Align Mag had the opportunity to catch up with Millennial influencer Walter Gainer to discuss his new company that is helping to redefine natural hair within professional settings. Here is what he had to say…..
Tell us about yourself? Hello, my name is Walter Gainer, I’m a 90’s baby, retired “unprofessional soccer player”, and avid Marvel fan. I am an introverted entrepreneur who helps people make their dreams a reality. My goal is to be in a position to be a Shark on Shark Tank but in the meantime, I use my experience and expertise to help creatives, entrepreneurs, and organizations discover their brand and grow their business.
Tell us about BossLocks BossLocks Media was created to share perspectives that Redefine Professionalism. We do this by proving that natural hair and professionalism do coexist. On the flip side, we’re a Media Production and Brand management company helping creatives bring their vision to life. We’re just getting started but have our eyes set on producing shows.
Has your journey been an easy one so far? If not, what are some challenges you’ve had to overcome? It seems like I’m facing a new challenge every other day that makes me feel like I’m not supposed to be doing this. I’ve been rejected by Google’s podcasting program, had companies love me on the phone and lose interest when they see me in person, and have been counted out because of my locs. I used to look at these opportunities as signs that I may need to move on. But I’ve learned that a Loss isn’t permanent and opportunities will continue to present itself to those who don’t quit.
What’s one thing we should know about you or your business? BossLocks is for the culture. We’re here to spread love for natural hair, push conversations for the culture, and create opportunities for black people to be in winning positions.
What sets you apart from competition (if there is any)? I really like how we’re positioned right now. Any competition we come across will either validate our mission or turn into a beautiful partnerships. We’re here to challenge perspectives that have been used to discriminate and provide a platform for the underrepresented.
Start with whatever you can and be consistent. While you wait for perfection, you’re missing out on growth.
What has been your fondest moment in your career thus far? My proudest moment came on January 2nd of 2019 when I quit my job. You hear a lot of people talk about quitting their corporate job after they started making enough in their side hustle or after they got some mega investment. I quit with $600 less than what was needed for rent and no ideas how I would get the rest. But I was so proud because that was the first time I truly believed in myself. I truly made a decision to leave an environment where I did not feel I belong.
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now? I see myself collaborating with corporate leaders and political organizations to create systems and policies that creates black people are protected in professional environments. I also see BossLocks having set a new standard for professionalism that encourages people to grow their natural hair, and protects black people experiencing discrimination in their workplace.
Who has been the most influential person in your life? Without a doubt my Mom. I’ve had a front row seat to her overcoming challenges and creating a reality from her dreams. I’ve seen her work from sunrise to after dark to build her vision. I’ve seen her as a leader of a school get disregarded by a potential partner because the guy was expecting to meet with a white person. And I’ve seen her sacrifice everything for her children. I’ve seen my Mom create something from nothing and will forever be my example of what you can achieve when you truly believe in your vision.
How were you as a child? This question reminds me of that Kendrick Lamar song “Cartoons and Cereal”. I mean what K Dot was really describing in that song was definitely not my childhood, but I loved cartoons and cereal. If I wasn’t playing soccer, I definitely had the Saturday morning cartoons on every weekend. I loved to be active with sports, going on 3-8 day hikes, and going to the beach even though I couldn’t swim. I was also heavily into music. I played violin and taught myself how to play the bass guitar and the piano. I also studied kung fu and loved anything Jackie Chan related. But as I grew older, soccer took over my life. Seriously, I found myself playing on two different teams and turned down anything that got in the way of me playing. But it all paid off when I got a scholarship to play in college.
Is your current city good for what your doing/aspiring to do? Atlanta is perfect for BossLocks to grow. I’ve seen black people winning in ways people from around the world would look at in shock. It’s also the type of city to really put your idea to the test. If you can execute your vision and people gravitate towards it, Atlanta will reward you.
What do you want people to remember about you when you’re gone? I would want people to remember the last time I made them smile.
Give one piece of advice that you can share with fellow Millennials I would tell people not to wait for that million dollar check or the perfect opportunity. Start with whatever you can and be consistent. While you wait for perfection, you’re missing out on growth. Last advice for now, if you haven’t watched Kevin Hart’s docu-series on Netflix, go do that now! His life is a prime example of how to hustle and many more life lessons to take you to where aspire to be.