Womxn Supporting Womxn: Creating & Curating a Platform for Womxn-Owned Businesses. This is HERMARKET
After meeting through work and building a friendship, these two incredible womxn decided to create a community for other womxn running their own businesses. This community is able to support each other and is a platform where others are able to find and support womxn-owned businesses.
Kia Perry & Jazlin Pitts
Location: Atlanta, GA
Age: 33/31 years
What I do: Run and manage HERMARKET, a community for womxn-owned businesses, Community Development specialist at Northside Hospital and Events & Experience Coordinator at Food Well Alliance
Briefly describe who you are, what you do for work and for fun
We Jazlin and Kia are Co-Founders of HERMARKET a community for womxn-owned businesses and the womxn who love them.
J: I am highly ambitious. A bit of an introvert but very open to the people closest to me. For fun I love to visit art museums and build playlists full of feel good music. By day I am a Community Development Specialist at Northside Hospital always looking for amazing non-profits to partner with all while building an amazing side-hustle – HERMARKET.
K: I’m the co-founder of HERMARKET by night and the Events & Experience Coordinator at Food Well Alliance by day. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t leave much time for the fun stuff but when I am able to indulge I love spending time with my family and friends, movie nights, dinner, games, etc. I also love a good book and I’m currently reading the first installment of Bridgerton (loved the show!) A trip to Target always makes my day a little brighter and I’m admittedly a product junkie, ha!
How did you land upon your professional path? Who or what inspired you into taking this path?
J: My professional path has been a curvy road to say the least. Kia and I met while I was interning at Nordstrom and immediately connected as friends. Years went by and one day I wrote her on IG letting her know I’d love to collab on something (the rest is history!).
K: Honestly, it took me a lot of trial and error to get to where I am now. As a creative, I get bored of things easily so it took a while to find something that stuck. My degree is in Event Management but it wasn’t until HERMARKET was launched that I actually put that degree to work. Before HERMARKET, my life was full of floor sets, dressing mannequins and selling at Nordstrom. I was everything from a Salesperson to a Visual Stylist in my 5 years there. I also was able to work in film for a little while starting in Wardrobe and eventually ending up in the Art Department due to my love of graphic design. From there I ended up launching my own brand design company. HERMARKET was created not long after that out of a desire to bring attention to womxn-owned indie brands which were up and coming at the time.
How has connection and collaboration been important in defining and growing your business?
Connection and collaboration is the core of our business. Without that, there would be no HERMARKET. We truly believe that there is space for everyone and we don’t mind helping other people achieve their goals! Nothing about our business could be done without other amazing womxn-owned brands.
How do you define support and how do you ask for it? Do you ever struggle with asking for support?
We try our best to do our part by building a brand that other people are interested in supporting. Sometimes it is nerve-wracking however, we know that things can’t be done alone and that is what pushes us to ask for help when needed.
How does collaborating and asking for help support your mental health and build your resilience?
In full transparency, we’re still learning that lesson. We love collaborating and have had some amazing partners but when it comes to asking for help, that’s where we ‘struggle’. We both are “I’ll do it myself” kind of girls so we have to work on trusting others to take some of the load off.
You are Co-Founders of your business, how do you manage your day-to-day relationship? How do you communicate and how do each of you define your boundaries? How have you overcome any challenges in your relationship?
We’re a lot like sisters. Being that we were friends first, that adds another level to our business relationship.
I think we’re also familiar with each other’s boundaries. We know when to let things go and/or when we’re going too far with one another. There’s a high level of respect and trust between us and that makes a big difference. There have definitely been challenges but one thing we’ve learned is to protect our relationship and not let anyone try to get between us.
What defines a successful partnership? What elements are important to you when you work with or collaborate with others?
The biggest thing to us is making sure each side benefits equally. There has to be alignment between your brand and theirs. We only partner with brands we’re excited about or have wanted to work with for a long time, that really fuels the creativity and allows us to really make magic!
What’s ahead for you and your business?
2021 is a big YEAR for us. In addition to continuing our partnership with The Lola, we’re launching a box curated by prominent women in our community. Our sidewalk markets at Buckhead Village will be resuming on Feb 20th. This market will feature some amazing black woman-owned brands for BHM. There will be some fun Black History Month programming that will dive into conversations about being Black Women in Retail and How to Take Your Brand to Market.