Black Wall StreetI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM479- Business Owner Defies Chronic Illness to Pursue Her Passion in Fashion

Podcast Interview with Keisha Greaves

How I balance running my business Girls Chronically Rock while living with a chronic illness
When I was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy
What inspire me to start Girls Chronically Rock and come up with the name
What are my future goals in life with Girls Chronically Rock
What is Muscular Dhystrophy

  • CEO Hack: My motivation and hustle
  • CEO Nugget: Just do it
  • CEO Defined: Boss. Boss Bitch

Websitehttps://www.girlschronicallyrock.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/girlschronicallyrock
Instagram: www.instagram.com/girlschronically_rock


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Transcription:

 

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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, and have a very special guest on the show today. I have Keisha Greaves of Girls Chronically Rock. Keisha, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Keisha Greaves 0:38

Hi, well, thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem a pleasure is definitely all mine. I wanted to read a little bit more about Keisha so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Keisha balanced running her business Girls Chronically Rock while living with a chronic illness. When she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy what inspired her to start Girls Chronically Rock and come up with her name, and what her future goals in our life with Girls Chronically Rock were, so Keisha it's great to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Keisha Greaves 1:03

Oh, yes, I am. I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:04

Awesome. Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to get started with the business.

Keisha Greaves 1:11

Sure. So what started me to do Girls Chronically Rock was that inspired me because I have a chronic illness, a disability called muscular dystrophy, which I was diagnosed with around 2010-2011. When I was in graduate school, I received my master's degree. So of course, like, being diagnosed that in my early 20s, that of course, me for a loop kind of shock. I'm wondering where this came from, why, where did this appear from? Nobody, my family seemed to have it. I just started to get like really weird symptoms of like, repeatedly falling, when my leg would kind of just give out on me, and I didn't know, what kind of became from when I fell, it was just kind of like a dead weight and it's like, it was kind of just hard for a person to pick me back up.

With that, my mom was like let's go to work with orthopedic. Let's see what's going on in my head, I'm still not thinking anything of it. I'm thinking, oh, I just need to lose some weight. just maybe do like a diet no big deal. But as times went on, then when I have seen the orthopedic even both of them when they came in to examine me, they're like, oh, wow, like they can see I couldn't even raise my eyes like later. And they're like, well, wow, like, you definitely need to see like neurologists because they can tell that something was neuromuscular or something was off.

From against or not thinking anything of it so I just kind of, just feel like we'll see neurologist, and then that's when we did like several tests, things like MRI, EKG, EMG, blood work, we even did a muscle biopsy where they took a piece of muscle out of my leg to test it, to see what kind of muscle disease, because that, I guess at that time, they knew it was some kind of muscle disease, but didn't know what type. Yeah, after all of that, that's when my neurologist finally said, you have muscular dystrophy and I'm like, What! like, what is that? Where did that come from? Because I'd never heard of it. Then you start like, getting symptoms in your body. We started diagnosing ourselves, like looking up online. I was like, oh, maybe it's MS Multiple Sclerosis because that's kind of more popular than within muscular dystrophy.

I was just like I already had that in my head, that what I had was still like brushing it off. That's when was diagnosed, but it's like, I didn't get my undergrad in fashion design and merchandising. I always had a passion for fashion and I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and build my own empire. After being diagnosed, of course, that put a damper on things, because I was like, what is my future hold, what's going to happen then, I was in denial for some time, I was honestly not talking to something many family and friends what was going on, I didn't know what was going to happen and just kind of staying low because I was just in shock.

It just took some time to definitely get used to and then fast forward a few years later, that's when I'm, like, it's time to start putting my fashion degree in business degree to use. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur or something in fashion. So I said, why not create something like a T-shirt line where I can help and inspire and motivate others who may be battling chronic illness such as myself with T-shirts and designs such as inspirational quotes. For the name, I honestly didn't know exactly what I wanted to call it but I knew I wanted something with the word chronic illness or chronic illnesses. Then I would just honestly be lying in bed one night and then I thought, Hey, Girls Chronically Rock, and then I just kind of ran with that I like the way it sounded and then that's when girls proudly run formed.

