A.R Crown has collided his love and passion to speak on HEALING, AFFIRMING, FORGIVENESS and MANNA FESTing to help him in creating a meaningful brand that aligns with biblical principles and manifestation. A Georgia native, A.R. Crown started his humble beginnings in Sunset Homes, a government housing project located on 15th Street in his hometown of Augusta. He was born the 4th child of 8. A.R. Crown contributes a great deal of his generosity, drive, and love for music to his parents, who were determined to raise their children in a better environment. They were prominent DJs in the club scene starting their careers in the 70’s: known as “The Black Casanova,” and “The Queen of Soul.” He has fond memories as a young boy of toting heavy crates of 12’s and 45’s into Augusta’s hottest nightclubs of the day. He remembers the budding spark of love upon hearing The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” Which grew into an inferno, following his first listen, of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five’s, 1982 social commentary track, “The Message.” With an innate strong passion for reading, he began crafting rhymes, and cultivating a variety of skills, in many different forms of art (not limited to painting, barbering, poetry, and fashion design). Following his graduation from T.W. Josey Comprehensive High School in 1992, he joined The United States Marine Corps with his best friend Terrence “Bobo” Turner, they grew up together, and no matter where his family settled, A.R. Crown always returned to High Street with Bobo and Thomas “Mayne” Demmons, who rounded out the trio. Most people say, “When you meet Crown, you will know it.” He boasts an unmistakable voice and diction, with a distinct personality and eclectic fashion style to match. During his work as a barber, some of his more frequent customers would come by, not for a haircut, but for the pleasure of getting to see what he was wearing that day. Some of his heroes include Tyler Perry and Spike Lee. Both having their idiosyncratic ways of telling a story, inspired A.R. Crown to attend film school, where obtained the knowledge and proper equipment to produce his own visuals and movies. In addition, to those two, James Brown, who hails from his hometown, inspired his work ethic and Barack Obama, for giving him, “The Audacity of Hope.” For the last few decades, A.R. Crown’s Bat-Cave has been in Atlanta, but he is a world traveler. He is quoted as saying, “Life isn’t necessarily about WHERE you’re going, but the experience of getting there.” Now, age 48, A.R. Crown reflects that life has not been all roses. He had to fight several battles and spirits. Mental health, alcoholism, and other addictions almost destroyed him: but he is now proud of his war wounds and often muses, “God allowed me to walk through the fire, so I could come back, carrying buckets of water for those still in it.” A.R Crown uses his voice to speak on HEALING, AFFIRMING, FORGIVENESS and MANNA FESTing. After listening to some of his cogitations, you will be bestowed with a new mindset, a burning fire in your spirit, and the heart of MORE THAN A CONQUEROR!
What inspired your career in the fashion industry?
I’ve always had an affinity for fashion and style, but I think that it is imperative to know, the clothes do not make the man, or woman. It is your heart, and spirit that does that. “CROWNITE!” APPAREL is a dream MANNAFESTed into reality. I made a VISION BOARD, close to 20 years ago, and it was on it, amongst other things, that I am currently living out today. I also feel that our attire is literally an extension of our very essence, and that we should innately LOVE who we are…so why not show it, in how we adorn ourselves?
What is the mission of “CROWNITE” and THE MANNA FEST STATION?
THE MANNA FEST STATION, is our umbrella company that covers all of our additional endeavors. “CROWNITE!” APPAREL is only one of them. Allow me to explain the logo, and utilization of the train as the focal point. As we may all know, “MANNA,” was the bread from HEAVEN that GOD used to feed those escaping Egypt in Biblical days. A “FEST,” is short for FESTIVAL, which is a celebration, or a gathering of people for a happy occasion. The word, “STATION,” means your position, or base, in life. TRAINS are used to transport people, goods, and services from point A., to point B. We want to use our talents, gifts, fashion, music, and all of our resources, to transport the SICK, to GOOD HEALTH. The POOR, to ABUNDANCE. The UNSTABLE, to SOLID GROUND. The WEARY, to REST. The DEPRESSED, to JOY. The HOPELESS, to HOPE. The DOWNTRODDEN, to UPLIFTED. The LONELY, to LOVED…and the SINNERS, to SAVED. Yes. That is the reason for our clothing line, to generate the funds, to BUILD THE KINGDOM, ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.
