In today’s society, image is everything. The way we present ourselves speak volumes so we should always be mindful of what that looks like.
African American men have been perceived a certain way despite the many inroads and accomplishments they have made. Many can’t seem to escape the image that has been portrayed and oftentimes this image has followed them into corporate America.
A large component of a person’s image is how they dress. With the notoriety of Instagram, everyone is trying to see or be seen. But what happens when you don’t have the appropriate basic wardrobe essentials? What do you do when you finally land an interview but you literally have nothing to wear?
P.K. Kersey has presented a solution that helps many who are in this situation and PIVOT caught up with him to discuss his non-profit organization, That Suits You.
Tell our readers a little about your background and talk about your business
I grew up in Brooklyn and have lived there my whole life. I was raised by two parents along with my two siblings. Although it was tough growing up in Brooklyn, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience growing up there or my childhood.
I have worked for the State with the Department of Motor Vehicles for over 20 years.
I started That Suits You (TSY) in March, 2014 while keeping my day job.
That suits you is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 and I started it because I know the struggle African American men face. Television has already portrayed us in a negative light and I want to be a part of changing that perception. With the State, I have conducted many interviews where young men were not properly dressed. I saw it enough until I felt like I had to do something. I know image and how you dress plays a part in how others perceive you, so I wanted to make sure what they saw was presentable and professional.
To qualify for clothing, you must go through out training process. We offer a series of workshops and seminars conducted by professional consultants who give the invaluable insight pertaining to interview techniques, resume-writing and social media networking.
The educational component was just as important as the clothing they receive, in my mind, they go hand in hand. There is also an encouragement component. Men need to know that they are important and needed. Teaching them this is powerful. When I was young, I would always see men wearing suits and I liked that. It makes the statement that you are all about your business and that is what I want to instill in our men.
What challenges have you faced in starting and growing your business?
The overall idea of black people not supporting black businesses. For some reason, we are hesitant to patronize one another. Some people believe that if a business is black-owned that it’s somehow illegitimate. Like we are trying to “hustle” people out of money. It’s sad. We are out here trying to do great things for our community and we must beg for support. This doesn’t discourage me though, I will continue to do what I do.
How can others get involved with That Suits You?
We always could use assistance with getting the word out! They can help by sharing information about our organization through their social media networks, they can donate financially to the cause, they can also volunteer to conduct workshops or seminars. We would love the support!
To learn more about That Suits You, visit their website at www.thatsuitsyou.org