Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in fashion but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Keisha Greaves, Founder of Girls Chronically Rock, located in Cambridge, MA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I created the Girls Chronically Rock clothing brand to help inspire and motivate others in the disability community. I created adaptive/accessible clothing for people in the disability community so we feel confident in our own skin.
Tell us about yourself
I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age 24. Back then, I had never thought of how the lives of people living with chronic illnesses felt. I was a fashion student at the time of my diagnosis, and I lived and breathed fashion. The opportunity to learn about adaptive fashion was not there because no one was thinking in that direction. Living with Muscular Dystrophy changed my life. I have incorporated my story of surviving and living with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy into my fashion brand. I have made it a point to pass the message that girls who chronically rock.
My fashion brand is currently a t-shirt line that has given inspiration to many people within the disability community. We are spreading the message of strength and the unique beauty of every individual, including those living with chronic illnesses. Being a Muscular Dystrophy warrior myself, I understand first-hand what members of the disability community are going through, especially when it comes to getting dressed every day. People in the disabled community will continue to feel uncomfortable and excluded from fashion and life until adaptive fashion becomes mainstream and available in stores.
Therefore, we at the Girls Chronically Rock are working on our own adaptive clothing line to create adaptive clothing for people with muscular dystrophy and other disabilities. The company is also teaching current fashion students about adaptive fashion. We are trying to add our voice to the fashion worries of wheelchair users and other members of the disability community. Girls Chronically Rock tells the story of this need from a personal perspective. We understand the urgency of not feeling stuck while trying to get dressed.
We have entered into partnerships to bring this voice to the table. We are currently collaborating with Framingham State University to teach fashion students in the fashion department about adaptive fashion. Achieving the results that would change the clothing game for the muscular dystrophy community would require concerted and intensified efforts from everyone. The more people who make adaptive clothing available, the easier access will be and the more fashionable it will be. But there is a challenge. Funding for the adaptive fashion project is a major hurdle.
Creating designs that work for every community member and getting these designs into the market, especially in stores, is a comprehensive and capital-intensive feat. Getting the Girls Chronically Rock adaptive line to people who need it will create a critical change in fashion and a much-needed impact on an individual level for everyone who lives with a disability.
The Fashion Institute has been a light in the struggle for inclusion, creating unmatched milestones all these years. This proposal explains how collaborating with the GCR ADAPTIVE PROJECT can significantly affect the lives of people with muscular dystrophy, other disabilities, and other chronic diseases.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Getting recognized by other disabled owners, getting featured on podcasts, and doing different things to spread awareness about my brand and mission.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I'm not bringing in the sales I would like. Being a disabled owner, I sometimes do not know what my body wants to do or how I will feel, but I just have to keep motivated.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Keep going, don’t give up, and if you want to start a business, blog, or anything, just do it because before you know it, it will be up and running.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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