How It All Began: The Enivid Origin Story, Part Two
When I set out to start ENIVID by B Genette back in 2018, I was unsure of a lot of things. Would it be successful? Would people like my work? However, I quickly narrowed down one thing: how I wanted to make people feel.
I had a problem I wanted to solve. When I went shopping, wandering around the mall, I never saw faces that looked like mine printed on graphic tees. I never saw girls with hair like mine, curly and massive and imperfect, in the store windows. I wanted to change that. I remembered a favorite tee I owned in middle school that depicted a girl with big curly hair on it, and I remembered how I felt when I found that shirt in JC Penney's. I wanted to create that feeling for other girls like me, who didn't feel seen in the images widely produced on shirts, jackets, and such. And then I wanted everyone else to get in on it.
I took that idea and drew what became the African Queen, then the Kenyan Queen, and the Curly Queen. Each drawing required solid research and references and editing to make sure they were accurate and authentic representations of the incredible and rich cultures I wanted to spotlight as well as protect.
Around the time that I created these women, these Queens, I unexpectedly lost my job. I had planned to work at my menial job while launching Enivid, but plans suddenly went sideways, as they tend to do.
With nothing but five drawings, and a one year old on my hip, I launched Enivid By B Genette. The African Queen, The Kenyan Queen, The Curly Queen, The Native American Queen, and The Latina Queen were posted on my facebook, instagram, and the free website I created. As I began to get orders, I realized that I had created the solution a problem for other women, just like I had done for myself. I had made something that allowed them to see themselves... on a shirt. And while that may seem silly or insignificant to some, it's enough to bring tears to my eyes even as I write about it five years later. To top it off, even women who didn't look anything like the drawings I put on these shirts started buying them. My dream had been realized.
This month marks five years since I lost my job and shuffled out of that office with tears in my eyes and a notebook clutched in my arms. I didn't know it, but it was the best thing that could've happened to me. That day, I was forced out of my comfort zone, which was becoming undeniably uncomfortable, and pushed towards something bigger than I had originally imagined. Now I wake up daily, albeit with only a few dollars to my name, but with an attitude of gratitude that I get to create things that make women feel like Queens.
And that is a dream come true.