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© 2019 by Leading with Lee Magazine

Meet Kinyatta E. Gray

After being encouraged by a friend, Kinyatta Gray launched FlightsInStilettos in 2018 based off of her true-life style...traveling glamorously through the airport. Kinyatta’s goal is to inspire women travelers to think about their individual travel style and to put their best selves forward when traveling. Through Kinyatta’s website, FlightsInStilettos.com she sells travel inspiredmerchandise such as glam girl t-shirts and glam girl beach towels that depict women of color in a sophisticated and respectable manner. Kinyatta’s products have been spotted around the
world.

Q. What was the inspiration behind starting your business?


FlightsInStilettos is based off of my true-life travel style – traveling through the airport wearing stilettos. More specifically, a friend invited me to join a travel club after a vacation we took together (coordinated through the travel club). When I created my travel club account, I created the account name FlightsInStilettos. I was drawing from my experience of just having traveled in stilettos and the likelihood that I would travel in them again. My friend asked me about my account name, and when I told her FlightsInStilettos, she immediately said, OMG!! That’s so cute and catchy. You should make T-shirts!! And that’s how everything started and I thought about it more and more and began to focus on my purpose and how to make an impact.

Q. How did you get started? What steps did you take to launch your business?


Once I decided that yes, my friend was right, FlightsInStilettos was cute and catchy. I immediately hired a graphic artist to create a logo. Next, I secured social media handles and website domains with the name FlightsInStilettos. The next thing I did was file the paperwork to operate as an LLC in the state of MD. The last thing I did to secure that brand was hiring an attorney and filed the trademark application for FlightsInStilettos. FlightsInStilettos is actually officially a registered trademark. Simultaneously, during this time I was selecting products and vendors and narrowing down the selections of products that I thought would appeal to customers and speak to my brand.

Q. What products or services does your business provide and who benefits from it?


I sell travel inspired merchandise such as t-shirts and beach towels with beautiful illustrations of women of color traveling. I also sell glam travel accessories such as glitter passport covers, travel size jewelry boxes, sexy sequin beach cover-ups, luggage covers, sunshades and satin sleep masks. Also, through my partnership with Luggage Pros, travelers can design their very own custom luggage called My Flag Bag through my website. I recently added a line for little traveling girls between the ages of 4 and 10 called The Traveling Tiaras. And through that line, I also sell travel inspired t-shirts, tutus, backpacks and even tiaras for little girls. Anyone who loves travel inspired gear such as Flight Attendants/aviation workers and enthusiast or anyone who considers herself a “travelnista” would benefit from FlightsInStilettos products!

Q. What are some of the marketing techniques that you’ve taken to bring awareness and visibility to your brand?


Primarily through blogging, Instagram posts, Instagram marketing, paid advertisement, Facebook Business page, and Facebook marketing. I also use various sells channels such as Shopify, Big Cartel and Etsy. And last, I retained the services of a NYC based Public Relations firm because in spite of all of the efforts one can expend marketing on their own, sometimes it’s imperative to pull others into the fold who can use their unique skills and expertise to help guide your marketing and publicity efforts. Sometimes you have to know when to work with other’s whose reach is greater than yours as well as be coach-able and learn from others.

Q. What makes your brand stand out?


This is an excellent question. It stands out because no one else that I have come in contact with focuses on travel style. Most businesses focus on travel destinations or traveling planning - but somewhere in between there’s travel style. So, the niche is different, smart, totally fun and inspiring.

Q. Have you come across any roadblocks in your path to success? If so, how did you overcome them?


Yes, I have – being taken advantage of by vendors producing products marketed as quality, but upon receipt they are anything but quality. I have learned to overcome these issues by spending more time reviewing customer product reviews, asking more questions not going for lowest value but seeking best value and asking for samples of everything prior to committing to large
purchases.

Q. What are some of your favorite resources or tools that you like to use for your business?


My favorite resource is Canva. It’s a must for any business owner who enjoys making high quality marketing materials independently such as professional looking Instagram posts, Facebook covers, book covers, etc.

Q. Any upcoming events, projects, or services that we should look out for?


Yes, I have several different editorials that will be published over the next few weeks as well as an interview on the podcast radio talk show Girls Gabbin’ and a radio interview with DJ Kei Touch of Radio One at the end of the month. I’m also co authoring my first book, which will be released in October called “Broken But Not Forgotten”.10 women and I wrote one chapter each for this book. I’m so very grateful and excited about these opportunities!

Q. Is it safe to say that you are living in your purpose?


Yes, it is very safe to say that. And I know because everything that I do to build FlightsInStilettos brings me immense joy and fulfillment. Never once have I thought about my brand and felt like giving up, if anything I think about why I started and if I keep going where I could actually end up!

Q. Any great reads (articles or books) that you would like to recommend to our audience?


Yes, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and Start with Why by Simon Sinek.

Q. What does success mean to you?


Success means living a life of enjoyment and fulfillment designed by you that also include prosperity, being of service to others, walking in your truth, reflection and daily gratitude.

Q. What advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to turn their dreams into realities?


To take the leap and do it. The world will never know what you have to offer until you decide to show them. Believe in yourself because what you believe and profess, you manifest. And whatever you do, be consistent.

Q. Where can our audience find you? 


Yes I can be found via Instagram: @flightsinstilettos
Twitter: @Fstilettos,
Facebook: Mrs Kinyatta and,
My website: https://www.flightsinstilettos.com

Interview by: Leading with Lee Magazine

Photo Credit: Pilar Scratch Public Relations

Provided by: Pilar Scratch Public Relations