Tiffany Fick and Kayla Turner, a pair of 32-year-old Black Southern belles with shared Hoosier heritage, have come together to launch The Carpentry, an online retail platform with primarily the sophisticated Black buyer and designer in mind. The first release from their venture drops April 27 and is a capsule collected titled “The Rain,” an homage to Missy Elliott‘s 1997 smash hit of the same name.
“As luxury consumers and Black women, the shopping experience hasn’t been very positive,” Fick said in her interview with WWD. “Whether it’s going into Saks and having to hunt down people to help you, or not being able to find sizes that aren’t Eurocentric, there are some gaps. We want the community to be able to invest in each other and make smart buying decisions to keep the dollars circulating.”
Incidences of “shopping while Black” have anecdotally shown that wealth and public accolade are no insulation from racial profiling, and SZA‘s and Oprah‘s encounters stand as two prime examples of this problem. “I’ve been doing Black-owned everything a long time and here in Atlanta it’s easy,” Fick said. “Everyone was coming and asking me for resources, so I said, ‘Can’t we turn this into a business?’ It’s shifting the mind-set and saying, let’s not necessarily spend that money with Chanel, let’s see what a different side of luxury is.”
While Fick handles the buying side of The Carpentry, her business partner Kayla Turner is 790 miles away in Houston, TX, and brings her apparel merchandising and operational acumen to the business. What is worth noting, though, is the business is funded solely by the duo, with the “want to bypass the traditional gatekeepers of fashion and showcase designers who are doing really great work but may not have the platform, funding, and financing.” Fick added, “Black people have contributed so much to fashion and are not seen a lot of the time.”
Some of the eleven items available from “The Rain” collection include artwork from Liberated Space founder Chandler Stephens and an “I Can’t Stand the Rain” luxury candle and room spray set. Prices range from $80 to $650, and get ready to see what else Turner and Fick have in-store today, April 27.