How to Build a Business Around Giving Back with KamGi Finch [Episode #563]
This week’s topic is: How to Build a Business Around Giving Back with KamGi Finch
I am so excited to have my very special guest, KamGi, who is the founder of Be Love, an apparel that raises funds and awareness for empowering projects that uplift their community. Listen in as KamGi shares her journey towards creating a company that gives back to the community, how to work through fear and what success looks like.
Be Love Apparel’s latest awareness campaign…
Working with your partner in your business…
The vision of Be Love and its journey…
How to make a living while giving back…
KamGi shares how she works through fear and where her trust comes from…
Overcoming old wounds and stepping into your power…
Building a business on minimal funds…
We discuss what success looks like…
KamGi Finch is the co-founder (alongside her husband Kyle) of Be Love Apparel. The seeds of Be Love Apparel were sown in 2004 when they were expecting their first baby ~ the creative vibrations were flowing strong & the vision for Be Love came in clear! Both Kyle and KamGi were active in social justice causes and the peace movement in Los Angeles and decided to take their experience from former careers in art, education, and branding to create Be Love and through it raise funds and awareness for empowering projects that uplift their community. Be Love Apparel are known for their inspiring & love centered graphics which are printed onto the softest tees, tanks and tops. Their clothing is ethically made in downtown Los Angeles. Be Love continues to be a small family run business (truly grass roots!), based out of Topanga Canyon.
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: Hi Beauties and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am thrilled to share with you my very special interview today with KamGi and her husband, Kyle, are the founders of Be Love: an amazing apparel company that raises funds and awareness for empowering projects that uplift the community.
Kimberly: I was organically connected to them six or seven years ago when I walked into a yoga studio and saw this shirt that I loved. It was a peace warrior shirt and I bought it and I wore it. And then, I think I put it on a picture somewhere on social and they saw it, or they found me. Anyway, we found each other and we started collabing and connecting. And now, we actually live in the same place in Los Angeles and I’ve been able to go into their storefront.
Kimberly: The thing is, guys, the more you go along the journey you realize who’s really real and who’s coming from such a heart-centered authentic place. And I have to say, when I was doing this interview with KamGi, I felt goosebumps. I could feel her heart. I could feel how amazing she is. She really comes from such a pure place. She and her husband have been able to build this business together that’s all centered on giving back and they’re just such beautiful people. I think you’re really going to enjoy this interview today, which is quite vulnerable, both from her and from me, and just so much heart in it.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: But before we get into that, I just want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. Her name is nodramama42. She writes, “Forever grateful. I adore Kimberly Snyder. She covers it all through her well-thought-out four cornerstones. I’ve gained so much knowledge by listening to our podcasts and absolutely love her books and recipes. She has changed my outlook, not just on food, but life as well.”
Kimberly: Oh, thank you so much nodramama42. This is like just gives my heart flutters. Sometimes I feel like I’m over here doing the podcast and you’re writing things and I think, Oh, is anybody out there listening?” And when you guys write reviews and I get to read them and I think, “Oh, people are really resonating with this,” it gives me so much energy and inspiration to keep going and keep doing the podcast. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly: Nodramama42, I send you so much love and so much gratitude, and also a big virtual hug. So Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as our fan of the week, for me to read your beautiful words, please leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify, wherever you listen to our podcast, and leave us a review. It is a wonderful way to support the show and I feel so much love and support from it personally, so I really do thank you so much from my heart.
Kimberly: While you’re over there, please be sure to subscribe to the show, which is just a great way to stay tuned into the community, and to give yourself self-love and connection and, hopefully, inspiration and knowledge that comes in every week that’s really positive and beneficial to your life. So yeah, it’s really easy to subscribe and it’s easy to leave a review. Hopefully, this week will be the week that you do that. So all that being said, I’m so grateful to be getting into our show today. Let’s get started.
Interview with KamGi Finch with Be Love Apparel
Kimberly: Yay, KamGi, I’m so happy to have you in my house.
KamGi: So happy to be here. It’s been many years that we’ve been aware and have known each other from a distance, but-
Kimberly: I think when we first connected, I was still going back and forth from New York to LA and I hadn’t committed to living in LA yet, and I remember you said, “Oh, I live in this place called Topanga.” And I said, “Oh, where is that? Oh, it’s all the way out in the mountains.” And here we are a couple of years later and now we’re neighbors. Isn’t it amazing.
KamGi: Yeah, it’s crazy. It is, it really is.
Kimberly: I found you, I was going to this yoga studio in West Hollywood and I found this beautiful peace warrior shirt and it really drew my attention and it was so soft, and I loved the design, and then that’s organically how we met. I was wearing the shirt and then I think we just connected and we did … I don’t know, some kind of promotion or something.
KamGi: We did. And I mean, I just remember from the beginning how open your heart was to supporting. I mean, we were a tiny brand new little company and yeah, you were just so open. And you were the first person I remember that we posted on our Instagram that was a known person. And I just remember that sense of support and that just came so easily from you, and I think that’s just such a beautiful … I mean, I feel that from you now and I feel that from you. It’s just part a of your energy.
Be Love Apparel’s latest awareness campaign
Kimberly: It’s just amazing. I just feel so connected, because we were just talking on the phone, and email and here you are. So, when you guys started, I know this … first of all, Be Love is amazing. I was wearing the shirt when you came in and I swear to god, I didn’t plan this. I wear your clothing so much. And you have always been such a cause driven brand. And I think when I started it was women transitioning from homelessness, and what’s your focus now?
KamGi: Our focus now is we’re working a campaign where we’re donating the profits from our I Choose Love graphic, which you’re wearing, to Together Rising. And that started, gosh, this campaign started when the pandemic hit actually. We really felt, gosh, we want to do something to help. How can we be of service?
Kimberly: What does that focus on, specifically?
KamGi: That focuses on families who are struggling. It’s the basics of grocery bills, helping with utilities. Just the simple things that [crosstalk].
