Our brand’s mission is to encourage everyone to build their own Empires. We strive to inspire others to stick their heads at cloud-level & turn dreams into reality. In this blog series – My Empire in the Air – we give a platform for our supporters to share their journeys.
– by Ray@Empire –
Pursuing one’s passion is never an easy journey for most people, but for both Elliot Santiago and Christina Dare, they are even more determined to find their place in the fashion industry.
For Elliot, pop culture is his passion, but breaking it down to the core, his empire is fashion and sneakers.
“Growing up, I was raised on sneakers and hip-hop music, and things like that,” Elliot says. “I think at the core of it is fashion and sneakers mostly. But then because its relation to my favorite artist, my favorite influencers and my favorite designers and celebrities, and that’s what ties everything together.”
In order for Elliot to stay motivated in his passion with the fashion industry, he finds his inspiration from creatives and artist such as Ronnie Fieg from “Kith” and from both Pharrell and Kanye. Elliot also noted that he admires the mentality that Virgil Abloh from “Off-White” has.
“For him, he just wants to things out in the world and make things, and let the world react to it,” he says. “So I really admire that about him because his mentality is, ‘…if you want to do something, just do it. Just make it happen, and see how the world reacts to it, and then you can improve upon that reaction.’”
As for Christina, her passion stems from watching her favorite YouTubers such as Weylie Hoang, Jenn Im and Sophia Chang. But instead of making YouTube videos, she dreams to one day work as an influencer in the marketing side from a brand perspective.
“I want to have a role, career-wise or personally, that has an impact on an end-goal,” Christina says. “I want to have a say, for whatever company I work for, on how it does its job. I want to make a difference.”
But with every passion, there are always obstacles that get in the way between when building one’s empire.
Last year, Elliot tried starting a club dedicated to exploring pop culture as well as an open space for people to create content within pop culture. But he threw the idea out the window after things didn’t go as he planned, and many conflicting ideas.
“I think for me I just need to do things on my own, and with people that I know, like Gabe Luis (friend), and yourself (me, Ray@empire) who already know what they are doing and who I know personally,” he says. “The biggest thing for me is making sure things go the way you want to go, and not the way anyone else thinks it should go.”
Whereas for Christina’s obstacle was post-grad life, and that did not come easy for her. But she continues to stay motivated by surrounding herself with like-minded people that help push her to keep on pushing.
“I was looking, but I’m also not really looking to move anywhere, so I was looking in the Bay Area, and nothing was coming,” she says. “But people like Elliot, who have the same goals and interest are what keeps me on it. Because he really tells me to stay on it because he knows that is what I want.”
At the end of the day, both Elliot and Christina, against all obstacles, continue to gain inspiration from their role models and continue to push on forward in order to reach and build their own “Empire In The Air.”
For you (the readers), and for myself as well, here are some helpful advice the two have shared with us.
Christina: “For me, I don’t have that many people in my close immediate circle that understands what it is I’m trying to do. So I kind of just stay focus on myself and just pursue it. Just don’t let anyone take that from you, if its what you want, then it is what you want!”
Elliot: “Just being patient and if you want to do something, just do it. Like no matter how small, like even just a blog post or up’ing your game on instagram, just be patient and just do it, literally. I feel like 9 times out of 10 people are more encouraging than discouraging. So just don’t be afraid to fail.”