Inspiring Leaders : Kendra Francis
Kendra Francis, the Founder and Creative Director of Petits Genoux, has known her way around the fashion industry from a young age, when her parents first taught her how to sew. Since then, Kendra has gone on to her many accomplishments in the fashion industry which led to her entrepreneurial journey starting her own clothing line for infants.
Your career is vast in so many ways, how did it feel to venture into being an entrepreneur?
Being an Entrepreneur was not a concept that was in my mind ever when I started to find my own footing and pursue a career in fashion. All I knew was that working for someone else was boring and that I had so many ideas in my head that I would rather work on and pursue. If there was a career day at school that spoke about Entrepreneurship, I probably would have been scared off because it is non stop work and the self motivation is not something everyone has in them and the payoff is not guaranteed. For me, this is my way of life and I can’t imagine that changing….the idea of getting a job in a corporation would actually be a relaxing concept lol.
Petits Genoux was born by you and another creative mother, do you feel like Petits Genoux was something you would have always found your way to?
I am not sure about that. Petits Genoux was created by the collision of a few paths that weren’t intentional, a happy accident. I most likely would have focused on my interest in interiors as I am now or my passion for food.
We love the lucky happenstance that resulted in Petits Genoux, what Petits Genoux achievement are you most proud of?
The biggest achievement was getting it off the ground so quickly and landing our first vendor before it was even a brand. We had to catch up to our concept and at a time when we had our little ones and navigating being a first-time mom and my partner has just had her second baby… a lot was going on but we managed to give birth to a third child that came out running.
What was the best fashion advice you ever received that you still apply to your career to date?
The best fashion advice I would give anyone is to dress for your body. You can be on trend if you like but if a new style does not fit your body type, you don’t have to wear it to be stylish. Style is about putting things together that make you feel your best and not really about what is happening in that moment fashion.
What advice do you have for aspiring women leaders?
For young leaders, trust your gut…I would bet on it most of the time. One thing to remember with that is you have to know your gut feeling vs your emotional reaction…big difference. Also, don’t be afraid to push for your ideas, if you get a no, you’re speaking to the wrong person, and lastly don’t listen to the ‘imposter syndrome gnome’ that may follow you around, you belong in all the rooms.