We first met Edreys through a mutual friend, Michael McGreevy. Since then, we have listened to Edreys at CreativeMornings, seen him at events around town, and have even become owners some of his crafts. We really appreciate what this guy is about, and are fans of his work, whether it be his words, or what he makes with his hands. Take a moment to meet Edreys. We think you will like and appreciate him as much as we do.
The story of you and your business/project/craft.
“I’ve transitioned through many crafts and areas of expertise throughout my years but essentially summed up, I’m a creative! I’ve always been a creative and an artist. Whether mastering the art of beat-making, the art of rhyming or visual arts, creative expression has always been at the heart of all of my endeavors and dabbles.”
“I’m a Buffalo native, born second behind an older sister, raised in a home where my father was an artist and jeweler as well as a craftsman who handmade many of the chairs and tables in our home and my mother cooked wholesome organic meals and hand sewed many of the clothes in our wardrobe. Creativity and the Do-It-Yourself attitude was inescapably embedded in me apparently.”
“Again, always the artist, it was pertinent that I entertained my interests, regardless of the sporadic nature that they’d come about. From teaching myself how to barber at 14 years old in my basement with an impressive neighborhood clientele to writing rhymes and creating hip hop music to entrepreneurial investments, my outlets have varied, but being a creator and innovator are my staples for feeling accomplished regularly.”
“Currently, my tool belt of skills is rather loaded, but what’s used most often are my jewelry crafting, art making, music artist consulting and graphic design. My company is simply, “By Edreys” at the suggestion of my good friend and brother, El. This encompasses all of my interests and areas of expertise, but it sits under Wajed Master Crafters as the arching entity.”
Where do you find your inspiration? Does Buffalo inspire you?
“Pardon the redundancy, but my inspiration is to actually BE an inspiration. I want to be an inspiration to others through my thoughts, words and actions. More particularly, if we’re specifying what inspires my art or crafts, I’d have to say that I: 1) observe my surroundings as unbiased as possible, almost as if meditating, taking in information, but filtering quickly as to not become overtaken by social norms and influences. 2) I am sensitive to hunches and intuition and I try to be obedient to what i’m feeling moved to do.”
“What about Buffalo inspires me? First, what inspires me about Buffalo is it’s rich history. When I think about it’s musicians, entrepreneurs, artists, philosophers, architects, authors, movie directors, abolitionists and such, I find myself wanted to be recognized in it’s history eventually. Knowing that Buffalo was once a hub of innovation, full of vibrance and opportunity, I try to look past its shortcomings and instead search for the embers, remnants and sparkles of that greatness, hoping to light my own fire in blazing a trail here.”
“Lastly, but not least, my battery is recharged when I look at my two sons and my wife. My family is all the inspiration that I need if nothing else moves me. They inspire me greatly.”
Your go-to words of encouragement.
“My go-to-words of encouragement to myself are plentiful. I have books by Brian Tracy, Napoleon Hill, James Altucher, Malcolm Gladwell and Cheikh Anta Diop on the nightstand beside my bed that I open frequently for quotes and uplift, but to quote myself, “Action eliminates ifs!” That’s it. Having doubts about something? Wondering should I or shouldn’t I? Take action and get rid of the “what if?” Even if the action itself is NOT to do something, by not doing it, it’s an action that will soon deliver a reaction, answer or resolve, allowing you to move forward. It’s great for former procrastinators like myself.”
“My friend and brother from Buffalo, Brian, but now North Carolina resident calls me frequently, motivating over the phone with a enthusiastic, “hey man…IT’S GO TIME. Let’s get it.”
“The last one that I’ll share is, ‘Life is only too short when you don’t do what you want or what you feel you’re being called to do. But it’s far too long to spend it miserably.'”
What would you tell a younger version of yourself?
“I’d say, ‘Edreys, trust yourself, your intuition, your talents. You are capable. Believe!’ Far too often I let the fears of others, more particularly loved ones deter me from trusting my intuition and with that, there’s a residue of regret. It’s light, but regret nonetheless. A lot of “what ifs” have haunted me, so to speak. Looking back, and even currently as an adult, I’ve noticed that the decisions I’ve made for myself without much outside interference have always worked out best for me. So, I wish I’d trusted intuition more, instead of wise counsel guised with fear.”
Favorite Buffalo stuff.
“My favorite Buffalo stuff? Autumn’s in Buffalo are lovely, although I’m not a fan of the wet ones. What I enjoy most is food, dining out with my partner in life, Alexa. Teton, Taste of Siam, Jewel of India, Sakura, Wasabi, D’volio’s, Amy’s Place and San Marco make my taste buds happy. I’m also fascinated by the architecture throughout the city, whether vacant or occupied, it’s all stimulating to me.”
“Man, I just hope that the people of Buffalo, the people driven with purposes and intentions larger than themselves will lead the way in remedying the city of it’s old hangups and such, finding successful solutions in being as progressive as people are claiming. So, if this renaissance and resurgence is prettying up the exterior but poverty, racism and violence still plague the guts of the city, its no different than caking make-up on an unattractive blind date, turned groom/bride and hoping for pretty babies after nuptials. We have to get real for real results. I’m still hopeful. We can’t relive it’s golden era, but I’m interested in contributing to it becoming nearly as great as it was in it’s prime.