Today we’d like to introduce you to Calvin Carey Jr.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Calvin. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey for this brand started when I was 21 years old but I’ve been preparing for it my whole life. Growing up, my father put on a suit every day for work. He not only put on a suit, he made it look good! It wasn’t until I was 21 that I realized I was taking mental notes for seven years on how to make a suit your own. So at 21, I purchased my first suit and the feedback I got on the look was overwhelming but a wonderful feeling. I fell in love with wearing suits and the next six years, I did everything I could to never pass up the opportunity to wear one. During those years, I received many messages from friends on social media complimenting me on my dapper style and telling me I should start styling men in suits. I thought it was a great idea but it had to be more than just styling for me. In 2018, Knowing that I wasn’t the only black male millennial in my city who knew how to make a suit look good, I went to Facebook and made a post asking my peers to join me for a photoshoot of black men in suits. The response was great and in a month’s time, I had scheduled the first shoot and started the brand “Gentlemens Den”.
During the first shoot, I explained what my goal was to all the men who joined. The purpose was to highlight black men in dapper fashion in Detroit, not only to showcase style but to showcase that we are more than what we are perceived to be. It’s safe to say almost three years after that very first shoot, a handful of the guys who joined me, I now consider brothers and they are major factors on my team when it comes to building this brand. Finding like-minded black men who are willing to work beside you to accomplish a goal that is needed in the black community and is part of the reason I started Gentlemen’s Den. Our relationship is a true testament to what we are promoting and working towards. We have helped groom each other and have all learned from one another to be better men for our society, our families and ourselves.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It most certainly has not been easy. The most challenging thing I have faced is gaining access. The city of Detroit has been changing rapidly over the past ten years. One of the blackest cities in the country may not fit that description if you visit the downtown area. Because of that, whether it’s been for an event or a photo shoot, I have not been afforded the luxury to use certain locations or establishments. Although that has been a bump along the road, it drives me to work harder.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Gentlemen’s Den story. Tell us more about the business.
Gentlemen’s Den is a multifaceted society and culture brand and business for black men. Our mission is to Inspire, Educate, Celebrate and Support the gentlemen of color in our culture! We are most known for our photoshoots but we offer so much more. We offer personal styling and image consultation services for men who want to step up their game socially and professionally. We sell menswear and lifestyle products online for men who want to add some style to their wardrobe and personality, We curate social events that bring a new atmosphere and vibe to the community. We also provide mentoring for the youth because we know our children are the future and we want to be positive role models and help the next generation be the best version of themselves.
We are most proud of the fact that people see what we are doing and they love it. Men from Atlanta, Houston, Vegas and many other cities have reached out and scheduled styling consultations, although we don’t operate out of those cities. We have received so many blessings from people applauding us on the positive image we show of black men or putting on social events that aren’t in your typical club or party scene. What separates us from others is that we refuse to be a one-trick pony. We work hard to attack every aspect we can to reach the most people in our culture. Knowing that we are still evolving and have some big surprises for 2021 and 2022. So stay tuned!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The proudest moment of my career so far was actually bittersweet. As a company, we curated an upscale event right at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was being talked about by everyone and the event completely sold out weeks before it was scheduled. It was our first large-scale event that completely sold out and it was sure to light a fire in the city. Due to COVID-19, we had to completely cancel the event, which everyone was heartbroken over. But, for us to be able to attract people to something we created that gives you a different atmosphere than your typical party or nightclub was amazing. We are forever grateful to everyone who purchased a ticket. But don’t worry, the event will be back in 2021!
- Personal Styling Consultation – starting at $59.99
- Image Consultation – starting at $69.99
- Website: gentsden.com
- Phone: 248-550-2035
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/gentlemensden_?igshid=qfxr4mph7u4c
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gentlemensden1/
Mikalia Dennis Darrien Pope