January 20, 2021 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

Missing Compton Trans-man

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

UPDATE: Luckie Alexander Fuller has been found as on Jan. 19th, 2021. Luckie Alexander Fuller, a local Los Angeles transman...

WeHo Will Commemorate MLK Jr. Day With Virtual Donation Drive

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

In January 2021, the City of West Hollywood will continue its tradition of joining hundreds of communities across the country...

The Pride Poet’s Corner “Some Super Contextual New Year’s Resolutions” By: Brian Sonia-Wallace

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

Some Super Contextual New Year’s Resolutions By: Brian Sonia-Wallace a Don’t wash the dishes. Don’t go for a walk. Wear...

WeHo Renaming The West Hollywood Library

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood approved an item to submit a request to rename the West...

LA LGBT Center Receives $100K Grant

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation to support the...

Oil Can Harry’s Studio City’s Gay Country Bar Closes

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

Oil Can Harry’s, the iconic and beloved gay country western line dancing bar, located in Studio City, is closed for...

LA LGBT Center Administers First COVID-19 Vaccines

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

The first of 400 doses received by the Center were dispensed by Dr. Ward Carpenter, co-director of health services at...

2021 WeHo Artist Grant Recipients

January 9, 2021

January 9, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has announced three $5,000 grant awards, totaling $15,000, for three resident artists for its 2021...

WeHo Fighting Climate Change

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is currently updating its Climate Action Plan — an effort called “WeHo Climate Action” —...

The Center Offered Free Meals For Those In Need

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

With the unemployment rate in Los Angeles County rising due to the Corona-virus pandemic many are struggling to make ends...

Saving Silver Lake Bar Akbar

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

Struggling to survive amid the Corona-virus pandemic, iconic LGBTQI+ hangout Akbar took to a fundraising page to ask for help....

Two New Council Members Sworn-In To The City Council Of WeHo

December 20, 2020

December 20, 2020

The City of West Hollywood has sworn-in two newly elected Councilmembers: Sepi Shyne and John M. Erickson. Each Councilmember took...

The Londoner By Anthony Morrison Thriving During A Pandemic

December 20, 2020

December 20, 2020

While many businesses have closed due to pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, The Londoner by Anthony Morrison, South Bay’s only...

Meet WeHo’s New Poet Laureate Brian Sonia-Wallace

December 17, 2020

December 17, 2020

Brian Sonia-Wallace has been named West Hollywood’s 4th City Poet Laureate making him the youngest person to occupy the role. ...

L.A. Makeup Artist Is First Trans Man To Compete On “RuPauls Drag Race”

December 13, 2020

December 13, 2020

The cast of RuPauls Drag Race Season 13 has been announced this week revealing its first trans man contestant will...