By Colby Gresham
NCCU Staff Writer
the Durham VOICE
LifE KiT Lifestyle Co., a Durham-based accessory and apparel company, is on a mission. But it’s not just a mission to make a profit.
On the evening of Sept. 30 LifE KiT hosted an exclusive night of shopping and live music at MotorCo Music Hall in downtown Durham. The event, The Art of Giving, raised funds for the Genesis Home, a charity that works to end homelessness for families with children by providing housing and other supportive services.
“We chose the Genesis Home because of their front-line approach to working to overcome the cycle of homelessness in the Durham community,” said DeAndres Royal, one of the founders of LifE KiT Lifestyle Co.
About 650,000 individuals are homeless on any given night in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Funds raised at the charity event will be targeted toward winning a $60,000 All-Or-Nothing grant from The Steward Fund.
“If the grant is received, our $215 donation will be matched by the Steward Fund, thus doubling our donation,” wrote Royal in an email correspondence.
“I was delighted to hear that we would be a beneficiary for the event,” said Ryan Fehrman, executive director of the Genesis Home.
The Genesis Home was established in 1989 by members of Durham Congregations in Action. The three story building holds up to 12 families.
“It was heartwarming to be invited by a group of young entrepreneurs who are launching their businesses and making the time to have a philanthropic commitment,” wrote Genesis Home development director Mary McGuigan in an email.
“The event made a positive impact – it hit all the right notes-good venue, creative vendors, positive atmosphere, a great crowd size for the space,” said McGuigan. “Everyone at Genesis Home feels honored that Life Kit Lifestyle and Luxor and Finch chose us for the inaugural event.”
Life Kit Lifestyle Company came together in 2008 in Durham when college friends Pierre Davis, Austin Henely and DeAndres Royal decided they wanted to form a global movement that promoted self-discovery and shared growth.
Royal transferred to NCCU from N.C. A&T University in 2006, where he met his roommate, Davis, a former student of Winston-Salem State University. The dream-team was complete when Davis acquainted Royal to his fraternity brother, Henely. Since then, the grind has continued to develop.
The company, said Royal, “was created on principles of love, energy, knowledge and time. We came to believe that the application of these four values in our individual lives could contribute to a more unified, compassionate, and socially progressive society.” From this foundation the three friends began designing handmade jewelry for themselves and friends.
“Over the course of the next two years we honed the vision of the company and expanded our product offerings to build upon the brand’s core values and unique style,” said Royal. In 2011 LifE KiT launched their website and social media platform to form a digital hub for their company.
LifE KiT’s product collection consists of jewelry, apparel and an assortment of extras. The company’s commitment to learn and grow is matched by their sincere desire to encourage others to do the same.
Through their grassroots campaign efforts, events, and media campaign LifE KiT has been able to introduce the brand to people from all walks of life. Their products are currently being worn by customers from social activists to professional athletes, college students, and even fortune 500 executives.
Their current collection is available now at www.lifekitlifestyle.com
See a previous VOICE story on Genesis Home.