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open your MIND and see the UNSEEN • YOKI INTERVIEW

How did the idea for your business come about?

Well ever since I was 10 when I copped my first pair of Jordan's the sneaker game became my passion, but around 2018 that passion changed…I grew hatred towards the sneaker game due to hype beast always buying up everything then charging 3x the price and also because the big companies sneaker would drop terrible color-ways with terrible quality and I couldn’t take it. So one day while I was customizing some sneakers I jokingly said to my nephew “bro I’m tired of all these brands dropping trash I’m bouta make my own kicks and takeover” he looked at me an said “maybe you should make my own shoe” now at the time I was 18 and knew nothing about designing or making sneakers so we just laughed it off, but over the week I actually thought about what he said and went to work drawing my first design, it took me a good 6 months before I got my first design and then my 2nd and then 3rd, I had all these ideas and had nothing to do with them because I still knew nothing about making a sneaker so I tucked them for safe keeping until coronavirus hit, now I was not affected personally but I had family members who was so it made me realize I could leave this earth without ever seeing my dream become a reality so in early 2020 I filled to become business and started looking into how can I make my dreams come true.

2. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

My key driving force to become an entrepreneur was my mom. Ever since I started drawing my first design and would show her she would always tell me “you need to stop messing around and try to get it done for real” so without her constantly pushing me to do right I don’t think I would be where I’m at right now

3. How did you come up with the name for your company?

Growing up I was into anime heavy and the Japanese culture so when picking a name I decide to tap into there culture. My company name is Yoki (yo-kåi) which means phantom, ghost, strange apparition. But this is not the correct meaning…due to yoki being a Japanese word it’s often translated wrong. The real meaning of Yoki is all the things that people cannot imagine. I chose this as our name because it allows me and my future team to have full creative freedom without having any restrictions on our designs.

4. How do you build a successful customer base?

I build a successful customer base by being community oriented. The more the community is involved and the more i listen to the community and take notes from them the better my work will get and the  customers be satisfied because I listen to them

5. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?

I market my Business via Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, offer-up, Tik-tok, google ads. I feel the best tactic for me has been Facebook and Instagram because I can go live and get direct questions or ideas from the public and in return able to give them instant feedback and changes.

6. How many hours a day do you work on average? Describe/outline your typical day.

On average I Work 20 sometimes 24hrs a day…from 8 to 5 I go in work a hard day of work ( I clean and remove any and everything people leave In there house once they move, get kicked out, etc.) then I come home and work on new designs usually from 7 to 11 and because my factories are overseas there Time zone is different so usually from 12pm to 6am I’m up talking to them trying to get all our products in order and from there I start the day all over

7. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Being an entrepreneur more so affected me because I’m doing everything by myself from designing to paying the factories to shipping to customers which takes a lot out of me physically and mentally.. but because of the ones whose around me I take on any struggle or problem that comes my way and face it head on and continue on my journey.

8. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

I do believe there’s a formula to become a successful entrepreneur.. listen to your community because without them your nothing

9. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most satisfying moment for me will always be unboxing my very first sneaker sample. Even though it was a sample it let me know it was no longer just a dream an I really can do this

10. Last question, how do you define success?

To me success is not being the richest or the most known it’s the gratification you get knowing you can change the world by helping the right people

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