Quick/long story about how I ended up in this photo shoot. Sixteen Seventy Clothing Company is a brand founded in my hometown Charleston, SC, by my friend Troy Gathers, and I’ve worn and supported Sixteen Seventy religiously since the mid-2000’s.

Last Sunday, I was home in Charleston, I had just wrapped up a meeting about Cultura Fest in downtown Charleston, and I jumped in the car headed home to my family’s house on James Island. Somehow riding along I missed the exit for James Island, and I ended up riding further into downtown, and having no idea where I was or where I was going. I pulled over to put directions into my GPS, so I could get back on track and be on my way. So, the GPS says go up two blocks and make a left, so I follow the GPS. As I’m riding the area looks vaguely familiar, but mind you, I moved away from Charleston 20 years ago, so at this point in my life everywhere in Charleston is only vaguely familiar to me. So, I turn left, pass a couple more blocks and stop at a red light. And who do I see walking pass my car? “Is that Troy?!??” Troy is my guy, we both live in Atlanta but these days we rarely catch up. We talk every now and then, but we’re both busy, so on some millennial ish, we just see each other everyday on Facebook.

“Yo, Gathers!!!” He stopped, wondering who was calling him from the car. “Yo, this is Roper! What you doing over here?”

“Man, we’re over here doing a photo shoot. You might as well come on, I have a shirt for you,” he said quickly before the light changed.

At this point I’m slightly puzzled, I still don’t know where I’m at, but if Gathers asks anything of me, that’s my brother, on gawd, I’m pulling over.

I get out the car, Troy hands me a shirt and I realize I’m walking into a Sixteen Seventy photo shoot. At this point I start feeling self conscious since I don’t have a fresh haircut and I’m a pretty boy, but Gathers asked me to get in the shot, the shirt matched my fit, so it was all good. Then I see my cousin Aisha Champaign Deleston, my man Derrick Smalls, and the twins from SCSU (who don’t remember me at all) and I’m thinking how random all this is. But the energy was all love, so I paid no mind to how this all came together.

“Take this, Roper,” as Troy hands me a Welcome To Charleston sign. I didn’t get any instructions, so I guess that means I’m supposed to stand in the middle.

So, there I was, 15 minutes prior, I was headed home, and now here I am, holding a Welcome To Charleston sign, standing in the middle of a group of people, all wearing Sixteen Seventy Clothing.

And at that very moment there was no place else I’d rather be. I say all that to say this, sometimes when you think you’re headed in the wrong direction, you’re really not. You might think you’re taking a wrong turn, but you’re really taking the right turn. You’ll think you’re going the wrong way, but the universe is actually guiding you exactly where you’re supposed to be.

I say it all the time, trust the process. Take pictures, and enjoy the journey. You might just end up making history.

Salute to my brother, Troy Gathers and Sixteen Seventy Clothing. #SixteenSeventy #Charleston #TrustTheProcess