I’ve known this lovely lady for yearsssss. Honestly, she was the first woman that I knew who had a blog. Originally she owned Chan-Lo.com where I was actually a contributor and the reason behind why I can even use WordPress now. When I started this site, she was one of the first to congratulate me and mailed me an EPIC BLOG planner that I use daily. Needless to say, she’s not new to this. I’ve watched her blossom and thrive over the course of seven years and she has done many things since then except quit. Get to know one my favorite girls Channing Beumer below –
Give us a little background on who Channing Beumer is and what aspects of your adolescence and early adulthood guided you to where you are now.
I’m the youngest child and only girl in my family so, growing up, I was a bit of a tomboy – I climbed trees and played with the boys, but I also loved dressing up and being super girly. I was like a hybrid child. LOL. My brothers and older cousins were really my first introduction to sneakers. After those L.A. Gear light up joints from Payless, the Nike Cortez was my first real tennis shoe and, even though I didn’t realize it then, it really set the stage for my sneaker love affair.
In my youth, I was never incredibly sure of what I wanted to do. Early on, I wanted to be a doctor – then I experienced blood and knew that was a no-go. In high school, I wanted to sing. I was big into talent shows and choir. I wrote poems and songs and even recorded, but none of that really took. It always felt more like a hobby than something I could see myself doing forever. In college, I was VERY sure that I’d be going to law school. Here’s the thing, though – I took a Mass Communications class and loved it. I took an intensive writing class and loved it. I took business classes and loved them. Even then, I didn’t see that I was being set up for what I’m doing now. Each stage in my life was, I feel, a way for me to learn more and see the things I didn’t want so that it’d be easier to recognize the things that were for me.
You graduated from the University of Minnesota. What influenced you to create your own brand as opposed to working a corporate 9 to 5?
Well, that’s the thing: I’ve done the corporate thing and I still am. I graduated from college with a Poli Sci degree and my only internships were with US Senators. So, when I decided to forego law school, I didn’t have the experience necessary to get a job at a marketing or PR agency. My first foray into creating my own platform wasn’t some grand vision – I really just had a desire to write and I thought it was something I did well. I also knew that I didn’t want to be chained to a 9 to 5 forever. At that point, I recognized my creative spirit. I realized that I could either beg for an opportunity to get my foot in the door at an agency or I could create something of my own that would speak for itself. Not to say that the thing I created was some big deal, but it was mine and I was proud that I’d finally found something that seemed purposeful.
Even now I have a 9-5, however, it’s because I’m making that 9-5 work for me as I grow my business. I’ve done the whole “quit my job without a plan” thing. That doesn’t work if you aren’t ready to hustle your heart out. There’s also nothing wrong with working for someone else while you work on building your dreams. In this day, a lot of millennials look down on you or think your venture isn’t successful if you’re a creative who balances both the 9-5 and your business. To be honest, I think my 9-5 has made me more prepared to go into business for myself. I’ve learned to build relationships, I learned that balance is everything and, most importantly, I’ve learned that it can be done. That’s invaluable.
By the way, Go Gophers! 🙂
Your original brand was Chan-Lo.com. At what point did you decide to end that chapter and move onto CNKDaily.com?
When I got honest with myself about what I wanted to put out into the world. I’m firm in my belief that every single step in your life leads you to your destination. I know that without Chan-Lo.com I wouldn’t have had the foundation necessary to really cultivate CNKDaily. Essentially, Chan-Lo.com prepared me for CNKDaily and it helped me to learn as a person and grow in my voice.
What does ChicksNKicks mean to you as a brand and why is it important to share it with the world?
First and foremost, ChicksNKicks is all about empowering women. I take our personal brand of #Chickspiration very seriously because it’s the foundation of everything. Before we get dressed, before we step out into the world everyday, we are women. We all need to see women doing amazing things. We all need to feel like other women understand our struggles, our frustrations, and are rooting for our successes – no matter how big or small. Yes, ChicksNKicks is about embracing sneaker culture and streetwear but, more than anything, I want to root for other women. I want us to be a brand that celebrates their work by introducing them to our readers. I think one of the greatest things you can do for other people is to champion their efforts.
When I think about getting stuff done, I think about lacing up my sneakers and getting to work. That’s what CNKDaily is: sneaker style for the everyday woman who is eager to get shit done. If you’re familiar with sneaker culture, you know that it’s very male dominated and very machismo in culture. Women are buyers. We’re a solid part of the sneaker market, but we don’t seem to be catered to as much as men. That seems to be shifting and changing, luckily, but that’s what CNKDaily is about: highlighting style and sneakers in a way that appeals to women who are like us. For the women collectors who aren’t fans of the ‘shrink and pink’ or those who are novice sneaker lovers looking to figure out what they like, CNKDaily is our way of giving women something of their own. That’s the goal.
When did you realize that your brand could be also be a lucrative business?
