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UNT student’s new business breaks into untapped market with bonnets

UNT student’s new business breaks into untapped market with bonnets

UNT student’s new business breaks into untapped market with bonnets
October 04
13:23 2019

Set up in Kamaya Black’s bedroom is her sewing machine and a box of newly made bonnets, designed for both adults and babies. The bonnets come in a variety of colors and patterns, including a purple bonnet featuring a galaxy design. She is fulfilling orders for her new business, XclusivlyKCB.

Black, a speech pathology sophomore at UNT, started her business this fall and sells both bonnets and lingerie. She started preparing in the summer and tested out bonnets before she officially started her business.

“My mom, she’s been having her [bonnet] since July and [there are] like no holes, no skips, nothing like that,” Black said. “Her bonnet is still good. My mom sleeps in hers. If that works for her, it’s gonna work for other people.”

During the summer, Black said she was bored and was looking for something to do, so she was watching YouTube videos and learning about things she could make.

“Most girls my age, they sell eyelashes and bundles of hair and I was like, ‘I want to do something different, I don’t want to sell clothes,’” Black said. “That’s not the community market I want to do. I want to try something nobody else does. I looked it up, nobody in Dallas does [bonnets] like that. I think it’s just a smart decision because it’s something new.”

Black has a background in sewing but had not done it in years. She said Youtube videos and her parents helped her to start her business. Her parents helped with money. She got a sewing machine and worked from home during the summer since she had more free time. Black said she wanted to make bonnets that were higher quality than the ones you can buy in stores.

“I want people to be satisfied,” Black said. “I don’t want to settle for the cheap beauty supply type of bonnets just because I want them to try new things to support the local college student.”

Black had to relearn sewing and said she has significantly cut down her time per bonnets since she started. It used to take her 30 minutes per bonnet, but now it takes her ten. She hopes to cut down to five minutes. She tries to not make the seams obvious.

“You just have to have patience,” Black said about was sewing has taught her. “It’s helped me with my attitude because I’m trying to focus on something and get that done and I want it to be perfect.”

Black didn’t expect her business to do so well in the beginning, but she has already had products sell out. She gained many new customers when she recently participated at a business expo at the UNT Greek Life Center. Her bonnets are more popular than her lingerie, and certain bonnets are more popular than others, like the sports one.

Black said she hopes to continue her business after college. She’s juggling school work, a job and her business. She said her friends help her balance it all.

One of Black’s handmade bonnets is displayed on a styrofoam head at her workspace desk on Sept. 30, 2019. Image by Meredith Holser

“All of them just help me promote,” Black said. “They will come over here and help me with my homework if I need to do a bonnet or sew because I’ve been really busy.”

Her friends admire her passion and dedication. Psychology junior Sydney Smith, who she met through Her Campus in January, has bought two bonnets.

“She puts a lot of thought into [it] rather than ‘I made this, okay, you really going to buy it or not?’” Smith said. “She’s like, ‘I need it to be perfect. What ways can I improve?’”

Briana Harper, a UNT education junior and also a friend of Black’s, admires her work ethic. She has also bought two bonnets and particularly likes the galaxy themed one and another one with Eiffel towers.

“She’s so genuine about what she does,” Harper said. “She’s always thinking, like you could be in the store and she’ll go ‘Oh my God, that would look so good on my bonnets.’”

Black said she hopes to expand her business beyond bonnets. Her main demographic is college-aged women, however she has had men buy bonnets for their girlfriends. There have also been men that have commissioned her to make durags, so she hopes to learn how to make them. She said she doesn’t think she will continue on lingerie.

“I want them to feel comfortable for sure,” Black said. “They should feel proud about anything they wear in their hair [or] their body.”

Black’s products can be found at www.xclusivlykcb.com.

Featured Image: Sophomore speech-language pathology major Kamaya Black sits at her workspace on Sept. 30, 2019. Image by Meredith Holser

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Raquel Villatoro

Raquel Villatoro

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1 Comment

  1. Riri
    Riri October 06, 05:17

    I am excited

    Reply to this comment

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