. Before moving to LA my life at home was already rocky. I’m a hood baby, therefore I grew up poor, in unstable conditions, affiliated with gang members, befriended the wrong people. Everything in my life followed me. Even when I applied to FIDM. During the interview, I had to explain to the board why I got kicked out of 5 different high schools, why I had a police record and why I felt like they should give me a chance to excel in their school. Getting accepted into that school was my fresh slate in life. I had no family, no friends, no enemies, no problems in LA. However, from lack of knowledge, I didn’t do prior research in understanding what it took to not only survive on my own but survive in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

Unfortunately, my school didn’t have dorms. That lead me to work multiple jobs while going to school full time, just to barely get by. Financially I wasn’t prepared, and neither was my family. I never had so many hungry nights, shed so many tears, felt so lonely, prayed so many prayers, took out so many loans, dug up so much debt in my life. A year later I lost my apartment, and that was the first time I really had to think about why I was in LA. Before that moment it felt as if I was sleepwalking, going through the motions, getting by. That eviction letter was my wake up call. During that time, I was worried about my mother’s addiction, my Godbrother was killed in Illinois, the person who I thought I was going to be with forever stepped out on me, my old friends were bashing me on the internet. I had built this platform and everyone was either looking at me to succeed or fail,Everything within me was just telling me to give up. So I did. I flew back home and two weeks later I couldn’t handle it anymore because I realized my home was not my home. I had literally nothing to come home to. So I decided to fly back to LA and be homeless just so I could finish school and chase my dreams. Those 3 months was by far the most uncomfortable experience ever. Within those 3 months, I also got closer to God and started understanding my purpose more than ever. For that, I am thankful for every obstacle that was put in my way because it matured me. By the grace of God, I am who I am and I remained stoic. As a person who wants to be successful, I feel it is important to know that it will never be easy, especially if you’re starting from the bottom and carrying the pressure of paving a way for others. However it is also important to know that every obstacle is clothed as an opportunity to show God’s works in your life, and every setback is a set up for better future.

Who, or what, deserves a lot of credit for where you are today?
Being in LA, I was fortunate enough to be around people who get it. Ultimately you are who you hang with so I surrounded myself around individuals who strive for success. That in itself kept me focused. It’s kind of like working out at the gym. If you’re on the treadmill and a person beside you is working just as hard as you, your mind is going to tell you that you can’t get off that treadmill before that person. Having those friends by my side is what kept me running. There will be times however that I will feel defeated because of the things I dealt with in my life. I would confide in those friends and it became frustrating because they couldn’t relate. In their eyes, it came off as me making excuses for my life. That’s where my church family came it to play. My leaders within my church had a broader perspective than my friends. Just confiding into them helped me gain a deeper understanding of life, trials, and tribulations, I developed a more positive attitude and more optimistic outlook on my future. With that being said I think it’s beneficial to not only surround yourself with people who are on your level and strive to be on a higher one. Also, surround yourself with people who are on a higher level so that you understand your reach.

What type of clients or projects do you look forward to most?
As of now, I’m focusing on branding and exposure. I’m planning on doing more photo shoots as well as visuals to build a buzz about what Bold Maniere represents. The idea is to attract media outlets, possible investors, influential artists, and clientele who will be interested in the brand overall. I would love to attract clientele such as Chance the Rapper, ASAP Rocky, Teyana Taylor, Jayden Smith just to name a few. Not only because of who they are but mainly because they all have very distinct styles. I feel my statement pieces will speak boldly on artist who represent uniqueness.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
I wish that I would have done more research, more planning, actually had a foundation set in stone before I released my brand. I’ve been learning a lot from trial and error along the way and I feel I would have been more effective if I was actually ready when I started. It’s basically like I started a job without training. So now I’m in a place where I have demand, I have people asking for product, but I don’t have supply. Things like that keep you from getting ahead. I’ve decided to take a step back, quit my job and focus strictly on getting Bold Maniere ready. That way once an opportunity approaches me I’m not TRYING to get ready. I have exactly what you need; supply and demand.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.boldmaniere.com
  • Phone: 6128762326
  • Email: martasiaperson@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @tayshanae
  • Facebook: Martasia Person
  • Other: @boldmaniere

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