Can I tell y'all something?
I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING.
That's been the prevailing theme for all things #MusicSermon - knowing there was something I wanted to see/have/experience, and feeling/figuring out the best way to bring it to life as I went along. This Summer was no different.
But I'm getting ahead of myself; I recently took stock of the last 3 months and looked towards the end of the year and next year, and realized that some of you don't "know" me. Alot of folks have been part of the #MusicSermon community for years, or follow me on Twitter so they at least "see" me regularly, but there's a whole new crew who discovered the #MusicSermon IG account this year, which is still my voice, but kind of detached from me as a person.
So, allow me to (re)introduce myself, and tell y'all - both those who know me and those who don't - why this Summer's been so key for me as a creator, and for #MusicSermon not just as a brand but as a community (without the community, there's no #MS brand, BTW)
The Evolution of #MusicSermon:
I read a quote from Prince recently that I hadn't seen before, and it inspired me to craft this long a** email,
“To create something from nothing is one of the greatest feelings, and I would – I don’t know, I wish it upon everybody. It’s heaven.”
Even when the concept is there, taking something from idea to a tangible thing you can show/share with the world is one of the most challenging and rewarding things there is.
Everything in #MusicSermon started with an "I wanna do X," starting with the first music thread, which changed my whole career path (from the business side of music to journalism), and grew into this 5 year-old platform/brand/whatever.
#MusicSermon has changed out of both growth and necessity (ie me getting consistently suspended on Twitter for copyright and having to dead the threads), and it's different thing than it was back in 2017. Now, depending on who you ask, it's an IG account, or a music challenge, or a bunch of playlists, or merch...or it's just me. All of those things are true. And still, storytelling and connection through love for music and culture is the heart of it all.
So that quote resonated with me when I came across it while finishing the Master Playlist Journal I created to expand the music challenge into something more personal.
Even the Sermon Shop was born out of "I wanna try X..." because I wanted t shirts and sweatshirts that fit #MusicSermon's vibe. I launched the first pieces in 2018 or 19. They were somewhat limited in design and text based, because I didn't have the skills yet to fully translate my ideas and notions into designs yet, and I didn't want to hire a designer because I don't always know what I want until I play around with things a bit (I'm sure fellow creatives will understand). So after a short while, I stopped promoting or adding new items to the shop and let it sit; if someone asked about it I'd send them the link, but I decided to relaunch once I could create the kind of items I thought truly fit the Sermon. I was finally there - or at least close enough to start - this June, and the overwhelming response to the #BlackMusicMonthChallenge this year created a perfect opportunity.
But I still didn't know what I was doing! Not really.
This Summer was meant to be a test run on whether expanding #MusicSermon into a mech line make sense, before I fully jump out the window with alll the items I want to bring to y'all (you have no idea!) But I didn't know how to run an e-commerce platform; how to create awareness, how to promote it, creating the best customer experience, navigating drop-shipping and finding the right platforms. It's more work - well, it's smarter work - than it looks, and I was figuring it out in real time. I made some mistakes - like I recently, unknowingly, delayed some shipments by changing some automated settings - and I'll probably make a few more. But I've been learning and correcting as quickly as I can.
Why am I telling y'all all of this?
Because I hope you'll stay on this journey with me. I won't spam you (I promise), but I do want to sometimes ask for your thoughts and feedback, let you know about new items - especially as we go into the holiday season and I'm rolling out printed goods, accessories and gifts, and occasionally offer exclusive promotions or items, as well as keep you updated on all things #MusicSermon outside of the shop - like the actual in-person #MusicSermon event everyone, including me, has been waiting for since forever.
Thank you for rocking with me in advance, and if you haven't looked around the Sermon Shop or MusicSermon.com in a while, take a look!