Gresham Harkless 3:58

Awesome, definitely appreciate that and I think that I love the ability to take what is definitely obviously a difficult time and something that you experienced, I'm sure a lot of people may experience as well but to be able to take that word chronically as you said and put a spin on it on that positive experience I love how you were able to kind of take something like that. It can be frustrating for a lot of people not to be able to kind of want to do anything else so it shows a lot of your resolve and who you are as a person to be able to do that and to build that brand from that.

Keisha Greaves 4:26

Right. Definitely well thank you I appreciate that.

Gresham Harkless 4:28

Yeah, no problem, and also I know you touched on it a little bit I wanted to hear a little bit more about Girls Chronically Rock. When we go to the site and see everything you're doing, what can you tell us a little bit more about what we expect?

Keisha Greaves 4:37

I'm sure so most prominently right now I sell T-shirts, cuff bracelets, and tote bags. With my T-shirts I definitely came up with different names such as Girls Chronically Rock, just to say we rock, we do what we have to do. I recently just added Men Chronically Rock, I recently just added a kid's line where I have Girls Chronically Rock, Boys Chronically Rock, and Girls Chronically Rock for a different logo but still the same thing I'm saying but for kids, and then I also have Trust Your Dopeness which I created to trust and believe in yourself, no matter what you may be dealing with. I also have, which is the best-seller, everyone seems to love, Hello, my name is Chronically Ill Badass.

Everyone seems to love that I don't just plan to just have it, just t-shirts, I plan to do so much more with the Girls Chronically Rock umbrella, I would love to come up with an adaptive clothing line under the rap umbrella. For those who may not know what adaptive folding is, adaptive folding is when people with disabilities make their clothes more functional. So it makes it easier for us to get dressed on a regular basis. Because, it's like people may not understand it takes so long for us just to get dressed like putting on our underwear, putting on one leg at a time, we're able-bodied person maybe can do that in a few seconds, where, it just takes us a little bit longer, putting on a shirt.

With a lot of designers now such as Tommy Hilfiger, Target, or Macy's now coming up with, adaptive clothing pieces, where it's like, what's more, functional way, like, we may have magnetic buttons, say on the top of the shirt, well, we can open up, can make it easier and more when we first up on our shirts, maybe magnetic buttons on like, say a jacket, but the zipper, something on the pant. So I definitely would love to I already started making some of my T-shirts adaptive, but my ultimate goal is making an adaptive clothing collection, for everything like underpants, bras for us women, and anything to just make it easier and more functional for both men and women and children.

Like from the depths of holding collection undergoes Chronically Rock Umbrella. I'm looking to make it into a movement, to bring awareness about disability and different things like that. And also, my goal is to build an empire. That's what my goal is right now and hopefully, I'm looking to get it into major department stores such as Macy's, and Target, local boutique areas, collaborating with designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, you don't know that he has an adaptive collection. So that's my ultimate goal with Girls Chronically Rock as of right now.

Gresham Harkless 6:34

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. And I think, it's a beautiful time in this day and age when we as people and consumers have the opportunity to support causes and support movements that you talked about. I think that being able to put your dollars behind something that not only obviously provides a need especially if you have the need for those types of clothing, but I think also to just to support everything that you're standing for everything that you've built and created, I think goes so far, between us being able to be empowered.

Keisha Greaves 7:05

Yes. Thank you. I appreciate that and I'm trying.

Gresham Harkless 7:08

Yeah, you definitely sound like you're out, you're on your way. So I appreciate that. You might have already touched on this, but I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce, and it could be for you personally or for your business. What do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Keisha Greaves 7:21

I definitely feel like just my different designs, my different inspirational stories where we all have different stories, I just kind of feel like with me say for my instance, this wasn't something I had when I was a child at birth. This is something I'm that I was diagnosed with in my early adult life, which some people with muscular dystrophy and other chronic illnesses. Another thing that some people may not know, there are so many different forms of muscular dystrophy. So my type is called limb-girdle, Muscular Dystrophy, and that's spelled L i m b G i r d l e, definitely please look it up.

