Joi Meadows Reveals Her Custom Designs Behind, ‘Uptown Identity’ + Talks About The Lack Of Support In The Black Community
If there’s one thing us women can agree on when it comes to style, it’s that we love to stand out! And if one of a kind is ever an option, we’ll always take two. Introducing Uptown Identity, a brand that represents transitioning. Inspired by her personal life journey, Joi Meadows, the creator of Uptown Identity, credits her life lessons as the overall message behind her brand.
I was a woman who was once insecure and flawed, and after a life changing event, I did some soul searching to become the confident, yet still flawed woman I am today,” Joi confesses. “My logo is of a woman who wears pearls. The significance is that pearls come from a place of murkiness, but once they emerge from their shell, they are still beautiful and flawless. The pearl is elegant and classy, which is how I want my customer to feel when she is carrying my bags. This is the epitome of an Uptown woman.”
Just like her life made unexpected transitions, so has Uptown Identity. What is now a handcrafted accessories company that does custom orders, was once an Afro-centric t-shirt line for women back in October 2015. “Having little resources, I attempted to spread the word through Teespring,” Joi explained. “I created several crowdfunding campaigns which no one responded to. After that, I decided that I wanted to learn how to sew. I bought books, watched YouTube tutorials, and when I could, invested in Craftsy sewing classes. The redirection of my brand was birthed from there. February of 2016 is when I got serious about my craft and wanting to make it a viable business.”
Although Uptown Identity is still on the rise, it wasn’t an easy road getting this far. Joi admits that the lack of support in the black community has been a huge challenge as a black owned business owner. “It’s amazing how I’ve been told that my prices are too high, yet I’ve seen these same women carrying Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, and so on,” Joi explains. “Name brands matter too much in our society. But the fact that we should support other Black owned businesses and redistribute the resources throughout our community doesn’t hold enough weight.” Despite all setbacks, Joi refuses to let any of that stop her. We asked her how she remains positive and motivated enough to bypass all obstacles that come with being a business owner, and she left us with this:
“Dr. Boyce Watkins always says, ‘Don’t climb the corporate ladder, build it.’ After graduating from college, I had my life planned out career wise. I knew I wanted to work downtown, and I would be a manager of a retail store. The goal was to work my way up to a corporate position. Fast forward some years later, I finally was close to where I wanted to be. I was making excellent money and my family and I were relocating to NC for my promotion. Well, due to a difference of opinion I had with a subordinate and my GM, I was FIRED!!! This led me to want job security and more for my family. Creating a legacy to be exact. Never again would I return to work for people who did not value me or my abilities.”
Since the official website for Uptown Identity is still in the works, be sure to check out their socials below. While you’re there, make a note of your favorites and let us know what designs you fall in love with — Because two exclusives are always better than one.
To get your hands on your very own custom design, visit one of the stores that sell exclusive Uptown Identity bags listed below, or contact Joi Meadows and her team directly to place your orders!
(513)372-2899 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Signature Beauty Lofts | 6050 Montgomery Rd Cincinnati, OH
Baoku’s Village |1008 Lee St Covington, KY
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