A Los Angeles 11-year-old girl has taken years’ worth of bullying and turned it into a business that is growing at an impressive rate. Kheris Rogers and her sister Taylor Pollard have worked together to create and sell T-shirts with an empowering phrase on them and now, just a year later, they can hardly keep up with the interest in their shirts and other products.
CBS This Morning shares the story of Kheris Rogers and her “Flexin’ In My Complexion” shirts. The sisters may have started out simply selling shirts, but this effort has grown to be something much more powerful than that and people are taking notice.
Several years before Taylor and Kheris started generating buzz on social media, Rogers was a young first-grader who was facing intense bullying at school. Kheris details that her dark complexion led to taunts from classmates and even issues with teachers, and she even faced threats and physical abuse.
Kheris’ mom Erika Pollard tried to move her to a more diverse school, but the damage to her self-esteem remained and the bullying continued. This time, the family shared with CNBC, the bullying came from other black students whose skin tones were lighter than that of Kheris, an issue referred to as colorism.
After Kheris told her sister she hoped her skin would get lighter if she stayed in the bathtub longer, Taylor posted a photo to social media of the young girl. Taylor called Kheris royalty and added the hashtag #FlexinInHerComplexion, a saying that came from their grandmother, and she soon went viral.
After the post went wild on social media, the girls decided to start selling T-shirts with their grandmother’s saying on them. They drew the attention of celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, and Lupita Nyong’o, and soon Kheris was even brought in to participate in Harlem Fashion Week.
The sisters started the business with just $100 from their mom and they reached out to their community to learn how to screen shirts and build a website. Now, Flexin’ In My Complexion gets about 100 T-shirt orders a day, and they’ve expanded to sell a number of other items as well.
Kheris and Taylor’s site currently shows a number of their items as being sold out at the moment. However, shoppers can browse through a wide range of products they have developed now, including “Hater Blockers,” fanny packs, “Stunna Shades,” jackets, tank tops, jumpsuits, hoodies, and even baby bibs.
This family business has done the trick in building Kheris’ self-confidence and Rogers isn’t coming home from school crying regularly any longer. The young fashionista has embraced a number of big opportunities lately and it seems that Kheris Rogers and her sister Taylor Pollard have a very bright future ahead of them with Flexin’ In My Complexion.