You may have seen some of her work on your explore tab on Instgram of some 90s inspired prints of classic movies and tv shows like for instance the Martin clutch bag . No wait .. the Kid n Play one or no what about the Coming to America one ? But wait …. Who is she ? ….
Twenty six year old , Cleveland native Kashmir Thompson has been making a name herself through social media with her creative art by touching so many people and bringing the 90s back to life with her fashionable custom made unique designs and it was only right that I get the tea and learn more ! In this exclusive interview we talk business , her starting stages , and how her custom 1990 designs are making a difference in African American culture today . Read more below !
Dasia : First of all ,your work is outstanding !!! And I’m pretty sure your 21k followers on IG can agree as well . What made you start your own business ?
Kashmir : Thank you!!! I’ve literally being drawing and selling my art since probably about 2006ish. It just really started catching on recently, but I’ve always been in the business of creating and selling, all the way since high school.
Dasia : What is the meaning behind your Instagram name Kashmirviii. How did you come up with that ?
Kashmir : Well my first name (yes my real name lol) is Kashmir. Viii in Roman numbers is 8. Which is short for the brand me and my fiancé have called creviii (create).
Dasia: How old were you when you first started drawing ?
Kashmir : I’ve been drawing for as long as I could hold things. I realized I loved it around 5 and knew it was my calling around 13!
I chose to highlight the parts of my childhood that gives me the best memories.
Dasia: Where did you go to school for drawing ?
Kashmir : I attended the Cleveland school of the arts from 8th grade until I graduated high school where I majored in visual art and photography .
Dasia : Lets talk about to the beginning stages of Creviii . What was it like dealing with any obstacles that you may have had ?
Kashmir : Honestly, I didn’t deal with too many obstacles starting [out] . All of my obstacles are new because as my brand grows, so do my problems. I just try to take things one day at a time and stay focused and work diligently to eliminate problems for myself. I try not to make more obstacles than I already have by paying attention to detail and not taking on more work than I can bare.
Dasia : Was there anything or anyone that inspired you to start drawing ?
Kashmir : My dad was a big inspiration. He was very creative and eclectic. My stepdad could also draw and paint really well and was a big inspiration during my teen years .
I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and won tons of poetry slams and speech contests .
Dasia : I love that your brand focuses spefically on the 90s characters from films and tv shows . It’s very organic and unique . Your most famous ” You so crazy ” clutch bag inspired by one of the best television shows and one of my favorites , Martin went viral. How did you come up with these ideas for your line .
Kashmir : I came up with these ideas by really focusing on what made me happy as a kid…and that was Martin and shows like Martin. I chose to highlight the parts of my childhood that gives me the best memories.
( Kashmir meeting Tisha Campbell Martin aka Gina from Martin at Bossip event )
Dasia : Other then the clutch bags, do you sell any other items with similar prints ?
Kashmir : Yes! I also sale tees, prints and posters, coasters, tote bags and more!
Dasia : Who are favorite artists and why ?
Kashmir : My favorite artists are Keturah Ariel, Frida Kahlo, Kehinde Wiley and Romare Bearden to name a few! They all are amazing artists with very unique and distinctive styles
Dasia : What are some fun facts your followers dont know about you ?
Kashmir : Hmm. One fun fact is I wrote and illustrated a short story at the age of 7 that the Cleveland municipal school district published! Another fun fact is that I originally wanted to be a writer growing up. I wrote a lot of poetry in high school and won tons of poetry slams and speech contests .
Dasia : What do you plan to do in the next 5 years ?
( Tasha Smith with Coming to America clutch bag )
Kashmir : The next 5 years I hope to be a household name! I want to be doing exactly what I’m doing now, just on a much larger scale
Dasia : What advice can you give aspiring artists, designers or entrepreneurs who wants to start their own business ?
Kashmir : Don’t give up on it if it’s something you want to do! Read up about branding and management and make your business appealing!
Make sure to check out Kashmir’s store for more 90s inspired bags, tees , and more at www.kashmirviii.com
Follow Kashmir at @kashmirviii
Thoughts on her article ? Comment below !
Written by @dasiatheceo