Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Jayde Whitten, founder of Speech To Text Apparel, a clothing brand that allows you to wear your race proudly.
Please tell us something about yourself.
We are a clothing brand that allows black people to embrace their race and those who are not black to stand with the black community and show their support.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
What led me to where I am was hearing about and seeing the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. Their murders were the ones that pushed me to say enough is enough, there needs to be a greater change. Then I was led to ask myself how I could be apart of that change, which led me to start Speech To Text Apparel.
Who are your role models?
My biggest role models, who are also my biggest supporters, are my parents. They have exhibited so many examples for myself and my siblings that have taught us how to carry ourselves properly and how to treat others with care and love.
What inspires you?
My inspirations are those black bodies, who have lost their lives due to police violence or flat out hate. They inspire me to keep going and keep pushing for their justice. They give me hope for a better future where people of color are not killed at a disproportionately higher rate than their White counterparts.
Please tell us about your company.
My company is all about empowering people and making a difference. That’s why our motto is Purpose Over Profit. On top of giving people the opportunity to buy clothing that has a message, we also give people the opportunity to give back. A percentage of each and every purchase made is donated to the Black Lives Matter Movement and organizations affiliated.
What’s your most memorable experience?
My most memorable experience thus far has probably been my launch day. I got so much support, love, and positive feedback. That day showed me that starting this business was the right thing for me to do, especially at a time like this.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
My Instagram and Facebook accounts work best for promoting my work. They reach a lot of people so long as I stay consistent and manage my time on both correctly.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is that I leave this Earth without making a change. I believe that everyone is placed here, and now for a reason and Speech To Text Apparel is one of my reasons. I want to use this business, not to gain attention for myself, but to gain attention for the movement because it truly is a big deal.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
I wish that I knew more about how much I would really be putting myself out there for strangers to see. Yes, that is the whole goal, but it didn’t completely register that people would be able to easily find my family and me on social media. As someone who is more private, that aspect was and still is a bit hard for me to conceptualize.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
I have basically been learning as I go so, the strategy that helps me the most Is learning from my mistakes. If I see that people are not liking something about the website, I improve. If I notice that my social media isn’t growing the way that I want it to, I improve. If my marketing is flawed, I improve. I simply take my mistakes and turn them into lessons.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
Things get tough every time I post something. There are so many people who spread hate and make me second guess everything that I have done so far, but what keeps me going, as I said before, are the people. There are so many stories like Breonna Taylor’s and so many like George Floyd that don’t get broadcasted. I am fighting for them with the same vigor, they deserve to be heard and feel seen just as much.
Any message for our readers.
A message for those who support me and the cause, first of all, thank you. Thank you for standing up for black lives. Thank you for purchasing my apparel. Thank you for seeing the importance of what I am in doing. Thank you for believing in the movement. I appreciate you all greatly!
For those who don’t, I would just like you to reflect. I am not saying that you need to love me or the movement, but I want you to understand the weight of all of this. Black people have been gunned down, lynched, and beaten from the time that they were brought to America in bondage back in 1619, and it is still happening today just because of the color of our skin. That is why the movement is going on. That is why we are fighting back. That is why we say Black Lives Matter. Because for as long as we can remember, we’ve been treated like we don’t. We are not saying that All Lives are not important. We are saying that we have been struggling since the beginning, and now is the time for a change.