WHO I AM
I am Craig Alan Giddens, an entrepreneur, copywriter, motivational speaker, and most importantly, a father. I have a positive, unstoppable mindset and I am passionate about helping individuals and brands thrive — though at my core I’m a poet and certified word nerd.
WHAT I DO
I call it “Motivational Branding.” While my last business card read, Marketing Director for NewME Accelerator, I’m currently the head of Nearwealth, a consulting firm founded on the idea that to achieve wealth you must first get close to it. I also manage a talented hip-hop artist, Juju Osbourne and I am currently developing the platform Just More Proof, a project centered around sharing inspirational testimonies.
I enjoy making ideas happen, and helping others live loving, fulfilling, and purposeful lives.
WHERE I LIVE
I’ve recently moved back to my home state of Florida after 4 years in San Francisco/Bay Area. My time is split between Miami and Orlando. If you’re ever in either city hit me up.
WHY I BEARD
My beard helps me gauge the level of tolerance for diversity in the people I meet. I think it accentuates my style and character, but the origins of my beard are much deeper than that.
Earlier this year I had to send my 15 year old son to New Beginnings (a residential drug treatment/recovery facility in Louisiana) – away from his home in Northern California for his struggle with depression and addiction. He was hurt, and he was hurting those around him. I internally blamed myself (genetically) for what might be his predisposition to addiction due to my own mother’s substance abuse. Although I had never used drugs myself I felt responsible. The only thing I knew for certain was that I would not let my son die. You don’t fully understand the gravity of shit like that until that gravity is pulling at you from the center of your own universe. That was a very dark time in my life. I unplugged from social media and parts of my REAL life and the beard just happened organically. When I went to visit my son in rehab some of the other clients/kids must have thought my beard looked cool because my son was like, “Dad, everybody thinks your beard is DOPE… DON’T cut it!” I made a deal with him; everyday that he stays clean my beard lives to see another day. I suppose there’s a sense of irony in that.
I wish I could say that my choice to beard is all that is needed to keep him healthy. It’s not! Grooming a boy into a man is far more difficult than taming the wildest of beards, but we’re getting through it. I’m happy to say that my beard is clean and growing strong and my son is too. #justmoreproof
“When you’re white and bearded, you’re a hipster. When you’re black and bearded, you’re a gangsta or a rapper or a gangsta-rapper. When you’re ethnically ambiguous and bearded, you’re a terrorist. Some people rather align beardsmen with these sorts of frivolous stereotypes than with the gentlemen, gurus, and godly from which we actually descended.”
— Craig A. Giddens
Connect with Craig on Instagram: @craiggiddens
Photographs by @lechonkirb + @skinvas