We had the good fortune of connecting with Mary Reed-Bryan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mary, how do you think about risk?

Well, I feel risks are necessary. I read a quote that stated “You can’t run a business without taking risks. The brave may not live forever- but the cautious do not live at all! ” (Richard Branson) A risk can lead to success or it can teach valuable lessons. Isn’t life all about taking risks? When we drive a car. What are the odds? We can risk a crash. Rightt? In rare cases. Everyday we drive on blind faith not knowing the move of others, just the move of our own. We all need to have that same blind faith in our life and goals.

I took a risk with my business in numerous ways. To begin with, the spelling of my brands name “blksh33p”. I did not spell “black” nor “sheep” the traditional way. I abbreviated it and substituted the letter “E” for a number. Which is a numeric symbol used for the letter “E” to bring an alternative definition to who a “blksh33p” is perceived to be. Many view “black sheep” as a substandard individual, who may never obtain success due to their past or certain circumstances permitting them. The definition I gave “blksh33p” conveys that we are misunderstood, unheard, we may overthink, battle mental illness or even have a troubling past but in reality we are the overachievers, the go getters. The definition is a risk as well because I was not sure. How my peers would respond to the message I was putting out. I also risked using numbers instead of letters and the numbers symbolize the trinity, the age our lord was crucified, and just a alternative for the letter E but in a numbed form of “ 3 “ but we are unbiased so we just call ourselves “blksh33p” we do not but our belief on nobody.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Was it easy no. Although it was worth it. My life has been a battle of my mind and my emotions. Which is why I personally identify as the blksh33p myself. I learned I was the source of my own pain. I stayed too long in situations knowingly it was wrong for me. I was around individuals who survived my life with no purpose. We had opposite goals. I learned when you surround yourself around individuals whose goals differ from yours you tend to mirror their actions. I experienced a lot, believe it or not. I experienced the loss of a child . I experienced depression.I dropped out of school. I quit my Job. I even experienced a near death experience. My story goes on. This is just a few of the reasons I redefined who a blksh33p is. I learned in all this to love myself to tend to myself. I learned it’s okay not to be okay. I learned to allow myself to feel every emotion. I finally got to a place of peace. I learned I had to stop running and face it. I learned not to lean on man but God. I learn that God loves me to inspect my imperfections. I am proud of everything I endured because it built my character and uncovered the strength I felt I lacked. Making me into the woman I am today giving me this beautiful testimony. I am proud of our growth. In April 2022 had the opportunity to come to phoenix to participate in a pop up shop with Rep your brand. We just launched our website in April 2022. I rejoined school. I go to Texas Southern university. I am a member of the  young entrepreneurs Organization on campus which has brought me unspeakable exposure to new experiences and peers. I am proud that I took control of my situation. I want to use blksh33p to show others you’re not alone. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. I did it so can you. Stay motivated. I want to stand as a voice for the voiceless. I want to stand as an inspiration for those who lost their inspiration. Be patient with yourself and give yourself credit for what you accomplish no matter how small you accomplish it. Except to fail without failing you will never truly understand the value of success.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

The rooftop is where I would take my best friend. I  personally recommend a mimosa with a burger and fries. Capture beautiful pictures and enjoy the moment with an open bar, music, and a spectacular city view.

I also recommend brunch n sip . The vibes were one of a kind. I personally recommend their  Mimosas and anything breakfast  related enjoy their live dj and chill vibes.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to give Recognition to God. I would also love to recognize my mom and my grandma. Without the three of them. I wouldn’t be the person. I am today.

Website: https://www.blksh33pllc.com/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/blksh33p.llc?r=nametag

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.