Kinyatta discusses her passion and purpose behind the creativity and motivation for her Diversity Beach Towels!
Can you please tell us more about, who is Kinyatta Gray?
Thank you, it would be my pleasure! I am Kinyatta Gray, from Washington D.C. I am the Creator and CEO of FlightsInStilettos, LLC, and a published author. I am a wife, mother of two adult children and I also have one adorable grandson!
What motivated you to want to begin creating stylish Beach Towels?
The thought popped into my head when I was planning for a trip two years ago and unlike most people, I was thinking about what every detail would look like, even down to my beach towel. I knew what I wanted my beach towel to look like, but I could not find it. The image of an African American woman in a stylish and glamorous manner at the beach on a beach towel did not exist in the many sources that I searched. After not being able to find exactly what I wanted, I decided at that moment that I would design my own line of beach towels representing women of color in a stylish, and sophisticated manner at the beach.
The style and creativity of your Diverse Beach Towels are sincerely unique. What was the inspiration behind each look?
Each beach towel design was inspired by a real image that I have seen, or an idea of what people may enjoy doing at the beach. For example, the “Shades of Beauty” beach towel (which depicts an African-American woman, a Hispanic woman and a White Woman at the beach) was a design that came to me when witnessing college women on Spring break – you’ll literally see shades of beauty at the beach. Another beach towel, “Author Bae” was inspired by my personal authorship journey. That towel is symbolic of me becoming a published author and I know that many women work hard, just like I did to become a published author – so this beach towel represents us. The “Serenity” beach towel was inspired by my peace-seeking, soul-searching journey after losing my mom in 2018. I began to use mediation and yoga as a means to work on myself and to mentally recover from what I was experiencing after her death. So, Serenity beach towel is a favorite for women travelers who are into self-care, spiritual alignment, and who seek a peace of mind. And last, “Blessed Beach Babe” beach towel is a redesigned beach towel from my first collection. It is one of my favorites because it depicts a woman who is relaxing at the beach with her favorite beverage and a bible! This beach towel was inspired by my being grateful at the moment – sometimes just getting away and sipping on your favorite beverage and reading your favorite book is all one needs to unwind. I know so many women who can relate to Blessed Beach Babe!
Will or do you have Diversity Towels geared towards men coming out?
I actually get asked this question all the time. For my 2021 FightsInStilettos Glam Girl Beach Towel Collection, I am planning to release a design called “BaeCation”. The inspiration will be a heterosexual great looking couple at the beach! This is hot off the press. Other than that, in terms of diversity, I may also launch a beach towel representing men or women of the LGBTQ community at the beach. This is super exciting!! FlightsInStilettos is a brand that is primarily geared toward women travelers, but who knows what else the future holds!
Where can people find your Diversity Beach Towels?
All my beach towels can be found on my website.
What advice would you give to a young black woman or man, that is interested in allowing the art and style of fashion and beauty to be shown creatively and uniquely, especially during these current times?
The best advice I would give is to establish and professionalize the branding marketing and promotion of your work. When I first started, I did not have a website or an Instagram page that were in alignment or that fully represented what FlightsInStilettos is all about. Over time, I learned the importance of properly branding my business; I hired professionals with skills that I did not have in order to ensure that my business was presented in the best possible light.
Being the true superwoman that you are, you also have published a few amazing books, can you tell us more about that?
Thank you very much. In 2019 I wrote and released a memoir dedicated to the memory of my mother, who passed away unexpectedly in 2018. My first book is called: “30 Days: Surviving The Trauma and Unexpected Loss of Single Parent as an Only Child”. My second book which was released in 2020 is an anthology spearheaded by me called “Passing As Straight: Beautiful Women Whose True Sexuality Went Undetected by a Judgmental Society” and it’s a true account of 6 women who concealed their sexual identities to avoid discrimination and shame, but who eventually decided it was time to walk in their truth. My third book also released in 2020 is called: “From Section 8 To C.E.O.” it is a novel based on real-life events about one women’s epic tale of being determined and unstoppable in creating a better life for herself. She finds love, peace of mind, and the ultimate form of success, but not before navigating a few curve balls thrown her way!
What would you like your readers to gain from reading your books?
I’d want readers to take away the following messages from my books, listen to your inner voice, honor your departed loved one’s legacy, walk in your truth, and to be unstoppable in your quest for success and the absolute best!
What is next for Kinyatta Gray?
Thank you for asking; I will be launching an IG Live podcast called Girls Love Flights Feeling and Fashion in August 2020. I will also be partnering with a not for profit organization in Washington, D.C. – I plan to donate 10 overstuffed FlightsInStilettos gift bags in order to lift the spirits of a specific community of women during this travel season and last, I will begin planning the 2012 Glam Girl Beach Towel designs!
How can everyone follow you?
Instagram @flightsinstilettos and @kinyattagraytheauthor.
All images by Ksenia Pro Photography
Great interview! Hi!