Today we’d like to introduce you to Edward Griffin.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story, How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Edward Griffin an Atlanta-based Serial Entrepreneur, and Life Impactor. I run E. Griffin Enterprises where we house a portfolio of socially responsible, innovative, and forward-thinking brands in multimedia, fashion, marketing, branding, PR, and skincare among other things. I have a proven track record of running successful businesses and helping others do the same via consulting and mentorship. I am a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., a masterclass pro and longtime creator and author who runs the multimedia platform, Hip-Hop-U-C-IT. I currently serve as the Chief Marketing Officer for A Plus Television. I previously held positions at The Source Magazine, iHeartRadio, with Allen Iverson, and more.
Housed under E. Griffin Enterprises, I manage a robust portfolio of businesses that include but are not limited to a luxury footwear company: Culture Shoes, a branding/PR company: The Peblicit Firm, a national HIV/AIDS education initiative: R.A.P. On AIDS, an entrepreneurship education program for inner-city youth: Brand Me University, and most recently, Melanin60 Skincare: a plant-based, organic, all-natural line of skincare products for people of color.
I believe I’ve gotten to where I’m at today by execution. If ever I had an idea, a goal, a plan, I’ve followed through on that plan and executed it. I’ve learned so much of what entrepreneurship is through trial and error as a late bloomer. I’ve always had tunnel vision and have been driven to succeed, being the example for my family, friends, and people who look to me for inspiration.
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
You’re right, success has absolutely not come easily. One thing that has always been a constant for me is that if I set out to do something, I become a student of my craft. I immerse myself in the process and I learn everything I can about the subject. However, even learning all I can, it’s hard to predict if the plan will actually work.
A challenge I’ve experienced is expecting the support of my family and friends just because I put my time, effort, and finances into something I’m passionate about. Only to not receive the support I’ve expected, ultimately setting myself up with unrealistic expectations.
Time management was also a challenge starting out, I didn’t realize when I initially set out to start a business the amount of time that it would take. When I started my first company, I was wearing all the hats, I was the editor-in-chief, web developer, editor, photographer, and graphic designer among other things. Additionally, I had to learn how to delegate tasks to people on my team.
There are so many obstacles that come about on a regular basis, I do my best to stay prepared. I try not to focus on a potential failure; I believe you only have to be right once to achieve the success you aspire to.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
I run a luxury footwear company, Culture Shoes and a skincare company, Melanin60 Skincare and they both are in extremely competitive spaces. I knew that going in, I know with Culture Shoes, I would need to carve my own space and differentiate myself in a sneaker industry that’s hard to breakthrough. I had to look at what my competitors were doing but that couldn’t be my focus. I had to create a great product for my standards and work to educate the consumer on why mine is the better choice.
Melanin60 Skincare was my own product, and I had been using it for years. I was a walking testimonial, people would always ask about my skin and knew I had a great product, a product that worked. With that said, I knew what was already on the market and what was missing so I created clean, cruelty-free, organic, plant-based, skincare products that the whole family could benefit from, men, women, and children. My mission is to ensure that we have the best products available not only for individual people of color but the whole family.
So, I’m not interested in someone working with or shopping with me over the competition, my focus is standing firm on my values and create products and services so valuable they can’t be denied.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
I believe success is something a person has to define for themselves because success is ever-evolving. What I will say is that it’s not something that you can compare to others, nor can it be someone’s idea of success for you. So many people’s idea of success is connected to money or what a person believes success should be for them that they can’t see it clearly in their own eyes.
The advice I would give anyone is to sit down with a pen and paper and make a t-chart, on one side write Success and the other side Happiness. On each side, you’re going to write a list of what success is to you and what happiness is to you. It can be one word; it can be a paragraph but it has to come from you. Sometimes success and happiness overlap and that’s totally fine. Don’t feel pressured to finish it all in what sitting, do it over time, as long as it takes you but define it for yourself. To give you a jump start, Success can be defined as something that’s measurable, Happiness can be defined as a state of being, a choice. You got this!
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Very early on I had to define what success was for me, it was easy to look at others and think, “wow, I want that success,” but for me, success is measurable. I define my success by the standards I hold myself to, did I give it all I had? Did something good come out of it? Did I achieve the goal?
I believe in celebrating small victories. Many times, we get so caught up in trying to obtain the success that we don’t notice all the little things we’ve accomplished. I believe there’s no deadline for success, the only person keeping track of our wins and losses, is us. When you celebrate those small victories, it gives you the motivation to keep pushing further, to hit that target.
Success for me is a state of mind, it’s a feeling of did I make a difference in someone’s life today. Ultimately, success for me is helping others obtain their idea of success. As I mentioned earlier, success isn’t measured by money to me, it’s measured by the impact I’ve had on someone else’s life. It’s nothing better than seeing someone else succeed knowing that you had a hand in helping them get there.
What’s next for you?
Well, a few things are coming out of E. Griffin Enterprises that I’m excited about! I have a new line of skincare products set to be released at Melanin60 Skincare pretty soon.
I’ll be hosting my most popular Masterclass, The Power of Positive Thinking based on my book, for the first time in 2021. I’ll be holding 3 masterclasses on this topic, the first one in March in Atlanta, the other two cities to be announced. I’ll also be hosting my other Masterclass for aspiring entrepreneurs, The Fear of Starting which is also based on one of my books. For details on upcoming dates and announcements, visit https://egriffin.enterprises.
Lastly, I’ll be releasing my first line of Children’s sneakers at the top of April from my footwear company Culture Shoes, which has been long-awaited! For anyone looking for Marketing, Branding, PR, or Web Development be sure to connect with us at The Peblicite Firm: https://peblicite.com.
God has been a blessing for me throughout my journey and there is so much more to come from E. Griffin Enterprises. I am thankful to have the opportunity to work with other aspiring entrepreneurs and I look forward to assisting others on their entrepreneurial journey.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more.
More on Melanin60 Skincare: https://melanin60skin.com
More on Culture Shoes: https://culture.shoes
On all of our brands from E. Griffin Enterprises: https://egriffin.enterprises
You can also connect with me on Instagram: https://instagram.com/hiphopucit