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Meet Korynn Wakefield of No Originals in Metro Atlanta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Korynn Wakefield.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Korynn. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
A couple of years ago, I decided to embrace my artistry and explore the world of the art Atlanta had to offer (this decision coming after I denied my artistic side for so many years). Atlanta is so proudly filled with go-getters and amazing creatives, but to me, there was a touch of authenticity missing. In my creative process, I have to be inspired by SOMETHING, and I know I’m not the only one. Everyone appreciates a good story, but I seemed to always find so many products and not so many backstories. When I started to explore and experience these different creative things, a good bit of them seemed to just be missing inspiration and influence. There seemed to be this obsession with being ‘original’. Yeah, the things I saw and experienced were cool and all, but what was the creative process there? And what prompted the start of this piece?

After too long of this, I started to focus on how I personally could influence other people. I wanted No Originals to have just as many conversations about what touched us and what got us here as we did about how great we think this looks. I wanted to find a way to not only influence other creatives but also to touch people who are not as creative but have just as much potential to be whoever they aspire to be. And that is how No Originals came to be. It’s a brand that calls for action. And when the name came to me one day, I knew exactly where I wanted to start with it and every day I come up with somewhere new I want to go with it. Right now, I want to bring awareness to the importance of really acknowledging influences and actually putting effort into inspiring onlookers. After all, what mark do we really leave if we never touched anyone through our actions and our work? And what good is it really to never have truly been touched by something? Eventually, I want No Originals to have created a number of spaces, places, and things that allow creativity to flow genuinely. Places and activities where people feel comfortable coming together to speak more than just end products. No Originals wants to create safe havens to look forwards and backward and utilize these experiences to the fullest.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, the road of the business itself has been smooth. My challenge is more internal. Inclusivity as opposed to exclusivity. I am a young black woman who loves nothing more than being a black woman. But the easiest black-owned businesses to find are the ones that sell ‘black apparel.’ I’ve always wanted to stray from the crowd. I’ve always been the person to do something different. So naturally, I wanted the same approach for my business, a small black-owned business that sold merchandise inclusive to EVERYONE. I wanted a message that would apply to anyone, not just to black people.

And that has been my biggest challenge. It’s not comfortable. And due to recent events that have taken place, it has become even more uncomfortable. Right now, I feel like my rightful place is to speak for my people, produce for my people, grow for my people. But somehow, more than likely, based on the media, emotions, and environments I experience everyday, the inclusivity just seems like a conflict of interest. And I am not too happy that it feels that way.. I often feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place like I must choose between being a businesswoman and being a black woman. That has been my biggest bump in the road.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about No Originals – what should we know?
No Originals is a lifestyle brand that focuses on the message of acknowledging your influences and inspirations and also acting and creating with intention. Intention to influence, to inspire, to encourage, to educate, to appreciate. We specialize in apparel. Currently, buynooriginals.com offers Tshirts and dad hats. No Originals is known for encouraging people to lean into their inspirations and embrace being who they want to be. No Originals apparel empowers people to feel like they are meant to be something and are ready for anything. Each garment presents a different statement, a different state of being. Knowing that people are really rocking with my message makes me proud. And knowing that people believe in me and believe in what I’m preaching is the best feeling in the world. What sets me apart is what makes me most proud. Authenticity. At the end of the day, I know I truly mean and feel everything I release. I, personally, may not be a fan of the way it looks, but the message is consistent through and through. Understanding that authenticity is more than just being ‘original’.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Drive and determination are the most important. You have to legitimately want to put in the work it takes to reach your goals. People set goals and only look forward to the end result. I believe that you have to want to work just as much as you want to see the result. There’s no better feeling than watching the things you worked for come to fruition AND knowing that you truly enjoyed putting in the work.

Contact Info:

 
Image Credit:

Photographed by JSilver Photography.
Photographed by Catalyst Studio 54.

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