T.B.N: Hi Terry, thank you so much for participating, we welcome you! So, please introduce yourself to everyone and tell us where you are from.
Terry: I am Castro “the creator of dreams” at least I like to think of myself that way. I can’t think of any other word or words that would fit me better. Where am I from? Outer space, but my birth certificate says Toledo, Ohio. I really believe I was born in outer space and transplanted to Toledo, at least that is how people made me feel growing up there, I never fit in. That’s everywhere I go except in the art community, they must be from outer space too.
T.B.N: You have a wonderful self titled, high-end jewelry brand called Castro NYC, with some truly unique and beautiful creations. When did you realize that this was what you wanted to do? Explain the brand concept to us please.
Terry: Thanks to my brother Arron Geller, who is 18 years younger who pushed me to use NYC and our last name as a brand name. Where I grew up there is only like maybe 5 Castro’s in the phone book, and 3 of them are my family. So it is a very unique name, and of course we are black so add that factor, my mom is black , Mexican and Native American a.k.a BLACK. Since we were considered unique or freakish, I wanted to do my style the same, not trend in any way. This hurts me financially because I wont conform.
I don’t make the bucks, I dont give a fuck. I do what I want, you don’t like it don’t buy it. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t bend easy. I tried once to go commercial because my friend and roommate turned to the bright side, I made a little money but it was only a flash, and my real accounts flipped on me. I was branded a traitor, now I am back to the dark side! If you don’t have the force stay the hell away from me.
The other thing I realized, is that I wanted to do everything different after my first trip out of the country and understanding that my country is great, but it has been lying to us all our lives. Leading us to believe that it is the center of the world. Seeing other black people just like me, but at the same time so different, when I came back my eyes were open. I realized that it was my duty to make a change in any way I can, that was the planting of the seed.
T.B.N: What do you enjoy most about designing?
Terry: What do I enjoy? (blows out air) hmm, that is like being born again just like church. You go in all crusty and come out all polished, sorta like that or like having a baby. You do all the grinding hard work and sweating (that’s the thought process and concept), then your girls pregnant ,complaining ect and the whole while you both keep trying to figure what the baby will look like. You envision always in your head about the baby’s body cause you just don’t know (that’s the creating process), next thing you know, pop! Baby comes out after all the screaming and hollering (that’s at the end of the process, no sleep). Baby is out and you realize he or she doesn’t look like either one of you, they are a combination of your entire generation (that is all the concepts, inspirations, photos, subliminal and direct), amazing! A miracle for sure.
T.B.N: Where do you see yourself and your company in 5 years? What is your ultimate career goal?
Terry: Outer space man, outer space, been waiting to get back. Space age, not here on earth with the mortals, with the right people helping me that is where the brand will be. On a level that cannot be touched, more global and more money I hope too.
I want to help others, to use my career to help achieve their own goals. I don’t want it all for myself.
T.B.N: Do you have any advice for our readers who many wish to pursue a career in jewelry design, or any design/creative oriented business?
Terry: Know the business before you just jump in it, know exactly what you want to do, this will help you from wasting time trying to figure it out and save money. Dont get into debt!, don’t take memo’s (credit) if you don’t have the dollars for it you don’t need it, credit is very easy to get into in this business. Very hard to get out of it because they will always give you more to keep you on the thread, only concentrate on what you are good at. Dont waste your time with things you don’t need, surround yourself with people who are better than you, but never let them know they are better, then they wont want to work with you. Always try to be diplomatic in your business dealings, you never know when you might need someone or who they might know, the world is tiny be careful of procrastination, it will kill you.
T.B.N: One of my favorite pieces that you design is the Tiger ring, what was your inspiration for it? Was it difficult to construct?
Terry: I found the tiger at an antique market, its shape reminded me of a dolphin jumping out of water, so that is what I went with. There are waves on the side and the tiger/dragon is biting a snake out of the water, this is to represent Yin & yang . While he is trying to eat the snake, the snake is on top of him trying to eat him too, so there is no winner but as one they are so beautiful together. Together we are unstoppable, remember that.
T.B.N: In conclusion what do you wish readers to know about your brand, how may they contact you?
Terry: We will never sell out, so forget about it. Castronyc.com, Facebook-CastroNYC, Twitter- castronyc. On the weekend in SoHo we have a pop up shop on the street in front of Club Manoco. Look for the brother with the locks.
Rebel, craftsman, a bold and courageous young man. These are just a few words I would like to use to describe one Terry Castro. I was profoundly impressed by his determination, tenacity and bravery in the face of such adversity he has experienced. I only wish to help in any way I can, and I will be watching as his star burns ever more brightly.
Thank you much Terry for your participation in my interview. I wish you the best of luck with the brand and you have a truly bright future ahead of you.
Thank you guys for reading!
Photo courtesy of Lacie Garnes