Be Polished. Be Composed. Be Dapper. Keefe Cravat.
When your father inspires you to create something, what do you do? Jordan Williams of Kansas City was 20 when his father challenged him. Being interested in the gentleman’s lifestyle and wanting to create something physical, Keefe Cravat was developed in 2013.
Jahleel Allen had been interested in fashion since 11th grade, but lacked connections. A chance meeting of Keefe Cravat’s neckwear designer, James St. Laurent, led to him applying for and accepting a sales manager job for the company. “I never considered a career in neckwear, but lots of self-reflection and brand edification inspired me to accept the position.”
For the team, all in their late teens and early twenties, their youth and lack of connections was an obstacle. “Kansas City is a great place for any startup. With a lot of hard work, team work, social media and our newsletter, we took advantage of the opportunities available through the city.”
Their first networking event as a team was rewarding for them. “The ThinkBig event was the first time we appeared as a team,” says Jahleel. “Having something physical to wear while representing the company was a great experience. It gave us a presence and an image.”
Through their efforts, they exceeded their 30-day Kickstarter goal and Jordan’s work was showcased during the Kansas City Fashion Week. Their neckwear draws attention and interest through their unique blend of recycled fabrics, hand-painted designs and even burlap. “We want to standout and another way we accomplish that is through handmade pieces. We like the intimacy this presents.”
Jahleel and the Keefe Cravat team advise others to be 100% committed to whatever you do. “It’s not about the company,” explains Jahleel. “Know who you are and stay true to yourself. These are the qualities that overcome obstacles.”
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Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.