It has been quite the journey since I fulfilled my first order for Kahmune in 2017. Ever since then, we’ve been doing nude the way it should be done. There is so much to celebrate and be grateful for as none of our progress—or existence as a brand I might add—could be possible without our super supportive Kahmunity. This open letter is to all of you.
We’re rooted in something much deeper.
Although the birth of Kahmune started with searching for a pair of nude shoes to match my complexion, the brand’s ultimate mission is to serve women of all shades. As I was dealing with the struggle of finding my skin tone on my quest for nude high heels, it didn’t take long for me to realize that women with fairer skin tones were also sharing my experience. I knew right then that I had to be a voice for them too. Hence, having “Kahmune” [ com·mune ] be a play on the word “commune” meaning a group or community.
Our 3 Brand Pillars Are Inclusion, Diversity, & Representation.
I’ve always envisioned Kahmune as more than just a luxury footwear brand. We are defined by our mission to equalize the fashion options for women of all colors and shades. This “Kahmunity” that we’re building is represented by a group of women who believe that every woman deserves a seat at the table. From redefining the term “nude” to breaking down barriers in every institution—the world needs to see that we are here and we refuse to be an “afterthought,” only part of the first thought.
The Kahmune woman is about her sh*t.
I make a concerted effort to ensure that the Kahmune woman embodies every business choice— from shoe designs to brand messaging. In order to do this, I’ve had to sit with myself and ask “Who is the Kahmune woman?”
The Kahmune woman embraces duality. She’s not one thing or the other.
Here’s what I came up with:
- The Kahmune woman is confident, yet has the strength to work through brief moments of insecurity.
- The Kahmune woman knows who she is, yet still leaves room for growth.
- The Kahmune woman is not afraid to put in work for what she wants.
- The Kahmune woman respects herself and respects others, yet has no problem meeting people where they are.
- The Kahmune woman is a self-love advocate.
- The Kahmune woman is a fear-fighter.
Trust the process, sis.
When I started Kahmune back in 2017, I was knocking on the door and then walking around to open it. Thank goodness for perseverance that leads to progress. This year I was finally able to get help. One of my biggest challenges up until this point has been creating time to focus on scaling the business and ultimately better serving our Kahmunity.
2021 has been the Year of Help.
This year Kahmune reached an entirely new level—we were finally at a place where I could fire myself from so many job responsibilities by filling those positions with people who thrive in those lanes. With the help of small business funding, we were able to expand our team of one to now include someone who manages fulfillment operations, someone who handles social media management and community engagement, and so many more. We even moved into a larger warehouse to help streamline all internal processes.
All of these milestones allowed me to shift my focus to scaling the business. I reallocated my time to focus on researching new ways to improve the customer experience and finding mentorship opportunities to help me develop as a Founder and business owner.
We partnered with Stitch Fix.
I had the honor of becoming one of the first recipients of Elevate, Stitch Fix’s grant & mentorship program. The program initially piqued my interest because it was designed to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs in fashion at an early stage of business growth. As a black female founder of a luxury footwear brand, I fit the bill. However, what made me ultimately pull the trigger on applying were the mentorship opportunities— from advisory support from leadership across Stitch Fix to one-on-one mentorship sessions with their Founder and CEO, Katrina Lake. And I can’t forget access and visibility to their hundreds of thousands of customers and an opportunity to forge meaningful relationships with like-minded entrepreneurs. We even had the opportunity to release an exclusive shoe design, the Mila Bootie.
Stitch Fix opened my eyes to what Kahmune COULD BE.
My most prominent memory from the grant program was participating in a major photoshoot highlighting all of the grantees and their brands. As a small business, due to our limited assets and cash flow, we don’t typically have access to all of the grand scale things that larger companies with much bigger budgets have. During the photoshoot, I
quickly scanned my surroundings and saw the number of people running around—each with a specific mission—toting around carts of this and that, sections filled with too-many-to-count professional lights of all grades, makeup artists rummaging through their product bags, hairstylists in the zone— and at that moment I realized that this is what Kahmune can become. That photoshoot reignited a sense of motivation that I had lost through the quick scaling of my business. I had rediscovered my drive.
Our 2022 word is FUN.
Next year is all about celebration. We’re celebrating our growth as a company and as a community. What better way to do that than to go back to basics—fashion. We’ve been spending time coming up with designs that continue to embody that ever-evolving Kahmune woman.
In 2022, we’re having fun with fashion.
We’ve been getting funky and creative with our new designs—from nude high heels to nude wedge shoes to nude flat shoes. We even have some new products in store!
P.S: This is just the beginning. The goal is to make Kahmune the global marketplace for skin tone fashion. And we can’t do it without our Kahmunity.
Jamela—A Fellow Kahmune Woman
Style Chat with Jamela
From 12 - 4 pm on Monday, November 29, Jamela will be hosting “Office Hours.” Text her to chat about any questions you may have about Kahmune or feedback you’d like a response to. Text CHAT to +1 (866) 900-1447 to join the Style Chat with Jamela
FYI Kahmunity we won’t be restocking until 2022—hurry before your favorite pair goes out of stock. Find your style—from our Monica sneaker to our Kennedy flat to our classic pumps. If you don’t know your shade, you can order leather swatches here.