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On the other hand, she acknowledges that social media can do just as much harm to entrepreneurs and artists as it can do good. In the age where tagging people, asking for “shares,” “retweets” and “likes” are often the marketing choice of many, Khrystal avoids that approach. She emphasizes the importance of not spamming potential fans and customers, and instead relying on the strength of the work.
While Khrystal utilizes interpersonal skills as a means to attract and build her fanbase, she also recognizes that quality merchandise can have the same effect. Appreciating that people would be spending their hard, earned money on something that is not necessarily a “need,” Khrystal wanted to produce “thoughtful” pieces that were both representative of her brand and something fans would enjoy. Ultimately, Khrystal decided to produce hoodies and t-shirts to accompany the rollout of her debut album The Awkward Muva. The “Awkward Muva” merch not only serves as a keepsake for fans but also attracts new ones as the tees and sweatshirts don the back-cover art of the album. She calls the marketing strategy simple, but the thoughtfulness behind the designing of both the album art and merchandise has paid off. Khrystal states that now when people compliment the merch and ask about its origins, she and fans alike are able to point out that the picture is actually from an album and direct them to her music. It seems Khrystal has mastered combining her business and creative skills in a fruitful way.
As an artist and businesswoman, Khrystal is both talented and wise and has an incredible understanding of where her strengths lie, but that is not to say everything has been easy. When asked what she perceived her biggest challenge as an entrepreneur to be, Khrystal states “it’s the days that I don’t want to do anything.” Though she cites a go-getter mentality as an essential trait of being an entrepreneur, she acknowledges that some days are mentally challenging. Those mentally challenging days can be filled with self-doubt and questioning if the hard work is worth it. She warns that too many days like that have the potential to threaten your business and spirit as an entrepreneur, but fortunately, Khrystal is able to find both strength and inspiration in fellow Black women entrepreneurs. “With Black women in business” she begins, “it’s like a community.” She likens the community to that of a bartering system stating that she has been able to trade products and information and advice with fellow Black women in business. Khrystal states that most of her encouragement has come from other Black businesswomen, and that is something she holds onto on her low days.
Social media has allowed many artists to be in control of their own careers. With that, the field of entrepreneurism is steadily expanding into new enterprises and creatives are gaining a better understanding of the business world. With her wisdom and experience in creating, running, and distributing a magazine, as well as learning and navigating the music business on her own behalf, Khrystal is truly creative entrepreneurship personified. If you’d like to get to know Khrystal better, find her on Instagram and Twitter @khrystalwithaKH. Her music, including her debut album The Awkward Muva, is available on all streaming services.
Read Part One here
Read Part Two here
This article was contributed to D’orandae by Bianca Gantt