Kuvit Konversations: Vanessa Part I

Kuvit Konversations: Vanessa Part I

     This is the very first post in our blog series called Kuvit Konversations, and I couldn’t have picked a better person to start this off with a bang! This entire series has been something Taylor and I have wanted to do since our very first year in business, and it feels amazing to actually start this journey. The concept behind this blog series is very in tune with the mission that Kuvit Beauty was founded upon, celebrating people for their individual style and learning more about it in an open non-judgmental space. My childhood friend Sophia Sedlik and I meet up with people from different walks of life that we know, have a conversation, which I record and later transcribe, about their personal style and inspirations. We then photograph them in an outfit and space where they feel the most comfortable and beautiful.

         The first person to be highlighted in this series is my longtime family friend Vanessa Crawford. I’ve known her and her family for years and she was one of the first people that came to mind when thinking about this series. She is someone who has always had a strong sense of personal style and also has a clothing brand that she has been developing for the past few years called Unicorn Tears XD. We cover so many different topics in this conversation that I am going to have to split it into thirds. Each part will be coming a week after the last so don’t worry too much! Some of the topics in this conversation might be triggering for some, so I am going to take this time to put a huge TRIGGER WARNING here before you start reading. Take a journey with us in finding out more about Vanessa’s style inspirations, the story behind her brand, and more in the very first edition of Kuvit Konversations!

(Vanessa's vanity featuring Kuvit Beauty's loose pigment in "Crush", glitter in "1999", and our Demi magnetic palette)     


                                             (Vanessa chatting while getting dolled up)              

Vanessa Part One:

(Vanessa showing off her closet, just a fraction of her clothing collection.)


Madison: Alright, What is your biggest style inspiration or inspiration in general?

Vanessa: Other women, I wouldn’t say I have a specific style inspiration like Versace or this or that, I mean, I do pull inspiration from other brands, but it is more so seeing how other people put themselves together. I’m inspired by others when it comes to style and fashion and certain things that I have obsessions with, I have always really loved pink, and shiny things, ya know? Even though I don’t dress in, Lolita style or whatever I have an appreciation for that kind of style, and I will incorporate it a little bit but…..I totally went on a tangent with that one (laughs). But, I am also inspired by brands, not big brands, but my friends’ brands and smaller brands.

Madison: Brands that are genuinely creating a style instead of jumping onto a trend or copying what a smaller brand is doing in order to be able to stay current and making it mainstream.

Vanessa: Exactly, I support people making clothes on Etsy, or small brands making clothes in ethical and sustainable ways. Like that one brand….I am totally blanking on the name (Laughs).

Madison: I feel like we were just talking about it, the last time I was here.

Vanessa: Yeah

Madison: Was it your friend’s brand?

Vanessa: No, but that's the Plusbus, and they are in Glassell Park. My friend, Jen, owns it with her friend, Marci, and that is an incredible environment. It is truly something that is beyond fashion, they didn’t create a space that just has SOME plus sizes clothes- they created a space that literally is fat positive! All over the walls is self-love shit, and in the bathrooms, there are signs about how to talk to your doctor, and how BMI is bullshit. It is beyond being able to access clothes; it is about building an environment and a community that supports a safe shopping space. If you walk into a store and you are even just over a size twelve you can tell that the salespeople are looking at you like “Hmm...can you even fit into anything in this store?", like, “Why are you here?” without even considering the fact that you might be in there buying something for your sister, or friend, or this, or that. Or understanding that, even if you are a 3X you can squeeze yourself into an XL shirt if you really want to! I have definitely had those moments! On Instagram for example, you can see that certain brands don’t even make plus size clothing, like, that bralette doesn’t even fit! And that's chill, or whatever, but can we also make a bra that actually fits, instead of sending plus-sized models these items to promote and cater to a plus-sized audience without taking the time to make clothes that actually fit a truly plus-sized person? And, I mean, these girls look really fucking hot, but these items do not fit correctly. It’s one thing to wear that and also offer bigger sizes, and that influencer decided they wanted to get that size and have that look, but if that is the biggest size they can’t just promote that! Brands are so fake with body positivity!


Vanessa: And not just body positivity, but racial inclusivity.

Madison: GIRRRRRRRL!!!

Vanessa: But, it is kinda like the process of how anything happens, for example, Coca-Cola, they are hurting the environment incredibly, and, have altered ecosystems in India for water supplies, and just have done really horrible things. They still have the save the Polar bear's campaign even though their company contributes to why the polar bears are dying. It’s essentially “Greenwashing”, like, brands today are “Body Positivity washing” and “Racial Inclusivity washing” because it is not coming from a genuine place.

Madison: Exactly! It’s like they see that this is what people are talking about, so we are just gonna do this, and adopt this so that we don’t miss making money off of this fad.