As soon as we launched the site last year. When we launched, I began to see various opportunities for us to monetize our site, our social media, and explore other avenues of revenue generation. I’m still exploring which ways work best for us as a brand because, to be honest, I don’t want to get caught up in promoting things just for a check. I only want us to promote products and brands that we would or have purchased ourselves. In my opinion, it’s that kind of honesty that makes your word and your opinion more valuable. The sneaker market has grown by more than 40% in the last 10 years and generated about $17.2 billion in sales in 2015 alone. Women make up a solid percentage of that market. We’re big buyers and, with brands paying attention to women more than they ever have before, it’s not difficult to see sneakers and athleisure holding a strong hold on the footwear market. I see more opportunities for us to create a solid business model, but I’m not rushing it. I want to make sure we’re staying authentic to our goals and our mission.
When trying to build your brand and expand your outreach, what components do you think are the most valuable?
Social media has been huge for us, but I think networking has really been the surprise factor. I think people tend to support you more when they’ve been able to put a face to the brand and get a feel for who you are.
People always say networking is a huge factor and, in my personal experience, they are dead right. There is no premium you can place on building personal relationships. This has been a big deal for me because I am the most introverted extrovert. My natural state is an outsider. I’ve always felt outside the group and a little awkward, but I’m also very aware of others and I find myself inspired by my interactions. The key is making sure you’re networking for the right reasons. Are you trying to build genuine relationships or are you just engaging with someone because you feel they can do something for you? That vibe can kill a potential relationship before it even starts.
When we embark on a journey of building any sort of business, we imagine it going a particular way. How do you deal with inevitable disappointments?
Prayer and reading the word has become a daily need for me. It’s not some magic cure for disappointment but, I’ve found it helps calm me and puts a lot into perspective. I’m also trying not to internalize things so much. As women, I think we feel things deeply and we tie a lot of our self-worth to our successes and our failures. That mess will have you sick if you let it. Everyone takes an “L” sometimes and it’s better to learn from it and grow then to let it haunt you. Honestly, some of my biggest losses left me free to find a win somewhere else. That’s perspective.
Also, there’s wine. That always helps. LOL.
You’re collaborating with some really dope brands like Blavity and Nike. What lessons in patience have you had to learn and how have they paid off?
I’m still learning patience…like, daily. So, I really have to check myself…EVERY DAY. It’s easy to give up or to get discouraged when things don’t happen as quickly as you would like or when you encounter moments of rejection. I absolutely love Myleik Teele and she actually has a quote that is on my wall as a bit of reminder. “The problem with shortcuts is that you arrive prematurely and unprepared.” That’s it. It’s that simple. Those are the kind of reminders that make patience a bit of an easier pill to swallow.
The Blavity connection was really cool because they really are interested in provided support to young entrepreneurs. I’m really excited to team with them, especially because of the voice they are for our culture and for our generation. As for Nike, that’s a bit different. They are the grail, essentially, in sneaker culture. Let me be honest: I reached out to a few different people before finally connecting with the person who believed in what I was trying to accomplish. If I’d have given up after those first three, I wouldn’t have this relationship. That, for me, was a huge reminder that putting your pride on a shelf is super necessary when you’re trying to build your business. You can’t let your ego win when the world is trying to teach you patience.
What tips do you have for others working to be noticed?
- Stay consistent. Apply that to your life and work in general. (This is something I’ve really struggled with, btw)
- Stay true to your vision. It’s easy to be swayed by what other people are doing – especially if they’ve had some success. Paying attention to someone else’s lane is just a distraction from your own and, it will never feel authentic.
- Don’t make being noticed the priority. We all want people to champion our work and we want confirmation that others have found value in the things we’ve slaved over, but it shouldn’t be the priority. Working on something that feeds your spirit, helps others, and is something you’re proud of? People can’t help but notice good work.
With both new and established relationships, I always try to ask first myself and then my brand partner, how I can help THEM. When you field interactions from others constantly looking to be put on, it’s refreshing to come across people who have found a way they can be of service.
What’s your B Werd?
Brave. I think it’s incredibly brave to chase a dream. I think it’s even more brave to sacrifice and work your butt off for that dream. People don’t really understand how brave it is to start something from the ground up. There is no blueprint, just your intuition and the lessons you learn. People may not take you serious, people may call you a “B” (rhymes with itch) when you refuse to accept nothing less than what you deserve. There’s a tremendous amount of courage in ignoring the chatter and staying focused on your vision. Most importantly, I think it’s brave to be a woman and to champion other women, especially when the world tells us we must compete. So, that said, thank you so much for this opportunity. Honestly, truly. No Joanne. 🙂
You can keep up with all the moves Channing is making here, receive unlimited Chickspiration by following CNKDaily, and if you love me like you think I do… will check out my very own feature on CNKDaily.com that Channing was so kind to bless me with. Boss up, ladies.