Spotland goes to where it affects pretty much my all the way down to my neck pretty much all the way down to my feet. It's like say hard for me to like put my hand out to maybe give you a handshake, to put my arms out to maybe give you a hug, little things like putting on a jacket and so with limb-girdle, there's so many different subtypes like this to A to B to C goes into so much detail where something I'm still learning myself. With these different types, they affect different types of the body.

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Ever since I was diagnosed more than my neurologist to this day says I'm a mystery because we do not know my subtype. I have taken like, say several genetic tests where we did blood work and saliva testing, and all of them have come back inconclusive. So it's like my subtype is unknown. It's like when I tell people, yes, I have limb-girdle, but my subtype is unknown. With my subtype being unknown, I am unable to say participate in clinical trials where they may have seen clinical trials for say someone that has a limb girdle, so they can possibly try off drugs that may be able to help them.

I know in the past I'd like even now I'm like, oh, told my doctors, Yes, who cares? Let's just try the drugs. Whatever happens, happens but my dad says like Keisha is not that easy, because if he was, if he was to try a clinical trial on you, they like you can possibly grow a third eye. Oh, my goodness. I mean, it's funny, but it's not funny and I'm like, oh, I didn't think it was that serious. I'm just thinking maybe I'll be falling asleep or something. I guess it's easier said than done and I guess there's a reason why obviously, all these drugs are not tested on everybody.

That's the reason they're doctors and I'm not but yeah, so that's one thing about me I don't know my subtype. I guess that's what makes me stand out. But then what's kind of like, I guess we can kind of see what happens, maybe my subtype too may eventually have its own unique names like Limb Girdle Girls Chronically Rock or something, but I definitely just feel like my story, and definitely the word that I'm spreading my different creativity and inspirational quotes that I have on my T-shirts, and the different things I plan on doing under the umbrella is definitely what makes me stand out in different.

Gresham Harkless 9:38

Yeah, absolutely. I definitely appreciate that. And I wonder what pushes you to keep doing and creating this brand? I know it can be a very frustrating time. A lot of times when we get into frustrating moments, a lot of times we feel like we're by ourselves and we don't want to do anything. We don't want to go out but you create an entire brand and a movement behind what it is that you're doing. So what gets you going?

Keisha Greaves 9:58

I'm sure so as I mentioned earlier, you definitely took some time. Like I said, I was in total denial, not really accepting the fact that I had muscular dystrophy just kind of shutting myself out from everyone. When I started even walking with a cane when I went on job interviews, like, I would tell people that I sprained my ankle, or I was in a car accident instead of just saying I had muscular dystrophy. So that's just to tell you how in denial and the whole different space I was.

Just to see where I'm at now, and able to say, like, even share my story with you right now was like, Oh, wow, if you had asked me this a few years ago, I would have been like no way. But I definitely feel like just kind of coming out that a little bit and don't get me wrong, I still have my days. My body feels more tired than others but some days, I might have a fall and that puts a damper on things. But I definitely feel like just seeing other inspirational people that are dealing with a disability such as muscular dystrophy, lupus, or whatever it is on social media definitely has inspired me to see them share their stories where I see so many people on stay have like a YouTube channel and different things like that and I'm like, wow, look at them if they're doing it, I can do it.

Especially when I get like, say certain messages on Facebook, or Instagram direct messages, and it's like, Oh, my God, I love what you're doing. I love Girls Chronically Rock, and keep going with and that just motivates me, because it's like, oh, wow, because you never know, sometimes you may tell yourself, like people listen, and like, do they know what I'm doing? Definitely, when I get those messages and things like that motivation that inspires me to keep going and just to make everyone happy, and continue to spread my brand and my awareness.

Another thing I tell people about what keeps me happy, and sane is honestly, I love TV I am a TV Fanatic. I watched like pretty much anything. It's like when people ask me how do you get out if you have like, a bad day or, and it's like, just knowing I have like, say, a reality TV show to watch. Like, that's just honestly what keeps me focused, because that's like entertainment to me. Because I tell people like, honestly, just watching TV, honestly, is what keeps me sane, and just kind of keeps going as well because I can watch TV on my computer, and send emails, and that honestly keeps me motivated as well.

