Karla Johnson of The KRIVE Shop knows what she wants and is not afraid to go get it.
There is a certain aura that accompanies the entrepreneur. A quiet, yet domineering, confidence that walks with its chest out and head held high. If that aura is interpreted as pride or arrogance, so be it. One thing it will not be interpreted as is apologetic.
Karla Johnson surely will not apologize for her ambition. She surely won’t dull her light that shines upon The KRIVE Shop brand. It was an absolute pleasure getting to know more about Johnson and her vision.
Tell us about The KRIVE Shop.
The KRIVE Shop is an online apparel store that is dedicated to all things that involve embracing yourself and artistically demonstrating the unique voice that is inside each and every one of us. Whether you were the quiet person in the back of the classroom, or the workplace comedian who has a joke for nearly every situation, The KRIVE Shop has a product with you in mind.
What are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on new designs for the upcoming winter season and branching out to doing more than just t-shirts. But I don’t wanna reveal too much. You’ll just have to follow me to find out!
Why do you do what you do?
I want to uplift people through my apparel and give them a voice. Whether that be embracing the color of your skin, or apparel based around your stance in society. I think in a way, my shirts raise awareness to the issues that are going on today and I feel that is very important.
What was your “ah-ha!” moment…when you knew this is what you wanted to do?
I have always been a creative kid who only found pleasure in doing art or something that involves using my imagination. When I switched my major from a game design major to a graphic design major, my father decided to use that to make shirts for his organization’s convention in Washington DC. Seeing the reaction on people’s faces when they bought shirts that I designed was such an incredible feeling. And it was there where my love for designing apparel was born.
Professionally, what are your goals?
Being my own boss. Being great.
Who/what inspires you?
I’ve gotten into this show called Shark Tank where people pitch their ideas to get a deal for whatever idea or business they have. The people who are able to land a deal, or the people out there in general who are going out for their dreams are who inspire me to keep going. I know my time will come.
What are the most rewarding and most challenging parts of being a black female entrepreneur?
Just knowing that The KRIVE Shop is something that I created on my OWN and it’s my business is super rewarding. Although I’m still somewhat new, I would say the most challenging part of being a black female entrepreneur are the funding and the limited resources that are available to us. Especially when it comes to the resources for me personally. But I and my fellow black women are strong and we will stop at nothing to overcome the obstacles we are faced with.
Which of your designs is your favorite, or do you love them all the same like children?
Honestly, they’re all my babies. They’re designs I thought long and hard on before I even executed them out on the computer. My designs are original ideas, so when I see either one of them selling, I’m like a happy mom whose daughter or son just got straight A’s on their report card or when their child is going out for their dreams. I want to see them all succeed.
If you could have a business lunch with any 3 people (dead or alive), who would they be?
That’s a tough one. But if I had to choose, I would say Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Oprah winfrey and Moziah Bridges (if you don’t know him, I highly suggest looking him up).
What is your advise to other aspiring entrepreneurs?
Research, research, research! And after you’re through researching, research some more. Even after starting my business, I know there’s still a lot to learn, so I’m constantly researching or picking up entrepreneur books to read. Knowledge is power.
We started this website for those of us who live outside the box and defy how conventional thinking tells us we should live. How do you Defy Life?
Being a black female entrepreneur is a lot in itself since we’re constantly getting told that we’re angry or bossy when we’re really just ambitious, strong and hard-working. When people tell me I can’t because I’m black or I don’t have knowledge on a particular subject because I’m a girl, I just smile and say “Watch me.”