Setting up a successful business enterprise at the age of 18 would unarguably be tough for many. But it wasn’t the case for brilliant Kayla Robinson. Robinson owns ‘Green Box Shop,’ that makes statement T-shirts. But when her business was experiencing financial constraints, Frank Ocean did something that changed his business entirely. Ocean wore one of her T-shirt that reads: “Why to Be Transphobic, Sexist, or Homophobic When You Could Just Stay Quiet” at the recent Panorama Music Festival in New York City. Suddenly a lot of fans were craving to get one.
“It was a surreal moment! Before then my business was just surviving,” Robinson says. “So I knew it was eventually going to be okay.”
Her collection of T-shirts make critical political statements, like: “Pizza Rolls Not Gender Roles.” and “Climate Change is Real! —which she sells and promotes on her website.
Although most of Robinson’s ideas come from herself, she also gets inspiration from her online followers, who share with her their social struggles. “[Being] a feminine, bisexual, Afro-Latina, I understand firsthand some of the stigmas. So I create these designs from this perspective. But for the subjects outside of my identity; like those related to transgender communities, being disabled or other cultures; I get from my followers,” she admits.
Frank Ocean isn’t Robinso’s only celebrity fan. Her creativity has also attracted Zendaya, who tweeted her plans to purchase all of Robinson’s T-shirts. ‘Fifth Harmony’s’ Lauren Jauregui also hit the waves when she Instagrammed a photograph of herself wearing the similar T-shirt to Ocean’s.
While Robinson works hard to build her brand a strong foundation—whose daily sales have gone from 20 to 200—she also sticks to her mission of raising funds to educate the public on the homegrown food and sustainability. “It’s Unfortunate that, in America,” she explains, “23.5-million people are living in low-income areas which are more than 1-mile from a supermarket. This implies” she continues “that fresh, healthy food isn’t accessible. I’d like to teach and empower those communities to help them to sustain themselves using their personal gardens.”
What was once “a struggling business,” for this teen just became an overnight success! “I just want this to continue being a platform where we can empower one another to be strong and heard,” she says.
Today, when you visit the girl’s shop’s website, it reads; “Due to the current influx, order processing time has delayed.”