CrowdInk had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Natalie Keys, the owner of Str8 Up, a clothing company that features garments meshing the feminine with urban streetwear. She talks about her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, how she is expanding in the US, and the importance of owning your fashion choices – even if that choice is to wear a poncho as a skirt!
CrowdInk: Tell us about your brand. How did you get started? What was your inspiration?
Natalie Keys: I started a clothing store in September of 2015 called NEEK. Then I decided that I wanted to turn it into a clothing line, that’s when I bought Str8 Up in February. It is a mix between street and feminine brands which makes it a bit different than most stores out there. Str8 Up is so edgy and street. It’s about how you wear the clothes not just the pieces themselves. I also have an amazing intern in LA who is helping build our brand in the US.
CI: What makes your brand unique?
NK: Our brand is sticking true to our style and making sure we continue with the edgy streetwear that people love. We will not just change our vision to suit the general public’s ideas and views.
CI: What’s your number one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?
NK: Get up everyday and be grateful for what you have. Work hard and keep your head up even when people try to bring you down! But always remember money can’t buy life. Just find a genuine happiness in yourself and what you do and you will always be successful in your own right.
CI: How are you challenging conventional fashion and blurring the lines of fashion? NK: Wear a men’s shirt/ jumper as a dress out tucked into your undies with some thigh highs. I mean work it! Be confident in your style and love what you wear, fashion is about expressing yourself. I mean it was only a few days ago that I wore a poncho as a skirt! It’s all about confidence and not caring about what anyone thinks.
CI: What’s your favourite fashion accessory?
I am loving belts and thigh high boots at the moment. I always use belts to tuck and hold together a unique outfit. Plus, thigh highs are just so sexy and edgy.
Check out Str8 Up here!