Entrepreneurs You Should Know: Kissa Thompson of Buttafly Unltd
For Kissa Thompson, founder and creative director of Buttafly Unltd, sometimes it’s just about trusting your instincts, stepping out there and believing that everything will work itself out.
Buttafly Unltd, a fashion brand specializing in classic pieces, is ever evolving. Named to highlight the metamorphosis of the individual and the possibility of being unlimited, B.U. is Thompson’s brand but her customers make it what it is.
“Our acronym is B.U. It’s really about being who you are. The scarves, the hats the shirts, you make it what it is. I chose not to have an entire clothing line because I didn’t want you to be identified by our brand. I wanted you to create the brand.”
Free spirited from childhood, Thompson wanted to be everything from a nurse to a psychologist. It was her unstructured childhood that taught her the importance of not limiting yourself in life, especially in her career.
Throughout her 36 years, Thompson has dabbled in a little bit of everything when it comes to the entertainment industry. She’s worked for several large media companies including BET, Def Jam and Fox 5. She’s also been a personal assistant to a celebrity.
But it was during her stint at Spin Magazine that Thompson realized that she could work for herself. She set goals and made it happen.
She told herself: “I’m going to get my stuff into five stores and make x amount of money from those stores and if I get that, then I’ll quit my job and then I know I can do it full time. So I set those goals while I was working and it was a hustle because every time I would have a break , I would be running to the stores, be calling clients, trying to get my shirts, checking out the print. When I got it into stores and obtained my goal. Then I worked for myself for three years straight before I started freelancing again. And it was really amazing at the time because the company was really thriving. I set goals every time. I had a goal chart every day.”
That goal chart, her hustle and all of those jobs over the years served to leverage Thompson’s business.
“I started to really work the system. I knew what people wanted to see and I used that to my advantage and everything started accelerating from there. I realized that me jumping from job to job wasn’t in vain, it really was setting me up for where I needed to be. I learned how to network and how to work with my friends that wrote articles and I met celebs when I worked for a celeb so I was like hey, wear my shirt.”
Her most popular “I Love My Hair” shirt was featured in several magazines and on several celebrities, including Alicia Keys in Rolling Stone.