Man Making Just $10 An Hour Explains How One Small Decision To Save Money By Sitting Home Alone Changed The Entire Course Of His Life

Sometimes solitude is just what you need to change your life.

man home working in bed, Brandon Blackwood / lev radin / Shutterstock

We’ve all heard stories of rags to riches. A person is struggling to make ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck, and suddenly lightning strikes and they are living their wildest dreams.

That was the case for fashion designer Brandon Blackwood, who went from barely scraping by to launching his own brand of high-end handbags.

Blackwood changed the trajectory of his life by staying home one night because he couldn't afford to go out.



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Blackwood told his story on TikTok, prompted by a video from a woman named Amy Elizabeth, where she posed the question, “What is one small, unimportant decision you made that changed the whole trajectory of your life?”

It all started with the inability to join his friends for a night out.

The successful designer started by saying, “One night in Brooklyn, my friends invited me out [and] I did not have enough cash to go to a bar.” He explained that he was working at a business called Crossroad Trading Co., making just $10 per hour, so money was tight.

He made the decision to prioritize rent over fun and admittedly suffered from FOMO (fear of missing out) all weekend.


Blackwood tried watching movies to stave off his overwhelming boredom to no avail. So, he randomly started browsing clothing and fashion manufacturers and came across a place in New Jersey. “To this day, I don’t know why I started looking it up but I told myself, ‘I’m gonna make a bag’. It’s kind of nuts,” he mused.

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Blackwood emailed the factory he found, along with several others.

On his next day off, the future fashion designer visited a local factory, letting them know of his desire to design his own handbag. They reluctantly agreed to help him and even allowed him to make payments on the price of manufacturing his product since he didn’t have to money to pay upfront.


Not long after, Blackwood’s first bag was born: the Portmore backpack. He began wearing it to work and it wasn’t long before people began to take notice of his accessory as he rode the train to work.

Then, he came across an editor for Essence Magazine. He was a Buyer at his job and she was selling some of her used clothing, so the company he worked for could resell it.

Blackwood showed her the handbag he had made — and she absolutely loved it.

“She was really into it,” Blackwood said of his newfound acquaintance.

Two weeks later, his Portmore backpack was featured in Essence Magazine. From there, his whirlwind journey from Buyer to Founder of his own brand began.


Now, in what likely seemed impossible before, the successful entrepreneur has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, has his brand carried by Saks and Nordstrom, and has dressed superstars like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Serena Williams, and Beyoncé.

“We’ve done all these crazy things and I always think about that night that I really wanted to go out but was bored at home,” he added in disbelief, calling the experience “the best thing that ever happened."

Because of his unbelievable trajectory, Blackwood has been coined a “Manifesting Generator.”

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What is a 'Manifesting Generator' and how can you become one?

A woman named Keolani responded to Blackwood’s story, labeling him a Manifesting Generator: a person who waits to respond to the right things. She said, “Something that’s so underrated for sacral beings is allowing the space to have a response.”



She explained that we are often bombarded with information overload, glued to our phones or computers, constantly checking emails, and socializing. This takes away the space and opportunity to have that “creative spark” show up and allow us to respond to it, according to Keolani.

In Blackwood’s solitude, he was able to receive the idea and inspiration to make his own handbag. She wasn’t certain that he was a Manifesting Generator, but he seemed to fit the definition.


Keolani warns viewers to always be aware of the potential "opportunity cost" when you do things that might not be in alignment with what you should be doing. The ability to manifest your creativity lies in your ability to make tough decisions and trust that you did the right thing.

Those times of silence may be just what you need to realize your wildest dreams. Sometimes rejection is just redirection.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationships, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.