What has been a life long dream has finally come in to fruition for entrepreneur and business w oman. Cedra Walton, daughter of famed pianist Cedar Walton and President of the S E Group. In 1990, while thumbing through a music industry trade magazine, Ms. Walton came across a story about an LA based music marketing and promotions company who had a grand reputation on the streets and a long list of impressive clients. The article would change her life forever. The Brooklyn, New York native became inspired and knew she would someday start her own marketing company but needed some experience. Stepping out on faith, she packed her bags and headed to Hollywood. After arriving in Los Angeles, her persistence earned a meeting with the president of the marketing company she had previously read about eventually landing a position as his assistant. Walton quickly picked up skills of the trade and her creative input was instrumental in the success of various promotion campaigns for hip hop luminaries such as House of Pain, Kris Kross, The Pharcyde, Coolio and Macy Gray.
Two years later, Cedra stepped out on her own and started Ak Like Ya Know Marketing and Promotions. It became one of the first marketing companies on the West Coast to provide street level marketing campaigns and the first to employ an all female “street team”. Walton’s witty personality, sexy girl crew and unique promotion projects soon gained the attention of major heavies like Sony Pictures, Disney, Tommy Boy Records, Atlantic Records, Columbia Records, Delicious Vinyl and Ruthless Records.
In 1993, she landed her most prestigious client, HBO, for the original film “Strapped” starring Bokeem Woodbine. Her aggressive national street campaigns helped the network see its highest ratings ever for original programming.
It wasn’t until nearly 5 years in Los Angeles, Walton got another taste of the film bug. She was commissioned as a Music Consultant for the Jerry Bruckheimer film, Dangerous Minds. “The experience was surreal” says Cedra, soon after she.returned to the East Coast to expand her company, re naming it The S E Group (Special Event /Saida Entertainment) in memory of her beloved mom. In 2000 Cedra received a dual Bachelors of Arts degree, with a major in Liberal Arts and a minor in Film and Television from the New School of Social Research. After graduation, Ms. Walton was promoted to Event Producer, to lead a special event marketing campaign for a fortune 500 company in Philadelphia
It was in Philadelphia, she met her then, Production Manager, and soon to be business partner, Antonio Walking Bear Allen. Together, the Events duo produced over 100 high end events throughout the city per year for nearly 5 years. Collectively, the two would embark on the execution of marketing campaigns for clients including, Coca Cola, Verizon, Comcast, Starbucks, Courvoisier, Mann Music Center, Live Nation and AEG to name a few.
It was the summer of 2007, while campaigning for a client in the city’s newest upwardly mobile area, Northern Liberties, when an opportunity presented itself. The client offered a pop up shop of any kind in Northern Liberties, for dirt cheap. After years of working on other peoples’ dreams, Cedra aka Boogie and Antonio Aka Bear, began working on their own dreams and BOOGIE BEAR was born. At the time it just made perfect sense. With lines wrapped around the Piazza, and all eyes on BB, who would think that everybody would come from near and far to get a taste of our water ice. Now BB has evolved into a two tier organization, for profit and non profit. For us, it is all about the future of our family, community and the youth in it. This is a dream to offer the kids an outlet or alternative to the numerous challenges they face today. Through our Boogie Bear and the Arctic Crew initiatives we hope to bring love, laughter and most important awareness to serious issues that our children are facing today.