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Photos: Bryce Lennon

The motto for 29 has been ‘grind silently.’ Sometimes it’s better to celebrate small victories quietly, rather than making huge announcements about every accomplishment. In a lot of ways, it has been working, and has given me a deep satisfaction for the work i’m doing. I’m  gonna share this little piece of joy with ya’ll though. So BOOM, a few months ago, I started writing to different black owned companies, hoping to be sent samples in return for advertising/press on my website and gain more traffic. I knew that I would have to be consistent with it, to gain any type of results. Lucky for me, a magical black girl by the name of Cortino Williams, answered my email. We had a great conversation about her brand BeautifulMonster350, and I was able to get one of her shirts and capture its essence on camera. Scroll down to read my interview with Cortino and peep some gems from the photoshoot.:)


What inspired you to start your brand? 

I too was a relaxed sister, until a turn of events started making my hair fall out. So I had to get a teeny weeny Afro/ natural. Well when you wear a lil fro you have to wear accessories to dress up your style so you won’t get mistaken as a little boy. So I was looking for cool tees that expressed my NAPPINESS HAPPINESS and they were all boring and the same. And a lot of them not made by us. So I decided to tap a market that needed me to make HAIR LOVE tees for us that were proud to be lil nappy head girls, lol.

How long have you been established?
So in 2014 I started Beautiful Monster. My friend and I came up with the name while chatting about my brand. We all know black is beautiful, but also vilified and damn near hated. As a child all you hear is with ‘yo black self, nappy head self, ugly self.’ All self hate talk that you’re surrounded by and even through the media. I knew we were beautiful, but we were treated like monsters. So guess what, we will be Beautiful Monsters. Now WHAT!!!!  
Where do you get inspiration from? 
Inspiration comes from everywhere; conversations with friends, movies, radio, feelings, everywhere. I keep notes close by and still have hundreds of ideas that I still need to give  birth to.
What do you love most about your brand?
I love the way my brand makes my sisters and brothers feel. It’s a beautiful feeling when people contact me and say sister I love your work. I got so many compliments about my shirt. That’s my motivation. MY LOGO IS COOL TOO.
What type of merchandise do you currently sell and do you have plans to expand?
I currently sell a variety of t-shirts, coffee mugs, and cool tote bags. The universe is always the limit; I gauge by what my people seem to like and I try to accommodate. But as it stands my brand does extremely well, and I’m proud of the amount of support I receive daily.  EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL, and MONSTERS ARE REAL.
Go ‘head and visit her etsy boutique at
Follow her on Instagram @beautifulmonster350
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