By The Shore: Bennie Maison Edition

Bennie Maison Apparel is an underground fashion line with unique definition 20130219-110136.jpgbehind it.  It means blessed house and their  logo is a light house which symbolizes the Jersey Shore.  Bennie Maison is made up of five people that include JP Saintil, Pierre Breval, Ryan Breval, Corinne Rosario and Smith Casseu.Generating an article of clothing for Bennie Maison could take between a couple of days to a week.  Visuals, quality and fit are essential for a quality piece of clothing.
In case you did not know, the Jersey Shore is where JP is from.  He says that Bennie Maison  “also symbolizes the very essence of what the light house was used for back in the day which was to guide lost ships and plans to shore. We want to guide people to a fresh new look.”  He compensates not having experience in 20130219-110217.jpgthe fashion world through hard work and diligence.  This line was started in March 2009.  The goal behind this line is to bring something new and refreshing to where he comes from.  What keeps this line going is the team behind it, faith love and hard work.  As far as giving advice, he says , “I don’t think I’m in the position to be giving advice yet, but i would say stay true, don’t give up. This shit gets discouraging sometimes but persistence
and faith is key.”
He looks at fashion as an outwardly expression of how you are feeling on the inside.  His inspirations are Jean Michel Basquiat, music and a few urban clothing lines.  It is a form of art that can be viewed from different perspectives.  He considers himself to be an artist.  Drawing is a hidden passion he posses and has played the piano for years.  “As an artist u are a little bit sensitive about how people will react to your work and the support we are getting so far is a gratifying experience.”

Anyone who likes Bennie Maison matters the most to this team.  They work hard 20130219-110157.jpgand understand that the more work they put in, the more rewarding this experience will be.  I must say that I really do like this line and will definitely be on the look out for it because I know it will be mainstream one day. They have not had a fashion show yet but I look forward to going to one in the future.

Before photoshoots:  I have a jersey shore breakfast special pork roll egg and cheese with home fries on a Portuguese roll 🙂 salt pepper and ketchup.
Fashion goal: to get better every year to expand! Take over the world!
Target Market: high school through college kids.
Check out their site
Facebook: Bennie Maison
Twitter: @benniemaison
Instagram: @benniemaison @jp_the_saint @petewisdom

Crumbled Thoughts : From Twitter to Clothing

imageCrumbled Thoughts is a clothing line ran by Ashley Culver, Tiayrra Bradley, Yvan Kamdem and Victoria Batts.  Ashley and Tiayrra are the co-owners of CT.  Ashley is the poet  while Tiayrra is the plagiarizer. Yvan is in charge of marketing/sales while Victoria is the PR person and does the social media.  Put these four together and you have Crumbled Thoughts aka CT.  CT initially launched the summer of 2010 as blog site that showcased underground music, art and poetry.  There creative influences turned into a clothing line that officially launched in February 2012.  I first caught glimpse of this line through Twitter from Ashley’s site. I’ve enjoyed watching this line transform and look forward to continue watching. They define their sense of fashion as bein clean.  IT isn’t planned out but whn it comes together, it isn’t sloppy.  I’m pretty sure all of you reading this will like this line as much as I do.  The interview goes into more detail about what CT is, the team behind CT and who they are. 

What made you decide to start this line? 

Pure Randomness led us to starting a clothing line! Both Tiayrra and Ashlee have interesting Twitter personalities, so they decided to take those random tweets/thoughts and simply put them on tee shirts for the world to see.
Who knows where the randomness will lead Crumbled Thoughts to next.
The name is very creative.

What’s the idea behind it?
Through miscellaneous conversation about deciding on a brand name we found that sometimes the best thoughts/ideas are found on crumbled pieces of paper; visions that we otherwise would throw away or hide from others out of fear or uncertainty. Our aim is to take those disintegrate, small fragments of a thought and turn it into something brilliant.
imageWhat/who keeps this line going?
Faith and “fashionistas” (whoever that is LOL) At Crumbled Thoughts we believe in what we are doing and have faith that the hard work and dedication we invest in this project will either pay off or fail, but knowing that we tried and are trying is what keeps us grounded and focused on delivering a clean product to our customers.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion doesn’t mean anything to us! (lol) Sharing our sarcastic commentary on life is what matters to us; we just choose to use fashion as the platform. But for a politically correct definition of fashion we would say it is simply a popular trend that changes and recycles with time, depending on who the current President is!  