Kimberly: That’s wonderful.
KamGi: … a position where sometimes you just don’t have enough, and it’s the worst feeling. [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Totally. The stress.
KamGi: … and if you can just help with that. And Together Rising, we’ve worked with them before on a separate campaign, the We Are Family campaign. And I just love their organization. Their community is … it’s a true beloved community where, I think the way they describe themselves, we all see so much suffering out there in the world, and what do we do with that feeling? And Together Rising, when you donate to them, every single … every penny goes towards the cause. And they see things come up and they call their warriors to action, their love warriors and people donate. It’s everyday people who donate $5, $10, $25. But you’re part of something that is really effective and it’s … you feel you’re giving back.
KamGi: I’ve also seen testimonials from people who’ve received help from Together Rising, and at one point, they were giving to Together Rising, so it’s this … our circumstances change. You never know where you’re going to be, and if you’re in a position to give, it feels good to give. And sometimes you might need to receive, and that community’s there for you. Somebody described them as, gosh, how was it? It was such a beautiful description. Just Together Rising, it’s a family and they’re there to support when we need each other. And just it’s a hug in human form. Just this whole organization. And I really-
Kimberly: It’s what we need today, and to support that. And it goes back to this oneness idea that I think it used to feel like such an abstract concept to me when I first got into yoga and I started, oneness, how could we all be one? But then the more time goes on, we realize that what connects us is the biggest force. The love is what connects us. And we all come from the same source. And to your point about sharing and giving and receiving, I mean, that’s when we think of everybody as our brother and sister at then it’s a very different way of looking at things.
How it all began
KamGi: It is. And it’s funny, I kind of go back to when we first started, because Kyle was teaching high school, I was pregnant with Jai and we had a sense … actually, no. Jai had been born. We were living just down the road-
Kimberly: Yes, because I remember I looked up your website and I saw both your children. I think they were … Oh.
KamGi: Satya hadn’t been born yet.
KamGi: So, it was in 2005 when the first ideas of [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Oh, oh sure. I mean, way before we met.
KamGi: Way before we met.
Kimberly: Oh, right, right, right. I mean, when we connected your kids were …
KamGi: I think both were.
Kimberly: Yeah, they were totally here.
KamGi: Both were earth side. They’d landed. We were involved with different peace movements, the American Friends Service Committee, and Kyle, like I said, he was teaching high school. But the two of us wanted to do something-
Kimberly: And what were you doing?
KamGi: I had come from England. Kyle and I met in Thailand, we were traveling-
Kimberly: Okay, so let’s talk about that for a second. I remember reading that on your website, because I backpacked for a long time too. I backpacked for three years, and the dream is you meet someone on the road and you have this beautiful … kind of Eat, Pray, Love, but it actually works out in the end. And you guys lived that?
KamGi: We did.
Kimberly: Tell us a little bit. You met in Thailand.
KamGi: Yeah, I went over to study Thai yoga massage.
Kimberly: Oh, wow. You were actually productive. I was going to full moon parties when I went to Thailand.
KamGi: I went to a couple of those too. And Kyle was on his bicycle cycling through Laos, Thailand, Cambodia.
Kimberly: Oh geez, amazing.
KamGi: And, as luck would have it, we met up in Chiang Mai [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Is he from here? Is he from California?
KamGi: He’s originally from Memphis but he was living in California at the time, he [crosstalk].
Kimberly: And he was teaching and taking a break?
KamGi: Yeah, at that point he was working, gosh, I’m not sure exactly what he was doing. But anyway, he took a break to go off and go traveling. It was the first time I think he’d been out kind of leaving the US. Actually no, he’d been to England. This was a first big backpacking travel. And yeah, we met and it was just this moment of … I remember being on this walk with him where it’s one of those cliché things-
Kimberly: You just felt it.
KamGi: … where time stood still and I just felt like … we were walking down this path and it was timeless. Just something, you know?
What it’s like working with your partner in your business
Kimberly: Real soulmates from other life times when you feel that you know somebody, and deeply. And it just feels right. Because that’s one of the things when I learned about Be Love. I love that you and your husband were doing it together and it really is a family business. And you can just smell the authenticity. You know what I mean? You can feel when people are doing it from their heart and you guys have a retail store here in Topanga and sometimes I pop in there and I talk to him and it’s always the most lovely interaction. You guys are so heart centered. So, tell us though, is it hard working with your husband? It’s kind of a fairy tale for a second, the real life.
KamGi: I mean, of course, when you’re away traveling, you are in [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Oh, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
KamGi: … you have children and then you start working together and yes, it’s challenging. Our house is a little house and our office space, we were up until, gosh, a year ago, sharing office space too. And so literally together, together, together. And on the most part, we have a great connection and I think one of our biggest strengths is the ability to really communicate and talk [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Oh, so important.
KamGi: I mean, we’ve talk through and moved through some really challenging times, but both of us have been present for that and willing to do the work, which makes all the difference. But just recently he actually is renting a little office three doors down from the shop.
Kimberly: Oh, nice.
KamGi: And that feel really healthy.
Kimberly: Yeah, it’s nice to have some space.
KamGi: A little bit of space.
Kimberly: My gosh, if my husband and I shared this office, I would go nuts.
KamGi: It’s intense.
Kimberly: Well, also, yeah, I just think that everybody has a different process. So much of what I do is writing and doing these podcasts, and he’s on the phone all day and he’s super loud. We’re lucky to have a guest house, I’m like, “Go over there.”
KamGi: I think I met him actually.
Kimberly: I’m sure you did. He’s over there on the phone all day. He has a PR company so he’s just, yeah. Anyways.
KamGi: So, yes, but it’s interesting. The two of us, we’re both really similar on some level, but we also have … he’s the one that pushes out. He’s the one that will step out and make the moves, where I’m kind of more of a … I’ll pull back and check. I don’t know, I’m more of an inward. And so, together, somehow, we make things happen.
