Sooo, you've stumbled across my brand and curious to see what the hype was? Or you came here from one of my social sites? Either way, I post a lot of different content between TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram (and an occasional romp of $h!t talking on Twitter here and there). And even still, I never really talk about myself and how I even got to this point to begin with! So let me break it down for y'all real quick.

My name is Keonda, but I go by Kay for short. Rebellious1s was originially Rebellious Designs and was officially started February 23, 2013 in my new (and empty) 2-bedroom apartment in a county in St. Louis by the name of Spanish Lake. This was just when I decided to make my love for making things into an actual business. The REAL origin started when I was about 15 years old. Let's rewind a little, lol!

Growing up, I lived on the north side of St. Louis, MO on James "Cool Papa" Bell Ave with my paternal grandmother. Being a black kid in the 90s for most meant that there were A LOT of family drama and grandparent child rearing -- I was definitely apart of that category. From my understanding, my father took me to live with his mother when I was 3 months old and had lived there until my mom got clean and was able to take care of me. That day finally came when I was 13 years old. Mom & my new step-mom came to pick me up for the weekend and once I got in the car and we drove off, my mom turned around in her seat and said to me, "You know you're not coming back, right?" After all the years of hoping and wishing and praying that I can be able to live with my mother, finally came to fruition. Sooo, how does all of this corelate to Rebellious1s origins? Be patient, I'm getting there lol.

So boom, here it is, the summer of 2003 and now I'm living with my mother, step-mother, five brothers, two step-brothers, a little sister, and my maternal grandfather shortly after I moved in. I went from being an only child to living in The Loud House, but the hood version 😂 My grandmother was so cross with me just up and leaving that she kept all of my clothes that was at her house. So now I'm here in this house full of people I vaguely know, sharing a room with a clingy (but cute) 6 year old, with only a weekend's worth of clothing to my name. My mother was a manager at AT&T at this time and one of the top salespeople at the company, so money was pretty good, even with a tribe of kids to take of. She bought me a few things to start rebuilding my wardrobe, but for the most part, I would get clothes from my step-mom because we wore the same size. She is a snazzy dresser, so the pieces she would give me were always something that I had never seen before. Besides, when you live with a grandparent, it kind of shows in your wardrobe lol!

Even though my step-mom would style me in some of her high-priced hand-me-downs, a lot of the things she would give me just wasn't MY style. Quite honestly, I'm not even sure if I had a signature style around then, I just knew that when I would put these clothes on & look in the mirror, I didn't like what I saw. So what would I do? Grab me a good pair of scissors and/or a Sharpie and go to work, of course! I would take all the clothes I was given and either cut them up, make shorts & crop jackets and so on. One of my big brothers was into clothing design a little, so I would borrow his fabric paint to add a little pizzazz to my new creations. Though I would be THRILLED about my new looks, my parents weren't so much....

See, living in a house with a bunch of kids, there's only so much money to allocate for...everything. So I can see why they were so irritated with me cutting everything I can get my hands on. But there was just something about taking an idea I have in my head, executing it, and being able to wear it and say that I made it that was just soooooooooo very THAT for me! Despite my many punishment stints, I still wanted to do it. So I did.

It wasn't until my sophomore year of high school when I really started to take this design thing seriously. My mom moved us from our 2 family flat in the city to a nice 5-bedroom house with a partially finished basement, pool table, and an in-ground pool in the backyard. My mom was making great money, so she felt we all needed a change of scenery. We moved out to a city called Florissant or "The Valley of Flowers". Around this time, it was 2005 and it seemed as though a lot of the black population was moving to the county, while everyone else was moving to the city. You know, gentrification and whatnot. My siblings and I transferred to the Ferguson/Florissant school district and McCluer North High School became my graduating school (well, almost...but that's another story  😅) Though I missed my old school with all my old friends and classmates I've known literally since kindergarten, North wasn't all bad. They had a clothing & textiles class that caught my eye and that was when the fuel hit the flame. Our first two projects were pajama pants and monogram pillows. My mom picked up the fabric for me and it was clear she knew NOTHING about fabric shopping, lol! I mean, at the time, I didn't either, but she could've done better than pale pastel granny print floral, ya know? But either way, I was grateful. And SUPER excited!

After years of using whatever I could get my hands on to create the designs that pop into my head, my curiosity and talent only grew more and more. The more I would go out wearing my original pieces, the more looks I would get. The more, "That's cute! Where did you get it?" statements. I would try to incorporate my designs in any and everything I did. I'm going to an event? I need a outfit. Doing club promo? I need an outfit. Photoshoot? Need like 2-3 outfits. New job that requires clothes I didn't have at the time? Let me see what I can whip up! I would always have family and friends ask me for custom stuff, but I never though to seriously charge for it until I moved into that apartment in Spanish Lake. (You remember, the one I mentioned at the beginning of this blog?) I got hired at this called center by the name of Convergys and the job required business casual clothing. Which I didn't have at the time. So what did I do? Hit the thrift store & cut some shit up is what I did! I kept making new outfits for myself like every week and people started to take notice. When my cubicle neighbors would put their calls on mute to ask me how much I would charge for a garment, I knew I had to take things to the next level. 

Though I know how to do a lot of things by memory, I still love referring to YouTube University to brush up. There was one YouTuber I just fell in love with and she really inspired me get the ball rolling on this business thing. Her name was Tamisha Ridge, but her channel was called "How To Sew Easy". She was a designer mom of 3 (just like me), she was so skilled, and her personality was golden. I often wished to meet her one day once my business was doing numbers like hers, but unfortunately, that dream was doused. A year after starting my business, I heard the news that she had been killed by her ex-boyfriend/the father of her kids. Though I didn't know Tamisha, it was like I low-key lost a home girl. I will forever attribute my inspiration to start my business to her. She showed me that no matter your circumstances, it is possible to be better, do better, to elevate, to have what you desire in life. I love her for that 🙏🏾

Now here we are, 20 years later, and I've participated in hella fashion shows, hella hella photo shoots, appeared in a couple magazines, even put on my own fashion show and jumping into styling! Who would've thought a skill you pick up out of necessity turns into a whirlwind career? That honestly, doesn't even feel like a career. Its just what I do.

Cheers to 9 years of creating, inspiring, and making people look good! I've always danced to the beat of my own drum, and I love helping others find their rhythm so they can dance to their own beat, too. ✨



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1 comment

Great Story. Keep shining ✨️


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