We had the good fortune of connecting with Crys Vaughn and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crys, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The single most important decision I made was learning to understand the power of no. No is a complete sentence that does not need to be explained. If people can take your yes without explanation, then they most certainly can receive and accept your no in that same fashion. Grasping that concept allowed me to define better personal boundaries that quickly translated into the continued success of my brand and business.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Well my art is food! I absolutely love to cook and my background is beauty. When I’m not standing in front of the stove I’m standing behind the chair as a hairstylist. I paired the two gifts and made my beautiful brand Crys Kitchen. Crys Kitchen started in June 2019 as a food blog on instagram. It was solely dedicated to helping people become comfortable in the kitchen through photo and video. It has since evolved into much more. Crys Kitchen now offers virtual cooking classes personal chef and meal delivery services. What sets my brand apart honestly is my food and connection with the people. My dishes are simple, boldly seasoned, crazy flavorful, and most of all always prepared with love. I make it my personal business to connect and interact with people at events and/or on social media and that extends outside of just the food. I mean food is a big part of it, but I believe in being me with everyone and that isn’t just about food. I’ve been able to celebrate life’s highs and lows with my audience and clients and I think that has been the thing that draws them to my brand. I have a really big project in the works right now that I’m super proud of and thrilled about! Unfortunately I can’t discuss any details yet. I am documenting the whole process though, so when I can tell it all I will. With real deal in the moment emotions to express and share. Arriving at this moment has been a long road filled with ups, downs, turns, zig zags, and many beautiful collisions. I could rattle off how I went to school and have a degree in business, and even go on to mention being an entrepreneur for many years. For me business is just that business. The numbers will be the numbers and the results will show up as long as you do the work. This time was different though. This time I dove in to offer more of me. The one true thing I knew I had that made the brand unique or niche is me. So my journey here was more of an internal process. I had to really understand who I was, who I am , and who I’m becoming through it all. My early life choices left scars that hadn’t healed, and fostered more self doubt than I previously cared to admit. With Crys Kitchen I’m dedicated to being personal, and you can’t be personal if you don’t understand the person. Discovering me has by far been the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced. I’m thrilled I did the work though for both myself and the people. My healing involved meditation, dreaded conversations with people, setting real non-negotiable boundaries, and finally figuring out what actually made me happy internally. It was not by any means easy, but anything worth having never is easy. If I had to say world this is my story this is my brand it would be my brand is positive, innovative, and bubbly, my brand is me!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Keeping with honesty my favorite spot in the city is my house. I don’t really go out. I can throw a bomb party though. When I do go out it’s for brunch mainly so honorable mentions are Lucille’s, Kulture, and Phil and Derek.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ooh-wee this one may take a minute. I relish at an opportunity to celebrate my bomb village! To my clients and audience, y’all are the driving force that helps Crys Kitchen grow and expand, thank you for all the repost, remakes, shares, shout outs, etc. I’m so grateful for each of you. My bold signature flavors are rooted in the soul food I grew up eating. I spent countless hours learning techniques and family recipes at my mom and grandmothers heels as a small child. That time was priceless and I’m eternally grateful for every moment and every memory. To my bestie, Joy, you always spoke life into Crys Kitchen before there was a Crys Kitchen. Your belief in me gave me the courage to step out on faith and start Crys Kitchen, and I cannot thank you enough. To “THE HUBS”, Mike, you have been right here in the trenches for the highs and lows. You’re understanding and respectful of my creative process and that is a blessing I do not take for granted. The protection and care you give when I’m in one of my creative zones is one of the many beautiful things I love about you. Thank you for never letting me fall, and for continuously being ready to make the dream a reality with me. I love you deep, I love you most! Above all I thank God my creator for making any of this possible.
Photos by Crys Vaughn and Executive Lifestyle Company