Gresham Harkless 11:39

Nice, well, I definitely appreciate that, because you're just like you said you've been inspired by seeing people's YouTube and their Instagrams and talking about their story and what they're going through, I mean, you're doing the exact same thing, not even just for somebody that's going through like a chronic illness, but somebody that may have just had a lesser, or just a bad day, a lot of times we get so frustrated, we get into that hole, it's hard to kind of get out of it. I definitely appreciate you for expounding upon that and of course, telling your story.

Keisha Greaves 12:05

All right, thank you.

Gresham Harkless 12:06

You're very, very welcome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an Apple book or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Keisha Greaves 12:15

Definitely my motivation and hustle, I feel for instance, when I reach out to different department stores to see if I can get gross and finally walk in the store, I just like I already have like a timer or something in my calendar, if I don't hear back from this person or from the store, the CEO executive, whatever it may be like this certain date, but I'm going to keep sending the email, I'm going to maybe switch it up to say maybe I need to change around the subject line.

Maybe I need to add this and then I just like a determined because it's like, I'm determined to just get an answer and respond to that. Or I'm just tagging so many different people on Instagram, such as different talk shows, like Elena Talk, and Wendy Williams, which I'm obsessed with. So yeah, just like that tagging the hashtagging, I really like social media definitely came a long way. In social media, like, so many people get recognized after that so just the hashtagging and the tagging is something I try to do repeatedly on a regular basis just to get that notice so people can just see my story. Definitely that hustle and motivation, determination, it was like I just keep doing every day.

Gresham Harkless 13:11

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget and this is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you could happen to be a time machine, What would you tell your younger business self?

Keisha Greaves 13:20

I would say I tell people, like, sometimes people ask me this question. And I don't know, the first thing that comes to my head is just do it. I know that's like a Nike slogan, Just do it. But my thing is I feel like if I had started way, then that's one thing I regret is starting my business earlier. But then half of me is like how could I have started with like, I wasn't even in a space to start a business because I was in so much denial about being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. I tell people, like, hey, just do it. If you have an idea, if you have a passion for something, just do it. Because before you know it, time passes by, and we only get older. So it's like, if you have something, just do it.

Gresham Harkless 13:52

Nice. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on this show. So Keisha, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Keisha Greaves 14:02

Being a CEO for me means just being a boss, owning your stuff, or having your own schedule. But the first thing I think of the CEO is a boss. And I would like to say another word, too, but I trying to keep it clean on the podcast. That's what I think as a CEO, just like a boss owning and you have your own business, and working your own hours. Yes, I know what takes time. I know what I mean, you realize who your friends are. It's not the end of the day. This is your journey, nobody can tell you how to do anything regarding your business and just keep going but yes CEO is a Boss-Bitch and Hustler.

Gresham Harkless 14:33

I wanted to pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and listeners know and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you. I want to know how to get the Girls Chronically Rock, and of course, all the additional stuff that you have.

Keisha Greaves 14:45

Sure. Definitely if you want to check out my merchandise, check out my website at www.girlschronicallyrock.com. You can also find me on Instagram @girlschronically_rock and I am on Twitter and also on Facebook so you can check me out on my personal page which is Keisha Greaves and then I have a business page, Girls Chronically Rock. Definitely feel free to check out the website, I'm always adding new different things, thinking of different inspirational posts and then I feel to put it on a t-shirt, and then I may add it.

Another thing I just want to mention to people is that after I was diagnosed with a disability, it's like, just I realized you kind of never know what somebody's story is. You never know why somebody says *at that handicap* where they may look everybody to because trust me, I have this several times by other people like, *why she barked in and it's like obviously, I have assigned for reason. You kind of never know someone's story, whether you don't know if they're in a bad mood, why they crying, it's like, I realize you never know what somebody's dealing with at home.

Everybody has a story behind this, just try to be patient, don't judge and you don't you just kind of never know somebody's story. Just continue to spread the word for Girls Chronically Rockand and hopefully, you'll see me maybe hopefully on some department store soon maybe let's have Edgar and continue to tag Girls Chronically Rock under her page. Definitely just check out my site and please feel free to send me a message, email, or anything I love and look forward to hearing from you.

