Today we’d like to introduce you to Kj Bennett.
Hi Kj, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
So first and foremost, my dad is a super talented dude. Have to start there. He was the first person I saw sewing, embroidery, and creating his brand. Just ultimately being a hustler and always figuring out a way to pair your creativity/talents to make money. Aside from that, I always say that once I was introduced to graphic design by way of an internship, then streetwear followed suit. I’ve studied graphic design (as a freelance creator) over the years to keep myself in the game and continue learning and remaining valuable. As far as streetwear is concerned, I’ve gone through several methods of execution to get my ideas out for designs I’ve wanted to create, such as Tie-dye, heat press vinyl, transfer sheets, embroidery, and screen-printing. On the graphic design side of things, I’ve been hired to be a social media/brand manager for other brands I’ve worked with to help their audience engagement. Many things have been trial and error, which I’ve mentioned in past interviews, but it’s true. I’m big on trying new things to see what sticks/works and what has a positive reaction, what causes engagement and what could be something I could improve on later.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
So there are up’s and downs, for sure. I wouldn’t say it’s easy at all. I’m someone who creates and makes changes as I grow—getting people to believe or see your vision can be a challenge. Getting your ideas out for whatever your target audience is going to be can be difficult. Trying to carve out an ideal or specific target audience can be difficult. You have times when your equipment breaks down when projects don’t go as planned. You’ll feel like people aren’t paying attention to whatever it is you’re creating or that they’ve forgotten about you. Patience is imperative! Sometimes you’ll have people who only support you on a conditioned basis, like an I’ll only support you if you support me. Which is a common mindset I’ve heard of. Many communicate via social media, or they’ll show you what’s up.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I’m a creator in every sense of the word. I’m a graphic designer, and I’m known for streetwear. I’m proud of my impact. People often tell me that my brand (or even the logo) makes them smile. My brand doesn’t convey corny negative narratives or iconography. It’s about being cool and staying positive. I’m proud of the connections that have been enabled by way of introducing people to my brand and doing good business. I’ve tried a lot of new things this year. I’ve just started to venture into doing pop-ups, which was BIG for me because I was intimidated by doing events because before this new logo, I’d never had a consistent look for the Joee Spacey brand. Also, I’m very proud of the new look of the brand. Joe Spacey has a new logo, and it’s dope! When I wanted to rebrand, I realized I’ve always been a big fan of the old cartoon cats—characters such as Pink Panther, Felix, and Tom (Tom & Jerry). Now we’re doing screen-printed tee’s, and it feels great. I have a creative mentor now, an established artist who is like my family, Josue Martinez of Corinto Gallery. That connection has helped me with so much in a short amount of time. Corinto does the new screen-printed items, and I’m proud of that connection and that I’ve been enabled more direction & avenues for the things I’m creating.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check?
YES! Since I’m a nerd and lowkey love to collect books, there’s a lot I could mention here!
- “This is not a t-shirt” by Bobby Hundreds because the book was very informative about Bobby’s journey as a business owner/creative. I’ve described it as a streetwear bible.
- “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” Because I’ve been unlearning and relearning ALOT of Black (American) history for myself, especially our black leaders. Malcolm X also believed that black people should create something for themselves (businesses & such).
- “The Comfort Book” by Matt Haig because it’s a book that essentially speaks towards doing your best, perspectives, rewiring your thinking, and stepping into your purpose.
- “Yearbook” by Seth Rogen. Just a huge Seth Rogen fan, the stories he’s telling in the book are glimpses into how some of his films came about and the experiences that enabled those scripts.
I’m a big comic book collector/fan. A lot of Spawn, Marvel. The graphic novel’s in general. I’m a behind-the-scenes and interview nerd. I love to hear people talk about their processes and what they’ve had to go through to get things done. I love hearing them elaborate on their journeys.
- $45 graphic tee’s
- $30 prints
- $15 tote bags
- $5 stickers
- $10 buttons
- Website: www.joeespacey.com
- Instagram: @JoeeSpacey
- Facebook: @JoeeSpacey
- Twitter: @JoeeSpacey
Darlene Bennett & Mia B. Adams