"There's Nothing For You In Rochester."
THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND IT ALL.
GoldnRd has been a thriving wave of creativity since 2011. Starting off simply as a local clothing brand, Our mission statement read: “Born and raised in Rochester, NY and Proud of it.” I believed in creating my own heaven on earth right here at home. I believed I would make a fine living for myself and others by doing so. Bringing my very own ideas to life one pop up event at a time, I understood no limits.
As i grew into adulthood I managed to protect my inner child, maintaining faith in that dreams may come true to those who believe they will. The typical young adult, now I could relate. Making an attempt to adapt to the unknown, I was searching for the answer to the equation for surviving independently. Inevitably, life exposed me to a perspective of reality opposite of mine. A lack of faith. I discovered that not everyone had a dream like I did. For even the most baby faced characters did not have the arm span nor the courage to reach out and get in touch with the imagination of the child within. I began to come across fewer and fewer people that could find any light in Rochester. Forming collaborative relationships with creatives that were my age and committed to being a light for the city was equivalent to about a hand half full of pin needles dispersed across an abandon golf course. I had grown accustomed to experiencing a lack of support and because I was a novice in the businesses realm. I had yet to acknowledge the value in other peoples perspectives outside of my own. This does not increase your profit margins. Fully accepting that Rochester is considered to be to be “a Dark place with little to nothing to do” is what gave birth to my purpose, my ambition to make it my life’s work to give people a new bright perspective of the place I call home. 8 years later I am still completely committed to my task. The GoldnRd brand has found a home in hearts all across Rochester and continues to expand
(the video below is actual footage of the very first time I boarded an air plane)
I experienced my very first flight at the age of 25. I am currently 26. My first departure landed me in San Fransisco California.
It didn’t take but a few skate trips around the city for me to claim it as my second home. Sadly It was clear that the people of my hometown had valid insight when telling me “You would be better off going to California or NYC to pursue my passion.” Whilst visiting both of these places, complete strangers embraced my frequency. In two short months spent surfing on the west coast & I had received more love than I had ever received in 8 long years of designating ALL of my energy into Reviving Rochester. Returning home with a new level of awareness for what is out there and stories upon stories to share with friends and family. It didn’t take long for all of my new found energy and excitement to morph into a deep dark hole that lead to my depression. I too, had become convinced that there was nothing for me in Rochester. Being in complete darkness was a foreign concept for me. As I had never suffered from depression before I had no experience going up against such torment in my inner thoughts. Seeds of doubt were planted in the mind and their roots lead me to believe that all of the work I had done to uplift my city and the people in it was a complete waste of my time and energy. I was stuck. I prayed that God would show me a way out of those dark tunnels and by his grace I did.
REVIVING MY SOUL. It began with a question. Who has already successfully accomplished the very thing that i am trying to do? I needed evidence that what I was trying to do, the impossible was possible. My motto was always to “keep looking forward” but in order to answer this question to self, I had to look in the past. Then it happened. There was a click….George Eastman had already done the rest. Turns out that the bridge that connected my (why I feel so magnetically pulled to this city and what I was supposed to direct all of my creative energy to) was on my daily skate across town. it had been right in front of me my entire life.
While attending high school (School of the Arts) for visual arts I was educated about Causes and Effects of gentrification. A topic I took subtle interest in as it was clearly being put into effect within my very ow neighborhood. I wondered “Why would anyone pay so much money to live in these new luxury homes? Who can afford these homes? & Was there anything I could do to help? This is when the idea came to me. ~KODAK PARK~ Sometimes it’s not about where you are. It’s about who came from the very place you stand and what did they accomplish that you can’t? So I set out to establish a connection with the rest of the world and Rochester by creating an animated feature film about the man that brought the world film. The magic will dance once again.
That was 10 years ago. Since then then the majority of money i have acumilated in my entire life has been due to filming and editing video. If I had never found my love for film the most valuable relationships in my life would not exist. My company would have no such capital to fund it’s growth. Where would the world be without film? Without someone that built his dream from pure passion and desire right in here in Rochester, NY. There would be no Walt Disney or Wizard of Oz.. Television…there would be no such thing, Instagram, facebook, social media….To stop and think that someone who had the same amount of love for the same place I do is responsible for the hundreds of million selfies are snapped everyday. George Eastman is what I consider to be a wizard of time. I am thankful for the gift he has given to humankind. For the future legacy of Rochester, My team and I have dedicated our lives to producing a film about the man that brought us film.
With unwavering focus and limitless gratitude I dedicate my new found love and appreciation for life to G.E.
-Ajani Jeffries 1/26/19 8:33pm Rochester, NY
PS. Please send us an email if you would like to contribute to this project. FOR ROCHESTER!