Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenné Johnson.
Kenné, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a 23-year-old Texas A&M Masters of Public Health graduate from Dallas, Texas.
My entrepreneurial spirit comes from my father and eldest brother who have been major inspirations in my life. My father once made the comment, ”If anything happens to me or your mother, you need to make sure your brother (2nd oldest) has everything he needs.” I don’t believe my father realized how impactful this comment was in my life. I felt that being the youngest of 4 children meant I was only responsible for myself financially. I quickly learned my family (brother) would need my support. I began to ponder what I could do to support my brother who has been in and out of jail for most of my life. I realized the justice system is designed to keep African American men who have been convicted from rehabilitation and to keep them in a vicious cycle of unemployment and etc. I knew that medical school was my long-term goal but I would not see any ’real’ money until I was almost 30 years old. So, I needed something I could start while finishing my degree with low maintenance.
Then, it hit me, I had a passion for strip eyelashes! Everywhere I went women would stop me to ask about my lashes. I then decided to start a 3D eyelash line (e-commerce website), The KK Collection, seeing how popular they were among women. The KK Collection business was named because of my brother’s nickname for me, “KK”. He is the only person in the world who calls me KK!
The business is not solely about profit! As the business grows, I plan to give a percentage of the money we earn to my brother. I also plan to give back to my previous elementary, high school, and universities supporting young black entrepreneurs.
Has it been a smooth road?
Adversity is inevitable. I’m currently unemployed because I have taken on internships and other opportunities. I have funded my business from the stipends provided to me from these opportunities. The funds needed to support & sustain the business as I try to build enough revenue to provide a consistent income for my brother are low. However, I continue to push forward! I work hard and I attend events throughout the entire state of Texas. Increasing reach and making sure people are exposed to The KK Collection brand.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The KK Collection – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As the owner of The KK Collection, I help design mink lashes with or for my customers. Myself, along with my AMAZING team offer customers 100% 3D mink or regular mink fur lashes. Our lashes are reusable up to 30 wears and are lightweight! The 100% cotton band ensures our customers are comfortable while wearing our lashes. We are happy that we give customers a chance to design lashes with us! No other lash company does this. We allow customers to go through the design process with us and name their custom style to be added to our official website. We want to provide a unique experience and make our customers feel special! We also have unmatched customer service strategies that many of our customers have bragged about continuously!
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Get out there & do not be shy to attend events! I attend events, pass out business cards, ask questions, & more. Take some time to show interest in other businesses. Join Facebook groups and truly promote yourself! Be ambitious but humble. Have a solid resumé and portfolio. Give people a physical and digital look at your story and your brand.
I will say, I’m the type of woman to always do my research and determine what I want before I seek a mentor. We sometimes expect others to do the work for us but I’ve learned that mentors like to see that you’ve done some groundwork or tried to build on an idea you have before running to them with questions. Mentors guide you but cannot do the work for you. Attend conferences, luncheons, or other networking events relevant to your field of interest when seeking a mentor. Also, have fun and good character!
- Lashes range from $15.76-$26.03
- Website: www.thekkcollection.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @thekkcollectionlashes
- Facebook: The KK Collection
- Twitter: @thekk_lashes
Deiandria Block (Dallas photographer), Jeffery Bogan (Houston photographer)