What started as a personal mission for Tskenya-Sarah Frazer to make chic, affordable shoes in unconventional and harder to find larger sizes has evolved into poignant take on the subtle gender discriminations that can pervade popular, mainstream brands.
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With a size 9 UK (11 US) foot, it was always a challenge for Frazer to find reasonably-priced, on-trend footwear. Having that affect her confidence growing up, she decided to take matters into her own hands and started TSKENYA, her own personal brand that specializes in shoes size 8-13 UK (10-15 US). As she developed her brand, Frazer quickly realized that her mission was bigger than herself.
"As a cis-gendered heterosexual woman my self-esteem never came under attack by brands gendered marketing," she writes on TSKENYA's Kickstarter page. "Through market research and interviewing with my transgender and non-binary friends, they too flagged that they couldn't find shoes or a brand that represented them. They felt uncomfortable going into shoe stores and asking for their size just as I did and that is why we are taking a stance against gendered marketing and will to use the brand to illuminate other people's voices."
Now, with the brand's crowd-funding stage in full swing, Frazer is looking to fund the next step in her company's growth, with enticing incentives for backers. Moving up from the expected "thank yous" and appreciations, pledgers can actually pick which style of those they want by giving a corresponding donation. Whether you need a pair or rose gold strappy stilettos or wine-red velvet boots, donating a pair's cost not only gets you the shoes, but benefits the mission.
Watch Frazer's introduction to her company, below, and donate, here.