By Dylan Deprey
For Mike Scrill, everything was based on the hustle. At first, it was the streets. Then, it was a prison bid.
As a renewed citizen, it was about giving his daughters a proper life, while cultivating his Happy Husltin’ clothing brand. He eventually snagged a spot in a corner of the Milwaukee Mall. He expanded his network, promoted the mall and gave back to other small businesses in his community for several years.
As a new buyer called it quits on the Mall, Scrill continued to hustle. With only a couple months left in his lease, he scored a spot with a monthly City-based small-business program, “Pop Up MKE.” He promoted his brand, raised funds and searched for a new space.
Unfortunately, he was out of a new location. Though he was down on himself and the situation, he led by example and continued the hustle.
“It’s just about keeping the machine rolling,” Scrill said. “I don’t just look at currency for the profit, I’m looking at how effective I am and what I’m providing to society.”
Now, Scrill considers himself in the “transition” period of his Happy Hustlin’ career. He has temporarily replaced his retail experience with a heavy-duty jacket, a “third arm” and some old skills in car theft.
Locked the keys in the car? Happy Hustlin’ LockOut Service will be there in seconds with a smile, and all for the cost of $35.
“I didn’t know people get locked out of there car’s this much, it’s crazy” Scrill said.
As Scrill demonstrated a typical lock out situation, he locked his keys in his own vehicle.
“All I need is my two inflatable pumps and my third arm,” Scrill said while brandishing his tools proudly.
Scrill said that most times when people lock their keys in the car, they do one of four things. They will try and use an object, like a hanger, to try and get in. Break the window. Call AAA and wait, or they will pay a hefty fee and call a locksmith.
“I base a lot of stuff off of what I do, especially if it’s not that hard,” Scrill said. “I’m not trying to rob the people. I try to keep it affordable because a lot of us don’t have money like that.”
Within the two-minute conversation, the car is unlocked and he is free to move along to his next call.
Scrill said he enjoys the satisfaction of helping people, while keeping his services affordable. Just as he transformed his street hustler’s knowledge in the retail business, he also altered his illegal skills in stealing cars for the greater good.
“I just transitioned my skills. Sometimes there are ways a mechanic might go about it, but I have the mentality to get in by any means necessary. I’ve just added professionalism to it,” he said.
Scrill tries to keep it as positive as possible
“I need certain things to connect,” Scrill said. “I like seeing people happy, so just like with Happy Hustlin’ I’m affordable and not cheating people.”
Although he basically kept an open-door policy with his business and life on social media, some stages weren’t showcased for the world to see. The stress of finding a new storefront and raising funds was the ugly monster he had to confront during the down time after the MKE Pop Up shop.
“All I do is transition my energy. If there’s something people need in this community, I’m going to do it,” he said.
Other Opportunities Arise
Scrill said the moment he stepped out of the penitentiary, he knew he wanted to lead by example and be an advocate for those who might need a role model. He wanted to motivate those with the Happy Hustlin’ model.
“They need to see your actions,” Scrill said. “I knew I couldn’t be speaking about people changing their lives when I’m fresh out of prison because people consider that ‘prison talk.’”
Motivational speaking and facilitating was always something he thought about, but never knew how to break into. Instead he kept hustlin’ until it found him.
LaShawnda Wilkins, a friend, offered his name to Services To Maintain Independence
And Life Efficacy (SMILE), an organization that works to reduce recidivism rates in the Black community. After acing an interview, Scrill was offered the new facilitator position for the “360° Beyond The Bars” workshop for recently released offenders.
He has coined the term the “boomerang effect.” As he inspires people to better themselves, it inspires him to continue on his own path.
“I’m actually going through hard times, but it’s amazing. As I maintain, the goods have been presenting themselves. I’m affected by not being in the Pop Up, not being in the Milwaukee Mall and a lot of other stuff, but I look at it and I’m still making it.”
Contact Happy Hustlin LockOut Services at (414)502-6900 or online at https://www.facebook.com/happyhustlinmkemade/