S2B Stories: Ki – Street2Boardroom

‘Street2Boardroom Stories’ features interviews with people who have taken part in our Legal Hustle business course. The Legal Hustle is a mentoring program for young people with a checkered past who want to become successful business entrepreneurs.

S2B Stories will share real, honest struggles, as well as encouraging advice when it comes to moving forward.

For this, we had a chat with Bristol Born artist, Ki Usherwood (Ki #GmGFx), who took part in the Street2Boardroom course during 2016.

Our conversation reveals what he’s learned since starting up and advice he’d give to those looking to break the street cycle and follow their ambitions.

 

S2B: What got you to where you are today?

Ki:

I could’ve easily ended upon the wrong path, but a couple of years prior to the course, I started creating graphics on my phone, this quickly moved to photoshop and my work was getting reposted by the likes of Snoop Dogg and Giggs. This gave me confidence I didn’t have before, and I knew I could achieve.

I am now a freelance graphic designer and artist.

S2B: You used to be involved in street crime. What made you want to escape that?

Ki:

Deep down, I didn’t want to end up going down the same road I’d seen friends and family members of mine go down.

The system isn’t inclusive, and it was important to me to not involve myself in all of that, I wanted to take a different direction. I became ill with epilepsy and changed the road I was on.

Art and graphics got me out of an anxious rut. I taught myself by watching YouTube videos. I then started designing for clothing brands – I kept moving and making loads.

S2B: The Legal Hustle course – what did you learn from it?

Ki:

The reason I took part in the course wasn’t to ‘get out’ of the streets – I had already left, but was looking to find out how to market and network myself and how the world of business works. It was the next step for me.

I wanted more insight into the corporate world, and it definitely gave me that. I learned that the business world can be more savage than the streets when it comes to loyalty and envy.

Everybody who did the course came into it at different levels and stages in their lives. Doing the course helped me open up and speak in front of people, and I’ve since worked with people that I met through the course, like Roger Moore (of Roger Moore’s Caribbean Cuisine) and King Aggi.

Street2Boardroom gave me the skills I needed to take my business to the next level, and Clayton’s guidance really helped with that. I have struggled with mental health issues, and being mentored and encouraged by him helped me from falling into negative headspaces.

The course encouraged me to not sink down into depression and anxiety and inspired me to move forward.

S2B: Your proudest moment?

Ki:

I had an article published in the Bristol Post where I opened up about my depression, anxiety and epilepsy, that was positive for me to put out there, it felt good. I don’t think I would’ve had the confidence without doing the course.

S2B: Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to pursue their passions?

Ki:

The only advice I would offer is – go with your heart and take advice from your elders – but take it with a pinch of salt. You are the future.

 

Really good to catch up Ki, thanks for sharing your story.