My Origin Story: Jeremiah Pittman
Generation Titans' "My Origin Story" is part of ongoing series to feature talented, innovative, and dope entrepreneurs of color (EOC). We are providing a platform where founders and creatives can tell their stories in their own voice and in their own unique way. These stories are not highlight reels, although they do highlight success. Also, these stories are not focused on only the hardships, obstacles, and racial inequality that entrepreneurs of color face, although they do squarely address these challenges. Today, Generation Titans catches up with Jeremiah Pittman to hear more about his origin story and with his journey as an entrepreneur.
Stories like Jeremiah's are American stories that push the culture forward, spark conversation and connections in the startup ecosystem, and also inspire a younger generation of entrepreneurs. These stories and the founders are a counter narrative. Through "My Origin Story," Generation Titans is proving that the pipeline of EOCs exists--despite the media's prevailing deficit narrative about entrepreneurs of color.
WHO IS JEREMIAH PITTMAN?
I am Jeremiah Pittman. Born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Birmingham, Alabama i'm the youngest and only boy in my family behind 5 beautiful sisters. In college, I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I surrounded myself with people that I shouldn't have. I ran into some trouble with the law. It took tons of self reflection to see where my life was headed, but once I decided to make a change, I reached out to my cousin, who is my mentor & hero that helped me get back on the right path. His words and the ideas we shared motivated me to take care of business and move to Durham, North Carolina. In 3 short months I've done more substantial things in my life than I have in the last 3 years. The best of all, I've started up my own business named ThriVe Enterprise.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I'm from Birmingham, Alabama, where I spent a majority of my adolescent years. Birmingham has shaped me in so many ways, but the one thing I'm most grateful is that it showed me that was so much more to explore outside of Birmingham. I consider myself to be a trendsetter, I'm also very in tune with current "waves" and enjoy keeping up with the progress of the culture we find ourselves in today. To me, Birmingham has a lot to offer, but it is very behind on the things that I'm interested in. So, from my junior year in high school I knew Birmingham wouldn't be the place for me to follow my dreams in fashion and/or graphic design which we're my main interest at that time.
WHAT IS ONE THING THAT SOCIAL MEDIA WON'T TELL US ABOUT YOU?
I'm very laid back and quiet in public spaces. I'm observant and tend to only make authentic connections. I was once that guy who always sought attention and being in the light--I think that's how a lot of people still see me. I've matured so much and I don't think people see that sometimes and those are the people who I receive hate from the most. Those who truly know me know that the attention isn't what I'm seeking anymore its true connections with people who can inspire me to grow and develop into the person I'm meant to be.
WHAT IS THRIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND HOW HAS YOUR JOURNEY AS A FOUNDER SHAPED WHAT YOU'RE DOING AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
ThriVe is an online fashion store offering curated thrift and consignment items. We also offer brands pop-up marketing. My journey as a founder came with a lot of thinking on the fly and putting those ideas into action no matter what the result. A lot of people are afraid of challenges and failing so they don't enter new spaces--I'm the complete opposite. Since being an entrepreneur, I've learned to go forth and have faith in new ideas that come about and be open to change. Everything doesn't have to happen the way that I envision. I've learned to see thing from all perspectives and to be more open minded. Ideas I've come up with are completely original and they have WORKED so keeping that spirit of creativity I've had since founding Thrive is important.
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CONTINUE ON YOUR JOUNEY?
My nephews and people who have helped me get to this point. There's a lot of people who didn't even think that I would be in a position to even share My Origin Story with Generation Titans--that's what pushes me to keep going. My nephews are another very important piece in this, because like me, they have all grown up either without a Father or with bad influences. I want to make sure that by the time they graduate, they'll have the key lessons that I've learned along the way in starting my business just 3 short months ago. I want to be able to offer them a job if that's what they want. Ultimately, I want to teach them what it takes to be a person of integrity and good morals in this world and how to apply that to business.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR SIXTEEN YEAR OLD SELF?
Observe and make necessary shifts. Most of the people that I was around when I was 16 are no longer in my life today. I would encourage myself to think critically about the people that I surrounded myself with--where they were benefitting me and where they could benefit me years down the road. I'd tell my sixteen year old self to only surround yourself with people who are purpose driven and who unselfishly want to see you succeed.
WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
None. I've been very busy so I haven't had time but most recent is "Letters to a YOUNG BROTHER" By Hill Harper. GREAT READ!
WHAT ALBUMS OR SONGS DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE ON HEAVY ROTATION?
God is Great - Rockie Fresh
To whom it may concern - Ace Hood
State of the Union - Chris Brown
Rookie of the Year - Trippie Redd
Myself - TTO K.T.
Albums - Any album Travis Green & Mali Music, Late Registration by Kanye West
Each one of the individual song I shared get my blood pumping no matter what the situation is. They motivate me to keep pushing to complete my vision.
WHAT DOES SELF-CARE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?
Lately, I've had an abundance of business development activities for my startup. In recent months there's been days where I've missed out on meals, neglected people very close to me, and I've literally gone days without sleep trying to piece together my vision. That being said, self-care has just recently become my number one priority. What that looks like for me is setting aside time throughout my day to focus on my personal well-being. In the mornings I give myself an hour to eat, shower, and pray with no phone or outside distractions. If I'm ever overwhelmed with a task I pull myself away from it, refocus my energy, and come back to it with fresh eyes. Self-care for me is 100% STINGY, being able to tell people "no" in certain instances is important--I'm very conscious of not burning myself out.