It was a typical spring afternoon in Los Angeles and the entertainment capital of the world was on brand: a paradise of good weather. Upon entering a luxury high-rise apartment complex in the heart of downtown, I was met with multiple smiles. I returned the kind gesture (not often practiced in LA), glanced at my phone to confirm the room number, and said the resident’s name: Briana Wilson. The concierge nodded in understanding and led me to the elevator. After the doors closed, I made my way up… all the way up.
I thought briefly to myself how our missteps are often as important, if not more important, than our steps in the journey to the top. Those moments not only mold you, but they grow you and they are often a testament to who you really are. If you have a setback, are you going to allow it to stop you completely or are you going to take it as an L, and understand that there is more work to be done on the pursuit of what you want?
Briana Wilson is living proof that you can work really hard, collect those L's in stride, and in the end, still get it right.
The North Texas native is the mastermind behind MATTE, a thriving fashion line with simplistic everyday essentials.
Wilson’s designs have been featured in mainstream magazines, flooded Millennials’ social media timelines, and has been photographed on celeb influencers like Bella Hadid, Kim Kardashian, Keke Palmer, Teyana Taylor, Draya Michele and Karrueche Tran thanks to overeager paparazzi.
Moments after knocking on the door to her LA apartment, Briana greeted me with a saccharine smile, such a contrast from the usual badassness her features typically serve in IG photos. I am reminded of someone I've known for years as opposed to the mere seconds that had just transpired between two strangers. She took no time in filling me in on who she is and how her journey to MATTE all started. Humbly as ever, back in Texas in the 90s.
“I didn’t know shit about brands,” she admitted. “But I always cared about my appearance and the way clothes fit on people.”
Her mom noticed her appreciation for clothing early on and suggested a broadcast position that would fulfill her love for fashion and not cost a single cent.
After high school, Wilson counted down the days until she left the nest. A visit to Texas Southern University (TSU) on a college tour sparked her interest in the School of Communication.
For more than three years, Wilson juggled coursework while being a waitress at Twin Peaks, a popular sports bar in Houston. When she wasn’t working, attending classes, or modeling part-time, she was traveling and relishing in her early 20s. Around that time, she also began reading numerous books to quench her budding entrepreneurial thirst, including The Secret, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Alchemist.
However, just one semester shy of a journalism degree, Wilson decided to move to the East Coast after being fired from Twin Peaks. She found that she was no longer interested in delivering on-air weather forecasts and instead, stepped out on faith. She quit school, sold her Jeep for $2,000, and moved to Far Rockaway, NY where her entrepreneurial skills were pumped into high gear.
There, she learned all about production, shipping, and running an e-commerce business while watching her boyfriend, Kobi McLemore, build Death Precision, a brand he had been perfecting since the age of 16. Through him and lessons she had learned, she was inspired to begin her own line.
“I really took notice one day when he found a striped t-shirt from a store next to the bus stop we always took,” Wilson shared. “He made $2,000 in one week.”
Within a year, she was ready to sell and maximize her own social media presence. Wilson purchased mesh and crochet tops online wholesale and found a jewelry designer to create customized necklaces, which would become the first items sold by MATTE. Her opening weekend goal was $4,000. At the time, she was living with McLemore in New Jersey.
“It was a humbling moment,” Wilson stated. “I might’ve made $300 the first weekend.”
Because she only met 7.5-percent of her goal, this was the first time she thought she would have to pack up everything and move back to Texas. There was no money and she was painfully broke.
Just before she was planning to move home from NY, she received a phone call from a friend with an enticing housing offer. Despite her initial doubt, she checked out the available living room space and it was a good fit. Plus, she didn’t have to sign a lease or pay a deposit.
It wasn’t her ideal living situation, but MATTE’s sales kept her afloat as she started to focus on selling hot-ticket items. In her words, it wasn't perfect, but she was doing well, which was a step up from previous months of everyday struggle.
Wilson lived there for about eight months before she was involved in a near-fatal car accident that resulted from rear-ending another vehicle while pulling into a Brooklyn gas station. “I immediately started freaking out,” Wilson recalled. “I put the truck in reverse to move off the other car.”
The other driver—a visibly angry man—yelled for Wilson not to move the truck to prevent any further damage. She thought she put the truck in park but it must have been in reverse or neutral.
As Wilson exited the truck and proceeded to walk behind her vehicle to the opposite side of the car, the truck rolled backwards, pinning her left leg between the base of a light pole and the truck’s bumper. The other driver hopped in the truck and immediately freed Wilson. Her main injury was a broken femur bone, the longest and strongest bone in your body. But like any purposeful entrepreneur, Wilson continued to run her business from the hospital bed.
She also started reading The Kybalion: A Study of The Hermetic Philosophy of Ancient Egypt and Greece. Reading the book reminded her that you can't feel happiness truly without feeling an equal amount of pain.
[Tweet "You can't truly know happiness without feeling an equal amount of pain."]
After her two-week hospital stay, Wilson relied on crutches for three months. She began to feel like it was time to switch locations and decided to move to LA. This move found her bank account balance looking right at $10,000 and she felt like things could only get better.
“I started making the most money when I moved to LA,” Wilson revealed.
Within the past year, Wilson has launched three additional lines under the MATTE Brand: WORKING GIRL, LEISURE, and FORWARD. Some of her most popular designs include bodysuits, leggings, and bikini bottoms. Scrolling through MATTE’s Instagram and Twitter profiles is guaranteed to take your mind to dirty places, as the fit and design of her clothing are created to leave little to nothing to the imagination. “I always wanted my clothes to be tight and to accentuate whatever I had going on.”
Wilson has a secure business flow and knows the basis of what makes a good company. She also has a solid team: Kristopher Welcome, Head of Operations; Sara Gomez, Customer Service Coordinator; and McLemore is the Graphic Design Artist (and still riding by his woman’s side). You can follow their day-to-day business operations on the MATTE video blog. Like her style, the video blog is straightforward and sometimes NSFW. Most importantly, she spoils her loyal customer base with consistency.
“You have to be consistent. I’ve never taken a business class but remaining consistent has got me so far as a businesswoman.”
Consistency paired with grand slam online marketing tactics has taken Wilson’s designs around the globe. A recent fashion shoot with a photographer revealed MATTE was popular among young adults in a European town known for Renaissance architecture.
MATTE Brand is expected to exceed a million dollars in sales this year.
“After going through so many lessons last year, I’ve found exactly what I need to do. I’m still standing.”
Kenneth Ware Jr. is a freelance writer with a smile as big as his home state Texas and a personality as lively as his new home, Los Angeles. You can usually find him in the middle of a dance floor or retrieving the 4-1-1 from your favorite celebrity, sometimes on a dance floor. Pics or it didn’t happen, right? Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at@KennethWareJr.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Giphy