MEET THE VISIONARY
Our 1st Online Magazine Feature in Voyage ATL. Learn How Manifest Ur Dreams got started. This article is was published by Voyage ATL.
Published: January 16th, 2019
Today we’d like to introduce you to Markus Malone.
Markus, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
If we must start with my story, let me start from the beginning. I believe that will allow you see who I am, and my passion for people Manifesting their Dreams.
My name is Markus Malone, the son of Pamela Malone. I owe who I am to my mom, who passed away last February, and to the community of Mableton, GA. If it was not for my mom pushing me every day and making me understand that I must work harder than everyone else and never quit on myself, I don’t know what I would be doing. She is the reason why I always strive for greatness and also to awaken that greatness within others. My mom did not play when it came to me, if I got a B in a class she would say, “That’s good, but make it an A.” That is why I go out to achieve.
As I grew up, I noticed my circumstances and way of living was different from everyone else’s. We lived on Section-8 housing and received food stamps every month. There were times our electricity or gas would be cut off and we had to warm up buckets of water just to take a bath; sometimes a family member would to help my mom out with paying a bill or two. We dealt with being homeless at times. By the time I reached high school, I was paying bills, going to school, and playing sports. Witnessing this at a young age made me determined to change my circumstances.
Throughout everything, there has always been a village of people: coaches, teammates and parents, people of the community who were always there. I believe by them being in my life plays a huge factor because when I wanted to give up, they were rooting me on and pushing me from a far to keep striving. I also, remembered my why for everything that I wanted to accomplish, and that was to take my mom off government assistance and buy a house that we all could live in. Now that I can no longer do that, my focus is on fulfilling my dream, which was also one of my mom’s dreams, to make an impact on others and getting people to go after their dreams and bring forth the greatness that is hidden within them.
Along this journey, there came a lot of failures that turned into triumphs. I attended 5 colleges/universities and 8 years to get a 4-year degree. University of Alabama, Georgia Perimeter, Concordia College Alabama, Chattahoochee Technical College, and Georgia State University are where I attended, and I graduated with a bachelor’s in business administration in Managerial Sciences and Finance. Currently I am working towards obtaining my (MSW) Master’s in Social Work at Clark Atlanta University. I came to the understanding that when I got my Bachelors, it wasn’t for me; it was to set the stage for those coming behind me. There were times I wanted to quit, almost did quit, especially after failing remedial English three times and being kicked out of The University Systems of Georgia. If it wasn’t for my mentor, whom I consider my Father, telling me, “Son, you are too smart to not further your education. It’s not how you start but how you finish.” Now that I am going back for myself, I’m resilient to impact the lives of many who have dreams.
The concept for “Manifest Ur Dreams” started while I was working towards my bachelors at Georgia State University, in a Making Decisions class. My professor asked the entire class, in the next five years where did we all see ourselves. He told the entire class that some of us all came to college because our parents told us to, and that we were told in order to be successful in life, we had to attend college. It was then, I realized I wasn’t going after my dreams in life and that there are others who weren’t going after theirs. Upon finishing my second bachelor’s at Georgia State, my finance professor told the entire class, “Make Your Life Your Business.” This is when I and a couple of classmates helped put together the financials for the company.
We were voted second to last to succeed out of all the businesses presented in the class. I emailed the professor about it, and he didn’t respond, which help me realize that someone’s opinion about your idea/dreams does not matter as long as you believe in it.
On my birthday, I got the first shirt made, that said “Manifest Ur Dreams” in a typical western cowboy text. The shirt was bold red with white text. One day I was getting on the bus, and the bus driver told me that she wanted my shirt and to take it off and give it to her. That’s when the idea struck, that I could spread the word through apparel.
Our first product to release was black wristbands with white text that said MANIFEST UR DREAMS. Inside of the wristbands was a biblical scripture Hebrews 13:20-21, which reads:
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I would take a bus and train to downtown Atlanta and sell $2 wristbands around Georgia State University campus. After finishing my finance degree, I went into production to produce the first T-shirt design and got it prepped to be printed. The first batch was printed at a kiosk in Cumberland mall where, I gave out shirts and wristbands to family and friends with a motivational card for Christmas to help them begin or keep pursuing their journey towards Manifesting their dreams. When I went into mass production, I used an online website to purchase the shirts, and used PayPal to take payments. We didn’t have a website, just an Instagram and Facebook page. I realized that I was doing what God had asked me to do, and that being obedient would take sacrifice and will.
