Photo: Teen+Jonesy

InspiHERed By spotlights phenomenal women in the Black queer community—everyone from artists to activists. Each week ELIXHER features someone whose personal journey and individual craft inspire us to dream bigger, laugh harder, and love deeper. This week ELIXHER catches up with TeenMogul, an entrepreneur and artist.

ELIXHER: Tell us a little about yourself.
TEEN: My name is TeenMogul because I had a bunch of nicknames like TeenBeats from when I started making beats. But most people just call me Teen. I call myself a mogul because I dip into a bunch of things from beats to videos to designing, but my main focus is music. My birthday is on August 17th. I’ll be 21 (again). [Laughs.] I’m from Brooklyn. I lived in Chicago for 7 years and now I live in Staten Island.

ELIXHER: Tell us about your line Teen+Jonesy.
TEEN: Teen+Jonesy is more of a service than a fashion line. We take a brand’s logo and make it into an accessory like a badge or a chain. We have a PowerLine that we’ll be dropping this fall. The theme is Power and it features our main piece, the powerfist. But our main focus is providing that service of custom accessories.

ELIXHER: When did you begin creating accessories?
TEEN: We have been doing logo accessories for about 8 months now.

ELIXHER: What drew you to the craft?
TEEN: I always wanted to own my own business and so I started brainstorming ideas on something that would last longer than a trend but something that people will always need. I realized that as much as I want to own my own brand, so does everyone else. Nothing excites people more than them, their name etc. So that is the theory behind Teen+Jonesy.

ELIXHER: Who or what inspires you?
TEEN: I get inspiration all day everyday. It changes. But the fact that we as humans have a greater potential that we haven’t even reached inspires me to reach further. But kids inspire me the most. Their innocence, their humility. It’s awesome.

ELIXHER: Describe yourself in three words.
TEEN: Creator. Perfectionist. Flirt.

Photo: Teen+Jonesy

TEEN: What’s the biggest misconception people have of you?
ELIXHER: The biggest misconception is that people think I’m cocky. If you know me, you know I’m far from it. I’m very confident in my future and my potential but not cocky. As a matter of fact, people usually have to tell me how good I am at something before I believe it.

ELIXHER: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face and how did you overcome it?
TEEN: The biggest challenge is going against what my family taught me. I pretty much had to unlearn the things I was taught growing up. Being a lesbian in a religious family was tough and I got kicked out my house for it. But I learned a lot and I’m happy and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

ELIXHER: What makes you proud to be a part of the Black queer community?
TEEN: The fact that I can be an example for younger kids (guys and girls) in the community is dope. I think more and more kids will be coming out at an early age and I want to let them know it’s ok.

ELIXHER: What changes would you like to see in the Black queer community?
TEEN: I wouldn’t really change anything except for more support. Oh, and the fact that all these girls are wifed up but still trying to bag me. [Laughs.] Don’t get in a relationship then! [Laughs.]

ELIXHER: What’s next for Teen?
TEEN: I have so much coming up. But most importantly my music project. I’m releasing my single “Show You How To Do It” on August 17th and my mix tape, “Class Is In Session,” very soon. It’s for the ladies, so look out for that. And the Class of Teen+Jonesy fall PowerLine.

Check out more Teen+Jonesy accessories at teenandjonesy.tumblr.com. Follow them on Twitter (@Teen+Jonesy)!

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Your go-to resource for all things empowering, thought-provoking, and pertinent to Black queer and trans women and non-binary people.

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