Tell us a little about your passion/business/not for profit/organisation. What is it about?
I am the Co-Founder and Crafter of Brand at BRIKA, a retail company focused on featuring the most talented artisans & designers and on inspiring people to live a well-crafted life. I started BRIKA with my co-founder Jen because we felt that beautiful, modern craft and the artisans who make it deserve to be highlighted in a curated, beautiful way.
What is the change that you would like to bring to the world?
I would love for people to think twice about how they vote with their wallets. Supporting an artisan's work is truly supporting community, micro economies, creativity and authenticity.
What drove you to start BRIKA?
I worked with a lot of artisans in a previous job and I was struck by their talent and passion for their work (choosing to create for a living is not easy!). For many of them, business and how to market themselves wasn't their strength. We saw an opportunity to connect this talented community to a conscious and creative consumer who would truly appreciate the quality and authenticity of their products.
What drives you to continue/strive for more/work harder?
We have become so dependent on technology and our devices and while in some ways it has made life easier, we have also become more disconnected and even lonely. Making in person, human connections is so critical! We strive to do this with our artisans and customers and to encourage others to have daily human interactions.
How do you think being a woman of colour has impacted your journey?
Even though I grew up in relatively small towns on the east coast of Canada I'm grateful to say that I didn't experience a lot of blatant racism. I did experience what it felt to be different and to feel like I didn't quite fit in. I only learned over time that so many of us experience that feeling regardless of our skin colour. I think this has led me to be more compassionate and empathetic to anyone who feels this way. I'm naturally inclined to make people feel included.
Have you had a remarkable breakthrough or a win that you would like to share with our readers? We all love hearing success stories!
This past fall BRIKA was awarded with a Retail Innovation Award from St.Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was such an honour to be recognized for the creativity and thoughtfulness we have invested in our brand.
Thank you for sharing with us Kena! You can find Kena on Instagram at @kena_BRIKA and check out BRIKA at https://www.brika.com.
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