Kyleigh Nethery – Texas Interview by Inspiring Teens Nomination and Photography by Sande Bilton Photography Issue 39 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Kyleigh Nethery is an 18 year old student attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She is opening her own boutique, featuring her own fashion designs, called Trippie Little Hippie on 10/18/20! Kyleigh can totally rock a photo session with her fashion choices and ideas. She is a 70s child in her heart and is inspired by the music and fashion of that decade. Kyleigh is very talented and a true visionary and is also very outgoing and tons of fun. Working with her has been a dream!
Tell us why you started Trippie Little Hippie and what it entails. I’ve always loved art. All the time I would look at a mural, paintings, or drawings and become mesmerized by their beauty, wishing one day I be able to create something as fascinating as that. As I grew older, I learned that God did not give me the natural gift of being an illustrator or a painter. I was still determined to find a way to creatively express myself even if it wasn’t through paintings or illustrations. Towards the end of elementary school, I found a love for fashion. I liked wearing unique garments that made me stand out from the rest and gave me an unexplained feeling of self-confidence that was well needed at the time. In middle school I learned how to sew, which lead me to give my clothes a unique twist, either by putting glittery fabric under the rips of my jeans, adding a lace trim to the bottom of my shirts, or rhinestoning my school T-shirts to make them different from my classmates. That’s when I realized I was able to incorporate my own art into what I wore. Now that I recently graduated high school, I wanted to start a movement that would help others obtain self-confidence and learn to unapologetically express who they truly are. That's when I decided to start Trippie Little Hippie because I want to give others that same feeling of self-confidence by providing them with unique, one of a kind garments to make them feel special and unique in their own way.
In what ways has it grown, and how do you "give back?" Ever since Trippie Little Hippie’s launch, on October 18th, 2020, I have been able to provide each of my customers with unique one of a kind garments like my Trippie Little Bandanas that are all hand dyed, hand sewn, and hand crafted by me. As well as my Trippie Little Flannels that I design and make which help eliminate waste from the garment industry. I do this by outsourcing vintage flannels, then to make each one unique from the other I will use two different flannels to make one, then put empowering or meaningful quotes on the back. By doing this no two flannels are alike, synchronizing my message with the garments I produce. To give back, for every purchase that is made at Trippie Little Hippie 10% is donated to the nonprofit organization Operation Underground Railroad. Operation Underground Railroad specializes in extracting children from sex trafficking and anti-child trafficking efforts in hopes to bring an end to child sex slavery.
What would you say was the hardest part about owning or operating your business, and how did you get through it? When owning your own business for the first time there are tons, and I mean tons, of challenges to overcome because everything you are doing is new to you. It’s almost like as soon as you start on your endeavor Murphy’s law comes into play, and at the worst times. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “Murphy’s law” it means anything that can go wrong will go wrong. But your hunger to succeed has to come into play when something goes wrong. You have to tell yourself “I will get this done”, “I will make this happen”, and ‘I will find a way”. The best advice I was ever given when it comes to wanting to be successful at something is you have to publicly commit to whatever you want to do or a goal you want to achieve because then it will force you to do it and force you to overcome challenges and reach goals you never thought you were capable of. The key word is “publicly”.
Where are you going to school, and in what ways are you most hoping to grow as an individual and an artist? I am currently enrolled at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, New York. I hope that by attending the Institute and owning my own business I will be able to create relationships in the fashion industry that will take me to the next level artistically and with my business managing skills.
What is the hardest thing you have ever accomplished, and how did you do it? My junior year of high school I enrolled myself in dual enrollment classes through our community college, and I committed to doing 3 sports that year, Volleyball, Swim team and Dance, two of which went on simultaneously. The day before Volleyball and Dance started I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to be a State Champion in Volleyball, I would be a State Champion in at least one of my events in Swim and I would place in the top 3 at Nationals with my solo. I can proudly look back on the 2018-2019 school year and say I accomplished all three. When I look back I sometimes ask myself “How did I do that?” or even “Why did I do that?” but I accomplished all of those things because I was disciplined enough to not accept anything less than what I know I can do.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are today? Step into situations where you are not an expert yet because once you are in those situations you will be forced to become an expert.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years/what are your plans? I’ve learned that where I expected myself to be one year from now has always succeeded at being completely inaccurate everytime. So I like to leave my 5 year/ 10 year plans up to God and I’ll just focus on today.
What is your favorite activity or pastime that was not in your nomination? I love to sew. That’s why I made it a part of my job
Do you have a hidden talent? What is it? I can eat a lot of pancakes in one sitting. My record is 13.
If you could publicly present any topic to a group of your peers, what would it be and why? I would present on ways you can avoid being trafficked because it is a real problem in our world today and most of the time someone that is about to be trafficked doesn’t even know it. So I would like to bring awareness to this issue
3 Things on your bucket list Sky dive, become a millionaire by age 25, own an exotic animal like a cheetah or an elephant
Who do you find inspiring? I like to look to Jordan Belfort for business inspiration. Although his past is not commendable, how he has moved away from it and made a new name for himself and became a millionaire all over again is inspiring. He has educated so many people on owning their own business and how to successfully sell a product. Jordan Belfort has not only made himself a millionaire once, but twice. The hard work and dedication that takes is very commendable.
How do you keep your schedule straight when you are so busy? I like to do lists. They are nice. The satisfaction of checking something off of my list for the day is what keeps me productive.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us? Fake it till you make it Step into situations where you are not an expert yet and you will force yourself to become an expert Trial and error Publicly Commit to things you’re not confident you can do , which will force you to succeed Model business tactics of successful people. Never model a bad character.
Look for Kyleigh in issue 39 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!