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FOR THE CULTURE: MEET DERRICK TURNER

By: Angel Charmaine

Photography: Hazel Eyes Photography 

April 29, 2023

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Many of us miss our assignments because we follow something other than what's in us. 

-Derrick Turner


Angel:
Thank you for inviting me into The Culture Shoppe to sit and have this conversation with you. I don’t know the ins and outs of your personal life, but I'm excited to let people get to know you the way I've gotten a chance to know you as simply a good man with a kind heart. Let’s begin with what it is you do here at The Culture Shoppe, and is this what you do for a living now?
Derrick:
The Culture Shoppe is the only thing that I do for a living. 
Angel:
Did you do something else prior to The Culture Shoppe? 
Derrick:
Prior to The Culture Shoppe, I worked at Sam's Club for years from pushing carts while in college to store management. After Sam's Club, I worked at another company for 10 years and The Culture Shoppe evolved from a place of wanting freedom, of wanting to do something on my own. It’s something I felt would be an outlet, not only for me but for other people too. 
Angel:
Where did you attend college?
Derrick:
Benedict College.
Angel:
Did you study business management? 
Derrick:
I studied Criminal Justice.
Angel:
Really? How did you end up in business management?
Derrick:
Well, I think what happens with a lot of people is we go to college and try to find something to do while we’re there. Most of us don't go with a plan. We think, “I might want to do this. Sounds good.” Then, as we go through college, and not just college but even through life, we find other paths and we say, “You know, this right here is for me.”
Angel:
I definitely understand that. Tell me, what is it that you do here at the store? 

Derrick:
I’m the CEO. I do everything from opening the front door to taking the trash out the back door. It’s my baby.
Angel:
Your face totally lit up; your body posture even shifted when you began to talk about The Culture Shoppe, so let's talk more about “your baby.” Why this business versus, I don't know, a restaurant or some other type of business? Why The Culture Shoppe?
Derrick:
I built The Culture Shoppe off energy. It's a diverse place.  Everyone who enters brings something with them. There is also something they get while they’re here, and everybody takes something out the door when they leave. Sometimes it’s knowledge, wisdom, information about the items in here, or simply a peace of mind. This is a peaceful setting. I wanted to step away from what some consider the typical, black business owner and create a space for everybody to come in. 
Angel:
As a woman, it was extremely hard to leave my career and embrace self-employment. Sometimes, I feel like men get different perks than women, or you have better access to capital and funding and things of that nature. Is that true? Tell me about your journey into entrepreneurship. 
Derrick:
Absolutely not. Absolutely not.
Derrick:
My journey of stepping away from a traditional, what we call a nine to five, was realizing that they’re only paying you for your time and someone else is benefiting off you when you walk into a place, punch in, and get paid every week or every two weeks for your hours work. Basically, you are just being paid for the time that you are there, in their place of business, to do what they need you to do to make them lots of money. I also understood that it was guaranteed if I went to work and did what they needed me to do. So, to make the decision to step out on my own and say, you know what, I can do this for myself. 
Of course, it's great to leave and work for yourself, but when it’s time to get that funding, you can't get funding because you haven’t made $50,000 a year for three years. But, how am I going to make $50,000 a year for three years when I haven’t started the business yet?
Angel:
I’ve heard it said that it takes money to make money. 
Derrick:
Yes. I got hit with the harsh reality that it's going to take every single dime I have, plus some, to make this operate. Then, it becomes a faith over fear situation. And I've learned that I'm not going to give up on myself. No matter what's put in front of me, no matter the obstacles I go through, and there are obstacles every single day, I'm not going to give up on myself, and that’s why I walked away from 26 years of traditional, nine to five, work to do it on my own.
Angel:
Where'd that, “I'm not going to give up on me” mindset come from? Did you have parents who instilled those types of values in you or was it established somewhere else?
Derrick:
It was established later on in life traveling and, to be honest, looking at different cultures. How can they come to a place with absolutely nothing, a place where I grew up and was raised my whole life, and they become top tier in the community?  A lot of people will say, “Oh, well, they got perks,” but I know some who came with nothing and just believed in hard work. I'm not going to say they all don't have benefits, get perks and all of that. I just say to myself, if anybody can do it, if this person can go build a house on the lake, why can't I?  One thing we do every day is to tell ourselves what we have to do. I have to go brush my teeth. I have to get up and go to work. I have to get up and go start this car. You tell yourself what you have to do, and you go do it. So, I always tell myself I'm not going to give up on me.
Angel:
That's good.
Derrick:
I look in the mirror in the morning and tell myself what my day is going to be. If you sit in the mirror every day and tell yourself, “I'm so broke; I ain't got this or that.” The person you’re telling that to is you because the only other person in the mirror is you. You reflect that back to yourself, so I go tell the man in the mirror I'm going to make a million dollars a day. If I don't make the million dollars, I leave the house with the attitude that I am going to make it, so I go give it my all every single day.
Angel:
I love that you are able to look at other people's lives, other people's situations, listen to other people's stories, and they serve as inspiration versus a competition or a challenge.  I consider it courageous to step out and create something of your own, yet would you agree it places you in a very vulnerable place too?
Derrick:
Yes, you're making yourself. It is a courageous, brave step, but it's also very vulnerable because you never know what's on the other side of that step. Of course, you enter the door looking at all the positives, but you also step in and see there is a back door to that reality of everything being so great. You learn quickly how to bottle everything up. In an instant, in a day, everything can change from where you are to where you’re going to be, and you must be willing to accept that.
Angel:
As a business owner, which do you think you use the most on a daily basis – courage or vulnerability?


Derrick:
For me, to be honest, I like to use the vulnerable part. I say this because I know I'm courageous. I know I'm a hard worker. I know I'm going to go out and get mine every day, but I also know every day I'm one mistake away from being out of business. So, I look at the vulnerable part as my strength to push me. Even though The Culture Shoppe is my baby, and everything revolves around me inside this building, when I go out to places like the Augusta Saturday Market and start something there, it takes vulnerability to push me into other spaces to be able to do something new and different to make sure things continue according to my plan.
Angel:
I can sit and talk with you for hours, as I’ve done on several occasions. <We both laugh>
However, I believe this is a perfect place to wrap. Before I let you go, I like to ask all my interviewees to share some words of wisdom. For the individual reading this who's interested in taking that leap into entrepreneurship or anything new and different for them, what are some words of wisdom you would give about pursuing whatever it is they have on their hearts to do in this world?
Derrick:
Trust and believe in yourself. Don't let anybody else kill your dreams. Sometimes you’ve got to step out. Even when you doubt yourself, you’ve got to step out there. If it's a calling in your heart, it's there for a reason. Many of us miss our assignments because we follow something other than what's in us. We dream. We have many ideas. We have goals. We write things down, and many of us go to our deathbed with it all because we never pursued any of it. You can always go back to “that,” but you can pass one opportunity at “this” and never get it back again. If opportunity is there for you and you see it, pursue it and go after it. Don't give up on yourself. Believe that you can do it and do it.

Should you find yourself in North Augusta, SC, stop by The Culture Shoppe. You’re guaranteed to leave a little more cultured and wiser than when you entered.

 

I pray you have enjoyed getting to know Mr. Derrick Turner. 

Derrick’s Contact Details:
Website: www.thecultureshoppe.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecultureshoppellc
Address: 207 Edgefield Rd, North Augusta, SC 29841
 

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