Element and Vibe is an apparel company of the times. Owner Aisha Taylor says she creates bold messages that allow customers to wear their thoughts with pride. Taylor is currently selling those statements as a part of the first virtual Woodlawn Street Market. We caught up with her to ask a few questions about her experience thus far:
Q. What does Element and Vibe sell?
A; I sell message-based t-shirts that are grounded in equality and justice.
Q. How have your sales been in the wake of protests against the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others at the hand of police brutality?
A: They actually increased. So, I will say that they have certainly picked up, I think because people want to speak out and they might not always have the opportunity to do so vocally. But, if they can walk around with a statement or a message to share their inner thoughts, I think that our company provides them an opportunity to do that.
Q. Why do you think that your message t-shirts resonate with a lot of people?
A: Because they connect with a lot of emotion. Sometimes, they connect with fear, they connect with purpose. I just think there are a lot of different ways that they connect, and they connect with everyone. Our customer base is very diverse, so I think it allows people to be involved in some way. I just feel like the messages that we create resonate because they’re strong and powerful. They aren’t a lot of words, but the words that we do choose to put together connect with people because they allow them to be bold and vocal.
Q. You talked about the diversity of your customer base. Why do you think that so many people from different backgrounds feel welcome to rock your product?
A: I certainly don’t put off this exclusivity vibe. I give off an inclusive vibe. I want to include people. That’s who I am as a person. I never want to exclude anyone. If you believe in our messaging, regardless of who you are or your background, then, I want you in our tees.
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Q. How long have you been vending at the Woodlawn Street Market?
A: Since 2017. Since the beginning of our company.
Q. What’s your favorite thing about the market?
A: I love the diversity of the people. I love the diversity of the products. It’s not just one type of brand of vendor that you see. You see cakes, plants, earrings, tees, books…there are just a lot of different things you can get there.
Q. What made you interested in trying this first virtual market?
A: Well, the Woodlawn Street Market has always been a success for us, and, so, just continuing to be involved in whatever capacity still allows us to connect with our customers who do attend the market.
Q. What’s been your experience so far with the virtual market?
A: It looks like it’s done well. My following has increased locally. I will say that it has played a part in my social media following, especially when it first hit. It’s certainly a win to participate.
To create a business is to serve a customer need; and while it may seem like an uncertain time to embark on a startup journey, I think it’s an awesome moment in time to do just that.