Gresham Harkless 16:01

Absolutely. Thank you so much what we'll do is we'll have information as well as the show notes and definitely if you're listening Allan Edgar sure to reach out to Keisha. Absolutely, I appreciate you. Everybody should follow the golden rule -treat others the way you want to be treated, so we never know what we're going through. Thank you for that reminder as well. Again, appreciate you I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Extro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

Intro 0:02

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Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello, this is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and have a very special guest on the show today, I have Keisha Greaves of Girls Chronically Rock. Keisha, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Keisha Greaves 0:38

Hi, well, thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem a pleasure is definitely all mine. I wanted to read a little bit more about Keisha so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Keisha balanced running her business girls chronically rock while living with a chronic illness. When she was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy what inspired her to start Girls Chronically Rock and come up with her name, and what her future goals in our life with Girls Chronically Rock was, so Keisha it's great to have you on the show. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Keisha Greaves 1:03

Oh, yes, I am. I am ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:04

Awesome. Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I want to hear a little bit more about what I call your CEO story and what led you to get started with the business?

Keisha Greaves 1:11

Sure. So what started me to do Girls Chronically Rock was that inspired me because I have a chronic illness, disability called muscular dystrophy, which I was diagnosed in around 2010-2011. When I was in graduate school, I'm receiving my master's degree. So of course, like, being diagnosed that in my early 20s, that of course, me for a loop kind of shock. I'm wondering where this came from, why, where did this appear from? Nobody, my family seemed to have it. I just started to get like really weird symptoms of like, repeatedly falling, when my leg would kind of just give out on me, and I didn't know, what kind of became from when I fell, it was just kind of like a dead weight and it's like, it was kind of just hard for a person to pick me back up. So with that, my mom was like let's go to work with orthopedic. Let's see what's going on in my head, I'm still not thinking anything of it. I'm thinking, oh, I just need to lose some weight. just maybe do like a diet no big deal. But as times went on, when when I seen the orthopaedic even the both of them when they came in to examine me, they're like, oh, wow, like they can see I couldn't even raise my eyes like later. And they're like, well, wow, like, you definitely need to see like neurologists because they can tell that something was neuromuscular or something was off. From against or not thinking anything of it so I just kind of, just feel like we'll see neurologist, and then that's when we did like several tests, things like MRI, EKG, EMG, blood work, we even did a muscle biopsy where they took a piece of muscle out of my leg to test it, to see what kind of muscle disease, because that, I guess at that time, they knew it was some kind of muscle disease, but didn't know what type. Yeah, after all of that, that's when my neurologist finally said, you have muscular dystrophy and I'm like, What! like, what is that? Where did that come from? Because I'd never heard of it. Then you start like, getting symptoms on our body. We started like diagnosing ourselves, like looking up online. I was like, oh, maybe it's MS Multiple Sclerosis, because that's kind of more popular than within muscular dystrophy. I was just like I already had that in my head, that's what I had was still like brushing it off. That's when was diagnosed, but it's like, I didn't get my undergrad in fashion design and merchandising. I always had a passion for fashion and I knew I wanted to be entrepreneur, built my own empire. After being diagnosed, of course, that put a damper on things, because I'm like, what is my future hold, what's going to happen and then, I was in denial for some time, I was honestly not talking to something many family and friends what was going on, I didn't know what was going to happen and just kind of staying low because I was just in shock. So it just took some time to definitely get getting used to and then fast forward a few years later, that's when I'm, like,it's time to start putting my fashion degree in business degree to use. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur or something in fashion. So I said, why not create something like a T shirt line where I can help and inspire and motivate others that may be battling chronic illness such as myself with T shirts and designs such as inspirational quotes. For the name I honestly didn't know exactly what I wanted to call it but I knew I wanted something with the word chronic illness or chronic illnesses. Then I would just honestly lying in bed one night and then I thought, Hey, Girls Chronically Rock and then I just kind of ran with that I like the way it sounded and then that's when girls proudly run formed.

Gresham Harkless 3:58

Awesome, definitely appreciate that and I think that I love the ability to take what is definitely obviously a difficult time and something that you experienced, but I'm sure a lot of people may experience as well but to be able to take that word chronically as you said and put a spin on it on that positive experience I love how you were able to kind of take something like that. It can be frustrating and for a lot of people not be able to kind of want to do anything else so it shows a lot of your resolve and who you are as a person to be able to do that and to build that brand from that.

