We had the good fortune of connecting with Corey Barnes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corey, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Well, my interest in fashion started as a teenager. In high school, I grew up around some pretty fashionable people, and being fly was always the thing. Brands like Polo, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica were big. However, growing up I didn’t always have the money to buy those designer clothes or the latest fashions, so I would borrow different pieces from my friends to “keep up”. Since then, I always thought that it would be cool to have my own clothing line, similar to those brands that I grew up on.
The name Kingsley Lane literally came to me on “accident”. In 2006, while on the way home from working an event for a client, I fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a tree in Norfolk, VA. By the grace the God, noone else was hurt, and I was able to come away from the accident with only a few scratches and a broken pinky toe. In a way, that accident woke me up because I realized at that time that there were so many things in life that I wanted to accomplish, but had yet to start, and a clothing line was one of them. Coincidentally, the intersection where I had the accident was on Granby Street and Kingsley Lane in Norfolk, VA, and for some reason, I always remembered that name. When it came time to name the clothing line, I thought that Kingsley Lane was perfect. It just sounded like something big to me, and knowing where it came from makes it mean that much more.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I believe that there’s a beauty in simplicity, and for now, while we’re growing awareness of the brand, I’d like to keep it that way. Our pieces are mostly solid base colors featuring the classic Kingsley Lane lion logo. I’m excited to see the brand eventually grow into other lifestyle arenas like luggage and home goods.
Honestly, the journey hasn’t been difficult, but it has been a lesson in patience. Nowadays, we’ve gotten so used to instant gratification, but this process has been a lot of trial and error. From designing the different pieces and ordering tons of samples to make sure that the end products are exactly how I want them. Things don’t always come out right the first time, or the second or third time even, so it’s definitely been a huge lesson in patience and perseverance. But at the end of the day, I understand that this process, in and of itself, is the dream and I’m grateful for the opportunity to wake up every day and works towards growing the brand.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, God. Like I mentioned before, surviving that car accident really lit a fire in me to pursue my dreams without any fear of failure. Like I also mentioned, my teenage years really shaped my sense of style and individuality as far as fashion goes, so shouts to everybody in Newport News, Hampton, and the surrounding 757 Virginia. I went to Bethel High in Hampton, VA where every day was like a fashion show. I’m sure it’s probably still that way to this day.
A big shoutout also goes to my mom Karen Barnes. As a kid, she always told us that we could do whatever we wanted, and I believed her. She was always the loudest and proudest parent in the stands, and that continues even now. My wife Venilla also deserves a huge shoutout. She’s been beside me every step of the way since I started Kingsley Lane, and has been my biggest supporter. Love you girl! LoL
Lastly, thanks to everyone who’s supported the Kingsley Lane brand thus far (friends, family, strangers). Your continued support means a lot and shows that we’re definitely on the right path.