CELEBRATING WHM: MEET LINDSAY BARNETTE

This year for Women's History Month, we want to shine a light on Women of all styles that are currently making history within the creative community in Atlanta.

As we close out the month, we're giving the spotlight to Lindsay Barnette, Founder and Creative Director of Atlanta-based brand Kultured Misfits. Lindsay began exploring her creativity in her early life after taking graphic design, typography, and branding classes that led her to love brand development and telling powerful stories through brands.

Get to know Lindsay

Designing and style comes naturally as she shows her creativity through the different mediums of art and fashion developed by Kultured Misfits. Lindsay describes her design style as being a combination of her life experiences, inspirations, and community.

I started Kultured Misfits in 2015 while I was applying for jobs after college as a point of connectivity to art. I wanted my own creative outlet for self expression. I was inspired by a group of friends I had in college. We'd meet up and have these conversations that lead to us talking about politics, art, style, music and fashion, and I was missing that connection to them and the way we'd dream and share about our lives. So, I started to look for something that could express that same feeling I had back, specifically that feeling that would give others permission to be authentically themselves and to learn for one another, like I had with my friends.

Something that would remind us that we were never meant to fit in, we were always supposed to be uniquely ourselves. I've learned so much by simply listening or even more, being willing to listen, even if I differ in opinion. I realized that it doesn't have to take away from me being myself, in order to learn about you, appreciate you even. I like to tell our stories in each and every detail, each collection we put out. My goal was, and still is, to search for the understated luxury within each piece; through the storytelling, the fabric selections, the colors while delivering quality, and a luxury experience you can relate to.

As Creative Director, my source of inspiration is a mix of everything. From the creative side, I experience new things through travel, art, music, tv/film, really just all things that contribute to culture all the way to the super technical part of studying fashion trends through the latest fashion week shows. It can really come from anywhere, even just conversations amongst other creatives on their own projects.

The main obstacle I face as a woman in this industry has been gaining the respect, exposure, and funding needed to accelerate forward. In fashion, but especially in streetwear fashion, the industry can be very male dominated and as a female who creates clothing that is more unisex or masculine it can be hard to get the meeting. Women can be looked at as the model, make-up technician, or even the assistant when first introduced in this industry.

In my earlier years with the brand, I even tried to go by a nickname of "LB" instead of Lindsay Barnette in my email signatures just to see if I'd get a different response to the brand. Sometimes I did. I'd set up meetings and calls and they wouldn't know that I'm a black female until we started but by then I had their attention enough to listen through the brand and the pieces.

Overall things are progressing forward, but gaining access to exposure opportunities and capital funds is also challenging as a black female entrepreneur. Kultured Misfits is and has always been entirely self-funded. I've spent the last 8 years working full-time jobs and building KM from the ground up, pouring portions of my salaries into purchasing the resources they needed.

I'm incredibly thankful for this opportunity and happy to see that more and more attention is being placed on female entrepreneurs as a whole and more dedicated opportunities are starting to be available.

I try to empower other women by simply being an example through my brand. Whether it's starting a business in general or having a streetwear brand in this male dominated industry, I want to be an example that is all doable. It's not easy and you may make some mistakes but if you truly believe in something, don't hesitate to do it. Dreams are something you have to believe in, so let me serve as proof that you have to work hard at it and that every second is worth it!

SHOP LINDSAY'S LOOK 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram at @wishatl as we continue to shine a light on Women of all different styles that are empowering the future throughout the month.