Kimberly: Yeah, it works.
KamGi: It works. And we share the vision, which is-
The vision of Be Love and its journey
Kimberly: Yes, tell us the vision.
KamGi: The vision was to create a company, a brand, something we could work together that we could give back. And we started with our first graphics was peace warrior, which was the one that you got.
Kimberly: Which I still wear.
KamGi: The Gandhi shirt and the be the change. And those were our first designs and my mum, she gave is $1,500 and we printed … put that $1,500 [crosstalk].
Kimberly: That was the beginning of the business.
KamGi: That’s was the beginning of the business.
Kimberly: With $1,500.
KamGi: With $1,500.
Kimberly: What about the website and …
KamGi: Well, that slowly … so, first we did our first run of shirts and we actually went to Agape and we sold at the Sunday market.
Kimberly: Oh, I love the [inaudible].
KamGi: And that’s where we were, every Sunday morning, with the babies. And we started doing different little markets and festivals. And then, actually the first yoga place to find us was Golden Bridge.
Kimberly: Oh, lovely.
KamGi: And that opened up just a realization that what were doing was kind of perfect for the yoga world. And at that point, the yoga world was … it was opening up in ways that I guess it was 15 years ago. People were opening little shops and boutiques and some studios, so it was … and it still is, it’s a very … it’s been slow and steady for us all the way.
Kimberly: And slow and steady always wins the race. But you know, it goes back to, we were talking about, there’s something that … how do I say this? It’s just, you know when something’s really special, I think. It’s like, oh, you guys have sweatshirts and T-shirts, there’s a lot of T-shirt companies out there, but authentically say this, you’re the brand of all the brands of my entire life, except for maybe my Levis jeans from years ago. You are the brand that I keep, and I’ve never had that experience. I end up giving clothes away, trying to recycle or whatever we do. But they’re different. The fit, first of all, they’re actually quality. The fit is amazing and I just love the designs, and they’re so soft, and the cotton is amazing. But you can also feel the heart behind the brand. And you feel good wearing it because you know you’re part of a movement.
Kimberly: But still, there is charity or non-profit items that aren’t as good, so you guys really, in creating a business that gives back, you had the core and the mission. And then you also created quality products.
KamGi: Thank you.
Kimberly: So, you focused on both in the beginning? Or did that … like your first iteration, you had to keep evolving, with the clothing I mean.
KamGi: The beginning, we didn’t make the clothing at the beginning. We were getting blanks. For somebody starting a clothing business, it was good to do it that way. We could order quality blanks from Alternative and then we printed our graphics. We still have the same screen printer, Aaron, who’s worked with us for the whole time. And so that’s how we began. We would go to festivals, markets, we would … oh my gosh, I wish somebody had footage of us. Honestly, I remember at one point we had, somebody gave us an Oldsmobile, I mean there’s-
Kimberly: They gave it to you?
KamGi: We had one little car and we needed a second car, and so a really great friend Rick actually lives in the canyon too, it was his aunt’s Oldsmobile. But it was this crazy looking car that we’d literally-
Kimberly: And you would take all the shirts and go to the festivals?
KamGi: All the shirts, with the babies. We would often sleep in the whatsit-
Kimberly: The yoga festivals, were you going to Burning Man?
KamGi: Not Burning Man. Things like Harmony Festival. I mean there were all kinds of different little ones. The one at-
KamGi: Yeah, Wanderlust. And where we would sleep in the booth with the babies. And so one night-
Kimberly: Oh my goodness. Amazing.
KamGi: I mean, for the kids it was a real adventure. I remember at times we weren’t supposed to be in the booth and there was security going round. We had to-
Kimberly: Oh my god.
KamGi: We were kind of doing it from the ground up, and that’s how it has been for us. And I think that’s, when you say the intention that you feel that, that really is … it’s every design that we do, we really kind of go there and we really do … Do we feel this? We can get a bit too much in the way sometimes.
Kimberly: No, but it shows.
KamGi: It’s putting something out, I think both of us really want it to mean and translate-
Kimberly: Oh, but you can feel it. You can absolutely feel it. And I think that’s what … we were talking before the podcast started about frequency and energy and there’s things that I don’t think our conscious brain understands, but somewhere deep inside of us, it registers. So, it’s all part of it. All that energy behind it is part of it.
How to make a living while giving back
Kimberly: But what would you say KamGi, if people are saying, “Oh, the world that we live in, there’s so much focus on capitalism and making money and hoarding money and keep …” And of course, we need to survive. We want to take care of our families, and some people may think, but how do I do that and also give back at the same time. Like, how can I make that a success? How can I actually make that my career? And you and your husband were able to do that. So, do you ever feel … yeah, yeah, just share about that please.
KamGi: Yeah, yeah, I mean, it’s interesting because we were actually listening to your podcast and I can’t remember who you were talking to but you would … actually, I think it was maybe the one where it was a solo and you were talking about that zingy feeling you get when you are just intuitively connecting to something that feels right and feels like part of your soul purpose and feels … And we really had that feeling as we moved through the beginning stages and we’re talking about what we wanted to do. And I would say, if that feeling comes in, you have to trust that feeling and you have to [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Yes, yes.
KamGi: … because, I mean, that’s when things are connecting and it’s the universe, the spirit is telling you yes. And it is challenging but there is a way. There’s always a way, and if you are on that right track, it will be incredible how just people, circumstances come and support you.
Kimberly: It’s amazing.
KamGi: Like you too. It was literally one of the first connections that came to support. And so, I think, especially now, I think people are more and more conscious of wanting, if they’re going to be spending their time doing something that it has a purpose, that it fulfills. You’re making a living and you’re covering your basics, but you’re also somehow making a difference. And I feel really grateful that that’s what we’re able to do. But it is hard. And I was saying to you when I came in that there was this sense of, we’ve been doing this for 15 years but also at the same time, it also still feels like we’re flying by the seat of our pants in so many ways.
