Food for Thought: 5 Years Later
It's been a minute since I've had the time to really put thoughts together for one of these posts. A lot is changing both in business and personally, and it's about that time. I remember when this was all goals and writing about it felt necessary. Just getting ideas and information off my chest felt great. I also feel like I owe it to anyone who follows the brand or myself. I'm aware that the base of my following came from the personable relationships I was able to build with like minds that were intrigued and/or attracted to my work since 07 via blog posts and social media. My workday and schedule restricted my time for this and it honestly hurt not communicating my inspirations. I guess when you're busy; those become "good" problems to have.
2016 will mark 5 years for Kith, a milestone for a brand I committed my life to. So much to be proud of, so many achievements worth serious reflection. The hard work the Set put in, the growth from 4 to 81 employees, the development of 6 departments that make everything possible. From retail management, buying, receiving, production, design and marketing, I've exhausted all recourses to make 2015 our best year to date with growth in a market that has been shaky at best. Honestly, I'm happy with all we've achieved but unfortunately my personality won't let the celebration last longer than this week I've taken to get away and recharge with my girl and friends in Costa Rica. I've decided to take a different approach. I'm going to let the projects and collections we drop this year tell the story of progression and evolution. The brand identity feels right, we're in a position to make a real difference and we will. I think what the 5 year mark means to me is that we're here to stay. With any risk that's taken, there's always a level of uncertainty and doubt that subconsciously builds roadblocks and those blocks take time to break down. In this case, it's taken 5 years and I'm new to this feeling. In many ways I feel we've been students of the game and we've graduated with our bachelors. Onto grad school we go. Bigger challenges, continuing to evolve the Kith in house brand both in terms of design and construction, improving our story telling for every project, enhanced management, and bettering the experiences in all of our spaces. 2016 will be the bridge between what we've done until now and where I plan on taking us. It will mean saying goodbye to a few important elements that have helped us get here. Changes that will help us evolve and set us apart from the rest. Because after all, that's why I started Kith, to help those that want to be different with a home for all their lifestyle needs.
In 2015 we rebuilt Kith Brooklyn, a space that competes for best retail shop globally. Within that space, we launched Kith Treats. Happy land to many and an attraction for anyone who wants to smile instantly. I'm new to the food business but with the amount of cereal I've eaten in my life, it was easier than one would think. Treats opens up a whole new lane to get creative and have fun. I've wanted to open a cereal bar for half my life. I'm really happy I was in a position to finally make it happen. I'm going to test the boundaries with Treats in 2016; I can't speak on it much but expect a similar approach to what we do on the collaborative front at Kith.
Last month we launched Kith Women. A category we're taking very seriously and a space that ladies love to visit. Although the first collection is really strong, I'm learning as I go with the new women's venture. Having the aesthetic for men's figured out, we were able to use that to help direct the women's line faster than I thought. The apparel will evolve quickly and we believe we'll cover a void in women's closets that didn't necessarily know they had. The goal was to build a space for women that doesn't exist anywhere. Women have been ignored in our market long enough and it was time. The shop will also be the number 1 destination globally for the best in women's athletic footwear.
In 2016 I'm going to build a new space in Miami. You could expect us to get better with each space we build in collaboration with Snarkitecture. It will be a new market for us, a market we know very well. I'm excited to expand outside of New York with our city's mentality and help bring some of our culture elsewhere. Miami has been extremely welcoming in the past and that is why I will give this new space my all to make sure the people of Miami have a new home to come to.