We had the good fortune of connecting with Shamar Barkley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shamar, what matters most to you?
Authenticity. In the world of social media, instant gratification, and where 98% of the things you see are either staged, fake, or both, I feel it is important to keep one’s authenticity. What is the why of your work? Why do you get up everyday to do the thing that you do? For me, it is all about authentic displays. Through authenticity comes the most beautiful forms of creation and community building.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As an all around business oriented individual, I have found myself building out three different fractions of work that tie into my passions and my identity. I am the founder and project manager/producer for SPEC Creative Agency. At SPEC, we specialize in the authentic development of fashion, media and culture through event and media production. We bring the client’s dream to life, whether it be a promo video, a music video, a video release party, or baby shower, we want our clients to take ownership in their project process and truly see their thought baby come to life before their eyes.
Additionally, I am the founder and creator of Brunch Spot ATL, a dapper social hub for young foodies and entrepreneurs to connect through their love of food and all things brunch. Brunch Spot ATL is different from your traditional food blog because we offer educational content as it relates to food, that you won’t find anywhere else. We also have a vast restaurant database that allows you to filter your brunch search by price, vibe, music, and mimosas.
Lastly, over the course of the past year I have built out a non-profit organization by the name of the Youth Community Builders League. We exist to move the city of Atlanta to value Black life, educate and mobilize college aged young adults into abolition and movement building work.
Building out these organizations and entities was absolutely not easy. It takes a lot of brain power, vision, and dedication to see it through. The vision and mission of your business has to be strong, you have to believe it past yourself in order for anything to happen. Challenges are inevitable. Once COVID hit, it changed the entire direction of my life, thus changing the entire direction of my brands, specifically Brunch Spot ATL. However, I simply had to adjust and remember the essence of the brand. What I want the world to know about my brand and my story is that authenticity is key and trailblazing is a slow process. To build, it takes time, effort, energy, and yes, money. Be smart about the way you move, and always know you have something to learn.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Weeellll, we would obviously need to hit up brunch! For an exclusive feel, I would probably take them to Warren City Club’s elevated patio and bottomless mimosa options. For a more lit brunch experience, BQE or Escobar are great options. Taco Tuesday and margaritas at La Fonda on Ponce is a must!!
I would then take them to do some touristy things like see the “Hooters on Peachtree” and go to the CNN Center.
I also just like to chill with friends nowadays so I’d probably hold some type of backyard BBQ hangout to just bring people together!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are too may to name!! I would like to dedicate my shoutout to the many mentors, leaders, teachers, and dearest friends who have poured into me over the years, believed in me, and prayed over me to become the man I am today and will become. I love you all so much and hope to keep making you proud!!