Kimberly: Yeah. I feel like the should word is something I struggle with too, where it’s like, oh, I should be doing this. I should whatever, I should have more products out. I should … all the different things we would … whatever we think. But someone said to me recently, saying I should is actually a form of self-hatred. Because the reality is we are where we’re supposed to be and we’re doing our work and I can go really philosophical with this but the real reality is inside of us, and what we’re creating, what we’re doing and feeling good about that.
Kimberly: And numbers, and comparison, it’s just … there’s so much to that and there’s so much that can be manipulated and you can get those numbers and you could sell six billion shirts, but at what cost? And what sacrifice do you make to that? And are you feeling fulfilled? At the end of the day, it’s really all about the inside. Like, do you feel good about what you’re doing? Do you know that you’re in integrity with your values? Are you helping other people in the world? And that’s the real success. And you guys, to me, from my perspective, you are living it. You’ve created this whole brand around it.
KamGi: In terms of, I think, that being in integrity with what we want to put out, I do feel … I feel successful in, and I feel really grateful to feel that, because I think that is a big one. It’s interesting, when we got in touch with Katelyn and John [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Yes, yes. Oh, you did? You guys do it? Oh, I love that.
KamGi: … thought it would be funny to see John after all these years. And when we came off the Zoom, it was also this sense of, ooh, gosh, we talked about maybe doing a little conversation like this, we talked about. And my whole feeling, there’s this whole thing of self-worth that comes up too. On a whole personal level of, this is the first podcast I’m doing.
Kimberly: Oh, I’m so honored to have you on.
KamGi: Just because it’s [crosstalk].
Kimberly: You’re a natural KamGi.
KamGi: And it’s this sense of, gosh, but what do I really have to share?
KamGi: It’s all that stuff the comes up, and yet, it’s so interesting the synchronicity of it all, because three weeks ago we did a giveaway with another company, and the lady that won our new jogger set, she wrote to me and said, “Oh my god, I’ve never won anything before and I was so happy.” I said, “Oh, me neither.” But then she ended up giving me a session, she’s a channeler, and she just offered me this gift. And it was the most incredible session. A two hour session at 6:30 AM in the morning we were on. And the angels are with me right now, and it sounds kind of out there but-
Kimberly: I believe it.
KamGi: … she said, “Okay, they’re with you. Do what you need to do.” And all this conversation is happening [crosstalk].
KamGi: … and last week it was also this sense in realizing I’m needing to come out of my comfort zones, in order to push through the limitations that I am feeling, that need to step outside of what you’re used to and what you’ve been avoiding. And now that I’m here having this conversation with you, it feels so wonderful, I’m so grateful, but I swear, it was like, when Katelyn sent the email inviting me, there was a big part was I just, I don’t … what am I going to …
Kimberly: Oh, KamGi, we all feel that. I feel that too sometimes. It used to be a lot more. But I think, for me, what’s kind of gone sky rocketed in my life as a focus is my spiritual practice, is my meditation. I do Kriya yoga, which is the yoga of Yogananda, who’s my guru. And I’ve been doing it now for 12 years, and it really does work. It is that practice where it’s hard to meditate at first, but you know when I was talking to you before the podcast, I said, “Life isn’t so serious. It’s all like we make such a big deal out of it.” But I think that idea of I’m not enough, all the iterations, I’m not worthy, the self-worth.
Kimberly: It’s like every human struggles with that and we all look at each other, I look at you and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, look, she’s created this amazing movement, she gets to work with her husband.” You live in Topanga, which I think is the best place. You’re giving back every day. Would could be better than that, right? But then inside of ourselves we think, oh, but we focus on the lack. Or we compare ourselves. It’s just a major retraining of the mind, isn’t it?
KamGi: It is a major retraining. In a sense, I think for us, it’s the part where we don’t own a home or we don’t have savings. We’ve managed to kind of keep moving forward. And then this is really something, I think, that has to do with coming out of the comfort zone too, where there is work to be done for myself, and with Kyle too where we can come into a more abundant place. The giveback campaigns that we do, they’re their own thing. They’re the own little pot Be Love that they bring in and it goes out. And then, the rest of us, it’s also, it just needs to grow. We need to believe. And we do believe in ourselves, but it’s also sometimes it’s the up and the downs.
Kimberly: It’s up and down. Yeah, and I think with abundance, because it’s part of what I wrote about in this new book actually, and I think back. Because I was broke for a while. I was backpacking, I came back, and I would get a dollar would buy you three oranges in New York City. And that’s what I would eat for lunch sometimes. And I had so much pride because my parents didn’t think I should backpack for so … I never wanted to ask for money, so I was struggling and I never revealed that to them.
Kimberly: But anyways, I think about this, what we were talking about, the reality of the inner state, and I think about … I never, I mean I did, I do focus on the outside as our minds do, but I really just started focusing on feeling good on the inside and working on the self-worth part. And I think then the abundance comes because the outside mirrors the inside. And sometimes we think the outside should affect how we feel on the inside instead of the other way. But I really believe it’s all vibration.
KamGi: I believe that too and also I remembered hearing you talk about the Four Cornerstones and stability. And I think this my … I’m here now and it’s, every day is a new day. And my problem I think has been the four cornerstones. I can probably get three of them going at the same time, but there’s always one-
Kimberly: Yeah, that’s right.
KamGi: … that I leave out, and so-
Kimberly: Which one would you say is your weak one? So, it’s food, body, emotional wellbeing and spiritual growth.
KamGi: It changes. I swear, sometimes I’m in my meditation and I’m doing it and I’m consistent with that and sometimes I’m making my … really looking after myself nutritionally. But I am-
Kimberly: Yeah, you’re flowing.
