Kylie Dreamz Big: The Story of One of Ohio’s Youngest Entrepreneurs
From October 2019-October 2020, we will be featuring a special guest blogger once a month to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
This month we are excited to share a post from Kylie Scroggins, an Ohio small business owner and entrepreneur who just happens to still be in elementary school! In 2019, Kylie launched her business, Kylie Dreamz, because she did not see enough girls of color represented on the clothing available to her at the store. Her new clothing line is working to fill this gap, so that all girls have clothes that make them feel empowered and represented. You can learn more about the blog series here, and you can check out Kylie’s products at her website right here.
Blog writers for our series were asked to submit in any media that they felt told their story. Kylie has chosen to respond to our prompt with a piece of artwork. As her mother, Kortney, says, “We use the rainbow often as a symbol to ‘dream big.’ You will notice that in her art.”
Kylie has also chosen to write a set of questions to respond to, as a way to tell us about her business.
Here’s what she has to say:
Why do you have a business? To make girls feel good about themselves.
What made you start your business? Because when I go shopping with my mom, I don’t see a lot of black girls on shirts.
Since starting my business, I have made a lot of friends. I made a friend that has a hijab.
Kylie’s number one business partner has always been her mom, Kortney. Below is the story of Kylie Dreamz in Kortney’s words:
One day Kylie and I were hanging out in the living room. I spoke to her about generating her own income and business ownership. We talked about saving instead of spending. I had her attention. She was worried because she was only seven. I explained that there are ways around that when a person owns their own business. Kylie then became excited and started to name various business ideas that she had heard of. I asked her what she enjoyed doing. She said “singing, dancing, and shopping.” I told her that it would be a good idea to start a business around something that she enjoys, that way it would be meaningful.
Kylie enjoys shopping at Target, like most little girls (and moms). I asked her what she liked about shopping there. I asked what she did not like about shopping there. That is when she said that she “doesn’t see girls that look like her on shirts.” Of course that was something I noticed years ago and even as a child. I found it to be unfortunate that my child had noticed so soon. Actually, I did not realize that she even paid attention.
At that point in the conversation I told Kylie to do something about it. I told her not to expect anyone else to make shirts that look like her (unfortunately), and that she needed to be the change.
Weeks had gone by and she asked me almost daily about starting her new t-shirt business. I realized that she was passionate about it and persistent, so I started researching and putting things in the works. With a two month set deadline, together we launched an empowering and inclusive clothing brand.
During the process Kylie called all shots. If she suggested changes, it happened. If she inquired, I shared. It was her brand – her business. She was and is the boss. I, as her mom, am just here to nurture her through the process, be her biggest cheerleader, and raise her to be an empowering woman.
Kortney C. Ester
Interested in learning more about Kylie and her business? She’s been making the news! You can see more at 10TV and The Columbus Free Press. Kylie Dreamz will also be on site during our upcoming event on March 14 at the Ohio History Center, 100 Years of Ohio Women’s Activism.
One more thing: Kylie is doing great work for girls today, but she also has a very specific connection to the suffrage movement!
On March 3, 1913, thousands of women marched on Washington D.C. to let President-Elect Woodrow Wilson know that they expected a constitutional amendment granting them the right to vote.
Worried that it could hurt their cause, many of the white organizers of this parade discouraged African American women from participating. Those that did participate were pushed to the back of the parade, in their own procession.
Despite all this, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, including honorary member and Ohioan, Mary Church Terrell, decided to march in the parade.
Many years later, another Ohioan, Kortney Ester, would join that same sorority. Today, her daughter, Kylie, is living the legacy that the brave members of Delta Sigma Theta passed on.