At SOPHIE BLAKE NY, our vision has always been to celebrate and uplift our female community and SB Tribe. Today, marks a special day for our Black Americans across the country, a day of independence and a chance to honor and celebrate Black culture.
For 155 years, Black Americans across the country have memorialized Juneteenth or June 19th. On Tuesday June 15, 2021, the U. S. Senate unanimously passed a bill establishing June 19th, as Juneteenth National Independence Day, a US Federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
A bit of history about the day. While the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Confederacy on January 1, 1863, for over two years, Texas was the slaveholders’ last refuge. It was on June 19, 1865, General Granger entered Texas with Union forces to issue a direct order notifying Texans that the Civil War had ended and slavery had been abolished. June 19th marks the day that the remaining 250,000 enslaved Black Women and Men in Texas were finally granted freedom and notified that slavery was abolished.
In celebration of Freedom and honoring Black culture, we are spotlighting two special Women in the SB Community who have taken the time to share their thoughts on Juneteenth.
Meet: Joy Kingsley-Ibeh
She is the the CEO and Founder of Kingsley Model + Talent Management, and Lead Stylist for Style By Kingsley.
2. Tell us about yourself and how you got into Fashion
3. Tell us something fun about yourself or something you are proud of?
4. With Juneteenth just around the corner we wanted to know what it means to you?
5. What progress have you seen in our society and what would you like to see change for the future?
Meet: Kimberly Brickus
Everyone calls her Kimmie! Kimmie is the Boutique Manager and Wholesale Executive for Sophie Blake New York.
What do you do at Sophie Blake NY?
I run the day to day in store. We are a tight team, we share all the daily duties from merchandising the store, visual displays, floral designs, curating new brands and most importantly customer relations and selling.
We are currently expanding into wholesale so researching stores that fit our vision and aesthetic to carry Sophie’s jewelry collections is also my responsibility.
Tell us about yourself and how you got into Fashion?
I got into fashion because of my father Vernon Brickus. From the moment he designed and hand stitched my Halloween costume when I was 7 I was hooked! I grew to truly love and be inspired by fashion from mentors Mr. Ernest Marks who owned Saks Jandel in Chevy Chase Maryland , he taught me about the business side of fashion. Which isn’t the most glamorous part but the most important to be successful. When he passed away his store had 40 amazing years of high end retail success. LaShea Green, Couture Buyer and Boutique Manager of Saks Jandel. She taught me the beauty of fabrics and shape and the quality of a garment which gives a designer longevity in the business. Then there is Romona Keveza who designs the most incredible Evening & Bridal Gowns. Her passion for design and how she develops a collection from the sketches to the fabrics to how she presents it to the public has been the best education. We have a wonderful friendship. I learn so much from her everyday.
Just a few days ago Juneteenth officially became a Federal Holiday we wanted to know what it means to you?
June 19th known as Juneteenth or Freedom Day marks a dramatic day when Federal Troops were sent into Galveston TX in 1865 ensure all enslaved people were free 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. As a woman of color who still experiences racism and the disproportionate harm it can cause I still strive to be seen as equal not less than because of the color of my skin.
What progress have you seen in our society and what would you like to see change for future?
Have things gotten better? Lately it doesn’t feel that way. Some days are better than others but I still have HOPE and that’s powerful to me.
We want to thank Joy and Kimmie for taking the time to express their thoughts on Juneteenth. We also want to share that Today through the end of the month (June 30th) 100% of the proceeds from our online store will be donated to Black Women’s Health Imperative.