KamGi: … it’s not even one single one. It changes. But I think I realize, I know the tools, I have the tools. And it’s a commitment, and it’s that whole, I value myself enough to commit to this. I see where the problem is. Because the solutions are here for us and I feel blessed to know that and it’s … I think my step, it’s committing to taking care of myself.
Kimberly: Yeah, and that goes back to the self-worth part. Because it’s easier to take care of other people, to take care of the kids or to give back, but really, when we do honor ourselves and take care of ourselves, we can take care of more people.
Kimberly: And in a deeper way.
KamGi: Yeah, and you had even mentioned, there was a point where you said, “When you have a stable foundation, then coming out of your comfort zone is a much easier thing to do, because it’s not like everything is wobbling.” And to go and then do something that’s not in your comfort zone feels like an even more … things aren’t stable anyway and now you’re going to try and do this. But if you have that stable foundation, to go and keep stepping outside of what feels comfortable is so much more, I think, possible. And I just imagine, I know I’d be so much more ready to just keep stepping if I had that.
KamGi shares how she works through fear and where her trust comes from
Kimberly: Well, so you’ve been doing this for 15 years KamGi, and you’re flowing along, something shows up. How do you have that kind of incredible trust? Where did that come from? Is that something that built? Tell me about trust and fear in your life. Do you feel the fear and then you breathe through it? Or does it not register because you’re so focused on trust?
KamGi: I think I do feel the fear, but then I realize I can either … I think it’s important to feel it and not push it away, but to breathe through it and realize that we absolutely … it won’t serve me, it won’t serve those I love if I just go into this space of fear and worry and it’s just not going to serve any purpose, other than just feel really terrible. And so, trusting, I mean, I look back at the 15 years and the different things we have accomplished, the different challenges we faced and how, somehow, through perseverance, through the love of-
Kimberly: The vision.
KamGi: The vision, that the support is there, and I do trust. And I think, yeah, that does come through. And it’s funny, just even talking to you now, you’re just realizing that that is actually a really big part of carrying on and moving forward.
Kimberly: Yes, it’s trusting.
Kimberly: Because you say, “Oh well, I need to work on this and this,” but again, to the third party like me, looking at like, you’ve been carrying on and you’re doing that, that’s a woman with a lot of courage.
KamGi: Yeah, thank you, thank you.
Kimberly: And a lot of strength, and you keep figuring out the way that … you’re not even figuring out, but being open to things coming through.
KamGi: Yeah, I think that’s key, being open. If you can stay open, then anything’s possible. And I think that’s, having your own business, there is that trade off of not having security, but at the same time, it’s that open space of anything being possible, which is a really … it’s a beautiful possibility. And where you can push yourself to fulfilling your potential. And it’s interesting too, the brand, Be Love, that we created, the people that we interact with, I swear, I’m grateful for every person who I interact with, who comes into the shop or who … on our website. And we’ve really been brought the most lovely people.
Kimberly: Like goes to like. It is frequency. I a million percent believe that.
KamGi: And so many just beautiful stories people have shared with us when they’ve worn their shirts. And just different things that have happened, and it’s really … yeah. I genuinely just feel so much love in my heart for the people that have supported us through this.
Kimberly: Yeah, it’s beautiful.
Kimberly: And it just continues. Well, so KamGi, one of the things I talk about this very openly is my overcoming perfectionism and just putting my self-worth in achievements and wanting to be seen. We all have different things from our childhood that … or past lives, depending on what you believe, or both. And that we work through these lessons. And so, for me, the big thing is, again, quelling the perfectionism and not needing that validation. Knowing that I can see myself. I validate myself. And that’s … you can grow through your business. I feel like being an author and being with … creating this brand and just being out there, there’s been so many opportunities for me to really heal and to grow.
Overcoming old wounds and stepping into your power
Kimberly: What would you say is something … if you could say there’s a wound, as we all have wounds from your childhood, or a belief that you’ve … you’re really working on or you’ve overcome to be able to get this far with Be Love?
KamGi: I feel like I’m actually really in it right now.
Kimberly: Is it the self-worth stuff?
KamGi: It is, yeah.
Kimberly: Yeah. How long has it been up to the surface? Because it’s always there for everybody, but yeah, yeah.
KamGi: It’s always there but it literally, just recently, it’s really come up clearly as something that I need to really challenge and step into and not keep running from. And that thing of staying in our little zones that are supposedly safe but are actually incredibly uncomfortable because we know [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Yeah. It starts to feel crowded in that little space.
KamGi: Yeah. And deep down you know that this is not what you’re meant to be and you’re meant to be so much more and you have the potential to be so much more. And it’s also actually recently started to look at my children and become aware of what am I passing down? What limiting beliefs am I passing down? Which is not something you want to do. So, even just from that space of wanting to be an example to my children and just to be brave and to be stepping into, gosh, your potential of why you’re here. We are here to love and we’re here to connect and support each other and right now, there’s such a division, a growing division between people and it’s really scary to see that. And I think we all have to make huge efforts to just not fall into that reactive … it’s easier said than done, but it’s …
Kimberly: It’s an interesting time when there’s been all this attention, what’s happening socially. And it’s weird though. In a way, it’s like I feel like people are coming together, but in a way, like you said, there’s polarization happening. And KamGi, when you were talking about getting past your comfort zones and expanding and growing, I think, wait a minute, didn’t you say you grew up in England? And then you were backpacking in Thailand, you fell in love with this man and then you moved across the world to be with him. That’s not a little comfort zone.
KamGi: Yeah, it’s funny, when you’re looking back because I do … and I was saying to Kyle, my husband, today, and we say this to each other because we can both be, I think, quite hard on ourselves in not giving enough love and credit to what we have accomplished. And it’s important that we give ourselves that love. I think we are generally just too hard on ourselves.
Kimberly: Totally, yeah.
KamGi: It doesn’t help, it doesn’t really serve any purpose. So, we have to be a bit more gentle-
Kimberly: Yeah, compassionate.
