What a breath of fresh air it is, to come across young entrepreneurs who are truly great at what they do. At just 29 years old, she’s a Clothing Designer, Skin Care Guru, and an Author. She has really put her best foot forward, and taken her generation by storm. She’s a true young mogul. They call her Krave, and it’s all about The Gang! With her company Krave Gang, it’s a unique little empire including Skin Care and Apparel. Not to mention she’s an author, and will be releasing her book “You Are Here, very soon. Young Black Excellence is at an all time high, and she embodies every bit of it. Ladies and gentlemen I introduce to you, Krave.
Tell readers about your Krave Sweets beauty products and Krave Gang website?
Krave is amazing All Natural Skin Care, and Dope Apparel! Each one of my skin care products are not only handmade, it’s also 100% All Natural. I have something for everyone, men, women and kids. We are continuing to evolve, introducing other All Naturals like teeth whitener, face masks, and so much more. There are others out there, but I know no one does it like I do. I make my products by hand in a unique way, and we don’t add any dyes, perfumes, fillers, or any chemical additives. In addition to Krave, the Gang Apparel is super dope and one of a kind. The line is a cross between urban trendy wear and fashion staple pieces. Collectively I have built my own little empire, in this lifestyle brand. It has been hard, there has been tears and I have been broke at times. I am so proud of myself for actually following through and creating something so amazing. I know there is nothing but greatness ahead, and I will tell you that Black Girl Magic is so real. Look what I did, I’m proud to be Young Black Excellence!
How long have you been in the clothing/beauty business for and how did you come up with the names Krave Gang/Sweets?
I have been doing Krave Sweets, which is my Skin Care line for a little over three years now. As for The Gang Apparel, I have been creating and merging it into the brand for one year. With my skin care it all started with a Sugar Scrub, hence on the name Krave Sweets. It’s Sweets for your Skin. The Gang Apparel is a little different. As my company grew, I built a team to help me continue the growth. We would do lots of promo, and it was always just us. I started to call them my Gang, thus forming The Gang Apparel. I know a lot of people may take offense, or think by using the word Gang on everything it’s a bit inappropriate. I put “Gang” and terms affiliated with it on my pieces, because it’s my way of making a statement. In today’s society the black community I feel, is very much stereotyped. So that’s my way of taking what they call us, and being everything but that. Everyone on my team is educated, ambitious, hardworking individuals that excel in everything we do. So I can wear the word “Gang” or any affiliate and still be the amazing, educated young black woman of excellence that I am! In order to make a change, you have to be part of the change. This is my way of turning a negative into a positive. By marrying the two, Skin Care and Apparel it became something much bigger for me. Krave Sweets and The Gang Apparel, now Krave Gang.
Are there any stores that sell your merchandise? If not, would you be open to the idea of having it sold at different retailers.
I used to wholesale my products in many different stores, however I always found more success selling it on my own. While it is great exposure, and reaches more people it just didn’t work for me in that time. My focus now is to continue to bring Krave to the mass, and sell in my own store.
Was there any retailer or fashion designer that inspired you to start your own business?
When starting my business, it wasn’t something I thought would turn into this. I simply had an issue (bad skin), and was desperately trying to fix it. I didn’t take inspiration from a retailer, I took inspiration from myself. I turned something I created to fix my problem, into a business and it grew from there. As for The Gang Apparel, it is a true representation of my personality. I’m a super sweet, yet super sassy individual like a true sour patch kid. With that I married those two worlds of urban wear, fashion staple pieces and created my line.
What current items are your best sellers?
In Krave Sweets my top sellers are: Natural Sensations- A 100% All Natural Sensual oil. Any of my Whipped Body Creams- 100% All Natural, they have a Shea and Mango Butter base, smell amazing, and very helpful with any kind of skin ailment like eczema, dry patches, etc.
What do you feel separates your clothing from others?
My line is truly one of a kind statement pieces. They are not exactly the norm, because it’s not the same pieces you see on these Instagram boutiques. However there’s a place for them! I’m not wholesaling what everyone else has, and I’m also not just putting my logo on a hoodie and calling it a clothing line; that’s just too easy. Some of my piece are already manufactured. I take them as a blank canvas and go to work customizing each one. As well, I can sew. Anyone with that ability, has an advantage because I can create anything I want. That’s what sets me apart!
What advice would you give someone trying to start their own business?
It’s extremely hard! You are going into business for yourself, which means there is no one to answer to but you. You make all the decisions, you make all the rules, you are the boss for real! If you don’t get up and work, nothing will be done. A lot of new young entrepreneurs just wake up and think they are going to be a boss. Well it takes a lot more than that; I didn’t just wake up and do this! There are a lot of great ideas out there, but it’s about really fine tuning the right one and putting in the necessary work. One of my struggles in the beginning, was the fact that like many I was a young ambitious entrepreneur and I wanted to be a boss. This was a new experience in my life, there was a lot I had to learn and a lot of work I had to do. As well I see a lot of people who want to own a business, just up and quit their job to pursue their dreams. I feel them, but it takes money to make money! Let your job fund your career (your dream). I never quit my job, in fact I have always maintained a full time job all while running a business full time. So there were many challenging times in trying to find the right balance between my job, my business, and my personal life. It will be hard, but it will be worth it. Don’t give up, keep going even when you think you can’t. Everything I went through, the good the bad and the ugly was all apart of the process. It’s all how I learned and how I got better. Be kind to yourself! Taking that, knowing that mistakes will be made and not beating yourself up is a special thing. I watched everything God gave me unfold, and it was a beautiful sight. Not only did I grow in my business, I grew as a person and that’s makes me very proud.
Where do you see yourself in five years from now?
Five years from now, I will have a successful brick and border store opened and flourishing! I am also an author, look out for my new book “You Are Here,” coming to the shelves of your closest book store very soon. My book will be a best seller, and five years from now I believe people will still be talking about it. I will be onto my next business endeavor, and as well I will be starting a nonprofit organization. The biggest of them all in five years though, is that hopefully I will be a wife and a mother.
Is there anything you would like people to know about you?
I am an amazing individual. I’m a fighter, a hard worker, I am strong, and I have truly overcome a lot in my life. There were times when I definitely didn’t think I would make it this far or even at all, but I did. Times get hard, and life gets tough; no one ever said it was going to be easy. I learned it’s not about the cards you are dealt, it’s about how you play them. God will never put more on you than you can bare, and know that God will step over any circumstances to serve you. Remember in whatever you go through, you are worth it and with him you will get through! Anything is possible, so don’t ever give up on yourself and don’t ever give up on God.
Thank you again for your time and letting our readers get to know you. Please let everyone know how you can be reached ( twitter, IG, FB, websites, etc)?
KraveGANG.com. Instagram @sourr.patch @thegangapparel @kravesweets. Facebook @ Krave Gang.