Today we’d like to introduce you to Kalaan Brown.
Kalaan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Long Beach, California but did most of my growing up in Victorville, California I’ve always had ties to Long Beach being that that’s where my mom is from and her side of the family is from as well. I’ve always been interested in fashion and have had a creative mind. My mom and dad were always well dressed so I guess you can say fashion is in my blood. My mother always told me a man should be well dressed, well groomed and smell good, so those 3 principles have always stuck with me. Growing up, the plan was to make it to the NBA, design my own home and have my own clothing brand. Two of those things didn’t happen but one of them did which was part of my dream and obviously what God had planned for me. I was Raised by a single mother, Johnnie Mae, who was the best mother anyone could ever ask for. She was the most giving and loving person you would ever meet. She had the biggest heart and a perfect smile, she was also my best friend. My mother raised me to always believe in myself and told me I was special everyday of my life for 18 years. She Instilled in me that I could achieve anything I wanted as long as I was willing to put the work in to attain it. My dream was to go to the NBA and was raised as a basketball prodigy, at least in my circle of family & friends. But tragedy struck when I lost my mom at 18 years old. I woke up to find my mom dead at the age of 51 and at that point, my whole world stopped and came crashing down. I was lost and suicidal, I mean my mother was my whole support system, my backbone, my everything. My dad and I rarely spoke and he lived in Georgia, so leaning on him wasn’t an option. To add fuel to the fire, a month after she passed I had to go to college and play ball. As you could imagine I didn’t have the best season. She passed July 20 2001.
Fast forward 20 years later, I’ve graduated from college on a full basketball scholarship, with a bachelor’s in physical education/communication. I’ve seen 15 countries while on tour with the Harlem Globe Trotters and Washington Generals – all thanks to basketball. I have my real estate license, I’ve trained hundreds of kids in basketball and have helped them achieve their goals. I’ve been on a reality TV show called Temptation Island which was viewed by millions and I say with confidence that I was a stand out character you will never forget. Now I’m living my dream owning my clothing brand called EGO MANIAK which developed from my tragedy turned triumph. Losing me mother forced me to become my own support system, my own hype man, my own belief system, my own everything! However I will say when my mom died, my Aunt Deloris and my Uncle Robert took me in and without them I don’t know where I would be. I am forever in their debt! My Grandma was also a very vital part of my healing process and still is a very important part of my life.
Has it been a smooth road?
My road has been anything but smooth, but without struggle there is no progress. I’ve always struggled with a little bit of doubt, if people would actually understand what I’m trying to say with my brand and relate to the story that I’m tryin to tell. Ego Maniak is years in the making, I had this idea in 2013. At some point you have to say the hell with it and just believe in yourself, your dream and vision. I made the jump to push forward and not care about the naysayers opinions. At the end of the day the only approval you’ll ever need is your own!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ego Maniak story. Tell us more about the business.
My clothing Brand EGO MANIAK comes from my tragedy. It comes from never giving up on yourself and your dreams, even when things are at the lowest and you see no way out. My mother taught me to believe in myself and that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to, and this brand is dedicated to her. My Brand is not just about dope clothes it’s about the message behind the brand. I feel like we need a clothing brand out there that’s not just about getting girls and getting to the bag (money). My brand pushes positive self-image and self-belief. The four Pillars of my brand are SELF LOVE, CONFIDENCE, GROWTH & EMPOWERMENT. Ego Maniak embodies putting YOU first and becoming the best version of yourself, not just for you but for the people around you. A lot of times, we let other people’s opinions dictate our self worth dreams and our abilities. That is tragic. My brand is here to say THE HELL WITH THAT. YOU ARE DOPE AND YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, WITH ONE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT. You have to put the WORK in. No one can dictate your future but you, so reach for the stars and be an individual, don’t conform. I would love to see people like Lebron James, Jay z, Beyoncé, Odell Beckham, Kevin Hart, Serena Williams Paul George, Russel Westbrook, Chris Paul, Meek Mill, Rick Ross wear Ego Maniak. These are people that I feel embody the soul of my brand. Beyoncé, for example, was in Destiny’s Child, one of the best selling and biggest singing groups ever. It could’ve been easy for her to stay in the group and just keep doing what she was doing. But she knew she had more to offer and Beyoncé had the CONIDENCE to step out as a solo artist and become the global phenomenon she is today! JAY-Z the GOAT. Created his own record label when no labels wanted to sign him. I can tell stories about all these guys but the main ingredient here is they all had perseverance, self-belief and CONFIDENCE.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I see the industry constantly changing. There’s new trends every month and it’s hard to keep up sometimes. I feel as long as we stay focused on what we’re trying to accomplish and not try and keep up with the Jones’s, Ego Maniak will succeed. I’m very self aware and I understand Ego Maniak isn’t for everybody – it’s a bold statement. But the message will resonate with people who aren’t afraid to be their authentic selves in a world of copycats. Over the next decade I see EGO MANIAK becoming a multi-million dollar brand and pushing our message global. I want to partner with Roc Nation and JAY-Z, that’s the ultimate dream. I would also love to meet and pick the Brain of Damon Jon and convince him to mentor me. Remember it’s not just about dope clothes it’s about the message. 💯
- Website: www.egomaniak.com
- Phone: 5622907985
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @kalaanbrown @_egomaniak
- Facebook: Kalaanbrown
- Twitter: @egomaniak