13 Jun 2013
- Written by Brittany Jackson/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Summer is just around the corner and for the sister-and-brother team of Zaadia and Zayrion Harris, and their cousin, Marliesha Malone, it's time to push forward as young entrepreneurs.
Actually, the trio – Zaadia, 17, Zayrion, 16, and 21-year-old Marliesha – is already at work. Last Sunday (June 9), they debuted their Kustom Kosher's spring/summer collection at a launch party at Underwraps Salon, 7981 Dexter Rd. #106 in Cordova.
Determination, creativity and goals form the foundation of what they are building on. And they've got supporters.
"I was invited to the launch by a friend and decided to purchase a few shirts and support what Kustom Kosher is doing," said Brandon Blakemore, 21.
The launch gave Kustom Kosher the opportunity to showcase previous work and introduce new designs.
"We're not just a T-shirt company," Marliesha, the chief operating officer. "We're a brand."
Located inside the Underwraps Salon, Kustom Kosher (www.kustomkosher.com) began operations in April 2012.
"The idea came about one day while we were shopping. We realized that at most stores you don't get the option of customized clothing, said Marliesha. "So, we figured why not create something that provided consumers with just that."
Vice President Zayrion Harris said their peers were "extremely supportive of us starting the business. All were itching to see what we would produce and were all eager to buy once we revealed the products."
Kustom Kosher has a lawyer to help with the legal aspect of the business. The venture is guided by a business plan that helps them get products on the market and calls for making the name known as quickly as possible. The goal is to expand beyond Memphis and make Kustom Kosher a household name.
Marliesha serves as the creative designer. Zaadia, the President, is the graphic designer, and Zayrion, the technology expert, handles the website and social media pages.
Kustom Kosher is self-funded and all the revenue goes back into the company. Marliesha, Zaadia and Zayrion are on site each day, with at least an hour spent discussing designs, advertising techniques and other aspects to prepare the company for greater success.
Travis and Celeste Harris have supported the trio's entreprenurial yearnings ever since their children, Zaadia and Zayrion, and their niece, Marlilesha first presented them with the idea.
Celeste Harris is the owner and CEO of Underwraps Salon and Underwraps, Inc. She has been a hair stylist since the age of 8 and has owned her own hair salon for 10 years. She also serves as manager and CEO of Kustom Kosher, assisting the trio with deadlines and decision-making.
Reflection on the launch event, Travis Harris said, "This was an outstanding event hosted by three growing, young and energetic individuals with amazing ideas in starting their own T-shirt line. I look forward to the upcoming designs they have in Kustom Kosher. I love them all and I want them to keep up the good work."