Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in clothing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Stacy Grace, founder of KENT, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Meet KENT - The world's first compostable, plastic-free, and landfill-free clothing brand, as featured in Vogue, Elle, Refinery29, and The Financial Times. KENT is the first to market in high-frequency compostable basics - daily wear clothing that is healthier for our bodies and the planet. We are designing out the fashion industry's reliance on landfills through a proprietary design formula, BioElastic material, and an industry-first (and only) compost take-back program. When popped in a compost, our briefs disappear in only 90 days. We call it our "Plant Your Pants®" methodology - one element of our IP.
Since launching in June 2020, entirely self-funded and bootstrapped, we've gained proof of concept revenue, an insanely loyal repeat customer following, and exponential quarterly revenue growth. And underwear is just the start. We're on a mission to turn fashion into fertilizer and help save the earth, one supernatural basic at a time.
Tell us about yourself
After working in a sustainable fashion for 10+ years, I realized that even the most responsible brands still dealt with two major problems, landfill waste and plastic use. Especially in everyday basics like underwear, bras, and socks, the use of plastics/synthetics (nylon, polyester, elastane, spandex) is so prevalent that it prevents a responsible end-of-life option. And because these items cannot be donated or resold, they often just end up in the trash, destined for landfill. So I set out to create a line of fully plant-based basics that are plantable (compostable) at the end of life.
My vision is to create a company and products that do more good rather than just less bad for the environment and our bodies. I'm motivated to continue building this company after hearing about customer love for our products and our mission, as well as motivated to inspire more and more people to bring composting into their lives if they can start learning about the benefits of composting via KENT, then I'd love to inspire them to bring it into their kitchen amplifying the positive impact.
I want KENT to become the new, sustainable American Apparel of the future. An everyday basics brand focused on high-frequency clothes for women, men, kids, and at home.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner has been being invited to pitch on Shark Tank's first-ever live season premiere (and being the first brand to pitch!)
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is time or the lack of. You really need to prioritize what is important, and oftentimes that can only be one thing at a time. One quote I love is 'If everything is important, nothing is.'. It is really tempting, for example, to create a neverending to-do list but then not know where to start. I'm always asking myself, what is THE most important thing (of the moment/day) and only focus on that?
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle.
- You will be told no, but you will also be told yes. Keep searching for your yes.
- Create a team that makes you better.
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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