Vanessa: Yeah! And then it just takes on this really weird form, because I guess, it is good that different people are being represented in the media, people do need to see that and people need to see themselves and that's the hard part. Even though it isn’t coming from the right place it might still have some good results? I don’t know...because a lot of it, in plus size stuff particularly, they tend to focus on one type of body shape. They are plus size, but they have a really small waist and a really big butt, huge tits and they’re all, curvy in the right fucking places, like Fashion Nova.

Madison: Oh lord! Don’t get me started.

Vanessa: I held up a pair of Fashion Nova jeans the other day, that were like a large, right? And the waist was this big (motions with her hands), but the butt size was like THIS BIG (motions significantly larger with her hands). And that would totally not fit me, the large wouldn’t even button, but I would have sagging fabric around my ass. It is clearly made for the hourglass shape and honestly, not many girls even have that shape realistically, and they are forcing it. They are making clothes that further perpetuate the acceptable representation of curvy for the female body, and that has a lot to do with race as well, they market to very specific races of women. And it is super cheaply made; don’t even get me started on the lack of ethics of it. “Racial washing” is totally a thing when it comes to marketing.

Madison: Oh completely, not just “racial washing” but “Social Justice washing”, for example, the Kendall Jenner shit that happened with Pepsi. When you really peel apart that commercial Pepsi is not taking a stand against anything and they are capitalizing on the look of being at a protest to cater and pander to these people that actually go to protests and believe in calling attention to specific issues. But they have signs that just say “peace” and “love” without actually taking a stand about anything in particular.

Vanessa: It’s like the pageant answer, you know when they have the question and answer portion, and they all say “World Peace” or “Ending World Hunger”, which is, like, the antithesis of what any movement actually is.

Madison: See! That's exactly what makes it hard, as someone who is trying to build something on their own; it's so hard to compete with that because they have so much money at their disposal. And when you are actually trying to do something meaningful and genuine…it’s just hard!

Vanessa: Well, they are flooding the market with all of this shit! And they can make it cheaper than you can and yield more of a profit than you can. The small business to the medium business transition is BRUTAL, and most people don’t make it. Just to sustain the amount of energy needed, you get worn down! The worst is when you go into a store and see something super cool, but then you remember that the production side was super bad. It’s like when you see something actually cute at Forever 21, it sucks, and you get kinda pissed that you like certain things that this brand puts out because you know that it was made so horribly. Because as soon as they make things that are exactly what you are doing, it becomes so hard to try to compete and sustain that energy to keep going.

Madison: Okay, so we kinda talked about this….

Vanessa: Wait yeah; I don’t even know how we got here! No, yeah, you can just move to the next question. (laughs)

Madison: No, no, no, don’t worry, because we are kinda getting to where we need to go, which is good!

Vanessa: Oh good, it’s better to be natural anyway….

Madison: Exactly. This is going exactly as planned, I don’t want this to be too robotic. Um, so we kinda talked about this but, what is super important to you when you are supporting a brand with your money?

Vanessa: Okay, so I’ve been very conscious of this recently, I try my hardest not to buy things off of Amazon, I try to not buy things from a company in a mall because there is no way that it was made ethically. I have enough friends that are entrepreneurs now that I usually, with my money, try to support someone that I honestly, personally know. And if I don’t know them, I feel like I can personally know them. I really try to support, for me, female-run, small to medium-sized businesses {that is} basically what I look for when I spend my money. Overall, what I really look for in a brand is transparency. I want to know who is running it, the personal side of it, I want the story. And I think that is just changing a lot of millennials and the generation that are 18 now, are really passionate about the story behind the brand. A lot of them would rather support somebody that is kinda young; it's relatable when the person is only five years older than you, or your age, or younger.

Madison: No totally, I mean, I think it is really important that we all try to be smart with where we put our money because ultimately buying something from someone or some corporation with bad intentions sends signals of support toward the bad things that they are doing...

(Vanessa wearing Kuvit Beauty shimmer eyeshadow in "PRN", being the ultimate dog mommy with Angel the cutest pup!)

        This is the end of part one! Vanessa and I talk about a ton of different topics over the course of this conversation and I can't wait for all of you to read the complete product. I loved the fact that this felt a lot less like an interview and more like two friends talking. We jump from topic to topic, and the list of questions, though they got answered, were not answered in a linear way. Certain ideas led to different ideas yet at the end, I walked away having all the answers that I wanted. In part two we get a little deeper into how she developed her sense of style throughout the years, and some of the struggles a lot of us go through in our formative years, so stay tuned for that!

Thank you for the support everyone! 

-Madison Williams 

(Follow Vanessa on Instagram: @visualunicorn or @unicorntearsxd, and follow Sophia Sedlick, our Photographer on Instagram: @sarcasticsophie)