…I humbly thank you for that kind acknowledgement! In the near future I’d love to set up a system of little to no cost mental health services across the US before expanding internationally. If we can help educate our citizens, starting with the youth, on how to rationalize their actions and open their perspective to alternative paths depending on their personal needs. If we start to increase investments in our children’s mental health, we will have a greater return on positive and productive members of society from any socioeconomic-background.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Sean Michael Frazier founder of SMF Global Consultants. Sean is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana and has studied at both Xavier University and Southern University. While working as a Psychiatric Triage Tech at a New Orleans emergency room, his natural engaging esthetic and ability to connect with people attracted the attention of LA models and paved his road to residency in Los Angeles to further pursue a calling in both acting and modelling.
Despite the international travel driven by his modeling, New Orleans has always called him home. Living through the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, drove Sean to see the need for rebuilding through cooperation. This lead to the formation of The Frazier Family Foundation in May of 2014. The foundation allocates resources for non-profits through fundraising and connecting celebrity influencers to brands.
Through his networking and connections, Sean then formed his next venture: SMF Global Consultants, Inc. His namesake brand provides full service management, public relations and image consultation.
Sean’s experience in the industry led him to work as creative director and branding specialist for firms internationally. He was hired in marketing and promotions for companies such as The Grammy Foundation, Hyundai Motor Co., Hennessy & Moet, and Elie Youssef Couture of Beirut, Lebanon as the brand manager, hired to launch the new RTW (Ready-To-Wear) division in the United States. Also working as the director of PR & Marketing at Reflex Performances, overseeing four brands across the nation sold in Nordstrom, Footlocker Inc., Sam’s Club and Amazon.com.
The SMF Global brand has offices in Times Square, New York, The Miami Design District, Florida and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Sean’s recent projects can be seen on Beyoncé, Wu-Tang Clan, NBA players and socialites. Sean is sought as an influencer in fashion and an expert in brand strategy.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us how you carved out this specific career path?
Thank you for having me! I really got started as an aspiring model. I never really hit in the modeling industry but I did make some solid connections on my journey. Over the years, I’ve personally navigated fashion and entertainment agreements in South Africa, Italy, and in the USA. In each spot, I ended up helping my friends get in or out of their contracts. After a few years, I got quite confident in how to maneuver through the industry. On one of my last trips to my agency in Milan, I made a drastic decision to quit after a ‘no’ from a major brand. The ‘no’ that did it, was to the entire group of black models. I was most likely the oldest of the group anyway, but to deny us entry as a group because you’ve already seen your ONE BLACK MODEL. I was done! I decided right there to build something I own and operate.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My brand is my namesake. I take the business of our clients extremely seriously! To have my name on a project means I truly believe in the brand and the personality or team behind the vision. I only work when the energy is right.
We have created billions of impressions online with our campaigns and creative direction. Our team has also built brand strategy concepts for internationally recognized brands.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Actually, business ownership is a series of funny mistakes. I’m so detail oriented in my planning, that I find that the “mistakes” are so blaring and obvious, only to me.
SMF Global was “focused” on too many functions and each vertical wasn’t getting the necessary love. I found myself opening our services to accommodate the growing requests of our clients. Even though it’s a capability, it can’t always be a priority. Eventually, your brands’ purpose and mission will be misguided. As an owner, it seems right to tell everyone, ‘YES! Of course we can make it happen”
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self what would you tell him and why?
To stop doubting the process! The grind doesn’t have to stop your personal life. Embrace the difficulties and understand that I cannot change every circumstance. Sometimes you have to learn how to accept things you cannot change. Otherwise, just don’t STOP!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Mr. Ty Hunter! Ty has changed my life since the first day we met. I was modeling in Milan, Italy and found myself in a dry season for bookings. I was introduced to Ty briefly and told him about my interest in styling. I enjoyed the modeling industry but it was time to branch out. We actually met just a few months before I called him. He graciously let me meet him in Paris for FW to assist him on his travels. At the time he had a working team that he had been with for years. Over time, he allowed me to prove myself and take over as his manager.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m not a wealthy person, just yet… However, I use my expertise and connections to create charitable initiatives. I worked with an initiative in New Orleans to raise money to build a multi-tiered shelter with services for the entire family. Across the US, its difficult to find shelters that accept the entire family unit. I also teamed up with a close friend of mine to build a computer lab in our former high school. I’m currently on the advisory board at Glam4Good, where we last helped to host and style sick children for a prom hosted at the hospital.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
I wish someone told me to trust is key. Both business and personal relationships are only exponentially successful with trust. It would have been nice to know that the low points can get really really low. As an owner, sometimes seemingly small barriers can become a mountain. Navigating that space is key. If I also had some point out my faults, or held a mirror to my face to show me where I’m lacking. People who really know me could have shared their truths to help me avoid bumping into my own ego. In any case, you will always need to go harder than you think. I wish I was told to balance the never ending schedule. I just felt like I could do it all.
What’s your favorite quote and why? How has it inspired you in business today?
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. In my experience, as a model, I was living at the whims of a teams’ selection with a 10 — 15 second introduction and an expected language barrier. I was jobless but staying afloat by my parents and my side hustle! Most of my counterparts were so ignorant to the facts of their signed agreements. With a lack of understanding, often times the models are taken advantage of with payments and abused when they ask to negotiate. I found my space… I read and gave them all language to get themselves out of unsatisfactory positions. Even today, I live by this! You may get a ‘no’ from a potential client. YOU WILL GET A NO! However, you must keep yourself inspired to continue. Stick to your plan, even when you edit it a million times over, stick to your vision.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I humbly thank you for that kind acknowledgement! In the near future I’d love to set up a system of little to no cost mental health services across the US before expanding internationally. If we can help educate our citizens, starting with the youth, on how to rationalize their actions and open their perspective to alternative paths depending on their personal needs. If we start to increase investments in our children’s mental health, we will have a greater return on positive and productive members of society from any socioeconomic-background.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
The fashion industry has never been inclusive. I believe we are finally in a space of understanding in multiple global industries but with no entity other than the court of public opinion monitoring the wrong-doings of the fashion industry, we have no choice but follow the major brands and their public mistakes. As a world, people are voicing opinions strongly but not actively boycotting and effecting the bottom line for the brands. We throw stones for a short time and forget the cause within months, allowing the brands to seamlessly continue operations. We can start by actually holding people accountable.
Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
The move for sustainability is exciting. Fast fashion and the production alone is adding so much new damage to the earth. I’d love to see less waste from our industry. Its “difficult” but necessary for the brands to change how impactful their carbon footprint is on our world and its’ future.
If you could meet anyone either living or no longer with is for breakfast or lunch who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet with Barack Obama for breakfast. My main interest would be how he balances work and life. It appears like running the United States could quite possibly be the most significant job in the world. Having a peaceful space is crucial to success. I just wonder how he made it all work.
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