Interview with KB Vega, founder of InspiHER Empire
Fellow creative KB Vega started an inspirational lifestyle brand, InspiHER Empire. First, she set up an Instagram account to use as a positivity platform. After it gained traction, KB morphed InspiHER Empire into a clothing and home decor business. Now the creative entrepreneur sells “inspirational and feel-good clothing and products to boost your confidence,” KB said. Read her full interview below.
Artisan Joy: How did you start this creative endeavor?
KBV: I started as a positivity platform on IG and wanted to incorporate my love for fashion, so I started creating inspirational apparel and products that put a smile on my face as well as boost my confidence while wearing and using my creations. We hope our pieces do the same for our customers!
KB Vega: When did you realize that you could turn your craft into a business?
When people started believing in me, my brand, my mission and my products. Since I started a year ago, the support has been amazing so far, and I am truly grateful for that.
AJ: Where do you find inspiration?
KBV: I find inspiration in things that I have struggled with—self-love, body issues, confidence—and turned it into a positive thing. I’m a very colorful person and love using bright colors to create designs that are fun and bold statement pieces. My motto has always been: the BRIGHTER, the BOLDER, the BIGGER, the BETTER! I love thinking outside of the box and making one-of-a-kind designs that people will love to wear and use.
AJ: What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
KBV: I currently have 25 tattoos and counting. I’m a creative and like to express myself in all different types of ways, including my body ink.
AJ: As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?
KBV: Being a perfectionist—it’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time. I will tweak something over and over again until it is to my liking, regardless if it takes hours to get to that point. Sometimes, when I am having designer’s block or my creation isn’t up to par with what I wanted to design, I allow myself to step away for a few just so I can rethink what I am trying to create. Then, I will go back to what I was working on, have confidence in myself and just get it done. Sometimes simpler is better. And to not overthink it!
AJ: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in putting their creative work out into the world but feels vulnerable about it?
KBV: Honestly, just go for it! I felt the exact same way when I started my company. I felt like I had to know everything there was to know about starting my own business and designing pieces—Not the case at all. You learn as you go, and you get better along the way. So, there really isn’t anything holding you back except for yourself. You have to have enough confidence in what you are doing to push that fear aside.
AJ: What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?
KBV: It takes a lot of work—especially if you are a one-person show. You literally are doing the job of 20—designer, marketer, problem solver, web developer, etc. You name it. You are it. You know, when I started a year ago, I had no idea that I would have to learn the backends to building my website. I just wanted to design clothes, not design an online store. I guess I could have paid someone to do it for me, which I have done in the past, but I was dependent on that person’s time and schedule, and it was more of a headache than a help. So, the other option was to learn some SEO stuff to execute my online store properly and efficiently.
AJ: Has someone ever criticized your work? How did you handle it?
KBV: Yes, they have. How did I handle it? The only way I know how—professionally and kindly. Some criticism is not all bad, and I do take people’s suggestions into consideration within reason. When it comes to being an entrepreneur, you can’t always please everyone. I learned that real quick. If you could, we would be living in a perfect world, right? So, when it comes down to it, I do appreciate the suggestions, but the bottom line, it’s what I want to put out into the world for my brand; that is most important to me based on my vision and my creativity.
AJ: What’s a cause you are passionate about and why?
KBV: The Young Survival Coalition. It’s an organization dedicated to helping with support networks for young women (specifically 40 and under) who are breast cancer survivors as well as their co-survivors. Just recently, I ran a campaign that donated 25 percent of the proceeds from our ‘Pretty & Powerful’ merch to this organization, with the hopes of getting a step closer in providing more resources of support for survivors. I chose this organization because I found out several older family members were diagnosed with breast cancer, and I wanted to give back and help with supportive outlets for survivors around my age.
AJ: And, of course, we have to ask: what brings you joy?
KBV: The biggest thing that brings me joy is helping people in any way I can. With my company, if I can inspire at least one person a day, I know I am doing something right. I have dealt with low self-esteem and insecurities when I was a teenager, so I know first-hand how debilitating that can be, not only physically but mentally too. So, if I can help someone overcome those feelings, then that is what makes me happy. Being an inspiration to them to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.
Editor’s Note: This interview was edited slightly for length and clarity.