Keisha Greaves 4:26

Right. Definitely well thank you I appreciate that.

Gresham Harkless 4:28

Yeah, no problem and also I know you touched on it a little bit I wanted to hear a little bit more about Girls Chronically Rock. When we go to the site and see everything you're doing, what can you tell us a little bit more about what we expect?

Keisha Greaves 4:37

I'm sure so most prominently right now I sell T shirts, cuff bracelets and tote bags. With my T shirts I definitely came up with different names such as Girls Chronically Rock, just to say we rock, we do what we have to do. I recently just added Men Chronically Rock, I recently just added a kid's line where I have Girls Chronically Rock, Boys Chronically Rock, and Girls Chronically Rock for like a different logo but still the same thing I'm saying but for kids and then I also have Trust Your Dopeness

which I created to trust and believe in yourself, no matter what you may be dealing with. I also have, which is the best seller, everyone seems to love, Hello, my name is Chronically ill Badass. Everyone seems to love that I don't just plan to just have it, just t shirts, I plan to do so much more with Girls Chronically Rock umbrella, I would love to come up with an adaptive clothing line under the rap umbrella. And for those who may not know what adaptive folding is, adaptive folding is when people with disabilities where they make the clothes more functional. So it makes it easier for us to get dressed on a regular basis. Because, it's like people may not understand it takes so long for us just to get dressed like putting on our underwear, putting on one leg at a time, we're able bodied person maybe can do that in a few seconds, where, it just takes us a little bit longer, putting on a shirt. With a lot of like designers now such as like Tommy Hilfiger, Target, or Macy's is now coming up with, adaptive clothing pieces, where it's like, what's more functional way, like, we may have magnetic buttons, say on the top of the shirt, well, we can open up, can make it more easier and more when we first up on our shirts, maybe magnetic buttons on like, say a jacket, but the zipper, something on the pant. So I definitely would love to I already started making some of my T shirts adaptive, but my ultimate goal is making adaptive clothing collection, for everything like underpants, bras for us women, anything to just make it easier and more functional for both men and women and children. Like from the depths of holding collection undergoes Chronically Rock Umbrella. I'm looking to make it into a movement, to bring awareness about disability and different things like that. And also, my goal is to build an empire. That's what my goal is right now and hopefully, I'm looking to get it into major department stores such as Macy's, Target, local boutique areas, collaborating with designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, you don't know that he has an adaptive collection. So that's my ultimate goal with Girls Chronically Rock as of right now.

Gresham Harkless 6:34

Nice. Well, I definitely appreciate that. And I think, it's a beautiful time in this day and age when we as people have and consumers have the opportunity to to support causes and support movements that you talked about. I think that be able to put your dollars behind something that not only obviously provides a need especially if you have the need for those type of clothing, but I think also to just to support everything that you're standing for everything that you've built and created, I think goes so far, between us being able to be empowered.

Keisha Greaves 7:05

Yes. Thank you. I appreciate that and I'm trying.

Gresham Harkless 7:08

Yeah, you definitely sound like you're out, you're on your way. So I appreciate that. You might have already touched on this, but I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce, and it could be for you personally or for your business. What do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Keisha Greaves 7:21

