Today we’d like to introduce you to Ariana Kennedy.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have always been interested in doing things creatively from a young age. Growing up, my dad was always drawing and encouraging me to explore a creative field, but I sucked at drawing. As I grew and tried different creative fields, designing really stuck. I was interested in it because as someone who is plus-sized, it was hard to find cute clothes and if they were cute, they weren’t cheap. When I was 14, I binged watched YouTube to teach myself how to sew. Teaching myself how to sew was the easy but I still had to construct the clothing which was the difficult part. I studied and examined different pieces of clothing and how they were put together to teach myself to pattern-make. I was beyond thrilled to have my new skill so I put my all into it, I got involved by joining a fashion club at school.
When I 16, I was accepted into FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise) but sadly couldn’t attend due to the tuition but they still had plentiful programs for high school students that I joined. My school had a partnership with an outside Occupational center that allowed us to enter programs and finish with certification and thankfully, they had Fashion Design. I loved that class so much, I felt my happiest there, my favorite memory was creating my prom dress there in 4 days after deciding to go to prom last minute and my teacher helping me design it. By the time I was 18, I was a certified Fashion Designer with the dream of starting my own business, working for myself was the goal. It took years of hardworking, saving, researching and planning. I really wanted my business so I had to save all of my money, I didn’t go out and I cut all things but necessities out. I launched my website on August 15th, 2019 and it is still trial and error as most but my focus is still growth and expansion.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road all the time, it can be extremely discouraging not getting sales for days, weeks or months and looking at people similar to you being more successful but having to take into consideration that this is just the beginning. I have planned for lot of designs to be released but when my models tried them on I wasn’t pleased with the final look and didn’t want my name on it. I am a perfectionist and if things aren’t to my liking, I will not release it and either redesign or plan something else.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My business is called Thurrkenn, it is an online store with the focus plan of making others feel confident and comfortable wearing things from us. My business is only ran by me but I wouldn’t have made it to where I am without my mom and my little sister, they help me so much with everything. I sell sizes XS-3XL and I can go larger because everything with fabric is made by myself. I currently sell women’s custom clothing, velvet durags, customized jewelry and scrunchies. I am known for making custom clothing, my jewelry and my durags. As of now I am working on Prom 2020 season which I will be announcing as early as December and as late as January. I am most proud of how persistent I am, lots of things have not gone in my favor and I felt myself drifting from what my focus was and I took a small break and I rebranded myself. It is easy to get caught up only focusing on making money, but I don’t want this as a small side job I would like to make this my career and my lifestyle. What sets me apart from most is that I make everything myself, it is all made to order, and very inclusive.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like our city is a good place to start a business, the people here are extremely supportive especially if you are from here. It is like a huge family, I personally have not seen a lot of competition in the sense of people discouraging you because we all can prosper there is enough room for all of us. I would recommend them to start out here, we have thousands of resources that are easily accessible so it could possibly be easier to start a business here.
- All my jewelry starts at $25.
- My scrunchies are all $2.
- My velvet durags are all $25.
- Website: www.ThurrKenn.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/thurrkenn
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/thurrkenn
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/thurrkenn