We had the good fortune of connecting with Devonte Whitmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devonte, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I knew from as a kid I was going to be a business man just because being around my grandparent and mom they were business minded. I didn’t really start the process until after I dropped out of college. Starting an internet radio station and my clothing brand I knew I had to go out of the box. I knew that what’s going to make people pay attention. I had to find like a niche to make people aware of what I was doing.
My thought process is hat can I provide that others can’t or at least not many.
Of course there’s many ups and downs but if it’s really in you your not going to quit. You gather many more ideas and thoughts and you keep going
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I always knew I wanted to be in the music and fashion kind of world. I just didn’t know how to start. I went to college for a year and I dropped out. I still didn’t know what I was going to do and I was kind of depressed about it. Months go by and I get a call from my uncle Rich he said “ yo I’m moving to ATL let’s start an internet radio station” and boom I was ready I didn’t ask no question I said let’s go. A couple months go by and he actually move out here he get a barber shop in Buckhead that has an extra room and we put the radio station in there. He told me to come up with a name “Highly Unique Radio” is what I came up with. We ran with that. Then we remained consistent and we’re pretty much the biggest internet radio station in Atlanta. Then I worked on my other dream which was having a clothing brand and I named it “Trapcessful”.
Doing all these things especially it being new for me definitely wasn’t easy. Networking was a thing I had to learn the most and probably the most important key. You have to get to know people in this industry. You have to network and figure out your best way of doing it for your self. The good and bad thing about networking is that you find out how raw this industry is. You think everyone is just genuine and want to see each other succeed and it’s not the case. You can’t be sensitive about it you just got to continue your goal.
Mixing business and personal is a lesson you have to figure out for your self. You think people in business is your friend because they’re friendly when your around and it’s not the case. What I’ve learned to do is to have different categories of friends business, going out, radio, etc friends.. Then I have my real friends which is maybe like 2-3 people these the ones that are like family, these the ones I count on, these are the ones that I don’t want to let down.
I want people to know that everyone has a struggle they have to find a way out of. I don’t care if it’s living in the hood, your parents not supporting, you hating college, etc.. I call it a “trap” because eventually you have to find a way out of it. It’s just when your going to choose to do so. It’s not easy but when you do start the process of making it out it’s like fresh air but you have to continue working and living so you don’t fall back into that trap. Once you start the process consistently making it out the “trap” your in you start seeing that your going to be “successful” that’s what my brand “TRAPCESSFUL” come from.
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.
1. Vision Lounge 2. Trap Museum
3. Copper Cove
4. Two urban licks
5. Breakfast at Barney’s
These like my top 5 spots so we a go to these places for sure I can’t really think of stuff in top of my head.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My grandpa we call “Pops”. He really showed me the definition of hard work. He owns a construction company and I use to work with him from time to time. I also payed attention to the people that own the building and houses that he worked out of and I’m a young kid 10-11 years old. Sometimes I met them and that kind of made me knew I wanted to do business because I was more interested in who those guys were then what kind of tools I needed to build the buildings. As I got older I understood I’m thankful for my grandpa work because it taught me how to work hard and how to wake up on time to do what you have to do. Pharrell is a big influence and icon for me. He just showed me that you can’t be afraid to think out the box. Don’t be afraid to be around the so called cool kids but be different then them.