StockX: Charlie G, thanks so much for talking with us. To get things started, will you please introduce yourself?
Charlie G: My name is Charlie G. I’m a fulltime blogger and influencer. My background is actually in software engineering. While I was working my 9-to-5, I wanted to be a fulltime blogger and to earn my leaving writing about different brands. But I never made the leap until I experienced harassment on the job. My manager was harassing me and no one did anything about it after I reported it. So I stopped showing up for work. After about three months, they finally realized I wasn’t coming into work so I was let go. Getting fired turned out to be a dream come true. It lit a fire under my ass! It’s been over a year now and I’m living my dream: fulltime blogger and influencer and also consulting to help 9-to-5ers turn their passion into profits.
Tell me about your family history.
My parents are both from Nigeria. They actually met in Connecticut. Both my mom and dad moved separately to Connecticut and they met in college. My mom was celebrating gaining her US citizenship, and they say that’s how I was conceived! When I was 9 we moved to Detroit because my mom wanted to be closer to her brother. I’ve been a Detroiter ever since.
I ended growing in Southfield, all over Southfield. Southfield is really plain, really suburban. I ended up graduating from Southfield High School. So I’m real Southfield; I’m Southfield as fuck, lol.
Describe the first moment when you really connected with fashion and style.
That first moment? Well, it would have to be just witnessing Rihanna. She is a damn fashion staple! I mean everything about her is so iconic. She’s been amazing for so long. I mean just look at the 2018 Met Gala where she wore that Maison Margiela diamond pope outfit… Oh my god!
Speaking of fashion and style, how would you describe your personal style?
I’m a little bit of everything. I’m a tomboy; I’m a girlie-girl. You might see me in baggy pants; you might see me in heels. Hell, you might see me in baggy pants and heels!
How did you get started as a Fashion Blogger and Influencer?
It all really started about two years ago, me doing the culture content thing. Brands started reaching out to me to tell me they liked my look and social presence. Institutions like the DIA [Detroit Institute of Art] and brands like the Bumble dating app started offering to pay me to promote them on social. I was like, ‘paying me and, like, this is a real thing? People do this?’
So that got me started. Brands reached out to me on social media and we’d talk about deliverables and things to do. But I would also pitch to other brands. I wasn’t sitting and waiting for brands to contact me!
Describe your creative process. How do you work?
It actually took me a while to figure out my aesthetic on social media. Once I figured that out–lifestyle blogger–it’s become a lot easier to do. I do lifestyle shots with products and brands. But it’s more than just posting good-looking photographs. I work with brands and figure out what brands need. All brands need certain things from influencers to portray and promote their brand accurately and authentically. I make sure everything fits. Also, I have to decide whether or not I’m a good fit for a brand, too. I’ve passed on brands because they’re not authentic to me. For example, I passed on a gun company because that’s not me.
What does being a blogger and influencer mean to you?
Let’s be clear: being a blogger is more than just typing “OMG!” I’ve been working on crafting my blog and social persona for a decade now. And being an influencer is more than just being a good blogger. I have the power to steer people in the right direction, to help them make positive choices. I work hard to try and break the mold of basic blogging by talking about more than mundane stuff. I talk about my struggles, about being authentic, and what that means to me. I use my platform as a blogger and influencer to always express my authentic self. That’s really what being a blogger and influencer means to me.
How are you able to connect with people through your blogging?
It all starts with authenticity. I think it really started by accident. I was going through a lot and I just started putting it out there. I was talking about all the bad shit and all the good shit, being real. And through it all, authenticity was the theme. People like that I’m open and I’m always open about everything because I ain’t got the time or patience for anything else.
How do you view yourself and your work in terms of Detroit?
I see myself in terms of authenticity. My blackness, my African-ness, no bullshit. Detroit is a place that needs that, right now. There’s a lot of fake shit in Detroit, especially now. You see a lot of companies moving in, kicking out people from here, and then claiming Detroit. I’m just working to figure out a way for everyone to see this black-ass face.
What does success look like for you?
When I don’t have to worry about being broke after paying my bills. When I can take care of my mom. But right now I feel successful because people are responding to my story and saying that it inspires them and they look at me as a kind of mentor. I feel like that’s how I know I’m on the right path.
Last question: Do you have any advice for 9-to-5ers out there thinking about pursuing their dreams?
Yes! Be your fucking self! Ask for help when you need it. If you have a vision don’t doubt yourself. You will eventually come back to it and realize your dreams.
Real last question: Anything else people should know about you?