Meet Cassidy Edwards, bonafide hustler and sneakerhead. Cassidy is the Managing Editor for the sneaker and style blog CNKDaily. She’s all about sneakers, writing, street art, and #Chickspiration and is a creator for The Culture to keep an eye on. Check out our interview with Cassidy and #GetFamiliar.
You are pretty well known for having a stellar sneaker collection, how many pairs do you own and when did your love of sneakers begin?
(Thank you!) I was introduced to sneakers in middle school when I would hang out with the skateboarders and became interested since everyone in the crew wore Chuck Taylors and Vans. I would say I fell in love with sneakers in high school as my preference began to evolve and I became interested in Air Jordans and Nike Air Max silhouettes. My sneaker count is actually not too crazy as I have tried to put more focus on quality versus quantity – not too far over 100 pairs.
What made you eventually decide to start a website?
My love for sneakers + a passion for writing found each other in early 2017 when I came across something I hadn’t seen too frequently in the social media streets. A dope platform for lady sneaker lovers – CNK Daily. CNK Daily or “Chick n Kicks” was founded by Channing Beumer in 2015 unifying ladies that love kicks, but also had a passion to elevate and inspire through a common bond.
Can you describe the CNK Daily blog to us?
CNK Daily is a platform designed to be a voice that elevates, empowers, and serves a community of like-minded women in what we like to call “SneakHER Culture.”
What does an average day running CNK consist of?
At CNK we are constantly working to highlight content that includes new releases, promotional initiatives, and campaigns aimed directly at the sneakHER community we serve. With the trifecta of business savvy from Channing, sneaker style content from our Style Editor Ticara, and myself as the Managing Editor – we focus on bringing our audience the best content possible. This summer we have had the blessing of 3 interns that also work very hard for the brand.
It’s amazing that you’ve managed to build a career out of your passion. How did you do that?
It’s definitely hard work as I (like many creatives) juggle a day job in Corporate America with my passion – CNK Daily. I’m able to do so because I believe in the brand and what it stands for. My normal day to day is about prioritizing what’s important and making it happen (and this can look different everyday). At CNK, all the editors bring something different to the table and we compliment each other’s strengths/weaknesses which creates a cohesive team.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on so far?
I really enjoy working on our Chick Chats. Diversity is a beautiful thing that should be embraced and our Chick Chat interview series allows us to introduce a diverse group of boss babes to our audience. I learn something new each time I interview someone and at the end of the day creativity is about connecting.
What is the most rewarding part of your work and what is the most challenging?
The most rewarding part of my job at CNK Daily is witnessing dope ideas come to fruition. We are constantly brainstorming about our audience demographic and serving them through showing our style in our Sneaker Diary series or our SneakHER Girl’s Guide series to editorials that are thought-provoking. We strive to set ourselves apart and it’s a great feeling of accomplishment when we get the opportunities to make this happen.
You’ve created the hashtag #chickspiration what does it represent to you?
I would say that #Chickspiration is a hashtag originally created by CNK Daily as a foundation for who we are. In today’s sneaker climate, it’s critical that we are uplifting other women and inspiring them to know no limits about who they can be. We champion other ladies’ to emphasize that it’s about community over competition and we should all be celebrating one another, pulling seats up to the table.
What are your thoughts on the sneaker scene for women today?
The sneaker scene for women is definitely growing. With brands showing more awareness of the female consumer, there are more campaigns and representation. Is there improvements that need to be made? YES. I’m hopeful that as we keep raising our voices, we are pushing the envelope for what we truly want when it comes to sneakers + streetwear.
How do you feel the sneaker community treats women? Is it improving?
I am an optimist, so I will always say that it’s improving. We have been asking for improvements for quite some time, so this isn’t necessarily new. I believe that we have a variety of platforms that aid in our voices being heard now. Women are still having to prove themselves in the sneaker community. Whether it be our sneaker knowledge, our styles, our credibility period – we typically have to go above and beyond in a male dominated space.
You dispense a lot of great fashion advice so how would you describe your personal style?
My personal style is always changing (LOL). I am a mother, therefore comfort is my #1 priority. If I happen to go out and can dress up my sneakers, that is a big plus. When styling, I tend to start with a shoe and work my way up. I love all my shoes, but you won’t typically find me going to the grocery store in my beloved Air Jordan 1s. On a normal day, you’ll probably find me in adidas Ultraboosts or slides (this Texas heat is no joke).
Top 3 sneakers of all-time?
This is such a hard question. I can narrow this down to two silhouettes and one specific pair.
#1 Air Jordan 1 – any colorway, it’s a classic.
#2 Air Jordan 12
#3 Nike Air Max 1 Atmos (Elephant)
Most anticipated sneaker release for the rest of the year?
I am a creature of habit and like what I like – whether it be hype or not. I always look forward to the Air Jordan holiday releases. With so many Air Jordan 1s releasing, I am probably most excited about the varsity red/university blue colorblocking coming in December. I am pretty excited about what Jordan WMNS division has been releasing as well.
What is the biggest accomplishment of your career to this point?
I feel like all my wins (small or large) have been big accomplishments. I would say something I’m very proud of is passing down the love of sneakers to my children. I want my daughter to understand her voice is important and you don’t have to fit into any box (pun intended) to make a statement. Another highlight would be the opportunity to speak to Jordan Brand WMNS division about their releases.
What would you say has been the key to building your brand?
Building CNK Daily has been a collaborative effort that the founder (Channing) has pushed from the start. Showcasing a genuine passion and true authenticity to what you represent propels a brand to success. Anyone can do what the masses are doing, but people can sense when a brand is real and relatable.
What is the most important piece of advice you would give to aspiring content creators?
Be yourself. You do yourself a disservice by trying to recreate anything else if it’s not your passion. Passion can build purpose, but taking time to get better at your craft/skill and learn is a major key. I would also encourage finding a mentor – someone who has been where you are trying to go that can give you advice based on their experience. Always stay humble.
What’s the next step in the evolution of the CNK brand/platform?
CNK Daily is always working on what the next level looks like. Creating great products for our audience and pushing “SneakHER Culture” forward is a priority initiative for 2018. Keep it locked because I can assure you that dope things are coming your way.
What are your ultimate goals? With CNK and your career overall?
My ultimate goal is to create a life that fuels my desire to be creative and be happy in the way I see it. I truly believe that speaking things manifests into reality. For CNK, I want to continue to play an integral role in elevating sneaker culture from a woman’s perspective and mentoring young women through our platform. CNK wants to eventually create a place for women to come together, buy kicks, and vibe with each other.
And finally, what does the term “The Culture” mean to you?
The word culture can often times… become oversaturated with a number of meanings. To me, culture is about continuing to keep the stories alive that connect us to our sneakers. It’s about understanding that storytelling and nostalgia drives the legacies that are timeless. Culture is what we create, and it’s important to pass down what made us fall in love with some of our favorite silhouettes. The new generation may not have grown up watching Michael Jordan play – but that doesn’t make them any less deserving of understanding what the ‘Last Shot’ meant or what feeling we had when we saw the Air Jordan 13s on the big screen in ‘He Got Game’. Culture is expressing ourselves and being able to describe why it’s more than just shoes.
Check Cassidy out on Instagram
And check out Chick N Kicks at www.cnkdaily.com
Interviewed by @TalentedMrFord
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