Do you consider yourself to be an artist?
Absolutely. We create what we think. We’ve been blessed with the ability to do graphc/web design, so everything that comes out of CT we create from start to finish. We sometimes have to be careful of the “artist” title, because artistic people are always late (it’s a genius thing we guess LOL)

On average, how long does it take for an article of clothing to be created?
5 minutes if Photoshop doesn’t crash  lol. Once an idea is born, it is usually instantaneously transformed into a digital sample and soon after it is produced into a physical prototype. Sometimes in the midst of creating one design we get other ideas from the same design. Our designs become much more personal and authentic because not only are we coming up with our own ideas on paper but we’re actually creating them.

Would you consider yourself to be an underground fashion line or mainstream?
Definitely underground…..which allows us to stay true to our product and maintain a certain level of exclusivity that mainstream doesn’t always offer.
What do you believe makes a quality article of clothing?
Quality fabrics and cuts are definelty goal number one, then come delicateimage handling and packaging and of course a crazy design. We offer our customers experiences when they shop with CT, so you’re not just getting a shirt, you’re getting buttons, stickers, free turtles (not really lol). We’re offering our art to you, so that you want to comes back again and again.

What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
Staying true to our product and supplying our “Crumbians” (customers) with clean products that will sustain time and still be relevant years from now.

What do you like best about your line?
We simply love that our line is an extension of ourselves…

What are some of your fashion goals?
Our main goal is not letting cultural fads dictate to how we run our company. Understanding that everything is not for everybody, and knowing when to say “no thanks”, is important. We would also like to become an international clothing company some day and continue to expose our randomness to anyone who will watch.

What kind of audience do you attract or aim towards? 

Anyone who is interested in wearing a statement piece!

What other experience do you have in the fashion industry?
None. We don’t qualify at all, we’re just here! We broke into the fashionimage industry with a Psychology degree, Math& computer science degree, and creativity. Somehow we think that as long as you have heart (and pepper spray), you can do whatever you want in this world.

What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers? 

Just go for it! Don’t be afraid to try different creative ventures on a small scale. Take advantage of the resources around you, and never be wack!

Workig hard is something these people are used to.  They know that their talents will carry them far as long as they believ in themselves.  I lok forward to watching this line grow and expand. Check out their site and follow them on Twitter @crumbledthought 

You can catch the crew and get some gear at the upcoming event below.

Kush Casper


Kush Casper didn’t let his environment dictate where he should be in life. He was raised in the midst of poverty, drugs and crime. He hagan rapping when he was 12 years old. He contributed to a group called 187. Years later, he began building a reputation as a popular DJ.

After graduating high school, Casper wanted to continue in his path into the music industry. He felt that it was equally important to continue his education. After being accept Ed into Howard University, he started his college career during Fall 2008. At the age of 22, Casper is majoring in Accounting.

In reference to being an artist, Casper considers himself to have a more diverse style with east coast influence. He categorizes his music into smooth-hip hop with the creative help of producer Greg Trakkz. His most current musical endeavor was assisted with Greg Trakkz and Tri-Fekta Entertainment. His first single off of his Love Lost mixtape, Always Love You, was released in early 2012. Casper has the heart of a musical artist and the soul of an entrepreneur while working with his S.C.H.E.M.E Team. Check out Casper’s latest mixtape.


