FB: Biana C Blakes
FB: Vonna Brown
This week's Featured Friday's is showcasing "From the Go" a creative brand that I was recently introduced to. Created by Avonna Brown and Biana Blakes, this start-up company is just what the city of Chicago needs. The name of the brand was inspired by a super popular rap song, by Chicago's very own Chief Keef, but it has also been something that was said by kids across the city for quite some time now. After hearing about back to back police involved shootings killing innocent black men, Avonna went to work. Only to find that no one was talking about it, and the days following just continued as usual.
"The Black Lives Matter hats were first created as an outcry against police brutality," said Brown.
Upset by the lack of empathy and social awareness, she went home and started painting a hat. She discussed the idea of mass producing hats with her lifelong friend Biana, and the rest was history. The Black Lives Matter hats are the most popular seller to date; they are 100% hand-painted! But they aren't just stopping there: more hats, t-shirts, and hoodies are on the way.
The pair met at the age of 3 and their friendship grew over the years at Calhoun Elementary school. At a young age, they had formed a singing group and their own jewelry line, that they sold to friends and family. These two always had a head for entrepreneurship.
Biana is a West Garfield Park native, with a country Mississippi background. She's a graduate from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC), where she majored in Public Relations and Marketing and also studied Political Science. Biana is a learner: "I have to know everything. Every year I pick something and learn how to do it." She loves to paint and likens herself to an introvert.
Avonna is a West-side native and also a SIUC graduate. She studied Secondary Education, and her dream is to work with youth. But Avonna has a passion for fashion and painting. She loves the fashion of the 90s: customized apparel, prints, and popping colors. Avonna is a proud black woman: "I love being black. It's not that many people out there for us, so I have to be."
The "From the Go" website will be launched soon, so until then all hat orders can be placed via social media (found below). They are featuring different hats ranging in prices and colors from $15-$20, which is a SUPER good deal seeing as though they're completely hand painted.
Current Hat Designs:
Black Lives Matter
Chicago Lives Matter
-Your Urban Black Girl