Rolling out caught up with entrepreneur and co-owner of Fly Kix ATL, Ebonie Ward, to talk about what it takes to be a female entrepreneur, her love for sneakers, and what she’s learned while running one of Atlanta’s most popular male sneaker boutiques.
Check out excerpts from our interview below. –mckenzie harris
Tell us a little about Fly Kix.
Fly Kix is a male boutique, but it’s also more of a lifestyle boutique. We cater to a man’s lifestyle with a little bit of street, urban, some couture, and also [something] for the businessman. The whole theme or concept was just to have a boutique that catered to every type of male.
What does it take to be a female entrepreneur?
A lot of patience! Like with anything — for entrepreneurship, you definitely have to have a lot of patience and [it takes] a lot of hard work. It’s also a lot of sacrifice. Being a female entrepreneur is kind of difficult when you own a male shoe store, because at first guys don’t know if I work there or if I own the store. It really doesn’t bother me at all, because the only way they’ll really know is if they know me or they’ve been following the store. After someone really gets to know me, they see how serious I am and how cut-throat I am, and traditionally they respect me.
Where did your love for sneakers come from?
Actually my brother inspired me. I’m the co-owner of the store along with my brother, and he’s always had a strong passion for shoes. I’ve always been more of the fashionista girl and I have just as many heels as I do sneakers. But he had such a strong passion for shoes and wanted to open up a store, and it was a way for us to go into business together.
Do you plan on expanding?
Of course! Our hopes are to eventually go international with building the brand and eventually open up “Fly Chicks.” It’s going to be the complete opposite … of course heels, bags, and accessories. Basically the female version of Fly Kix, so I’ll have sneakers in there too.
What are your top four sneakers of all time?
My top four sneakers of all time are of course; the Space Jams, The LeBron South Beaches, Air Max 95′s, and the shell toe Adidas because they’re casual and can go with everything.
What are three kicks that make a man sexy?
I love Space Jams on a guy, they look so clean and you can dress them up or down. I love a nice casual boot … we have a Sebago boot in here and it’s super clean and looks really good on a man’s foot. I’m just trying to stay away from the cliche Jordan’s, because I really want guys to pick-up on other brands. Another clean shoe a guy can wear is the WeSC’s.