Our Story (Long Story)
Inspired by his upbringing in the housing projects of Prospect Heights, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, POAM (Prospectors On A Mission) was founded by Paris Fisher in 1992. Raised by a single-parent mom, among other siblings in a multi-ethnic household, life was seen through the lens of adversity and diversity. Growing up in Prospect, Paris believed the projects had all the characteristics of a cave; rough, rugged, and dangerous. Yet, he also believed that within the caverns of the projects, the (cave), existed the greatest natural treasures on earth, the people
Comparing the projects to an actual cave, Paris researched what it was to be a Prospector. He learned that those who professionally mine do it for earthly treasures of mineral deposits like silver, gold, and diamonds. In contrast, he believed within each person is a God-given purpose, and within each person contains unique gifts, talents, and abilities. These moments of conscious thought inspired Paris to use his own abilities to try and make a difference in the world.
The early mission of POAM was to inspire others to seek truth and obtain freedom from oppression, poverty, drugs, and the violence that plagued the community. As an emcee, Paris was passionate about trying to do it through lyrics and performance. This quest is what inspired him to create the name POAM - Prospectors On A Mission. Soon after came the formation of a live Hip Hop band that included his lifelong inspiration, his brother, Mark. Eventually, the movement grew and others joined the mission including friends they grew up with from their early years as breakers (break-dancers), good friend Richie (MLO) was one of them. During that time, POAM began to conduct positive Hip Hop music, dance, and art programs that served inner-city youth.
The birth year of the POAM Clothing store came In 1993. With the help of a lifelong friend, Jaime, POAM went on to open one of the first Hip Hop Shop's in the New England region, located in the city of Pawtucket, called POAM Action Wear. Within two years, they opened a second location in Rhode Island's capital city, Providence. A few years later, Jaime opened the first POAM store outside Rhode Island, in Orlando, Florida, named POAMLands. The stores quickly became a symbol of Hip Hop from Hop from Rhode Island to Florida, attracting people from all over. Each location became well known hubs for breakers, emcees, DJ's, graffiti artists, as well as meet-and-greet outlets for national Hip Hop artists. At that time, POAM began to gained recognition and began an entertainment group that was geared toward promoting night clubs, parties, and co-sponsoring events that featured some of the world’s most prominent Hip Hop artists, dancers, and DJ's from Notorious B.I.G., Lil' Kim, Wu-Tang Clan, LL Cool J, Boot Camp Clik, Red and Method man, Funk Master Flex, Tony Touch, Kid Capri, DJ Scribbles, Teddy Ted and Special K, Rock Steady Crew, Dynamic Rockers, Furious Rockers, Floorlords Crew, Steady Force Crew (SFC), Return to Burn (RTB), and many more. As POAM continued to branch out, they added a graphics print shop to their business that assisted in printing promotional material, t-shirt designs, and mixed tape covers for their mixed tape distribution department. With the help of family and friends such as, Jaime, Mark, Sean G, Richie, Gary, Eddy Al, Tommie (RIP), Julie, Eddy (RIP), Juan, Mr. Yip (just to name a few), and many many others (too many to mention).
After personal life changing events, the three original locations closed and consolidated, and in the year 2000 POAM opened the first Hip Hop mini mall, the POAMLands Mall, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. POAMLands Mall was a mini-mall arcade that consisted of the POAM clothing boutique, a barber shop, cell phone and communications store, recording studio, women's clothing store, a graphics business, gift shop, snack store and 7,500 square feet of open space which was used to host major breaking (break-dancing) events, dance classes, non-violence community events, and even church services.
Although POAM began in the early 90's, the identity of the mission was refined in 1998 when Paris committed his life to Jesus Christ. His conversion came amidst living a life behind a facade of success and "positivity," while behind the curtains, he was actually struggling in his fast-paced lifestyle with emptiness, immorality, depression, and bad decisions. It seems he not only veered off from the mission, but that the mission was missing something, true freedom. Freedom found in Jesus Christ. Paris eventually walked away from the stores, the entertainment, and secular Hip Hop, and devoted his life to following Jesus (As did other members eventually).
In time, Paris would continue with the "mission," when one day the Lord began to put new songs in his heart. Those songs would reflect his life experiences, challenges, and walk with the Lord. New opportunities also came about for him to direct inner-city youth programs within the public school system and local community outlets. Thereafter, Paris enrolled into college and went on to receive an ssociates and a bachelor’s in social work, from Rhode Island College. His local community work continues through programming, homelessness, and as a direct response to the 2010 major earthquake, he began to do yearly missionary trips to the country of Haiti to help in relief efforts.
From the Founder
I am delighted to share some our new POAM collections and pieces that reflect some classic designs, faith for those who need encouragement, and bold messaging for all those who walk arm and arm in this faith journey.
Today the mission continues on a daily basis in every aspect of our lives. Each day brings a new level of grace and mercy to carry out our God-given purpose on earth. We don't do it perfect, but we follow the One who does and is. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith, of our being and of our lives. On this side of life, it is an honor and privilege to walk out this mission, lead by the greatest Missionary in all of Eternity. The true GOAT. Jesus the Christ. Our Lord and Savior. Would you join us...?
-POAM Clothing Co.
PS: Thank you to all of my family, friends and supporters throughout the years and to this day, for supporting the mission, the music, the videos, the dreams and all my crazy ideas...!
To the greatest person in my life, my Mom. I love you so much and for eternity. I couldn't have done anything in life without you. You are my hero, my best friend and my beloved mother. To all my awesome siblings, different, diverse, unique, talented, and funny, in every way... (lol), my wonderful and amazing children and beautiful grands, and my entire family...! We have the best family...! I love you all so much...! To my church family and brothers and sisters in Christ... I love you with the Love of Christ..! You love me, you nurture me and you keep me accountable and on the narrow path. Your prayers and love is what kept me by God's Spirit of Grace. We are eternally connected... Forever! To my community partners, colleagues, investors, mentors, and role models. Thank you for your partnership, leadership, support, inspiration, and hard work! You work tirelessly to help better the lives of others and our community! God Bless you All..!
Most importantly, to my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I love you because You first Loved me. Thank you for Loving me and redeeming me. I am Eternally grateful and in debt to you my Lord. Words can't express enough of my gratitude for all You've done and for who You are. May the remainder of my life here, and any legacy I leave behind, point to You, Your Grace and Your Love. Thank you Jesus. Be glorified.
Amen. And... Aight..!
In Loving Memory Of
Linda Jean Jessica Fisher DeCosta