We had the good fortune of connecting with Roc and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Roc, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I had my oldest child at a very young age and with that came many challenges however, what I feel that I continue to do well, and I hope has the greatest impact on my kids, is that I lead by example. Now it’s not all roses and chocolates and I’m far from perfect, in fact my child has seen me through being a single parent, working and going to school full-time which often left little time for us. I sacrificed time with him as a young person that I can never get back in the attempt to build a more stable future for us as a college graduate. The silver lining is, I did graduate and put us in a more secure position, and he saw me do it. He knows firsthand what it can look like and even more importantly, he can learn from my mistakes and hopefully choose a smoother path. I later went on to have another child and now they both get to watch me fumble through maintaining a small business, being a homeowner, a wife, a full-time employee, all while chasing my dreams and it’s raw. I share in my successes, failures and struggles but also remain on display so I can serve as an example during situations they may encounter when they’re adults. I do my best to move through the world like they’re watching because I want to make them proud and also show them that with hard work and determination, “sky’s the limit kid”.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My business actually started during the pandemic because I was forced to sit still, this ultimately led me to complete one of my life-long goals which was compiling all of my poetry from the years and writing a book. I was surprised how naturally and easy this came once I decided I was going to do it, I finished the book within a month and when I received my first copy, I cried. It was a mixture of emotion, relief that I finally got this done and frustration that I took so long to do it out of fear of rejection. I decided from that point forward, with my art- as long as I am being true to who I am, I’m going to believe in it and go at it full force. This was one of those defining moments for me, I felt reenergized from this accomplishment and concluded that in order to sell my book, it would make sense to create a business. Hence, RocBnX was formed, “Roc,” being my childhood nickname and BnX standing for Black and XicanX, my bicultural background which plays a vital role in my book and my overall identity. Though writing the collection came easy, creating the business was another thing. I had to find a way to connect my book to my business in a seamless way and I decided that the business will showcase the love, pride and empowerment of my ethnic background through poetry, clothing, jewelry and more (allies always welcome). Mission statement, check. However, the business world as a whole was unfamiliar to me, I struggled with navigating licenses, taxes, and tradenames vs. copyrights-I spent lots of time completing google searches. I’m not going to lie, I’m still very much learning and find marketing difficult, but I keep at it-learning as I go. I will say, the greatest lessons for me so far are to keep going despite doubt, believe in my work, and exercise patience. When I first got started, I expected success overnight and with that mindset, I set myself up for disappointment. Consequently, I’ve learned to be more patient with myself, push down those fears of being unsuccessful and know that my work is worthy to me and that’s enough-if others agree, even better! All in all, I want you to know like a major theme in my book, Rough Edges A Poetry Collection, my business RocBnX LLC is still growing, my clothing items share in the pride of my background, I promise authenticity with my writing and you should expect more from me in the future.
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.
Monday-My all-time favorite food is Frybread so the first place we would go if my best friend is touching down in Phoenix is the Frybread House to get us some red chili frybread and a Pepsi-thee best combo. After we’re fed, I would take her to ride ATV’s near Fort McDowell and follow with a picnic at the Fountain Hills park.
Tuesday- Horseback riding near South Mountain and grab some Soul Food from Mrs. Whites,
Wednesday-Grab tacos and posole from La Olmeca Restaurant then head to Poetic Soul in Phoenix to listen to some spoken word and other artists.
Thursday-Check out an art gallery, shop with local vendors and grab a Strawberry Horchata from Tres Leches!
Friday-If we’re pandemic free, we would most definitely go dancing, anywhere that plays 90’s R&B and Hip-Hop or catch live music
Saturday-Day trip to Sedona or Flagstaff, shop, walk around, ride bikes.
Sunday-Full spa day and chill!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to shoutout my mother Grace, not only is she my rock but she’s my mentor, friend, advocate and teacher. I typically won’t make any moves without her approval or at the very least her validation. She has this great way of letting you know you’re going to be okay without any words, sometimes it’s just a look and I love her for it. I know my journey through writing my book and starting my business would have felt incomplete without her guidance and listening ear. She is the definition of Black Girl Magic and grace. Mom if I don’t tell you enough, “you are appreciated,” in my Tupac voice. I also want to shoutout Cultivo Mercado, Spaces of Opportunity, South Central Mercado and Phoenix Urban Market for allowing me space in the Phoneix pop-up scene. Last but certainly not least, all those who have supported my work either by making a purchase, leaving a review, giving a follow or sharing my items, thank you!
Instagram: @RocBnX LLC
Professional headshot by Adilene Lizarraga