I’m sure I’m not alone when I say have a serious girl crush on Riffraff’s owner, Kirsten Blowers. If you’ve been following Riffraff since the very beginning, you probably have a pretty good feel on Kirsten’s work ethic and personality. She’s incredibly driven, spunky, Instagram obsessed, and above all, talented. She started Riffraff during college to make some money on the side and transformed a little art and furniture store into a national brand. All in eight years! Seriously, who else could accomplish that? Naturally, I’ve wanted to pick Kirsten’s brain for quite some time and this week, I got the chance. I asked her all about the start of Riffraff, what motivated her, how she got to where she is, and what her future plans are. So if you don’t already have a girl crush on Kirsten, you’re about to. Here are just a few life lessons, words of advice, and current obsessions of my favorite Girl Boss, Kirsten Blowers.
- Nothing is impossible if you have enough drive and motivation.
I started Riffraff as a senior in college with $100 from my last paycheck, some pieces of artwork I had painted, and some refurbished furniture I had been working on. I never had a loan or a credit card. It was absolutely miserable, but it worked and that was really what gave me that drive to make all of this happen.
- Prove people wrong.
Starting a store at age 21 with no money was one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever had and people were waiting to see me fail but I never let them. No matter how hard times got or how many people told me that this was never going to work out, I always worked to prove them wrong. There are always going to be people in your life that bring you down or criticize your dreams. Riffraff proved to those people that I can do everything they told me I wouldn’t be able to and more.
- “Don’t get too big too fast.”
When I was in high school, I worked for a company called Masons. Years later, I was telling the owner about my idea for Riffraff and his advice was, “Don’t get too big too fast.” That always stuck with me and I still think about it to this day. There were times where I saw no growth and couldn’t pay the bills, but that always brought me back to reality. He knew what there would be hard times but knowing that he went through the same experiences I did and made it through always helped me.
- Trust your gut.
I say this for everything in life. Always, always trust your gut. Don’t go out and try to be someone you’re not. Be authentic and represent yourself and it will always work out.
- Never slow down.
In terms of Riffraff, I want to keep growing. I want this company to be a household name across the SEC and eventually, the nation. I want our wholesale lines, Friday & Saturday and Charlie Southern, to expand and maybe even build a few more wholesale lines. Riffraff will always be targeted toward our clientele and niche, but who knows what’s next for me as my style changes. Maybe I’ll start a new store – who knows but I don’t plan on slowing down.
- Make work fun.
Since I’ve started this company, I don’t think there has been a single day where I didn’t want to come to work. Being surrounded by these incredible people and this energetic atmosphere is something that will never get old. We can have an idea at 9am, have it executed and planned out by 2pm, and see the results by 6pm. That’s something I’ll never take for granted because that doesn’t happen in big companies. I wouldn’t trade this work atmosphere for anything in the world.
- THANK YOU!
Oh my gosh, thank you so much for sticking with us. We’ve become so many things over the years and I cannot begin to thank the people who have shopped with us since day 1 and still shop with us today. Nothing makes me happier than scrolling through Instagram and seeing people posting about Riffraff, it’s the ultimate compliment. You guys have honestly become part of our family and I can’t thank you enough for following us through all the ups and downs.
There you have it. Kirsten is pretty much the ULTIMATE Girl Boss and she’s not wrong y’all, working here is an absolute blast. So go out there and be your own #GirlBoss and prove those haters wrong. And while you’re at its, make Kirsten’s day by spreading some #RiffraffLove on Instagram.
Interview by Kara Johnson, Summer ’16 Creative Intern