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Aight so true story. Naturally Dope started off as a clothing line in about 2015. I sew clothes and the heart behind it was for people to wear dope stuff that reflects who they are inside and out. The goal of it was never to be a name brand kind of thing, but more of dope clothing that reflected a dope lifestyle.
Of course the fashion would reflect my style which was heavily influenced by my childhood growing up in the 80s and 90s, but they would be special...clothing that told a story-regardless of what type of clothing it was they'd tell a story about the person wearing it.
Anyway, I never actually got away from the concept of it being about fashion-let's just say I kind of evolved on it a bit...hear me out.
The end of 2018 was rough. I found out my then 4 year old was on the autism spectrum. A few weeks later I learned I was pregnant with what would hopefully be my 3rd child in a whopping NINE pregnancies. Yeah, that's a lot of loss. I returned to the Dr who prayed for me when I found out about my daughter to reveal the news.
Something was different this time though. Instead of an office she had an entire practice and her own space now. Her attitude was different. Her faith was different. The thing that I'd suggested that would help my daughter be a healthy pregnancy and she'd agreed to then...she'd now voice her doubt and concerns for this baby. I had to constantly go through her secretary to even speak with her. It was like she was a different person.
But I played by her rules...and it almost killed me. The short story is that I ended up in the emergency room on New Years Eve...New Years Day I had to have an emergency surgery to remove a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I was losing blood, but thankfully it was a slow leak.
Of course I was traumautized...and extremely depressed following that. That was my ninth pregnancy...7th unsuccessful...in 12 years. I was done. I spent my birthday riding home from the hospital. I had so many questions...for God...for myself...and about everything. I was convinced that the reason why so many of my friends and myself had gone through this journey was because it was something in our environment. It was something in our food. It was something in our medicine...so I made a choice to choose to eat better. That was the start.
My family wasn't financially wealthy and we had to budget. Well, budgeting for a family of 4 and eating healthy would be challenging. The prices on healthy food and fresh fruit and produce was insane. There had to be another way I thought...so I wondered if I could grow my own food. The problem with that was that I didn't live in a house...I had a very tiny space and 2 very busy toddlers. There was no way I could do containers of dirt inside and I didn't have the space outside. How would I pull this off on a budget?
I figured it out...hydroponic gardening...indoors. It worked. I could grow my own medicine AND my own food right from the comfort of my own home with a small amount of space. That's when I got this dope idea...if I can garden on a budget then other people can too. They just need to know how to do it. I figured out that there were so many people who still DESIRED for healthier change and options...they just didn't know HOW.
That was it. Black people often lack financial resources, but much of the systematic oppression has also resulted in a lack of education and knowledge. We could grow our own medicine and healthy food if we had the knowledge. We could Defy Odds and Pursue Excellence right where we were...we could be DOPE. Being dope should be natural...innate...apart of our character and who we are. That's how Naturally Dope evolved and became what it is now.
So What about the Fashion?
That part still exists and it's coming. Part of goal is being dope inside and OUTSIDE...but the natural involves practicality. The natural part is making clothing that's helpful for people who are outside or inside with their plants. I want to encourage people that outdoor clothing and garden gear doesn't have to be boring. You can look fresh and still live a dope lifestyle. But that's coming-soon, but not now. Currently, the focus is on starting with a healthy and holistic lifestyle at the foundation. Your core-your inner being is the most important...so that's what we're working on first.
Welcome to Naturally Dope.