Finding Faith in Affordable FashionBlog / Produced by The High Calling
Gorgeous, trendsetter, business guru, and heart for God. Meet Kendi Skeen.
In an industry that can easily slip into superficial trivialities, and an emphasis on self, Kendi Skeen runs her career in fashion from a place of faith and eternal perspective.
Knowing that her eye for design and color scheme ultimately come from the original inventor of color, shape, and anatomy, she can trust her instincts in the marketplace.
Knowing that her daily bread comes from the King of the cattle on a thousand hills, she can operate her business with ultimate faith that she is provided for.
Kendi and her husband, Brian, have worked at Laity Lodge in the past. They currently live and run their boutique, Bloom, in the small, quaint town of Mckinney, Texas. If you visit, you'll immediately understand why Kendi Skeen, blogger and business owner, chose this spot to open her clothing boutique Bloom.
Amidst the charming, albeit cluttered antique shops, stands Bloom: rustic shelving and hardware create an old-world ambiance against the elegantly modern clothesline.
When I visited her store this summer, I saw the virtual fashion passion guru herself standing in her very own brick and mortar dream. Wearing royal blue pants, matching shoes, and striped shirt, she was all legs, gracious smiles, and dark hair swept up in a bun on top of her head. She and husband, Brian, greeted customers and started fitting rooms.
Just a normal girl from a small town who started a blog that went viral and eventually opened up her own shop.
The High Calling: How do you do it? For example, tell us about your open house Sip & Shop events?
Kendi: They are really fun—I was surprised—I was afraid no one would come. I tend to be more of a pessimist that I’d like to admit. But we ended up having almost 70 people come through the door. We were so busy I forgot to even take pictures.
[Secretly, we are happy to know that Kendi has a pessimistic bent. One tends to think successful entrepreneurs only sprout sunshine and Pollyanna- positivity.]
The High Calling: Many of your readers know, but tell us the inspiration behind the blog, Kendi Everyday.
Kendi: Hmmm, it started in 2009. I was unemployed, living in a small town, started reading blogs in my spare time, and loved them. But it took me about a year and a half to get up the gumption to start my own.
At the time there weren’t a whole lot of normal girls writing about fashion. Everyone lived in New York and was into High Fashion. I just started taking pictures one day. And that’s how it started.
The High Calling: What was the best thing you ever did to make your site grow?
Kendi: I didn’t know when I came up with the 30×30 idea that it would go viral.
I was just a normal girl who lived in a small town. I wanted to see how I could mix and match the pieces I already had in my closet. People started emailing me and asking if they could do it with me. I said, “Sure.” From there it became pretty big. I think that really helped the site overall.
The High Calling: How and when did you get the idea for a retail shop?
Kendi: I went back to my small hometown for my best friend’s wedding. I remember walking into this little boutique with all the girls. This overwhelming sensation—it wasn’t jealousy—it was: “You are supposed to do this.”
From then on, the idea of having my own boutique kept haunting me.
I called my dad and told him my idea. I thought he would discourage me. You know, you think when you tell people what you’ve been dreaming about, they are going to shoot down your ideas, to say, ‘Calm down; don’t be so ambitious, the life you have is good enough.’ But my dad never said that. He was nothing but supportive. He said, ‘You can do this.’
That was a crazy time. The ball just started rolling, and I had to close my eyes and just roll with it. Trying to find real estate for the shop was a nightmare. I remember people outright laughing in my face when I would call about a place to buy. But eventually, the right place opened up.
The High Calling: What are your thoughts on working for a company versus working for yourself.
Kendi: Working for myself means everyday I play boss, assistant, and intern.
In some ways, it’s harder than I ever thought it would be, but it’s always worth it.
The High Calling: What would you say to the girl who has a big idea, but feels scared or stuck about putting it into motion?
Kendi: I have felt stuck before. I would say, be encouraged where you are because you never know how what you are doing right now will prepare you for what you are supposed to do down the road.
When you come to the point where you have your idea and know what you want to do, then you sit down and make a plan. Then you stick to it. Even if it is the most ludicrous plan, make a plan.
Also, always keep an idea journal. I write every idea down, every wild hare inkling. I often come back to my journal, and see some really great ideas that I implement.
Here's a quick recap for the ambitious and entrepreneurial young men and women reading The High Calling:
- Your dream will be harder to implement than you think, but don't let that stop you.
- Find your passion. Find a gap in the world. Fill it with what’s inside you.
- Get used to rejection. Get really comfy with being told “No.”
- Persevere. When the time is right, it will happen!