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Saturday, Sep 23, 2023

Black ENTREPRENEURS MONTH: Nakia Guidry Kimarah’s Footprints

Retail entrepreneur Nakia Guidry started her custom apparel business Kimarah’s Footprints in 2018, and in the last year she started creating custom prints for T-shirts with topical messages. Some designs urged people to vote in the 2020 presidential election, while other designs are meant to be worn by those looking to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Other designs include sorority stylizations, high school logos and branding for small businesses. Guidry’s business is 100 percent online.Question: How did it all start?Answer: I started Kimarah’s Footprints because I wanted to build a future for my daughter, Kimarah. Since this will be her business in the future, I would advise her to be passionate about what she does, continue to learn and gain knowledge about the business, and always be courteous to everyone she encounters. I also was interested in learning how to produce my own custom apparel.What’s the best aspect of running your own business?It belongs to you and you can make all the decisions and decide the avenue you want your business to take. You also have the flexibility of setting your own work schedule.And the worst?Being responsible for every little detail of the business. Financial responsibility seems to be the very worst aspect.What’s the biggest challenge you faced? And how did you deal with it?Learning how to operate the business and learning how to operate the equipment. After trial and error and proper training, those challenges were overcome.What advice would you give someone who’s about to start their own business?Try to have as much of your own capital as possible before starting the business. If you fund your business with your own cash, you won’t be pressed and stressed as much if your business is not producing income as fast as you would have expected it to.Has being African-American affected your business?Being African-American has not affected my business because I interact with various races daily, so my clientele nationality has always been diverse.Do you think you’ll ever start another business?Yes, I am planning to start a party supply rental company very soon. My plan was to start it last year in April, but it was put on hold to allow time to create a pandemic-friendly venture. I decided to start the business because I host various parties and have a lot of commercial equipment for personal use that just sits around until I use it or others borrow it.

Of course, we must ask about the pandemic. How has it affected you and your business?The pandemic has not affected my business. My business is conducted 100 percent online, so there has been no change. Traffic has increased because of the current historical movements and the quality of the products I produce. These types of shirts are my biggest sellers right now. Providing apparel for historical movements gives me an opportunity to participate in these movements creatively and make my clients’ visions more empowering.How do you think your business will change, post pandemic?My business will grow post pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, I had developed relationships with various organizations and was in the process of doing some partnerships, so post pandemic will allow those ventures to prosper.Aiming for a brick-and-mortar location one day?I originally was looking for commercial locations prior to making it a home-based business. Since I did not start the business with any type of capital funding, it was more economical at the time to start it as a home-based business and grow it from there.

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