- Substantial's been telling stories since early 2012. Here's one from the archives.
Substantial Magazine sits down with Marvin Nelson Arrington Jr. and Melissa L. Alston, Owners of Nelson Arrington Completes
Meet Melissa Alston, Young Adult Business Consultant Entrepreneur, and graduate of East Carolina University. She is the owner of G.L.O.R.Y. Solutions (God Leading Opportunities and Resources to You). The company provides several consulting and advisory services to the business community, with particular emphasis on small businesses of 1-25 employees. The services offered by G.L.O.R.Y. Solutions include seminars and workshops on business plan development and writing, grant writing, and other consulting services. G.L.O.R.Y. Solutions strives to lay the right foundation for a company and/or correct company foundations at risk. Our goal is to find the “problem(s)” and discover the “solution(s)”.
Meet Nelson Arrington, Born a leader, organizer and philanthropist Marvin Arrington Jr. resides in Greenville, NC. His mission is to provide a helping hand to local communities, organizations and businesses in his efforts to help empower, educate and encourage citizens of Pitt County and abroad. Mr. Arrington is an Alumni of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Science and Technology with a concentration in Distribution and a minor in Business. Since 2004 to present Mr. Arrington serves as Chairman of the Little Willie Center Community Development Corporation; whose mission is “Empowering our Youth Rebuilding our Community and Reestablishing the Family Structure”. As a personal hobby, Mr. Arrington became a local Fashion Designer in 2008. He is the owner and operator of Nelson Arrington Clothing Line. He design and sells professional wear for men and women and can be followed on his fan page Facebook account titled: Nelson Arrington Fashion Designer. Since 2011 to present, he has served on the City of Greenville Human Relation Council; the most recent memberships include the Educational Chair of Minority and/or Women Business of Greenville, NC and currently serves as NC Pitt County Commissioner for African American Heritage Council.
Substantial Magazine had a chance to sit down with these two very driven individuals and have a conversation about business but more importantly their relationship.
SM: How the two met.
Alston-Arrington met at church. After attending the same church for a few months, Arrington asked Alston out to a Sunday lunch, Alston accepted. Alston and Arrington flourished into an ongoing friendship. This God lead friendship evolved into a mind-blowing business partnership as Alston was introduced to Arrington’s family non-profit, The Little Willie Center. Alston went heart and head first in supporting the family business. Facilitating meetings after meetings, co-chairing projects after projects. Alston-Arrington begins creating a powerful bond. Soon Alston-Arrington were no longer just casual church friends and business partners but a God-breathed relationship. Since July 2006 Alston-Arrington have been tried by the fire and now have been purified and made suitable for one another. On August 26, 2013, Arrington asked Alston for her hand in marriage. Guess what people? Alston said, “YES”.
SM: How important faith was in the way they conducted themselves while dating?
Alston-Arrington knows without a shadow of a doubt if they were not saved they would not have been in this relationship so long. Also, they would not have been able to see the potential and get past all the disappointments and pitfalls. The word encourages them in Romans 8:28 (All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord) They waited 7 years for this day to be evident that the” good” would manifest.
SM: Do you think your beliefs help you push beyond the hurdles that come with starting a new business and planning your future as a couple?
Alston-Arrington: Not only do you have to have a relationship with God, you have to know the word of God to help you deal with life challenges and hurdles. If God is not first in the equation we believe that relationships will not have the victory when challenges come personally in business or in ministry.
Arrington: I knew God told me to start this clothing line but I had no formal training. I learned through the library, research, textbooks, mentorships, trial, and error. At the time not having adequate finances I needed to make a decision. Was it for me to go on or stop, let alone having a major asthma attack that caused an even greater set back after being hospitalized. Arrington’s traveling, promotions, and productions ceased for about 8 months. It was during this greatest challenge when Arrington realized that he himself needed to be complete. He was doing ministry and business so well he had not taken the time to pay attention to his own health and well-being. At last, he started to see and feel that it was time to settle down and restructure. Now putting business in its perspective place he can enjoy business development, planning, and reorganizing. Arrington now understands the essence of balance in “work and play”. He first hand discovered not letting business clothe him, but let him clothe his business. All these hurtle were overcome.
SM: How important is friendship to your overall relationship both personally and professionally?
Alston-Arrington: Friendship is one of the pillars of our foundation. We understand that friendship is the bond of our attachment. Keeping this understanding at the fore-front is what allowed our relationship to stay cultivated. We were able to consistently relate to one another, discover one another, respect each other’s work ethics and opinions, shortfalls, failures, and fears. We are able to encourage one another and pull from each other’s strengths. Professionally we are able to support each other’s goals, we help polish one another. It’s just like dressing up.
Just like Arrington has to match the right tie and I have to match the right shoes with my wardrobe, through friendship we have to be able to professionally and mentally dress and address one another. “Professionally and personally we have to be suitable for one another” Arrington says.
SM: About Nelson Arrington Completes and some of their accomplishments? Nelson Arrington Completes fashion line has been showcased on several runways. In 2009, they appeared in the Phantom of the Hair Opera Fashion Hair Show at the request of Dallas Nixon in Greenville, NC. In 2011, his revolution line appeared in the Columbia, South Carolina’s WINK Magazine Summer issue and later took the crowds by surprise during the Crystal Aiken (from Sunday’s Best) Concert Hair Show fashion segment sponsored by Impact Magazine in Greenville, NC and Charlotte NC Fashion Week produced by Arrington’s mentor Anthony Simons.
On October 21, 2011, Arrington held his first Fall Benefit Fashion Show at the City Hotel Bistro in Greenville, NC to assist the Greenville Homeless Shelter and My Sister’s Closet and launched the premiere issue of Complete Magazine. The name “Complete” is a testament to Arrington’s ability to complete your whole wardrobe and his spiritual journey of becoming complete. Finally in 2012 Arrington presented in four additional runway events: Columbia Style Week Columbia, South Carolina June 6, 2012; Atlanta International Fashion Week Atlanta, GA, July 27-28, 2012; Baltimore Fashion Week Baltimore, MD, August 17-18, 2012; and lastly Charlotte International Fashion Week Charlotte, NC September 14-15, 2012.
The entire 2013 year Arrington has been rebranding, restructuring, and planning for the next 5 years of his clothing line.
SM: When asked what advice they would give to couples who are trying to balance their relationships while pursuing their entrepreneurial spirit they said?
Young couples need to be able to have a fervent prayer life, divine connection with God, be open-minded, honest, and strategic planners. Committing themselves first to God will allow them to hear clearly and gain the wisdom to be entrepreneurs. Alston-Arrington believes when you can hear you can see. Most blind people can still see, they see with their ears, vice versa. Having to lay it all out on the table, pray about it, think and strategize is the best way for all things to come hand and hand. Ask the Lord on your blueprint to “marry” your business vision and the vision of your relationship.