We love supporting our fellow female entreprenuers. It's rough out here in these e-streets and, if we can show love to a brand that has caught our eye that also happens to be run by a few boss babes, all the better. So, in an effort to continue our spirit of #Chickspiration, we've decided to highlight various lady-owned ventures in a CNK Business Spotlight which, hopefully, will a) introduce you to a product or service you love, and b) have you throwing some always necessary support to our sisters in entreprenuership.
After they scurried through our IG timeline with colorful images of their custom kicks and a chance shoutout by Kylie Jenner, we got a chance to chat briefly with Rachel Jones and Jennifer Madriz, the curators behind L.A.-based sneaker custom company, V-Force . Peep the Cliffs Notes below as Rachel and Jennifer talk humble beginnings, making a statement, and why Jadakiss (yup, the rapper) is an inspiration.
Rep Yo' Citttayyyy...
"We are from Los Angeles, born and raised. We’ve been close friends since [the age of] 13 so we’ve seen each other’s style and influence evolve over the years. We each have our own different and individual styles/tastes but we’ve always shared the same mutual eye towards what’s hot and trending, even since middle school! "
From brainchild to biddnessss...
"V Force was something extremely organic, we never set out to create brand intentionally. It was something that came up in conversation one day, almost as a joke or something light, and Rachel decided to really execute the idea. We took it from a general convo to saying, “let’s really do this, why not?” Over the past couple months, we’ve truly shaped our brand and have gotten a really clear vision on who we are, what we want to do, and what we represent. It’s been amazing and really effortless."
So, what's with the roses?
"The rose is symbolic to us in the sense that it is classic. The rose is one of the most significant symbols to represent a women, femininity, and love. But, at the same time, it carries the bite of the thorn, just like we do as women. We want to represent the women who are embracing their femininity, embracing love, fashion, empowerment, but take no BS. That’s the message behind the rose."
V-Force mission: "Our goal is to create items that, when worn, will empower the everyday girl." Tell us more...
"*As we’re starting out, we’ve focused on creating pieces that make statements. We want to make pieces that our girl can wear out, and get compliments on, or be asked “where’d you get this?!”, and build her confidence and make her feel good.
As we’re growing, we have tons of ideas for creating pieces that incorporate culture, feminism, and relevance. We’re super excited for whats to come."
On pairing classics (AF1 x Cortez) with icons (LV x Gucci)...
"This idea actually came to us from a trend that we first saw back in the early 2000’s. This was the time when music videos were huge and so over the top. We remember Jadakiss first showcasing a similar shoe in the “Knock Yourself Out” video and from there the trend within hip-hop was to customize Air Forces with designer brands. We then went on to see Dipset, Cam’Ron, Nelly, etc, do it. I remember we wanted to customize our own shoes (as 8th grade girls lol) so bad and used to plot on how to do it, but never did.
Fast forward, 17 years, as trends resurface, we thought it would be so cool to offer this on a larger scale, something we didn't have available to us when we were younger. Also, 17 years ago, this was a male-dominated trend so, we wanted to make sure that we made this exclusively for our girl, we added the rose as a symbol and to make it more feminine."
Cortez = Full circle...
"Incorporating the Cortez was something that came shortly after [our AF1 launch]. Once again, as trends resurface we wanted to incorporate the Cortez which is such a staple being from Los Angeles. We wanted to switch it up and pay homage to a shoe that truly represents where we’re from."
Looking to cop one of these V Force babies? Be prepared to pay a bit more than you're used to as the AF1 and Cortez will run you between $260.00 - and $280.00 USD. If that's a bit over your budget, take a look at the more budget-friendly accessories and clothing options available in the V Force e-store. To shop, hit the button below.