Today: Apr 14, 2024

Senior ignites the “Su Niño” movement

photo courtesy Rick Kirkland
Kirkland started the venture and has many college students by his side to help spread the word.

JON MORENOArts Editor

Senior Rick Kirkland has made a name for himself over the years being one of the football Owls’ elite players. However, in his last semester of his col­lege career, he is no longer involved in an organized football team for the first time since the tender age of 6.

But Kirkland instead switched his focus from blocking passes on the football field to making a much bigger change in the world.

It all started with his new business venture, called “Su Niño.”

“What Su Niño is, is a business and a movement together,” Kirkland said.

Su Niño stands for “your boy” in Spanish. A name that Kirkland said is particularly important to him.

“This past summer I had to take a Spanish II class and the class brought me back to elementary school where you knew you had to participate no matter what,” Kirkland said. “I wanted to make it easier on myself and learn words I already say in English and Su Niño was just a catchy name and people would say ‘how could you name it a Spanish line but its English?’ But that’s the significance of this whole movement and business. To show people if you have a creative mind, don’t be afraid to use it.”

But Kirkland isn’t alone in this en­deavor. Along with fellow Southern stu­dents Donte Glenn and Robin Priest, he’s ignited a movement that he said he fully intends to eventually going international.

Priest is the person behind the Su Niño logo.

“(Rick) first contacted me over the summer via message telling me that he wanted to create a movement called Su Niño and wanted to know if I would be interested in creating some logos and making a few designs,” she said. “Once the fall semester began, he met up with me with a drawing pad, pencils, erasers, rulers and basically everything that was necessary to start developing designs for the future of Su Niño.”

The logo is now printed on shirts for purchase.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgmRwlbL3Os]

“What I had planned for the logo was to develop something simple and clean and make it easy to identify when you are looking at it,” she said. “What I intended to do with the logo was mak­ing it simple so that when people saw the logo they would just wonder what the ‘S’ and ‘N’ stood for and it would keep them wanting to know more about what it is. Also you can see that the ‘S’ and ‘N’ intertwine which is a big symbol for the unity that Su Niño creates.”

The business aspect comes into play with the income the T-shirts designed by Priest provide. The movement aspect relates to trying to enhance the lives of anyone they may encounter according to Kirkland.

“What we’re doing is trying to im­prove the quality of life and then pro­mote unity and I feel like when I talk to certain people and say improve the quality of life, sometimes they look at it a bigger scale,” he said. “But if you ask me what’s improving the quality of life, it can be me just telling a joke and getting somebody to smile. That’s taking their mind off whatever they’re going through in that particular moment.”

Long term, Kirkland said he hopes the Su Niño business spreads into dif­ferent types of careers. For instance, he views Su Niño as future investors for musicians, engineers, chefs and cosme­tologists. Not only that, but Su Niño will eventually be a place where college students can go to intern.

Kirkland said he feels that not a lot of internships are as hands-on as they should be so he wants to change that. Su Niño can also be reached at sunino89@gmail.com.

“I want that kind of environment where we’re pushing to become the big­gest and richest business known to man,” Kirkland said.

To take the movement international, Kirkland said he hopes it happens like a chain reaction. As students that are cur­rently involved with Su Niño are gradu­ating, they can go into their respective fields and spread the word to make others aware.

Kirkland also sees Su Niño become a record label as they currently sponsor two artists, rap­per D-Nyce from New Jersey and singer Casey Canada.

The first Su Niño meeting was back in November and Kirkland said the group hasn’t looked back since. In De­cember, they put together a fashion show displaying the Su Niño T-shirts.

As the movement grows, something he hopes to break is a stereotype.

“One thing I cannot stand to this day is stereo­types,” he said. “People say ‘Oh you got a tattoo, how are you supposed to act?’ or ‘oh you’re from Bridge­port’ or ‘oh you’re from Paterson, N.J.,’ how is that person is supposed to look? That’s what pushes me with this whole movement, just to change this whole society.”

Kirkland doesn’t take any money from anyone involved with the program; all that he asks is people who volunteer give him a valiant effort. Any money that does come in goes straight to the Su Niño bank account. He sees Su Niño hitting a higher scale within three years but for the meantime continues to stay humble and working hard.

photo courtesy Rick Kirkland
Su Niño shirts have been featured in fashion shows.

“I don’t like to measure things on a bigger scaled because that’s when you face disappointment and question yourself,” Kirkland said. “I’m not trying to say it’s easy, it’s stressful but I feel the outcome of it just pushes me to keep going.”

In the student center ballroom on April 28, Su Niño and its members will be present as the ASA host Culture Night from 6-10 p.m. There will be a fashion scene showing the Su Niño t-shirt line and a table outside for students to stop by.

“My hopes and overall outlook for Su Niño are so big and I know that in the near future this movement will effect people in a good way,” Priest said. “I only say this because I see how determined and motivated (Rick) is, and I know that that will carry this movement into big things in the near future.”

Kirkland has one simple message to the Southern body: “Smile, live life and don’t worry about the stereotypes.”

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