What kind of products do you sell and what are their purposes?
“CROWNITE!” APPAREL is a clothing line that runs the gamut of fashion items. We have hats, tees, shoes, men’s full suits, athleisure wear for women, joggers, dress shirts, casual wear, formal wear, and many, many other items.
What challenges have you faced up to this point with your brand, and how do you plan to overcome them?
Well, my view of, “challenges,” may differ from others. In fact, nothing is “challenging,” when one has a contrite heart, and a made-up mind. It’s just like quitting smoking, which I am proud to say that I’ve done, if you really want something, you will do what it takes to have it. Now, let’s not forget the most important ingredient in that formula…FAITH. There is NOTHING TOO BIG for GOD…so, there are NO CHALLENGES, only OPPORTUNITIES to PRAY, PRAISE, and BELIEVE, MORE.
The illustration for your apparel is truly eye-catching. What was the process for creating this design?
Thanks. Our, “CROWNITE!” the logo has gone through many changes. This finalized version was posted to my social media page, and followers chose it out of, maybe, 4 or 5 different options.
At first glance, most people do not realize that the “CROWN,” is comprised of the letters A.R.C. That’s an acronym for Always Remember Christ. “CROWNITE!” itself stands for, Christ Reigns Over Worldly Needs In The Earth. That means, ANYTHING that I need in this world, I simply just have to ask CHRIST. That goes back to that “CHALLENGE” question…If my SPIRITUAL FATHER owns the SUN, surely an OBEDIENT child can own a company, that is decent and in order.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start a business?
Starting a business is just like anything else, before you attempt to do it…research it. With the invention of the internet, that part has been made extremely easy. Study the how’s, the what’s, the people currently in it, the trends, investigate what it takes, the success ratio, your target audience, the market, and your potential business’ relevance. Now, please UNDERSTAND, those are just the motions, the most critical part is, KNOWING IF GOD WANTS THIS PATH FOR YOU, or not. Make PRAYER, part of your business plan, and have PATIENCE.
I told you; this dream was on my VISION BOARD nearly 20 years ago. I always had it in the back of my mind, even when things seemed impossible.
I like to say, “Sometimes, DREAMS are best prepared in a crockpot. It may take longer, but when they are ready, they are fall of the bone delicious.”
Do you have any future projects that you are working on?
As far as future projects…the sky’s the limit, and we are even going beyond that. One of the other subsidiary companies under TMFS, is THE MANNA FEST STATION MUSIC COLLECTIVE. It is comprised of talented musical artists creating unique, soul-stirring, and spirit-driven gospel music of all genres. We have a few video shoots in the works, and some major announcements coming soon.
“CROWNITE!” APPAREL has also been tapped to provide wardrobe for several film, and video productions, with a major fashion show on December 10th in Florida. GOD just continues to BLESS US, so yeah, even the sky isn’t a limit.
What is your ultimate goal?
Our ultimate goal is to transform the world into a better place. As in line with our logo, to bring us from point A, to point B. There are so many things wrong today in the world, and most of it is our fault. It doesn’t take a maniacal supervillain to spread evil, it only takes good people to do nothing, when we see it growing.
We were sent to win SOULS, not ARGUMENTS. We were sent to LOVE, not HATE. We were sent to SERVE…and TRUE SERVANT, SERVE TRULY.
What is your definition of a Man who hustles?
Well, I view that entirely differently from others. I am a man who CONDUCTS INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS. I do NOT HUSTLE, nor do I hire them or work with them. The reason why is one day, they will try to HUSTLE me. Yes, I see that term much, much differently than most.
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