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Hannah Raquel Photography

Step of Faith

Victoria Hernandez

I was born exactly two years after my dad’s punk band performed their last show. So I like to think an independent spirit that goes against the grain is in my DNA.

After spending a decade in journalism covering music, sports and fashion, I have decided to leave the traditional world of news media and step out in faith to fully dedicate myself to Kick The Concrete.

 

For those of you who aren’t familiar, Kick The Concrete started in 2017 as a website for music artists to share firsthand accounts of their personal stories. I was motivated by my past experiences, seeing how real people were affected by some of the flaws of the digital age. The chase for clickbait can lead to inaccurate information and misrepresentation and has real consequences. Kick The Concrete was successful in its first iteration. We told several meaningful stories and even had a release party for our print magazine during Grammy Weekend in Los Angeles. It was right before the world shut down due to COVID and is a special memory I will treasure forever.

 

Then, Kick The Concrete kind of faded away. I lost my personal motivation for it during the pandemic and my car was stolen on the last day of 2020. The thieves also took my Kick The Concrete banner and the last few copies of the magazine, which were in my trunk. I took it as a sign that Kick The Concrete was done.

 

But I kept the website up because I’m proud of it and grateful for the platform. I pursued other journalism endeavors (a few of my stories were on ESPN — a dream come true!) and continued to navigate life as we all do.

After five years of freelancing and piecing together part-time work, I found myself again working in a full-time news job. It was a blessing and I accomplished more things that were on any sports reporter’s bucket list, including covering the NBA Finals and the Super Bowl. But I still wasn’t fulfilled.

 

The idea of having my own media company still lingered.

Hannah Raquel Photography

Back in 2021, I tried to pitch the idea of myself running a magazine for a company that I really believed in and saw that we shared the same values and mission. I had a lot of vision for it and believed it was an extension of the work and heart that I’d put into Kick The Concrete. I thought that was going to be “it” for me. But it fell through and I was crushed.

 

There were times I was so confused and mad at God because it didn’t work out. I thought it was Him who gave me that other concept and then I felt betrayed, disappointed and completely deceived when it didn’t come to fruition. But a still, small voice in my heart told me, “Why would I give you a bigger magazine platform when you haven’t even been obedient with the one I’ve already given you?”

 

After a lot of personal reflection and prayer, here we are today. I am relaunching Kick The Concrete not only with the original intention of offering a place for artists to share personal reflections, but also to use as a platform to continue to share things that I find interesting and inspiring at the intersection of sports, music and fashion.

 

It’s funny, the very first idea for Kick The Concrete came to me during news design class in college. I envisioned a cool lifestyle magazine and made a sample page of celebrities wearing Jordan XI Concords. That’s also when I formulated the name. It’s based off “kicks” as a name for sneakers and Tupac’s seminal poem, “The Rose That Grew From Concrete.” My middle name is Rose and as a naturally quiet, unassuming person, I always felt like an underdog. I wanted to have a platform that represented overcoming in a fun way.

 

Looking back on those days, Kick The Concrete really is coming full circle to its original roots.

Hannah Raquel Photography

When preparing for this relaunch, I was going through the website and I noticed that the first story ever published on Kick The Concrete was from my brotha Corey Paul called “I Quit My Job, Left The Label & Trusted God.” He was literally in the exact same place I am now where he took a leap of faith to pursue what was on his heart as a creative and entrepreneur. I cannot thank Corey enough for his partnership when Kick The Concrete first launched. Since then, he has gone on to establish 1M & Co., which has a similar mission of empowerment, and we continue to work together on various projects.

 

I have never viewed myself as an entrepreneur and I know that’s part of what took me so long to get here. But I came to the point of realization that God gave me and only me this very specific vision. I can’t keep pawning it off on other people because I’m scared of being a leader.

 

I also wanted to acknowledge my privilege of being in this position to leave a full-time job to fully invest in this company. I moved back home to Denver a few years ago after spending six years in Los Angeles. I felt like a failure. I’ve healed a lot from that and see how having the support of my family and various factors only God could orchestrate allowed me to take this step. I know that everyone’s life circumstances are different and mine aren’t perfect, but I do want to express humility and recognize that this career move isn’t just my own willpower and ability. 

 

Going off that, this website isn’t about me. I was hesitant to even do a story on myself, but I’m hoping that it gives some insight into the bigger vision and mission of Kick The Concrete and maybe inspires someone else to pursue their own personal purpose.

 

Whether you’ve been around for a while or are new here, thank you. I hope Kick The Concrete continues to inspire and help all of you feel seen and valued. Each of us has a purpose and is in this world to be and do things that no one else can.

 

I have big dreams for this media company and am hopeful that we will get there. But even if we don’t, I know I will learn a lot along the way and it will be quite an adventure.

 

Who’s ready for the ride?

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