Now more than ever, there is a necessity to create things that are “for us, by us” and that’s no different for Sakief Baron, co-founder of Prolific Studios in Brooklyn, NY.
Baron is a risk-taker who always believes in what he stands on, with a huge heart for helping the youth, specifically young Black kids from neighborhoods who aren’t always afforded the opportunity to see how life operates outside of where they come from.
A Virginia native, who has taken his talents up north, Baron partnered with Justin Carter to create a safe space for young creatives to express their creativity and most importantly, be themselves.
We had the chance to sit down with Baron to learn more about him, Prolific Studios, and what’s to come for his business despite the new COVID-19 way of life.
On Why He Got Started
Baron, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, says he understand the different levels of the spectrum. “I didn’t graduate high school, I’ve been arrested, I have a different perspective when it comes to life because of those experiences.”
The 30-year-old’s mother is from Finland and his father is Haitian so he’s accustomed to being different and mentions that his whole goal is to “inspire, motivate and create new things.” He’s from what he calls a “Nipsey Hussle class” in how he aims to provide the proper resources and access to underprivileged youth.
Hussle’s tragic death had a huge impact on Baron as he notes that this was the death of a celeb or notable figure that truly impacted him personally.
“I haven’t really experienced death on too many levels and with Nipsey, I’m crying two or three days after the fact and I don’t even know this man.”
“It was really a no-brainer after he passed to go with the name Prolific and in no way, shape, or form did we try to capitalize off of anything Nipsey related,” shared Baron. “I’m on the same mission as he is,” he continues. “He was building research centers and STEM programs in the hood. Opening his merchandise stores in the hood and that’s the same thing that we’re on.”
He explains that the whole idea to build Prolific Studios was centered around “creating a safe space that is our own for those who need it the most. “We put everything in a low-income, primarily Black area.” They’re all about building an authentic community, establishing business and showing people what we’re really about and helping them to build their own too.
On What Type of Experience Prolific Studios Offers
“There’s no rules at Prolific,” Baron expresses.
His business partner Justin Carter who also happens to be a dope photographer approached Baron with the idea to open up a photography studio that would help them to not only build a community, but provide an authentic space for people to come and kick it.
They allow memberships for creatives to come and hang out, to come and create, and much more. “We allow all of these things,” says Baron, “we are creating a spot for us to be ourselves.”
Not only do they provide a studio for creatives to work their magic, Prolific Studios even has a walk-up coffee shop window at its entrance to provide that neighborhood feel.
Baron shares that they also have photographers, videographers, editors, makeup artists, etc. that are readily available for members to use.
On What’s Next
“We’re putting together a scholarship program for the kids and working to provide them with classes and workshops that will teach them about photography and videography,” shares Baron. He also shares that they will be given the opportunity to come in and see how the members work.
Despite the uncertainty of the future now thanks to COVID-19, Baron says “in 5 years, I see everything on a whole other level.”
“I see us opening another space right in the hood solely for education,” he shares. According to Baron, this will be the learning space, the neighborhood spot, “just something bigger because we do real work too.”
For him, this isn’t about money motivation. Baron believes that “if you’re moving with the right intentions it’s going to happen.” In his excitement for the future, he says, “I don’t even stress, I know it’s coming.”
“I see us as one of the biggest agencies out there honestly. Everything Black.”
Baron has big dreams not only for Prolific Studios, but everyone attached to the community that he is working to help build.
“I can see the guys that I opened the studio with and the members working on movies and other huge projects.”
For more on Prolific Studios, visit their website here.
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