Mixtape Link
Music Singles

First Time Dormers

It’s that time of year.  If you weren’t a part of an EOF/EOP, summer enrichment program or summer sports team that requires to live on a college campus for a certain amount of time, first time dormers should prepare themselves for some changes academically, socially and personally.  Living on campus brings both change and growth.  Not all changes will be good but you may feel better if you dive in thinking positively.  Here are some tips for first time dormers:

Check with financial aid: Not having everything squared away with financial aid before moving in can delay your moving.  Your wait time can range from a couple of minutes to a couple of days.  See if your school does express check in and how to go about that.

Make a list of what you may need at your new home away from home: This is  you new home.  You should take what you think you’ll need, sheets, covers, clothes, hangers, stuffed animals, cd players etc.  For certain items such as toasters and mini fridges among other items, you should check with your school to see what isn’t allowed in dorm rooms.

Get to know the people living on your floor or in your building: You never know who may need and why.  Besides, being friendly doesn’t hurt.  Your next door neighbor can be your lunch buddy when you walk into that seemingly huge cafeteria or your partner in crime.

Roommate ground rules: You and your roommate(s) should set some ground rules to avoid conflict  as much as possible in the future.  What items can be taken without permission, what should be asked for at all times, cleaning schedules, bathroom schedules(you get the idea)

Emergency contact list: For safety’s sake, you should have one that you’ll have access to in case of an emergency

Explore your surroundings: You’ll be living in this area for awhile.  You should get to know the area.  Who knows, you may just want to permanently live here.  Knowing your area can be pretty helpful.  You’ll know where the closest public transportation is and some of the local attractions.

Thirsty Thursday: If you don’t know what this means, you will soon.  Thirsty Thursday is pretty much drinking on Thursdays.  There will be dorm room parties, apartment parties and plenty of off campus parties.  Word of caution: keep your eye on your drinks and who you are with.  In a matter of seconds, a fun party with some drinks can turn disastrous.  Keep count of your drinks so you don’t over due it.


Here are a few videos with some more helpful tips.

Funding Your Education

For some people, finding money for college falls into their lap.  For others, it isn’t that easy.  The more some people try to further their education, the harder funding it becomes.  After receiving a bachelors degree, many students that wish to pursue getting their masters find themselves at a road block.  Filling out the FAFSA is a step towards finding ways towards funding your education.  There are many options out there.

One option is to take out loans and hope that after graduating, you find a job, hopefully a good one. Another option is to research scholarships.  There is funding out there.  It is just a bit harder to find.  The third option is to find a job.  Your best bet with a job is to get one where whoever you work for offers tuition reimbursement.  If not, you can always pay for school yourself.

Apply for scholarships that are offered through schools.  These include merit based scholarships and graduate assistanships.  Some potential schools are helpful in terms of helping you find money for school.  Others aren’t so helpful.  Some schools have very limited funds for graduate students.

There are some helpful sites to apply for scholarships such as Fastweb, the Institue for Humane Studies. There are also government loans to help pay for grad school if you think you have no choice but to take out loans.

Pictures courtesy of Google

Graduation: A Debt Sentence

Graduation marks something for everyone. It is a step towards a bigger goal. For many college students across America, it is the beginning of paying back loans or finding funds to continue post bachelorate education. This is the first of a three part series. The first part of this is the introduction. The second part is finding funds for college whether it’s for community college, a traditional 4 year college, a master’s program, a PhD program, or Med school. They all require some form of financing. The third is paying back loans.

Education is an investment in your future. The question on many college students minds is why is this investment digging into their future. In many countries around the world, a college education is either free or not as costly as it is in America. Is college education a scam as many people say? Why should someone have to take out so many loans that have interest that add up over time in order to better themselves? Why is money for school limited to people? Is everyone entitled to a free education?


Graduating and Going into the Deal World

Graduation marks the end of one journey and beginning a new one. Everyone has a plan, even those who think they don’t have one. The short term plan is to graduate. The long term plan varies from person to person. While some people already have job offers and accepted it, there are still those that aren’t sure what’s in store for them. That’s a good thing. Exploring your options is one of the best things anyone can do. No one wants to feels as though they’re settling or find out later on in life they made a mistake career wise. For those who are graduating, take some time putting explore your surroundings. It may be an eye opening experience.