I definitely feel like just my different designs, my different inspirational story where we all have different stories, I just kind of feel like with me say for my instance, this wasn't something I had when I was a child at birth. This is something I'm that I was diagnosed with in my early adult life, which some people are with muscular dystrophy and other chronic illnesses. Another thing that some people may not know, there's so many different forms of muscular dystrophy. So my type is called limb girdle. Muscular Dystrophy, and that's spell L i m b G i r d l e, definitely please look it up. So yeah, spotland go to where it affects pretty much my all the way down to my neck pretty much all the way down to my feet. It's like say hard for me to like put my hand out to maybe give you a handshake, to put my arms out to maybe give you a hug, little things like putting on a jacketnd and so with limb girdle, there's so many different subtypes like this to A to B to C goes into so much detail where something I'm still learning myself. With these different types, they affect different types of the body. Ever since I was diagnosed like more than my neurologist to this day says I'm a mystery because we do not know my subtype. I have taken like, say several like genetic testings where we did blood work, saliva testing, and all of them have came back inconclusive. So it's like my subtype is unknown. It's like when I tell people, yes, I have limb girdle, but my subtype is unknown. With my subtype being unknown, I am unable to say participate in clinical trials where they may have seen clinical trials for say someone that has limb girdle to be, so they can possibly try off drugs that may be able to help them. I know in the past I'd like even now I'm like, oh, told my doctors, Yes, who cares? Let's just try the drugs. Whatever happens, happens but my dad says like Keisha is not that easy, because if he was, if he was to try a clinical trial on you, they like you can possibly grow a third eye. Oh, my goodness. I mean, it's funny, but it's not funny and I'm like, oh, I didn't think it was that serious. I'm just thinking maybe I'll be like falling asleep or something. I guess it's more easier said than done and I guess there's a reason why obviously, all these drugs are not tested on everybody. That's the reason they're doctors and I'm not but yeah, so that's one thing about me I don't know my subtype. I guess that's what makes me stand out. But then what's kind of like, I guess we can kind of see what happens, maybe my subtype too may eventually have its own unique name like Limb Girdle Girls Chronically Rock or something, but I definitely just feel like my story and definitely the word that I'm spreading my different creativity and inspirational quotes that I have on my T shirts, and the different things I plan on doing under the umbrella is definitely what makes me stand out in different.

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Gresham Harkless 9:38

Yeah, absolutely. I definitely appreciate that. And I wonder what pushes you to keep doing and creating this brand? I know it can be very frustrating time. A lot of times when we get into frustrating moments, a lot of times we feel like we're by ourselves and we don't want to do anything. We don't want to go out but you create an entire brand and a movement behind what it is that you're doing. So what kind of usual gets you going?

Keisha Greaves 9:58

I'm sure so as I mentioned earlier, you definitely took some time. Like I said, I was in total denial, not really accepting the fact that I had muscular dystrophy just kind of shutting myself out from everyone. When I started even walking with a cane when I went on job interviews, like, I will tell people like I sprained my ankle, or I was in a car accident instead of just saying I had muscular dystrophy. So that's just to tell you how in denial and the whole different space I was. Just to see where I'm at now, and able to say, like, even share my story with you right now was like, Oh, wow, if you had asked me this a few years ago, I would have been like, no way. But I definitely feel like just kind of coming out that a little bit and don't get me wrong, I still have my days. My body feels more tired than others but some days, I might have a fall and that puts a damper on things. But I definitely feel like just seeing other inspirational people that are dealing with a disability such as muscular dystrophy, lupus, whatever it is on social media definitely has inspired me of seeing them share their stories where I see so many people on stay have like a YouTube channel and different things like that and I'm like, wow, look at them if they're doing it, I can do it. Especially when I get like, say certain messages saying on Facebook, or Instagram direct messages, and it's like, Oh, my God, I love what you're doing. I love Girls Chronically Rock, and keep going with and that just motivates me, because it's like, oh, wow, because you never know, sometimes you may tell yourself, like people listen, and like, do they know what I'm doing? Definitely, when I get those messages and things like that motivation that inspires me to keep going and just to make everyone happy, and continue to spread my brand and my awareness. Then another thing I tell people to what keeps me happy, and sane is honestly, I love TV I am TV Fanatic. I watched like pretty much anything. It's like when people ask me how do you get out if you have like, a bad day or, and it's like, just knowing I have like, say, a reality TV show to watch. Like, that's just honestly what keeps me focused, because that's like, entertainment to me. Because I tell people like, honestly, just watching TV, honestly, is what keeps me sane, and just kind of keeps going as well, because I can watch TV on my computer, send emails, and that honestly keeps me motivated as well.

Gresham Harkless 11:39

Nice, well, I definitely appreciate that, because you're just like you said you've been inspired by seeing people's YouTube and their Instagrams and talking about their story and what they're going through, I mean, you're doing the exact same thing, not even just for somebody that's going through like a chronic illness, but somebody that may have just had a lesser, or just a bad day, a lot of times we get so frustrated, we get into that hole, it's hard to kind of get out of it. I definitely appreciate you for expound upon that and of course, telling your story.

