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Life and Work with Krysten Maddox

Today we’d like to introduce you to Krysten Maddox.

Krysten, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The long asked question, and yet still the most difficult to answer. What or who is a Black Hipster? Is it even something I want to be or support? The short answer, that’s up to you. But I will gladly tell you a story to help you better understand. The Black Hipster started as a long-running joke, someone I personally used to identify as. As a person who never socially, fashion-ly, or racially fit into the “hipster” bubble which I’m sure we’re all aware of by now… picture it; white guy handlebar mustache, “vintage” beanie, suspenders sipping organic coffee straight from the bean. Female version maybe some high-waisted Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, an oversized 1979 Steely Dan tee, with Birkenstocks… still injecting coffee into her veins. Maybe a tad overdramatic, but the sentiments all the same… no one in this little hipster fantasy of mine was black.

Which brings it back to me, the year is 2006, Hollister and baby phat are equally the rage but for two entirely different subgroups. As a young black girl trying to survive in a suburban high school, I had the most important choice to make; What am I going to wear! I could beg my mother for Baby Phat and Rocawear or beg my mother for Hollister, and dare I say, Urban Outfitters. Long story short, I chose a little of both. I chose to wear what I wanted, I chose to hang out with many different types of people and those are the same qualities I carry today. I wear what I want and surround myself with the people I choose.

The Black Hipster represents living your authentic self. Minimalistic pieces that are relaxed enough for any occasion but classic enough to make a statement.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been the most difficult rollercoaster I’ve ever gotten on… and I’m in law school. Plenty of struggles along the way, feeling like your competing with the world like your business venture isn’t relevant like you have not supported financially or otherwise. For everything positive that has come from starting The Black Hipster, I’ve had a negative remind me I’m running a business and it takes a lot to be successful.

Advice to my fellow femmes, you don’t have to fit into a small box you can venture into any business realm you want to be in, keep your blinders on and stay focused on what you personally want to achieve, it is so easy to get discouraged or distracted by huge brands with lots of money that appear to have a million customers or fans or whatever but in reality you never know how successfully anyone really is… and their success isn’t going to fuel your own.

Please tell us about The Black Hipster.
We specialize in minimalist street style clothing. We are so proud of our inclusive indie vibe, so often our style brand is associated with the urban hip-hop culture but we’re a brand started on preppier, hipster style so our brand designs reflect this style and as a result, draw a different type of crowd. Rocking TBH sets you apart because you feel like your apart of a secret community that’s in on a secret no one else understands.

I think our community mentality and our drive to branch into a full lifestyle brand outside of just apparel is what sets us apart, you should be able to view The Black Hipster as a lifestyle, you can learn style, current events, travel, healthy living, fashion, music, read a good blog whatever your looking for is wrapped up in TBH.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a 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?
I personally don’t have a mentor, I do a lot of personal reading and research, I think it’s the future lawyer in me. I’ve run into so much negativity and so often people telling me what I could not be successful at that I set out long ago to pave my own lane in whatever I do. I feel if you really are passionate about pursuing something, you have to research and create from scratch, read books, blog post, case studies, news articles all relevant to what you’re trying to do and pull valuable knowledge to carve out your own plan.

Mentors are a great resource and can be valuable to anyone but sometimes, you’ve just got to start your own wave and hope you don’t drown.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Krysten Maddox, Jerry Lovelocke

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