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Couched in Color

80 EpisodesProduced by Dr. Alfiee Breland-NobleWebsite

The Couched in Color Podcast is designed to elevate conversations about mental health in diverse communities. You’ll hear from mental health experts, thought-leaders, people with lived-experience, celebrities, influencers, and everybody in between. Remember to like, subscribe, and turn on your notif… read more


S3E10: How Sneakers Saved and Ruined My Life Featuring Trent Out Loud

In this episode, guest Trent Out Loud, founder and CEO of Exclucity, a multi-million-dollar footwear and apparel company, shares his story of seeking therapy after losing $2.3 million dollars in his sneakers’ business. 

That loss came when he forgot to tend to his own mental health during the ups and downs of his business, including the shifts occurring in the sneaker industry.  As a result, he said started making wrong decisions.

His therapist helped him deal with issues related to hypomania, mania and bipolar, and trained his brain to work in ways that benefited him. He continues to go to therapy weekly, as an act of self-care, and teaches others--particularly Black men and youth--about the ways it is transformative and empowering to get mental health support.

 Trent is also an author of two books, How Sneakers Saved My Life and How Sneakers Ruined My Life,  (links at bottom of show notes), a youth mentor and a mental health advocate. The books are written in language, with hashtags, geared to pre-teens and young adults. He has a third book In the works about “how the quarantine saved my life” that he completed in 1.5 months.

Growing up a “delinquent kid,” who left home at age 17 feeling lost, “which gets you into trouble,” Trent says he always knew he wanted to be successful.  He had five failed businesses before creating Exclucity, with its first brick and mortar site in the basement of a tattoo parlor.  When the pandemic hit, he  transformed his business into an online store, resulting in the business recently having its most profitable years ever.

Topics covered in this interview:

—Trent’s West Indian background and growing up in Canada, where only 3 percent of the population is Black versus 12 to 13 percent in the United States.

—Trent’s journey from start-up to successful business owner, now celebrating his company’s 15th year anniversary.

—Ways he self-medicated (through drinking alcohol which he later learned is a depressant), before accepting and appreciating help.

—Why Trent chose cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for his approach to healing.

—Some like CBT, which focuses on the problem, the behavior, the emotions, and the solution.  Others may prefer different approaches such as psychodynamic therapy, which focuses on the psychological roots of emotional suffering.

—The importance of choosing the right therapist and asking that professional to share what  approach he or she uses and see if it aligns with your needs.   

—The freedom of the entrepreneurial life, with both Trent and Dr. Alfiee sharing the joys it brings them to fully express themselves.

—The power of using video podcasts, which Dr. Alfiee likes because “you can’t hear what people look like on audio.”  Seeing others who look like themselves on camera is important role modeling.

—Dr. Alfiee acknowledges Trent’s “persistence and courage” in continuing his commitment to therapy. 

—She also praises him for the ways he mentors youth on mental health issues, helping them see they are no different than someone as accomplished as Trent who has struggled.

—The importance of any entrepreneur having someone, whether he or she be a therapist or life coach, to check in with weekly, monthly, or as often as needed.


Founder and CEO of Exclucity

Trent Out Loud’s multi-million-dollar footwear and apparel business, Exclucity, laid the groundwork for sneaker culture in Canada. His  autobiographical debut as an author, How Sneakers Saved My Life: Book 1 and How Sneakers Ruined My Life: Book 2, gives you an up close and personal look at the man behind the brand.

 A child of Jamaican immigrants, Trent Out Loud went from being on welfare to CEO of one of the most successful brands in Canadian history. From selling Long Tees and Du-rags out of the trunk of a car to ten store fronts that have employed more than 800 people, people were curious how he achieved such success.

Today, he shares his “unfiltered truth” beyond just money and success.  He talks openly about the toll it can take on your soul to reach these new levels, while also inspiring us with his story of innovation, creativity, resilience, self- discovery, wins, losses and love for culture and community.

Trent is the recipient of the he 2022 RBC Royal Bank Young Entrepreneur x BBPA Harry Jerome Award: .

Follow Trent Out Loud:


Instagram: ​​




Business site for Exclucity:

Business Instagram:

Book links:

(Book one—which is about how sneakers saved his life)

(Book two—which is about how sneakers ruined his life)

Follow Dr. Alfiee:






Find out more about the AAKOMA Project here:

Season 3 Produced By:

More Couched in Color:

Music Produced by: Mark “King” Batson (Superproducer of your favorite artists and Grammy award-winner for albums with Eminem and Beyoncé)

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