Kimberly: And yeah, softer. Because I think we are our own worst critics. Like we talk about the self-doubt and the self-talk and the self-language and the way that we are with ourselves is very … it can be very harsh, can’t it?
Kimberly: And then we think about us as mothers, and we would never speak to our children that way and we would never want anyone else to speak to them that way. Yeah, so that’s why I wonder this whole ancestral thing in child … passing on, we actually question it, but I think about how many of our ancestors didn’t even think about what they were passing on, and so it’s intergenerational and it just continues until somebody starts to question it and bring it up and look at it. And say, “Oh, this actually doesn’t really ring true with me anymore. I’m going to throw this away.”
KamGi: Yeah, yeah. And it is that thread, you see the thread that runs behind you, the generations and what’s coming ahead. I sometimes really see my mum, actually, more and more lately, I sometimes feel like I’m channeling my mum. And it’s a really-
Kimberly: Wait, is your mom Asian or is your-
KamGi: My dad’s Asian.
Kimberly: Okay, so your mom is European.
KamGi: Yeah, she’s from Switzerland.
KamGi: And she’s the eldest of seven girls.
Kimberly: What? No boys?
KamGi: No boys.
Kimberly: Oh my goodness.
KamGi: But she really always had a lot of responsibility and took … was hard on herself too. It’s interesting how you can see that and how it kind of, yeah, just gets passed down, certain things.
Kimberly: It is. I think our mothers and fathers have such a big impact on us. I think about my mom when she came here with an academic scholarship and she really struggled, from the Philippines, and so there’s like that survivor. Holding on, grasping, trying to … and that’s where she was. But then we realize, oh, I’m not in that position anymore.
KamGi: I don’t have to carry that.
Kimberly: Yeah, feel that lack feeling.
KamGi: Yeah. That’s a bit like my dad too. He came from Hong Kong as a young man and he worked to send money back to the family, but it was a struggle and it continued to be a struggle. And he ended up losing a lot and going back with not … it was a really hard story. But then, somehow he managed to find peace with what had happened and is fine and is good. But it’s that survival mode and I feel it too. It takes up so much energy, being in that mode.
Kimberly: Yeah. It does.
KamGi: It really does. And it needs to just …
Building a business on minimal funds
Kimberly: So, back to the business for a moment, when you started with $1,500. It’s just an amazing story. And then you started printing. Did you just start to figure everything else out? Because someone may be listening to this and say, “Well, my dream is to start a pet store or a Pilates studio, but I don’t know about all the accounting stuff, or all this stuff.” So, you guys, what happened there?
KamGi: We started and there were certain people came to help us who had skills, and this is the thing, we are still basically a three person team, which is nuts.
Kimberly: Who’s the third person?
KamGi: Alisha, our office manager.
KamGi: It’s too small, we’re all doing too many different things. But anyway, this is where we’re at right now. But we obviously have people who … an accountant, our screen printer, we have a …
Kimberly: Yeah, yeah, you have …
KamGi: In terms of as you grow, there are certain things … and it’s interesting, the whole thing of production of making the clothing, it’s, you were saying earlier how it … it’s not as easy as it looks and it’s a commitment of going in. And it’s trial and error at the beginning, finding the people that are good to work with, and it’s tricky. But if you have that vision of what you want to do, I mean, there is a way, there really is always a way. And there are people, and I know I’m a bit too probably much of … Kyle will say this, too much of a control freak. I do need to learn to hand things-
Kimberly: Oh yes, it’s not easy when it’s your baby.
KamGi: It’s not easy. But yeah, it’s challenging. But we just learnt along the way. We did. And we had our share of bookkeepers that weren’t good. I mean, this is the thing-
Kimberly: It’s the learning, yeah.
KamGi: … there are things that didn’t go well. And there are things that we had to come out of. And there’s still things that don’t feel great, but we’ll keep working to make them come through. In a way, we had certain people, great people come in to invest money. I mean, it wasn’t a huge investment, but it was still a lot of money. But in terms of making a business, we needed actually more to really kind of make that money work. And it was our hope that we would have paid these investors back at this point, but it just hasn’t been possible.
Kimberly: Yeah, it’s the flow of things.
KamGi: It’s the flow.
Kimberly: It’s like surrendering to that divine timing that challenges us. Like I was saying about the should, oh, I should have paid off, I should be making more money right now, I should be doing all this stuff. And it’s so … we can beat ourselves up so much. I think it’s Eckhart Tolle that talks about the gap between where we are, like the now moment, and where we think we should be. And it’s that difference that creates the suffering. Because otherwise, we just melt into where we are and we say, “Oh, you know, this is how it’s playing out. And doing my best, putting the love forward.”
KamGi: And we are. That’s the thing, we are doing our best and I need to keep coming back to that. And the people, the spas, boutiques that we sell to, they love the product. And it is, a beautiful product.
Kimberly: It is amazing.
KamGi: And the give back campaigns have been amazing and I’m really … and it’s wonderful. Yeah, I feel really grateful to be in a position to do that.
Kimberly: You guys have given back thousands and thousands.
KamGi: Yeah, which is great, especially when you look at our own personal circumstances. It’s really … it is. It’s great. It was that sense of, okay, what tools do I have? Okay, we’re good at design, we know how to make a T-shirt. Let’s put that to use. And again, to anybody wanting to begin something, there are things that you have talents for and if you can figure that out and it brings you joy then to keep-
Why KamGi and Kyle chose clothing over being a teacher
Kimberly: Yeah, I guess I didn’t really ask you that. Why shirts? Why clothing? I mean, you guys are both artistic people. Kyle was a teacher. Why this?
KamGi: The clothing, I guess, the T-shirt does serve as a way of sharing a message.
Kimberly: Yes. It’s true.
KamGi: When we started, a friend of ours helped us with the very first designs, really talented-
Kimberly: Did she make the piece for you?
KamGi: Yeah, yeah.