However, the journey with building Manifest Ur Dreams, has been a roller coaster ride full of learning and growing. By putting myself around like-minded individuals and growing my mind exponentially has been key. There are a lot of people who just think MUD is a streetwear brand, but it’s not a streetwear brand but a dreamers-brand. People are the reason why Manifest Ur Dreams exist, because everyone has dream(s) of achieving some type of success but allow fear to get in the way or do not have a plan to execute the dream(s). We are giving people the chance to embody the person they are destined to be and not what society tells you to be.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road. Every day we are learning something new that will allow us to grow and spread the word to the masses. In the beginning it was the monetary investment to purchase product and figuring out how to get the word out. Then figuring out the different types of print and embroidery; tedious details that your typical consumer wouldn’t concern themselves with. Setting up websites and continuing to push when tragedy strikes in your life. Do you quit or keep going? Knowing your why and circumstances will empower you to get through any struggles that you may face. There is so much that goes into running a business, we are always facing struggles, but the team sits down, and we discuss solutions to change the problem. At first it was just me, but the people who I surrounded myself around became a system of people that can help figure out problems that I would be facing. Having continuous belief and faith that you can do it because we face our ups and downs just like any business. There have been days where we have thought about giving up, but it’s our why that keeps us going, and the people who need us.
Knowing your numbers can be struggle, because you have to know the numbers for different products, how determine your total profit sale per design, or even the percentages to determine when to buy more inventory, Finding how to buy wholesale, website optimization, the list goes on, that’s why every day is a learning opportunity to grow and run the company effectively and efficiently.
These are things that I had to learn on my own but would not change the struggle that I have endured.
Please tell us about Manifest Ur Dreams.
Manifest Ur Dreams is a dreamers’ brand. Geared towards motivating/inspiring others to go after their dreams.
We ask everyone two questions: What’s your dream? How do you plan to manifest it? These are two questions that people are not being asked, which keeps them from living a life of fulfillment.
We stand for the dreamer who has yet to reach their full potential because they placed their dreams on hold only to fulfill societal norms. By embracing their real dreams and unleashing them will allow that dreamer to live the life they so desire.
That dream or vision that you keep having is your future self-manifesting something much greater than what you can think of. However, it’s up to you to hone it and put forth the ACTION to get there.
There are (3) Principles to Manifest Ur Dreams:
1. Grind – work hard towards your dream.
2. Execute – the plan on how you are getting there.
3. Finish – seeing it all the way through, with making adjustments along the way.
You may be asking, “What does it take to manifest my dreams?” In theory, it takes having Belief, Dedication, Will, Heart, Sacrifice, and a ton of ACTION!!!
In the words of Markus Malone our CEO, “Anything is possible as long as you believe that it is possible and go after it with a vengeance.”
With our apparel, we plan on motivating/inspiring the masses to achieve a higher self and grow to become the person anyone should be.
We are excited about the lives we are able to touch and spreading the word about Manifestation and getting people to take those initial steps in order to see their dream come to life.
What sets us apart from everyone else is that we aren’t just about selling apparel but about changing the lives and mindsets of others to see what they actually accomplish if they take action and direct their minds towards fulfilling their dreams.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I had to start over, knowing what I know now verses starting completely new, I still believe that I would have jumped off the porch running and learning as I go. I am a firm believer that if you are going to talk about it, you need to put some action behind your words. It can be simple as getting your (EIN) Employee Identification Number from the IRS, to taking your design and getting it printed. People spend too much time pondering if their idea will work or if listening to people who have never stepped out on their dreams. So much time is wasted because of self-doubt.
If I would have let being voted second to last in that finance class stop me from going forward, I would have to live with that for the rest of my life. I also believe God/Universe gives us visions of our future being. Everything is trial and error, asking questions, and research and development. Making mistakes has allowed me to gain knowledge from the mistakes made. Learning what to do and not to do has definitely helped me grow this business.
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