ODYSSEY OF DISCOVERY

Brandon-Lee Fredericks is an example of someone who has achieved what positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls FLOW by combining his personal interests, talents and unique sensitivities to create a career path with meaning. In addition to being a social media and digital marketing strategist for Techsys Digital he also founded Odyssey Fashion Project which aims at providing up-and-coming South African designers and aspiring models with an inclusive platform to showcase their work. I thought we may all benefit from insights from his experience, so this interview seemed timely.

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Untitled 3′ oil canvas by Stefan Krynauw & latex panel by Hugh Byrne, Ebony Curated

Brandon-Lee’s CV

1993:   Born in Cape Town, South Africa

2011:   Matriculated from Wittebome High School

2012:   Events Photographer & Events Co-Ordinator for More2Xplore

2013:   Social Media Marketer, Store Assistant & Administrator for Issa Leo Menswear

2014:  Co-founded Odyssey Fashion Project (Owner, Art Director, Social Media Marketer, Event Planner)

2014:   Social Media Assistant for the Guzzle, Accommodation & ClipInHair Group

2015:   Joined Techsys Digital as a Digital Intern

2016:   Graduated with National Diploma in Marketing at CPUT

2016:   Promoted to Junior Social Media Manager/Strategist at Techsys Digital

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‘Time in Between’ ceramic by Chantel Woodman, Ebony Curated
  1. As a marketing aficionado, in your opinion, what are the 3 biggest trends among millennials that you think will shake up the free-market economy as we know it?

Millennials are the movers and shakers of the market, whether being the products, influencers or users, their number contributes greatly to what brands are placing out there. They are at the forefront when it comes to the digital world, thus their contribution to brands channeling social platforms are significant. From sharing content to mass engagement, social media is a great digital trend among millennials. This is where they share their opinions about brands, businesses and other interests. A channel that stays up to date about the latest trends and their availability. It is where content is distributed from user to user therefore having a great influence on millennials – brands are listening.

Fashion is another big trend among this market. It creates a unique sense of individualism. Millennials have taken their sense of fashion as a statement to their character. Staying with trends and even setting them, the fashion market is constantly growing and with it is the consumer. Young fashion designers are entering the market and pushing their unique style and understanding exactly what millennials are looking for, on trend fashion but yet affordable. This consumer is inclined to their own market research and constantly knowing how the market is evolving.

Mobile comes first when one considers millennials as their target market, placing a large amount of time using their mobile devices to access information, share information, communicate, download or interact with brands. If marketers want to channel this audience they will have to place a large amount on digital marketing to gain consumer data which would not be a difficult task as data can be collected through many digital channels with the millennial market. They are all about convenience and that is what the mobile device has to offer.

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  1. Fashion and creative pursuits seem to be your heartbeat. What did you learn from the Emily’s and Miranda’s of the world to help take your career to the next level?

I enjoy the idea of how everything in fashion and the creative industry ties in together and the powerful flow of ideas and boldness stems into something beautiful. One thing I’ve learnt from the Emily’s I’ve come across is that no matter how deep one gets into your job never allow it to control your life. Take control over your career, shape your creativity and be the funnel to express your worth while staying grounded and humble in whatever you do.

I’m a great believer of balance, thus the Miranda’s of the world have taught me that as much as you place everything into your career, be sure to give appropriate attention to your family and friends as well, because in the end one needs that balance. They have taught me to see the worth in people and not judge one by their outer appearance and how society has classified them.

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‘Black Holes’ by Lars Fischedick, Ebony Curated
  1. As a young entrepreneur, how have you dealt with self-doubt in establishing your brand?

There are wavelengths to everyone’s life, stages where one feels like giving up because the hustle might seem like it is no longer worth it, or the amount of effort put in is not equivalent to the output at that stage, but self-motivation is key. I tend to always remind myself of why I started with the Odyssey Fashion Project, or whichever project I’m working on at the time. When ones working with other individuals their energy they project within the working environment you engaging in are just as vital, team work and motivation brings out greater results thus I encourage the individuals I work with to practice this. Great things do not come easy so one has to constantly push and be the light in one’s own dark tunnel and light up each step to your success.

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  1. What have you learnt from your biggest successes that you wish you’d applied to your biggest failures?

Before jumping into anything because of excitement, evaluate everything and then tackle each part with full caution would definitely be something I’ve learnt. Nothing truly is a failure; it is just a learning curve. I believe in understanding your worth and ability in life and if the universe blocks whatever path in your journey it is not completely blocked you just have to get back up and believe and prosper.

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Aqua at 99 Loop
  1. What curious truth about yourself would you like to share with us?

Each day I remind myself that one day I will own my own studio, creating great things with great people from different creative spheres. I also wish I had a yearly supply of great street style fashion items. Lastly, I get real deep about this thing called life, I’d sit with friends over lunch and discuss our purpose on earth and that there is greater things to what society throws at us, we are all great creative beings.

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Rooftop at 99 Loop

With his north star always directing him to creative pursuits and innovative solutions, Brandon-Lee is someone to keep an eye on. Remember to follow him on Instagram for a touch of authentic style and inspiration.

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Photo credits: Shot on location by Alexis Pillay for Curious Humanics at Ebony Curated with a group exhibition entitled ‘Abstracted’ and at 99 Loop exhibiting Andrew Hart Adler’s Aqua.

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