Kimberly: Oh, it’s the best.
KamGi: And since then, I’ve done most of the graphics. More of the simple ones and our designs generally are more simple. But we just felt like it was a great way to share a feeling and a message and an intention. And some of them are great conversation starters and some of them are just real connectors. And we really have had people that have some really sweet stories where they’ve even met their person wearing the shirt, the shirt was the thing that began that conversation at a bar, or whatever it was. And so there’s lots of sweet stories there but I think clothing … I studied art history at college. [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Well, it makes sense when you said it’s sharing a message.
Kimberly: Because it’s true. You guys were working in all these peace organizations and wanting to put out a certain vibration into the world, and it literally, when you walk around with a shirt … and I wear that peace warrior shirt and I wear that peace warrior sweatshirt all the time.
KamGi: Yeah, it’s amazing that you still have that.
Kimberly: Oh, god no. It’s perfect. It doesn’t get the balls, you know what I mean. Like the clothing balls.
KamGi: I know what you mean.
KamGi’s definition of success
Kimberly: You know the kind of balls I’m talking about. It doesn’t fray and I mean, I’ve had them for years and I’ve worn them hundreds of time. And like I said, the reason I feel like we’ve stayed connected, the reason I wanted to have you on the podcast, the reason like, there’s just kept going is there’s something really there. So, I would ask you KamGi, what is your definition of success? When do you think you will feel, okay, I’ve made it, I’m successful?
KamGi: Gosh, that’s an interesting question. Within the business, I think having the space to really do things as we know, as the ideas come. For instance, we’re starting to do our size runs, we want to be inclusive in all our sizes but that costs money. And it’s very frustrating to not be able to go there straight away because for financial reasons. So, having the freedom to just do the things that are right, right on every level, just to move and make things happen as we feel them. To have that freedom.
KamGi: To have, I think, I see us a team of six or seven, a small company where were really operating in a way that is sustainable and just being able to do what we love to do. To create, to give back and just to be in that flow. So, to be in more of a flow.
KamGi: I think right now, it still feels, it’s a bit more of a … there’s the stops and the starts. And we keep moving forward, but it’s … and I know, there will always be challenges. That’s just the way it is, but to have a bit more of a flow, I think, and a bit more of a feeling of a cushion. A bit of a cushion, not a huge cushion but just a … you know? To really feel not quite so much in that survival mode but more in a … just in the flow mode. And then I kind of think, success, I was just talking with the kids the other day and how they brought it up and how grateful they are that we all have dinner together every night.
Kimberly: And then you have this beautiful family.
KamGi: It’s the whole thing of being present with each other every night, and to sit down together. So, you can define success in so many different ways, because you could be here in a wildly successful company but just not see your family-
Kimberly’s definition of success
Kimberly: Oh my gosh, KamGi, this whole success topic is really poignant for me. I get asked about that a lot in interviews I do. And it’s actually gotten very concise to me. Do you want to hear my definition of success?
KamGi: Yeah, yeah.
Kimberly: My definition of success is connecting to your true self. Not the ego, not the appearance, not out here. But connecting to the heart, to the love inside of you, to spirit, God, whatever word you want to use. Connecting to that, that unique essence inside of you and living from that place.
Kimberly: And so, when you think about that, because I’ve worked with all different kinds of people over the years, and some people have a lot of money and some people don’t have as much money. And that doesn’t determine success because I’ve seen happiness and extreme unhappiness on both sides. And to your point, how connected are you to your family, to yourself, to your loved ones? Of course there’s the practicality, we do need to take care of our family, we don’t want to struggle but if we’re getting our needs met and we’re in a path forward, a flow, and you’re living from your heart.
Kimberly: To me, in my definition, KamGi, you’ve already made it. And from here, you have that foundation and will keep growing. But it’s, sometimes I think we need other people to see it for us or to remind us, because we think, “Oh, but look at this, or look at this.” And I, when I started Solluna, because before that, it was just my blog. It was my name, it was KimberlySnyder.com. And I remember in the beginning, and this was 2018, so it wasn’t even that long ago, but it just shows so much intense spiritual work has happened since then, and especially when my mom passed away, it just fostered a lot of growth, which continues to this day. I really do focus on it … it’s a huge, huge part of my life and I think so much comes from that.
Kimberly: But anyways, I remember in the beginning feeling like, oh, I had some … I had a lot of entrepreneur friends. And I was like, oh, look, look at how fast they’re growing. And like, we should be in Wholefoods. We should be doing this. But then you realize, oh, if I went down that path and went all in and started this food line, which was my original idea, packaged food. Shortly after that I just did this whole turn where I love food, of course, it’s still one of our cornerstones, but I don’t want to do packaged food. I want to focus on community and all this. And then we were able to create the app and do our Solluna Circle and all these things. So, then I look back and I think, “Oh, there is a higher intelligence. There is divine timing.”
Kimberly: And so, I think if we … it’s not easy to do, listen. In the moment we can get frustrated, we can compare, we can look around. But I just try to remind myself that (a.) we are where we’re supposed to be, and (b.) success is connecting in and living there. And like you were saying to me, “It just looks like you’re about to laugh all the time.” And I feel that. And I think I’d rather be in this state than have a billion dollars and be like, “Nah, I’m bored.” Or, “I don’t really like my life.”
KamGi: I really did feel that when I was watching you. It was this sense … and it’s funny. The word success did come in too. It was success and joy just seeing you in action and being so present. But it was, I was like, this woman, she’s almost always just about to laugh because … and it just … and it’s a beautiful thing. And I think to me, I mean, to be in that space, to be able to come from that space where you just … that is [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Because it is the inner … again, back to what I was saying. And this is something that I contemplate a lot
KamGi, in my walks and in my quiet moments. What is really reality? It’s the inner world. Everybody is in their own reality. The way we think, the feeling we have, our perspective. So, on the outside, if we have all the money and all the stuff, but the inside, that’s not success. And that’s what our society defines us. That’s the f’ed up part.
