October is nearly over and there remain two more months of 2018. What better way to end our October #myBOBstory series than with a business that wants to empower Black women. Our myBOB stories continue with Kendra McCartney, co-owner of Noisy Knits. Through witty words and simple messages, Kendra and her business partner Ke’er provide more options for women to express themselves.
You may have noticed Kendra’s feature on our Instagram. If you’re interested in being featured in the #myBOBstory, reach out via email. This campaign brings awareness to Black businesses from the owner's perspective. At myblackbox co. it's important to know the vision and purpose behind a business. Through this blog, Black business owners share their background, trials and tribulations, and the moment it all came together with you!
Actions speak louder than words—yet sometimes words work just fine! Focusing on empowering women through words of strength, resilience, and more Kendra has established a t-shirt business that allows women to embrace themselves exactly as they are.
With a variety of t-shirt companies in the market, why did you decide Noisy Knits would be a good venture?
We felt that we had something to say to empower women to embrace themselves. Yes, there are a variety of other companies out there, but our tees are very simple, both in their designs and statements, which sets us apart.
Your brand is about positive, empowering messages —what is a meaningful message you received thus far in life that motivated you to be unapologetically you?
I was always told I could be anything I set my mind to. Things will be hard, but to always believe in myself.
What advice would you give to young Black girls and women who are struggling to find their purpose or space in the world?
Keep looking. Everyone has a place and a purpose. It may take a little time to find your way, but continue to believe in yourself and it will manifest itself. I am an attorney by training and never would’ve thought I would be part owner of t-shirt company. But, I felt like I had something to say and could add something to the market.
Are there new products you'll be launching with Noisy Knits? Or, do you have special t-shirts for the holiday season?
We’ve thought about launching other products and we’ve played around with a couple of ideas. However, we always want to try to stick with the core of our brand, which is empowering statements through simple messages. Who knows what the future holds. We launch new tees when we feel we have something to say. We aren’t trying to keep up with the latest pop culture saying or new “slang” statement. For that reason we launch new tees a little slower than most t-shirt companies. But, we’re OK with that. We’ve added v-necks and hoodies for the holiday season, and there is a new tee.
How did your partnership with Melodrama Boutique come to be? What has that partnership taught you about small business ownership?
We participated in a sidewalk sale that Melodrama Boutique does twice a year. From that relationship, we were able to begin discussing a partnership with our tees being in the boutique. The relationship has taught us that small business ownership is about constantly evolving and being open to change. It’s also taught us that sometimes you just have to ask. We approached the owner and to our surprise she said yes to allow our tees in her boutique. The owner has been very gracious in her advice and guidance as we move forward with our business relationship.
What advice would you give to someone like you, who has an idea, but is scared to take the first step?
Basically, just do it. You can over analyze to the point of never starting. My business partner and I have come a long way since we first started Noisy Knits, but the key was we just started. We made mistakes, but nothing we couldn’t overcome. We’ve learned along the way and got better each year.
Friendly reminder, you can also purchase bracelets along with your t-shirts, hoodies, and kids shirts from Noisy Knits. By stepping out on faith and having a partner to pursue an idea, Kendra is a great example of going after what you want—risks included!