Keisha Greaves 12:05

All right, thank you.

Gresham Harkless 12:06

You're very, very welcome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This could be an apple book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Keisha Greaves 12:15

Definitely my motivation and hustle, I feel for instance, when I reach out to different department stores see if I can get gross finally walk in the store, I just like I already have like a timer or something in my calendar, if I don't hear back from this person or from the store, the CEO executive, whetever it may be like this certain date, but I'm going to keep sending the email, I'm going to maybe switch it up to say maybe I need to change around the subject line, maybe I need to maybe add this and then I just like a determined because it's like, I'm determined to just get an answer and respond to that. Or I'm just tagging so many different people on Instagram, such as different talk shows, like Elena talk, Wendy Williams, which I'm obsessed with. So yeah, just like that tagging the hash tagging, I really like social media definitely came a long way. In the social medias, like, so many people get recognised after that so just the hash tagging and the tagging is something I try to do repeatedly on a regular basis just to get that notice so people can just see my story. Definitely that hustle and motivation, determination, it was like I just keep doing every day.

Gresham Harkless 13:11

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget and this is a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. Or if you can happen to a time machine, What would you tell your younger business self?

Keisha Greaves 13:20

I would say I tell people, like, sometimes people ask me this question. And I don't know, the first thing that comes to my head is just do it. I know that's like a Nike slogan, Just do it. But my thing is I feel like if I had started way, then that's one thing I regret is starting my business earlier. But then half of me is like how could I have started with like, I wasn't even in a space to start a business because I was in so much denial about being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. I tell people, like, hey, just do it. If you have an idea, if you have a passion about something, just do it. Because before you know it, time passes you by, we only get older. So it's like, if you have something, just do it.

Gresham Harkless 13:52

Nice. So now I wanted to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO and we're hoping to have different quote unquote, CEOs on this show. So Keisha, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Keisha Greaves 14:02

Being a CEO for me means just being a boss, owning your stuff, or having your own schedule. But the first thing I think of the CEO is a boss. And I will like to say another word, too, but I trying to keep it clean on the podcast. That's what I think as a CEO, just like a boss which like your owning and you have your own business, working your own hours. Yes, I know what takes time. I know what I mean, you realise who your friends are. It's not the end of the day. This is your journey, nobody can tell you how to do anything regarding your business and just keep going but yes CEO is a Boss Bitch and Hustler.

Gresham Harkless 14:33

I wanted to pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and listeners know and then of course, how best they can get ahold of you. I want to know how to get the Girls Chronically Rock, and of course, all the additional stuff that you have.

Keisha Greaves 14:45

Sure. Definitely if you want to check out my merchandise, check out my website at www.girlschronicallyrock.com. You can also find me on Instagram @girlschronically_rock and also I am on Twitter and also on Facebook so you can check me out on my personal page which is Keisha Greaves and then I have a business page, Girls Chronically Rock. Definitely feel free to check out the website, I'm always adding new different things, thinking of different inspirational posts and then I feel to put it on a t shirt, and then I may add it. Another thing I just want to mention to people is that after I was diagnosed with a disability, it's like, just I realised you kind of never know what somebody's story is. You never know why somebody says *at that handicap* where they may look everybody to because trust me, I have this several times by other people like, *why she barked in and it's like obviously, I have assign for reason. You kind of never know someone's story, whether you don't know if they're in a bad mood, why they crying, it's like, I realise you never know what somebody's dealing with at home. Everybody has a story behind this, just try to be patient, don't judge and you don't you just kind of never know somebody's story. Just continue to spread the word for Girls Chronically Rockand and hopefully you'll see me maybe hopefully on some department store soon maybe let's have Edgar and continue to tag Girls Chronically Rock under her page. Definitely just check out my site and please feel free to send me a message, email or anything and I love and look forward to hearing from you.

Gresham Harkless 16:01

Absolutely. Thank you so much and what we'll do is we'll have information as well as the show notes and definitely if you're listening Allan Edgar sure to reach out to Keisha. Absolutely, I appreciate you. Everybody should follow the golden rule -treat others the way you want to be treated, so we never know what we're going through. Thank you for that reminder as well. Again, appreciate you I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Extro 16:21

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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