KamGi: I felt like the deepest connection, with Kyle, my husband, with the kids where I know that feeling. I mean, there’s nothing that is actually going to … that feeling also a deep connection with myself. But just those you love and yourself, I mean, there’s nothing actually more precious and valuable than-
Kimberly: Connection, totally.
KamGi: … their connection. And so, on some level I do feel I have … I’m in a good place. And it’s funny, the lady, Elise, who did the channeling last week, she told me, “When you go for your walks in the morning, tune into the birds.” And I’ve started doing that, and really it’s interesting. I find even when I’m walking the dog early in the morning, I start thinking. I start thinking about all the things. I mean, I love nature and I really connect in nature, but still my thoughts keep going. But by tuning it, she said, “Tune into the birds.” The birdsong, the different places it’s coming from, and it really-
Kimberly: Grounds you.
KamGi: … grounds you. It brings you into that moment and connects … I mean, I really had the most beautiful walk. Gosh, it was a few mornings ago where suddenly I was there at the top of the hill in the Mesa, and I just stopped and I just dropped [inaudible]. I mean, it was like a deep meditation place of profound peace where the birds … I was hearing the different birdsong, hearing the bird’s wings. I mean, there was a big space around me, but it was a really … gosh, it was a beautiful-
Kimberly: A beautiful experience.
KamGi: Yeah, but it was a good little tool.
KamGi: Let the birds kind of bring you in.
Kimberly: Yeah. Yeah, the nature. It’s so powerful.
KamGi: It is.
Kimberly: I mean, not everybody is as lucky as us unfortunately to have so much nature, but even if there’s a park around or you can get to some sort of space, there is something so … nature just is. She doesn’t have any self-doubt. She doesn’t wish, oh, this gnarled branch should be straight. She just is as she is.
KamGi: She is. And if you can get to see the sunset and the sunrise, I haven’t gotten to do this as often as I should, but I know it’s one of my things I really want to do, to witness the sun rise and set every day. And you have that sense of just that new day coming in the sunrise and the gratitude as the sun sets for the day that just I think it helps too. Because so much of the time, I feel like I’m in this unending [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Yes, yes. And those are like the bookends.
KamGi: The bookends, yes.
Kimberly: I’m laughing KamGi because I went through … all of us moms, we go through these really tough sleep cycles. And I’m up way before sunrise. And I had this moment where I’m like, “Come on, sleep a little bit later.” But then I started to say, “Okay, I’m going to be up anyway.” And now we watch the sunrise together. We go to the window and it’s just, where we live, it comes out the side of our bedroom, we have these windows. And I mean, I swear to god, this little baby puts his arm around my shoulder, and we’ve already seen dozens of sunrises together. And I say, “Look at the light.” And the light comes in and it comes on his face and gratitude changes everything. Instead of like, “Oh, it sucks I had to get up early.” I think, I’m just grateful I get to watch the sunrise with my baby. Oh my gosh, his energy, you got to meet him KamGi. He’s like a little Buddha.
KamGi: He is.
Kimberly: He’s so calm.
KamGi: He’s so happy.
Kimberly: Oh, he’s so full of joy.
KamGi: You just love him.
Kimberly: I mean, that little … Oh, KamGi, well, thank you so much. Just I find you such an inspiration not just for the things that you do but just because of who you are. And just being able to live and create your life around your heart is something I have to say I truly admire. And it’s quite rare and I hope that it doesn’t become so rare. I hope that there’s more people and more souls that embody that. But you are an embodiment of a heart centered life, so I want to acknowledge you for that and just thank you because I think you’re living it, you’re embodying it, you are it. It’s not doing. You’re being it. Like, Be Love, I don’t think there’s a coincidence that you chose that name. So, you are this embodiment and it’s an honor to know you and thank you so much.
KamGi: Thank you. Gosh, I just feel so much love for you.
Kimberly: Oh, and I feel so much love for you.
KamGi: It’s amazing, after all this time.
Kimberly: Yeah, yeah, it’s amazing.
KamGi: To just be looking into your eyes.
Kimberly: It all happens for … I mean, it must have been like, because I remember … I’m terrible with dates but I know books. It must have been around 2014 that we connected, because it was after my second book. Or maybe it was 2015?
KamGi: I mean, I-
Kimberly: I think it was 2014.
KamGi: … I think 2014, yeah.
Kimberly: And look, here we are in 2021. This is amazing.
KamGi: It is amazing.
Kimberly: So, thank you so much KamGi for sharing your wisdom, and most of all, just sharing your vibration and your beautiful spirit. So, tell us, how can people find out more about you, Be Love, what’s your website?
KamGi: Our website is beloveapparel.com and then our Instagram is beloveapparel as well.
KamGi: It’s all pretty easy to find us.
KamGi: We are grateful for everybody that comes and visits.
KamGi: I’m usually there on the email, if anybody has a question [crosstalk].
Kimberly: Thank you my love. Thank you, thank you, and thank you so much beauties.
KamGi: Thank you.
Kimberly : I hope you loved our interview today with KamGi just as much as I loved being in her presence and being able to just connect with her on this level and to hear about her journey. Again, her and Kyle, her husband’s website is beloveapparel.com. We will link over to their information in the show notes as well. Their Instagram is also beloveapparel. Just besides being an absolutely lovely human being, she has incredible apparel that I love and is comfortable and fits wonderfully and is completely durable and sustainable and eco-friendly and just wonderful, wonderful brand as well.
So, be sure to check it out, as well as the other links that we have in the show notes for you over at mysolluna.com on our website. And if you haven’t yet looked at our new Solluna app, our free app in the App Store, check it out. I think you’re going to love it and the way that we’ve organized all the information for you guys. So, I’ll be back here Thursday for our next Q&A community show. Until then, sending you so much love and see you back here soon.