S05 Episode 219 | DR. KIMBERLY MCGLONN OF GRANT BLVD ON SHIFTING FRAMEWORKS, DISRUPTION, PLEASURE + PROTECTING YOUR OPTIMISM

In episode 219, Kestrel welcomes Dr. Kimberly McGlonn, the CEO and creative director of Grant Blvd, to the show. By sourcing reclaimed fabrics, manufacturing exclusively in Philadelphia, and supporting incarcerated & returning citizens, Grant Blvd believes it’s time to recalibrate our systems and our style.

“Love takes commitment — right? Those of us who have loved something fully, richly, wholly — it is an act of daily commitment. And so, actually the word love is not a light word at all. Hate is easy, anger is easy, frustration is easy, quit is easy, love is hard. And that’s what we need more of in design, and fashion design specifically — we need more commitment to decisions made from a place of the longterm, rooted in a vision of love.”
-Dr. Kimberly McGlonn, Founder + CEO of Grant Blvd

On this week’s show, Kimberly shares more on her journey, and how she went from being a teacher to then, building a fashion brand, based on the primary intention of finding a way to create jobs.

Throughout this conversation, some of the ideas that Kestrel and Kimberly touch on are — how the term “expert” can be problematic, the importance of allowing space for us to be playful within the sustainability movement, the need to protect our optimism and the layers of nuance connected to experiencing and embracing “pleasure”.

Also, Kimberly shares more on Grant Blvd’s business model, how they’ve gotten creative during the many pandemics we’re currently facing, and what led them to actually open a new storefront this past year, in 2020.

The below thoughts, ideas + organizations were brought up in this chat:

  • “For me, disruption is about recognizing systems because you study them, and then committing in the perennial marathon effort to see where there’s room and a need for radical reimagining.” -Dr. Kimberly McGlonn

  • “People are building beautiful things now and ugly things are being destroyed — and this goes to the idea of the phoenix — either we’re going to rise up into something that’s more beautiful or we’re going to surrender and submit to things that are broken, and I just ain’t with that, it ain’t me.” -Dr. Kimberly McGlonn

  • “I’ll tell you what I tell my daughter: to hell with climate catastrophe denial, to hell with performative solidarity. To hell with homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia, with racism and sexism, as they are all siblings from the same toxic father.”
    -excerpt from Kimberly’s Letter From The Creative Director in Grant Blvd’s recent lookbook

  • Pleasure Activism by Adrianne Maree Brown

  • Follow Grant Blvd on Instagram >

  • Follow Dr. Kimberly McGlonn on Instagram >

  • Grant Blvd is offering Conscious Chatter listeners 15% OFF through January 26th, 2021.
    Use code CONSCIOUSCHATTER at checkout - you can explore more at GrantBlvd.com >

Thanks to this week's sponsor TEN/TEN — an exclusive collection of ten one-of-a-kind engagement rings, designed by ten of the most distinctive designers working today. Using only diamonds responsibly sourced from Botswana, ten design masters have each produced a uniquely beautiful commitment ring.
Learn more at BlueNile.com >