If you hang out in New Orleans, you’ve come across Derin Lindsey one way or another. Whether you’ve attended one of his most sought-after events, purchased a shirt from his New Orleans inspired clothing line or experienced his designs through your favorite brands. It’s pretty hard to miss Derin Lindsey, The Brand. We caught up with the man behind the brand to see how he does it all.
HOB: As an entrepreneur who walks several avenues successfully, how do you know when you want to bring an idea to life?
Derin: Honestly, if it feels good and makes me really excited, I go to work on it immediately. Once I get a vision for it, I start thinking about colors, locations and cost and then I put it together.
HOB: We’re huge fans of The Derin Lindsey networking event series. Tell us what goes into curating a successful networking event that people are excited to attend?
Derin: First, I come up with a catchy name. Then, I work on the color palette, I make sure the color palette is eye-catching. Then I brainstorm panelists who are hardworking- who I feel will bring value to the event and to attendees. Then I research talented singers to be the guest performer at the event!
HOB: What encouraged you to make men’s health and wellness a part of the Derin Lindsey brand?
Derin: Back in September, I was diagnosed with Stage 5 Kidney Disease (End Stage Renal Disease). As a full-time entrepreneur, it’s common for me to turn everything into a business. As I began shifting my brand from ‘Derin Lindsey Graphic Design’ to ‘Derin Lindsey: The Brand’, it allowed me the opportunities to showcase all of my talents and services under one roof.
So, I figured it would be impactful to share my health journey and target black men. As a 30 year old black male, I personally haven’t been to the doctor since I was in high school and to bring good out of this situation I wanted to include it in my brand to bring awareness in hopes that other black men could prevent or be aware of any illnesses in their bodies, if any.
HOB: As a small business owner from New Orleans, what are your favorite ways to pour back into the culture?
Derin: Definitely, through events and highlighting black businesses. I own a blog called Black New Orleans, a few years ago I celebrated 28 black men in the month of February and hosted a reception at the end of the month in their honor. Last year I hosted a Block Party highlighting 30 blacked owned businesses with live performances and 2 sets by local dj’s. This month I’m celebrating black women for women’s history month.
HOB: What strategies do you find were essential in growing your businesses?
Derin: Social Media, Eblast and Word of Mouth… oh, and supporting other people!
HOB: Of all the branches of Derin Lindsey, The Brand, which one mirrors who you are the most and how?
Derin: I’d say design. Graphic design is a skill that I’ve been practicing now for 11 years. It’s essential in my events, in my clothing line and content for my blogs (Black New Orleans and For Black Men). Designing is the number one thing I do.
HOB: We’re curious, what is your absolute favorite thing about New Orleans’ culture?
Derin: Hmm, I would say it’s artistry, the music from the brass bands to the second lines. And the costumes on the Zulu Tramps and Indians! New Orleans is the only place you can ever experience this ART!
HOB: Where do you see The Derin Lindsey Brand in the next five years?
Derin: Whew, good questions! I see Derin Lindsey: The Brand designing for larger companies like Essence and Tech Week.
I can even see myself shifting from design and advocating for Black Men’s Health full-time. My ultimate goal is for my blog, ‘For Black Men’ to be as big as Essence Magazine and to be the number one source for black men in the world. I also want my own lounge/brunch spot/concert venue named Brass + Bites, paying homage to jazz musicians.