We had the good fortune of connecting with Kendra Mills and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kendra, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Kards for the Kulture came about as a response to a need coupled with personal interest. I personally love greeting cards, but I also grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of representation in the stationery/greeting card industry. I’d find myself spending absurd amounts of time reading through all of the cards and still not finding anything that even remotely resembled my sense of humor or my physical appearance.
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.
One of the things that I find unique about KFTK is that I’ve been able to combine Black culture, my sense of humor and my passion for words in one place. Though most of my collection is humorous, the underlying message is always that of love and inspiration. I believe it is so important to ‘give people their flowers’ while they’re still here. Now, I’ll admit that I didn’t have a CLUE what I was doing once I got started. I have no background in graphic design, but one thing I am good at is improvising lol. I just knew that once I got started I would either win or learn. In all honesty, anything you do repetitiously gets better with time, There’s still room for improvement but I find so much satisfaction in knowing that the ‘kards’ I make help create an experience for both the giver and recipient. That, in my opinion, is priceless.
One thing that I’d like the world to know is that like many beautiful things in life, my company was birthed during a dark time. The world was in a state of chaos and confusion. Without work and gripped with fear, COVID forced me into a place of isolation, uncertainty and sadness. In spite of how things both appeared and felt, I knew that I needed to dwell on something positive. I didn’t have an extensive plan or even disposable income, but the unforeseen time off and stimulus package gave me just what I needed to get started. This whole experience has reassured me to trust the process, and that if you take one step then God will do the rest.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We aren’t friends if we can’t brunch together lol. I’m a huge fan of Sunday brunch at Trez Art & Wine bar. Between the great food, specialty mimosas and feel good music, Trez is the Sunday Funday trifecta! Mondays are generally chill in Houston, so they make for great catch up days. I’d arrange for us to grab food and drinks Lost and Found. They have happy hour all day on Mondays and they even have pretty good crawfish. Tuesdays usually consist of my small business pop ups at Trez, but it’s a totally different vibe during the week. It’s great for networking or even just relaxing. Wednesdays are always great for wine so we’re either going to Bacco or Sonoma in the upper Kirby area. Thursdays are pretty much the beginning of the weekend so a nice dinner at either Steak 48 or Trulucks. I’m a huge fan of the live music feel. I can also appreciate a good bargain so hitting the free exhibits in the Museum district is a great way to end our relaxed evening outing. Friday brunch at Taste satisfies all of my cravings, and Saturdays are generally spent at home (gotta rest for Sunday Funday)!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m a huge believer in the idea that who we are and what we achieve is a direct reflection of the impact we draw from our experiences. My life is certainly not your average story, but I know that even the most bizarre chapters have played a part in my success. Family and friends have always supported me in my crazy ideas and adventures, for them I feel particularly blessed. God has placed a number of amazing people in my path to make it all possible and is still doing so today! I have to acknowledge my mother, Demetria Austin, for being one of the most influential characters in my life. Outside of her being a wordsmith and poet, her love, faith, sacrifice and reassurance is the very foundation of my existence. My sister and best friend, Charity Hulin, has always been my number one supporter. She’s been a listening ear, shoulder to cry on and cheerleader for as long as I’ve been alive. I also have to highlight how ‘The Strangest Secret’ by Earl Nightingale, shared with me by David Imonitie, inspired me to relentlessly pursue my dreams. I still revisit it present day and channel that belief and confidence to tackle my ever evolving goals. Lastly, my experience as a flight attendant, bank teller, saleswoman in retail, network marketer, cashier, personal assistant, TV personality and host (to name a few) have all contributed to my ability to create and market a product with pizzazz. This is just the beginning!
Instagram: @kardsforthekulture and @kendrafaith11
Facebook: Kards for the Kulture and Kendra Faith Mills