Meet our Autumn vendor Cassiscreative, who creates keychains, mugs and notebooks inspired by her book! Check out more of our interview below.
How did Cassiscreative come to be?
Cassiscreative is a relevant statement and actionable brand. It was inspired by self-publishing my first book in 2017, Success with the Wrong Queen. It sold really well in the United States. Locally and internationally, people had seen that I had written a book and wanted to know I did it. That encouraged me to publish an e-book on the writing and publishing process. From there I then launched coaching services to help aspiring authors. Recently, I launched a master class which was live videos but now it’s recorded content. From there I started selling keychains, notebooks, mugs - merchandise that has been inspired from my book series. I sell bookmarks as well which started in 2018!
Business wise, I have a Facebook group, called ambitious entrepreneurs, authorprenuers and creatives. That group is all about us learning together, motivating each other and being in a safe space to be entrepreneurs - to fail and learn.
Tell us a bit more about your book!
The first book I published was Success with the Wrong Queen. The book follows the life of Trey, who from a very young ago was raised by a mother that was negative and had no aspirations in life. As a kid, he knew what he wanted to be and do in life. There was a girl that was in his neighbourhood and they were childhood crushes. She moves away and they grow and live separate lives. He now has a fiancée and has accomplished all of his goals. But at the back of his mind, he can’t stop thinking about the girl that he got with at a young age. He researches her and they reconnect. The book is all about him choosing who he wants to be with.
The most important thing that I spread in the book is that there are good Black guys out there. They’re not selling drugs or anything like - they’re ambitious and successful. As tempted as he is to cheat he doesn’t. It’s all about putting out there the gentleman - putting the positive out there. The book is actually a series - there’s three parts to it and it’s completed.
I’m working on two other books. One is called Hidden Behind their Smiles. I think I might as well say that I write books from the male perspective But that’s only for people to think differently. This book follows the life of two men, same ages, same city - one is Black and one is white. It's all about what they do for the love of their children. The next book I’m working on has three stories. The books all have messages behind them - in an entertaining way!
How did you connect your writing to starting a creative business?
The book series sold quite well and I thought bookmarks go with books so I thought I would put the character on bookmarks. From there I put them on notebooks. Those sell really well!
The rest of them are stuff I like to design. Anything I do, is all about positivity. I like to have cute phrases on stuff and like to embrace our beautiful skin.
What is your favourite item to make?
I think the keychains are my favourite, I don’t why - I just like making them! Coming up with a new design, then cutting them up to make it. And the mugs too!
How do you make the keychains?
Sometimes a statement comes to my head. I’m trying to be the first financial free person in my family. I’m aspiring to be a millionaire so [for example] the keychain is “millionaire in the making” and I have that in a matching mug. It’s all about finding positive thoughts. Sometimes it just really comes to me as well, I don’t have to think about it too hard.
What makes your brand different from other creative brands?
I think they are unique. Everything behind them has a message and the main message is positivity and the feel good factor.
What have been your greatest accomplishments and challenges so far?
Selling internationally has been my greatest accomplishment and my challenge would be encouraging myself, remaining positive when sales fluctuate. To stay positive, there’s affirmations. YouTube literally can help you fill your mind and silence the doubt because that doubt can really stop you. With affirmation you can spend five minutes in the day. I start in the morning, I’ll write personalised affirmations to myself like I am powerful.
Everything I’m doing right now is focused on spreading positivity. So I definitely recommend listening to YouTube videos and affirming things daily whenever you feel sad or discouraged.
What does it mean to you to be a Black owned business?
For Black owned businesses, it’s very important to reach people like us and inspire like us as well, especially the younger generation. Even if I fail (and I really hope I don’t!) I want to get my message out there to at least try. I guess it’s about inspiring people and saying that they can do it too. And to follow their dreams even if they fail (but I hope they don’t!)
How has Cassiscreative adapted to COVID-19?
Business wise it’s actually helped. It’s definitely helped with the sales. What I do is sell smaller or cute stuff and that’s what we need now more than ever. I use social media or post in different groups. Sometimes I have people share it as well, I’ve had customers purchase off of someone else sharing which is really nice. I do try to attend some events as well.
What advice do you have for Black entrepreneurs and creatives?
My advice would be do not be scared. Just do it. Research. Because no one likes to make mistakes. They are going to happen regardless but the less mistakes the better. Stay consistent and surround yourself with positivity. I would also say read or research people that have done similar stuff to you. Learn from someone that has experience.