GSU graduate, Kaeyla Boyd, creates inspiring clothing brand Cultural Threads, for culturally conscious minds aiming to educate and promote progression through fashionable street-wear.
After contemplating on creating her own brand for years Boyd finally launched her business early this year with merchandise that she feels will appeal to people everywhere who love both culture and style.
“I wasn’t sure in what direction I wanted to go in for a while because I had so many passions,” said the Shreveport native.
The new brand owner explained that her attending Grambling State was extremely inspiring and that just being surrounded by the HBCU culture and many creative people really motivated her.
“I’ve watched people create their own businesses while attending Gram and thereafter, being around that and helping other people with their projects gave me the energy to want to create for myself,” she said.
Recently she figured with her passion for street-wear, urban clothing and social work, that she could tie the things she’s interested in together.
Boyd knew that she wanted to do something that promoted progression and that was culturally conscious, coming up with the brand name Cultural Threads
Boyd’s brother had the pleasure of assisting her with the business concept and her partner assisted her with a name that turned out to be a perfect fit! Although, the name changed a few times before they finally decided upon Cultural Threads
“I’ve sat on the idea for a long time so, it just seemed like now would be a good time to take that leap of faith sort of speak,” Boyd said.
On a few of the new Cultural Threads caps, there is a saying, ‘Melanin & Dope’.
Boyd says to her the saying means that “we are dripping in finesse”. She felt like it was a pretty cool phrase and that exhibiting melanin is strong, beautiful….and dope!
“Melanin should be praised in any and every way,” she expressed. ” I believes its extremely important that woman of color completely love their skin. The beauty of melanin is that we all have it, some more concentrated than others. This is why its ‘DOPE’.”
She explained that for so long women of color have been devalued for their skin being too dark or their skin being too light. Its as if they can’t win because of the color of their skin.
“I love the amount of praise we are giving each other now days. I only want to be a part of it and continue support my Melanin DOPE sisters,” Boyd said.
Boyd said starting her own business was pretty frightening, but also very exciting.
“You just don’t know how people will respond to the things you put out, so I’m being open-minded and just enjoying this experience. I’m still tackling challenges because we are very new but I find that I have to completely plan and become more organized than I thought I was,” she said.
In addition to Grambling State, Boyd’s inspiration comes from ‘the culture’, and she explained that with different aspects in mind including: Black culture, street-wear as a culture and African-American women as a culture.
In terms of street-wear brand inspiration, Boyd loves the ‘God is Dope’ line.
“I know that brand is fairly new, but the creators behind it are so talented. I admire everything they are doing there. I also admire and got inspiration from Bobby Kim with his Hundreds brand, Neek Lurk with ASS club and old school brands like Karl Kani and Pelle Pelle too.
More personally, Boyd’s aunt inspires her tremendously. She describer her aunt as being very wise and soulful and she’s always looked up to her.
In her aunt’s college days at Southern University she did a lot of poetry. One poem that she performed was titled ‘Taking back my Crown.’ She speaks of the black woman being the mother for us all and how her crown has been taking away by impostors and people that aren’t for her.
Boyd had the poem in mind when deciding on some of the phrases for the T-shirts.
She says she is still learning to balance her life as a full-time employee and a new business woman.
“Being that Cultural Threads is new I’m multitasking a lot,” she said. “I try to do what I can during my 8-5 work day and dedicate more time to the brand after then. I’m lucky to have my partner with me supporting and helping in any way she can.”
Although, Cultural Threads is a clothing business, Boyd would love for it to become more than that and for people from all over the world to learn and become more aware of their culture and be excited to express that from her brand.
Also, with her professional background in Social Work, she knew whatever she did would be centered around the community and giving back.
“Under Cultural Threads I will host food pantries, clothing closets and back to school giveaways for the community.”
Right now, Cultural Threads has caps available. Boyd mentioned that she wanted do a soft start for Black History Month. The current color theme of the caps and fonts were chosen because of Black History Month.
“I absolutely love the caps,” she said. “I like that they are embroidery instead of screen printed. I really enjoyed the creation process.”
In addition, they will be selling t-shirts and other inspiring apparel that will become available next month.
Boyd plans on working towards having a booth at Bayou Classic next year, the Essence Festival and other events that provide her the opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with other black business owners,” she said.
In five years, Boyd would like to see Cultural Threads become apart of the community by hosting several fundraisers and truly giving back. She would like to offer more products and focus on becoming more than the average t-shirt line and creating an impact on others lives.
The new entrepreneur says her advice to people who want to start a business or build a brand would be not to think about it too long.
She says if you have an interest in owning your own business and it’s all you think about, go ahead and take that step. If you contemplate on it too long you’ll find all the reason why you shouldn’t do it.
Boyd plans on using social media as much as possible to promote Cultural Threads, host pop-up shops and collaborating with other artists in the community.
“I have some fun things coming up,” she said.
If you are interested in purchasing a cap from Cultural Threads for JUST $12, head on over to Instagram @cultural__threads or send a quick order email to firstname.lastname@example.org