Ademide Adepetun is the founder of The Ascent, a lifestyle brand that bands together young entrepreneurs to collectively enjoy profits from their activities and escape the conventional. I first heard about Ascent late last year and I’ve not exactly been able to fully comprehend what they are about. As such, I decided to interview Ademide on how it came about and what can be expected by the group in the near future.
Read the transcript of our conversation below.
What exactly is The Ascent and how did it come into existence?
To answer this question I must start off first by explaining what I mean by the conventional.
The conventional being going to school for 20 plus years to get a good job. A good job to pay a multitude of bills and one working years on end at a 9-5 job. Soon enough, they are indifferent. They do it because they are confident from getting “safe” and steady pay and enjoy the security that a job offers not realizing that the luxury of that security is also a cage. Subscribing to the conventional is being a part of the rat race.
The Ascent is a mindset/lifestyle based brand based on the premise of escaping the rat race or conventional. We aim to bring the lifestyle most people truly desire into existence by channeling their interest, passions, network, skills and ideas entrepreneurally. We urge people to invest in their interests and make them businesses and entities that they can live off.
That’s the mindset.
It then manifests itself in a hub of creativity that makes collaboration across creatives from almost all fields come together and establish Ascent level projects. Creatives can invest creatively and financially and yield a return on their investments, benefiting from the collaboration and the pool of resources and the synergy of what The Ascent brand is.
At the moment, you have two branches- Ascent Nightlife and Ascent Apparel, why have you chosen to delve into nightlife and clothing in particular?
As I mentioned, the mindset is all about delving into your interests and these are two things I am interested in.
It turns out that I haven’t been very impressed with the party experiences that I have been exposed to for a while. I therefore thought it interesting to create an experience fitting for what my imagination conjured. An Ascent status experience that is ethereal and affordable at the same time.
Is there anyone currently doing what you’re trying to do with The Ascent?
Jay Z tried something similar with Roc-A-Fella. He had the clothing department, Rocawear and a couple of other schemes. But even Jay Z fell a little short of what the vision of the Ascent is. Then Kanye came with Donda, his creative hub, that owns Yeezy and other creative exploits but that falls a little short because it is very exclusive. The vision of The Ascent society is to serve as a capable hub of creativity and a meeting ground for investors, creatives, and the different types of entrepreneurs to establish Ascent level projects across different fields. It enables people to have multiple sources of income as they are able to monetize their abilities.
The Ascent envisions a world where people are not enslaved to careers that they’d rather live without doing; a world where one’s desired lifestyle directly intertwines with their streams of income. It is an inclusive movement. It’s a way of life. It’s a mindset. All the big famous people and mega rich people have mindsets similar to what the Ascent is about and too many people underestimate themselves to think they can’t be on that level if they wanted. The Ascent is here to destroy that way of thinking.
Who is funding The Ascent currently?
The inner workings of The Ascent consists of a big investment engine where people can put their capital into different events and/or activities and yield a profit from it. So it is funded by you, the reader, the investor, the creative. If you come to realize that the mentality resonates with you, and will like to partake in an Ascent project/event and yield returns from them.
It resembles a more personalized and direct crowdfunding system. You will be extremely surprised the things people thinking on the same level can do if they unite and pool resources.
What benefits do I stand to gain from working with The Ascent?
You will gain the ability to be part of a large network of individuals offering expertise and information on a wide range of things that could equip you to begin to bring your own ideas to fruition. You can be a fundamental part of an event/ project that you actually care about. You will have access to a network of people that can fulfill different needs you may have. By working with the Ascent you would be associated with all that the Ascent brand is about and that gives you a particular status as people associate you with the brand’s message. You lead the charge on things that you have had a hand in creating and see a part of your legacy touch the world. You gain experience, knowledge and a network of people that you will be able to leverage in the future.
We are midway through 2016, you guys held your first ever pop up shop, Posted II last week. What are your dreams for the rest of 2016?
To spread The Ascent phenomenon internationally.
All Pictures in this post are courtesy of Busayo Okusi