Cheers to the weekend, millennials!
This week’s Millennial On A Mission is not only a thriving entrepreneur, but she is the epitome of a sneaker head who will work for shoes. She is the HCIC (Head Chick In Charge) of ChicksNKicks, a website dedicated to providing a female perspective on sneaker news, new releases, and sneakerstyle presented for and by women. She strives to empower and inspire millennial women to embrace their own unique style.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Channing Beumer.
Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Channing attended the University of Minnesota (Go Golphers!) where she double majored in political science and mass communications and minored in African American studies. Currently, she is ‘kicking it’ in Dallas, Texas building her business while working her full time job. “You know how people say ‘you need to be your own biggest cheerleader?’ Well, I have three girlfriends who really champion the brand,” Channing says, “and I’m super thankful for that.” CNKDaily has recently added a new writer to their staff, and will be on-boarding a few interns this summer as well.
MOAM: What inspired you all to create ChicksNKicks? What has been your creative process in developing CNKDaily, and who are some of role models that you admire both personally and professionally?
CB: The inspiration behind ChicksNKicks originally stemmed from a desire I had to a) promote sneakers because I love them, b) expose readers to a bevy of young women who are doing amazing things with their lives, and c) create a space for women that I felt was sort of missing in the rotation of popular sneaker sites. As a woman, I want to know which brands are catering to me. I want to hear and see unbiased opinions about new releases that will appeal to me, not just the releases that are hyped. I want to know how to wear my looks and see how other women rock the sneakers I may buy. I didn’t see something like that readily available, so that’s what we’re trying to create .
As for role models, I really admire any person who is building (or has built) something from the ground up. Following a vision and dream isn’t easy. So, people like Oprah (cliche, I know, but so true), April Walker, Necole Kane, Karen Civil, Melissa Kimble, Hannah Bronfman, and a ton more really do serve up huge doses of inspiration.
MOAM: As a woman entrepreneur within a traditionally male dominated space, what challenges have you faced in establishing your voice and building community around your brand? What lessons have you learned from those experiences, and how have they made you a more efficient business woman?
CB: To be honest, I haven’t really encountered any huge doses of negativity from the men in the industry, thus far. Most of the negativity I’ve encountered, I couldn’t even tell you. It takes too much energy to focus on that and, frankly, I don’t have that kind of time. More than anything, I’ve faced challenges that any man or woman with a desire to create something from scratch has faced. Navigating and learning the social media landscape, cutting through the noise to cultivate your audience, building a solid team, fighting my own insecurities and negative thoughts and, of course, financing the dream. These are all daily challenges. Sometimes they take turns punching and sometimes they converge all at once, LOL. All of this has really made me even more aware of the lane I want to be in, it’s helped sharpen my strengths, and has really forced me to confront my weaknesses.
MOAM: Many millennials are interested in starting their own entrepreneurial ventures, have solid ideas but become overwhelmed when they think of building capital to bring their dream to life. What advice do you have for them in pitching their ideas, finding potential sponsors and how to effectively communicate their brand’s value?
CB: My company is still relatively new, so, we’re learning together! I think the best advice given to me was to try as long as I possibly could to finance my business myself. Once you start parting with equity and accepting outside capital, I think the vision becomes less of what you hope to achieve and more about what will make the most cash. But, like I said, I’m in the same boat as many millennial entrepreneurs. That said, I’m really trying to focus, sacrifice where I can, and make sure most of my disposable income goes back into building my business.
MOAM: What’s next for CNKDaily? For those ladies who are novice sneakerheads, what tips do you have for them when trying to identify their ideal pair of sneakers?
CB: The first thing I tell any woman looking to build their collection is to really buy the things you enjoy, not the things that are hot for the moment. I have way too many pairs of sneakers that I bought on impulse because they were hype and I’ve probably worn them three or four times. As a woman, versatility is also super important. While the bright colorways are appealing (and I have a few that I couldn’t resist – haha!) the solid whites, blues, blacks, and greys will work well with anything you wear. From jeans and a cute v-neck to a cute romper or a midi-sundress, classic silhouettes and colors will work for you over and over again.
To Channing, a Millennial On A Mission is someone who is has a vision for a life devoted to something greater than themselves. “Whether you’re raising a family, starting a company, or starting a new job, I think if your goals are about more than just yourself, you’re on a mission,” she says. “With CNK, I really strive to achieve my dreams most when it would be a hell of a lot easier to give up. Those are the moments when I really feel like my passion is meeting my purpose and it’s a high that never gets old. This isn’t easy, but if you have a dream that you can’t shake, you owe it yourself to really do — there is no try.”