SFND MAG: What’s happening gentlemen!!! We appreciate you all for interviewing with us. We extremely excited that we have an opportunity to get a little more insight in to all the things you all have going out here in Sacramento area. First and foremost could we just go around the room and have each of you introduce yourselves individually and tell what your role is in this organization.
SA: My name is Derron Christmas. My role with the Social Architects is Director of Projects and Events. Basically I am the project manager for all events we plan and execute. I make sure we seamlessly put on excellent and quality events.
My name is Tunji Akilo. Born in Southern California but raised here in the 916. I am Co-Founder and Creative Engagement Director for the Social Architects.
Peace family my name is Chris Robinson aka DJ Play. I am the Co-Founder/Community and Production Director. My role is to set the ambiance and to create the appeal of the Social Architects events.
I am Zeke Ivy and my official role for the Social Architects is the Business and Community Development Director of the Social Architects and C0-Founder. I have been living in Sacramento for around 13 years and have been active in the community with the Sacramento Urban League Young Professionals, so I have leveraged some of my previous relationships to promote events for The Social Architects.
Hello, my name is Wellington “PJ” Smith and I am Co-founder, and Marketing and Media Director. My role Intel’s over seeing all photography and Cinematography for all engagement events as well as marketing items that goes out to the general public. I also partner with my fellow Social Architect founders to keep our marketing climate stays consistent with our company’s vision and mission.
SFND MAG: Could ya’ll give us a little bit of the back story of how ya’ll got started?
SA: Derron Christmas: The 5 of us being friends, we would hang out in the Sacramento area and wonder why there wasn’t really a scene for young African American professionals to connect and network. We decided that we would host our first day party in June of 2014 and see where it goes from there. Almost 3 years later we have continued to grow and evolve as businessmen and pillars in the community. We give back at least 10% of our profits to local nonprofits. We believe in having a great time while helping out kids and people of color at the same time.
SFND MAG: I’ve had an opportunity to attend 2 of your events so far. I remember going to one of your first events at the Liason Lounge a couple years ago and, most recently you all invited SoFNDopeMagazine to come through your last event and check ya’ll out. I must say I was blown away! Everything was “crackin!” The event itself was extremely upscale and professional. How do you all manage to attract such a large group of young African American professionals to your events?
SA: Tunji Akilo: We are very strategic on how we promote our events and who we market to. Specifically for young African American professionals (included ourselves) Sacramento lacks to cater entertainment for our crowd to socialize, network, simply enjoy a good time away from work and home. The Social Architects' main objective is to provide this void in a way that's never been done in Sacramento. With each event we plan, we stay true to our vision and ourselves. We continue to improve our quality of events for our crowd. It's scary to think what our events will look like in another 2 years.
SFND MAG: What do you feel sets what you all do apart from other promotional companies that organize parties and events in this area.
SA: Chris Robinson: The thing that sets the Social Architects apart is the control of the vibe. Our vibe as a group comes from characteristics of high expectations of being fly, free and fun. We want the city to come out, walk in the building and forget that they are in Sacramento
5) Are there any other services you provide?
PJ Smith: Yes we provide a number of services and specialties that engage the community around us. We partner will small and large businesses to provide brand management and strategic plans to further there reach in the Northern California area through social and digital media. We provide video, photography, and Dj services for small and large venues as well as marketing youth and community initiatives for non-profit and educational institutions.
SFND MAG: How long did it take to build such a large and loyal network people attend your events faithfully?
SA: PJ Smith: It took just over a year to build a space that large groups of local professionals come to and feel comfortable being in. Not only is our crowd loyal which we are grateful for, they are high quality groups and individuals that love being apart of a movement that is changing the atmosphere in the greater Sacramento area.
SFND MAG: What do each of you feel you contribute most to the group?
SA: Derron Christmas: I would say my biggest contribution is overseeing our events from beginning to end and making sure everyone is staying on task to provide and execute quality events in the Sacramento area. Also I contribute a lot with coming up with different themes and ideas that will set us apart in the Sacramento region.
SA: Tunji Akilo: I primarily handle our promotional/marketing advertisement for each of our events and Social Architects Brand. You might occasionally catch me DJing along side DJ Play
SA: Zeke Ivy: I contribute leadership that incorporates a level of community togetherness. With my background in working with the Urban League Young Professionals, I know that our community needs better and more avenues to connect, network and achieve in society. For many of our events, we purposely seek and choose a local non-profit to donate a portion of our proceeds to that assists young kids and people of color. So I am actively talking to centers of influence and suggesting groups to benefit.
SA: Chris Robinson: My contribution is to bring back memories and smiles by taking everyone on a journey back in time. I do that by playing the music they forgot about, the music they haven't heard and the songs that go all the way hard, bringing back those memories and feelings of that one time and night when you had the time of your life. Once you come to a Social Architects event, I promise you will feel like that young, fly, and fun person again.
SFND MAG: Honestly, from what I saw at your last event… the atmosphere, to the music, and just the “feel good vibe” that you all have created at your event, I can see you all cornering the market in Sacramento area very quickly. What do you feel is most important you to do in order to continue thrive in such a diverse market like Sacramento?
SA: Zeke Ivy: I believe that our events are very positive and we have established ourselves as the main social group that caters to the Sacramento urban sophisticate. But I still think we can grow our reach and host better and bigger events. We cannot become complacent and think that ‘we’ve made it.’ We have to keep pushing the envelope and continue to grow and expose more people to what The Social Architects is all about.
SFND MAG: We are nearing the end of the interview, is there anything else you would like to inform our audience about? Any upcoming events? Gatherings? Etc… ?
SA: PJ Smith: Well the next big item we coming up is a brunch at Mama Kim's Eats. It will be a fun way to do brunch with mimosas, music, and laughs. We also have our Memorial Day installment of The Blue Print Suite, as well as our 3 year anniversary in which we will celebrate with a signature day party.
SFND MAG: Man we sincerely appreciate this time spent interviewing with us. We can’t wait to be invited to another event soon. Before you go I have one last question… How can those that may not know about the Social Architects just yet find ya’ll on social media?
SA: Derron Christmas: You can find us on Instagram @thesocialarchitects and Facebook at The Social Architects. Our website will up and running summer 2017.