October 5, 2022 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

HUMAN SPOTLIGHT: NiK Kacy Breaks the Binary

How I’m breaking the binary and building my own LGBTQ-owned business 

Column By NiK Kacy 

Living with intersectional and multi-cultural identities has made me keenly aware of how fashion is a personal, but instrumental, way of presenting oneself. For me, it starts with shoes which ground our feet and carries our whole body. I’m a trans, non-binary, queer person of color and immigrant, and for most of my life, shopping for shoes felt like an existential quest (if not, crisis) to find something that feels and fits right. 

I’ve developed a sense of resilience after a life-long journey of overcoming obstacles. But, creating my own line of gender-equal, gender-free luxury footwear and accessories was my latest step toward an Empowerful feeling. 

It wasn’t easy, though. I questioned my decision to start a small business. As someone who isn’t classically trained in fashion design, I wasn’t confident that I was the right person to lead this charge. I grew weary from waiting for someone else to rethink the way shoes are designed and worn and for people like me to feel included and represented. So finally, I decided to take the leap and built my own brand. 

My ethos is simple: What you wear should not be limited to your identity nor your gender. I wanted to break the mold (literally) on how shoe designs were made within the gender binary and to give people like me a way to be themselves. 

I encourage others within the LGBTQ+ community to feel empowered to reach new heights, to be visible, and to take up space – starting your own small business is one way to do that. 

According to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, LGBT-owned businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy. However, figuring out how to start a small business can be a daunting challenge, especially for someone who’s LGBTQ+.

 My advice: Look beyond financial partners that will only support your personal financial endeavors and find someone with a marked history of contributing to our community. I personally work with Wells Fargo, who has a strong track record of LGBTQ+ support through acts of charitable giving, offering LGBTQ+ employee resources and financial education for small business owners. These resources help the empowered become empowerful

In fact, through the company’s new Empowerful platform, Wells Fargo is celebrating and inspiring people to turn their dreams into reality! To learn more about how Wells Fargo is working to champion and celebrate the achievements of small business owners like me, you can visit www.wellsfargo.com/empowerful. 

Outside of determining a strong financial partner, the best thing you can do if you’re interested in starting a business of your own is to feel that you’re empowered every step of the process. As queer people, we face unique challenges when working toward a secure and happy future. Overcoming those obstacles can be a hurdle. But through self-empowerment and the support of a strong community, and partners like Wells Fargo, we can walk our way on the path to success with shoes that fit our needs.

NiK Kacy is the Creator and Executive Producer of Equality Fashion Week, the 1st LGBTQ+- focused Fashion Week in LA, as well as the Founder and President of NiK Kacy Footwear, an LGBT-certified business, and the first gender-equal / gender-free footwear and accessories for genders and identities in all spectrums. As a gender non-conforming, transmasculine individual who identifies as nonbinary, Kacy’s designs are inspired by both their personal identity, style, cultural background, fashion and activism. Their hope is to provide a solution to individuals who have been seeking footwear alternatives that fit not only their feet but also their authentic expression of self. Their mission is to utilize fashion as activism in a way that inspires change so that gender is no longer a force that limits or restricts and EQUALITY becomes the vernacular that ALL individuals speak.

Related Posts

LA City Controller Ron Galperin Endorses Traci Park for Council in CD-11!

August 22, 2022

August 22, 2022

Galperin joins Villaraigosa, Ma in Support of Venice employment attorney By Nick Antonicello Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin, the...

California Trans Child Molester Gets 2 Years In Juvenile Facility

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A Los Angeles County judge ordered Hannah Tubbs, a transgender California woman, to serve two years in a juvenile facility...

Homeless Initiative Meeting In West Hollywood

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood’s Homeless Initiative works to address homelessness with a multi-disciplinary, multi-agency, collaborative response. It’s estimated that...

WeHo Premieres the ‘Moving Image Media Art’ Exhibition Series

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood announces the premiere of the Moving Image Media Art (MIMA) program and the worldwide debut...

LA Street Will Potentially Be Named After Anti-LGBTQ Singer

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

A portion of Bailey Street may be renamed to the late Mexican Mariachi singer ” Vicente Fernandez Street’ – a...

WeHo Spreads Word About Free Covid Testing

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood is reminding residents that free COVID-19 testing is available for them.  Demand for COVID-19 testing...

Green Qween New Queer-Owned Cannabis Shop Will Open Downtown

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

Green Qween, a new queer-owned and queer-driven cannabis shop, will open in downtown on April 20th.  The shops owners, Andrés...

2022 ‘WeHo Reads’ Series Celebrates the ‘Road to Joy’

February 2, 2022

February 2, 2022

The City of West Hollywood invites community members to celebrate literature and local authors with its 2022 WeHo Reads literary...

New CA Law Helps With Transgender Deadnames

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

A new California law requires public colleges to update diplomas and records for transgender students who have changed their names....

MJ Rodriguez, 1st Openly Transgender Actress to Win Golden Globe

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Michaela Jae “MJ” Rodriguez has made history by becoming the first openly transgender person to win a Golden Globe.  The...

Animal Shelter Donations In Honor Of Betty White

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Animal shelter donations have increased exponentially in honor of late actress gay icon and animal lover Betty White. Over the...

AIDS/LifeCycle 2022 Needs More Volunteers

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

AIDS LifeCycle is back with more than $4 million raised so far for the 2022 ride benefitting the HIV/AIDS-related services...

Long Beach Named One of the Best LGBTQ Cities

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

For the 10th year in a row Long Beach has been named one of the best cities in the nation...

Gay Wedding At Dodger Stadium

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Eric Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell will exchange vows at Dodger Stadium. Showing the progress the LA Dodgers have made as...

LGBTQ Haven in Long Beach

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Long Beach is quickly becoming more and more of a safe haven for LGBTQ individuals with its queer spaces exploding...