GRINDING: Lola Smalls

1. Name/Alias:
Hadiyah Daché. My name on myspace is L$D so everyone calls me that or Lola Smalls or just Lola.

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?:
I am from a place we call Nairobi but it’s recognized on the map as East Palo Alto, CA currently residing in East Atlanta, GA shawty.

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?:
I am currently in my last year at Clark Atlanta University (GO Panthers!) and I major in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Public Relations Management.

4. What is your Grind?:
My hustle is creativity. From that I do public relations, advertising, marketing and a lot of writing. I currently represent/ work in collaboration with a telecommunication company based here in Atlanta, GA and in Nigeria, Too $hort and the Up All Nite Music Group, LLC; Lifeforce Jazz; Music Artists Mic Terror, Grip Plyaz and Shala; Clothiers 21st Century Maroon Colony (21MC), Plush .357 and Fli Pelican; The Movement Worldwide; Visual Artist Tanekeya Word and Statement Creative; Art Papers Magazine and a few others who haven’t made agreements yet so they won’t be mentioned.

5. How did you get into what your doing now?:
I got into what I’m doing now by being an underpaid or unpaid intern at several PR agencies. I noticed at my internships there was a heavy focus on writing but all the writing I did that was acceptable was bland and nothing about the press kits or materials that were created for the clients stood out. Most PR agencies I had interned for were ones where nearly everyone on staff lacked creative skills but had excellent writing skills. That would have been good for the industry 10-15 years ago but now? I’d much rather talk to someone than read a bunch of buzz words so I think it’s very important to make everything stand out. Plus, I was tired of being bored and I figured that I should probably get paid something for it since I was trying to pay for school anyway.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?:
I thought I would grow up to tour with Alvin Ailey. I was very serious dancer for a good 14 years of my life. Towards the end of high school I thought I’d grow up to be a younger female version of Dr. Cornell West.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?:
Growing up in a multi-cultural neighborhood, going to church when I didn’t want to and being below poverty poor got me to where I am now. I take nothing for granted and have become way too patient as a result of that. Also, I always took my education way too seriously (I was the kid crying over a B) which is paying off now, but when I was younger everyone thought I was obsessed with perfection for no reason. I actually always had plans of attending grad school and I thought those grades would matter too.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?:
Definitely. My decision to go into communications came from my high school Senior English teacher, Mr. Bramfitt. He thought I was an amazing writer. Unfortunately I had already spent enough time with Stanford University students to know I definitely would NOT be an English major. He was the first person to actually encourage me to go into Communications. He said, “You can do absolutely anything with a degree in Communications and.” He had majored in Speech and Theatre in college so he used himself as my proof. I researched it. He was right. I was sold. So thank you Mr. Bramfitt. My mother helped a lot by supporting everything I did. Also, my mentor Ayodele Ankoanda-Kinchen and all the other Nairobiites were and still are a big help.

9. What motivates you?:
At this very moment in life my main motivation is the $50K+ I’m going to have to pay back in a year. So I’m trying to be as un-broke as possible. I go above and beyond to keep my bills paid and then some.

10. Your favorite author and why?:
I have many but the one that stands out is Ayi Kwei Armah. His work has a lot to do with African and African-American complexes which I see in people every day.

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?:
Graduate, Move back to the Bay and Make everyone else in the public relations world very nervous

12. 1 person that continuously inspires you and why?:
There is no way possible that solely one person continuously inspires me. I’m inspired by a lot of different people and things. Mainly things.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?:
Plush .357, 21 Maroon Colony (21MC) and Imaginary Foundation.

14. What annoys you the most?:
Mis-spelled words, blocked calls and event (or party) planners that call themselves PR professionals.

15. Your best quality?:
Altruism and Loyalty

NEED TO CONTACT LOLA SMALLS E-MAIL HER AT lola@lolasmalls.com AND DON’T FORGET TO CHECK HER BLOG http://lolasmalls.blogspot.com/

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