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Coming in 2024!

Once I was invited to run Boston, the theme of being unique began to really resonate with me. The unicorn, a one-of-a-kind creature. Kandi is also a one-of-a-kind being. When I began the process of creating my apparel company, I challenged my marketing guru to find a unique identity. We talked about the unicorn, discussed fingerprints, one’s DNA helix, she came up with a few other ideas. But the little guy who won the day was the pangolin.

Though many think of them as reptiles, pangolins are actually mammals. They are the only mammals wholly-covered in scales and they use those scales to protect themselves from predators in the wild. If under threat, a pangolin will immediately curl into a tight ball and will use their sharp-scaled tails to defend themselves.

“These animals are really beautiful and finding one brings a lot of good luck to the person who finds it and it’s a taboo to kill it.”

Christopher Zimunya, a 72-year-old leader of the indigenous VaJindwi people in eastern Zimbabwe

Sold! And with that Pango Apparel moves forward (which I will share more about as we get things up and running). My little buddy is good luck and much like yours truly, you cannot kill it.

Why do I even bore you all with this? Because my sprawling business empire (okay, I am exaggerating a bit…) is built on being unique, one-of-a-kind, custom, high-end, quality. And ladies, that is us to a tee!

Kandi’s Land is like no other place. Pango Apparel will be the Kandi’s Land of apparel sites. Maybe the latter will actually turn a profit, but I digress.

Let me tie this all together. “This” is different for each and every one of us. Some live their lives as women. Some become women. Some have medical procedures or medication to make them female or feel female. Some get dressed to the nines, pour a glass of wine and watch a movie on the couch. Some simply dream. For many its an online existence, photos at home, posts and comments to get feedback and that sense of community. Some struggle under a DADT relationship or simply cannot open that closet door. Some walk out that front door and let life takes its course. Some of us walk that tightrope, straddling the line between our male lives and female desires.

We had a great friend, Pat, with whom I shared so much although we never met. Personal and intimate (NOT in that way) emails. Sharing with each other. She was prevalent on the first version of Kandi’s Land. She passed away a few years back, cancer. But she would share with me that her wife allowed Pat to be herself as the “second wife”. Pat got dressed and cooked up a fabulous meal for her wife on Sundays. She did occasionally go out, but this was her escape into herself. She had me by a few years, but we had so many common interests, particularly music. My beloved friend Cassidy and I share that same kind of relationship. Life has sucked up a lot of the free time I used to have, so my email activity and online presence has diminished, but I miss Pat and I cherish Cass.

This is dealt with so differently be each of us. Some love it. Some have accepted it. Some hate themselves because of it. Some get therapy. Some avoid therapy. Some are simply lost, adrift. Some embrace it. Some are repelled by it. Sadly, some die from it, either by their own hand or that of some despicable human being. Some just have to do it. Some find incredible joy in it. Some need to do it amongst others like themselves. Some like flying solo.

Manners of presentation differ greatly. Some wish simply to blend. Some want to be the center of attention. Some hyper-feminize. Some seek humiliation. Some wear that ball gown to the bowling alley. Some love a pair of leggings and a cute top. You all get the point.

This is so very, very different for each and every one of us. Circumstances dictate. Resources create opportunities. Relationships drive the bus.

But the common thread, it is pervasive and never, ever leaves us. Ever. You can deny it. You can manage it. You can embrace it. You can create hyper-masculine activities or professions to bury it. But is is always there, waiting, lurking, ready to pounce.

There is one thing I know and I know it to be certain. You have to find your way to deal with it and don’t allow it to be the wet blanket on your life.

Love yourself!


6 Responses

  1. Kandi, always nice to see our individuality recognised when society, and even some members of our community, seek to overlay a ‘one size fits all’ template onto us.

    And speaking of ‘one size fits all’, good luck with Pango – no one deserves success more than you.

  2. Kandi,
    Thanks for a very thoughtful and precise post , much to think about .

    As for old friends , setting aside ” BIG BROTHER ” don’t you wish sometimes we all had little trackers just to find friends that have passed through our lives and disappeared to goodness knows where , never to be found again . I owe so much to some of them if I only I could thank them now .

    I guess we have to take care in assuming not everyone wants or needs to go down the same road as us , I have to consider am I a little guilty of that at times . The fact that some of us struggle through pain and anguish means we have experienced things that we hope others can learn from and possibly avoid the same mistakes and heartaches .

    What exactly is hidden in our brains that feeds the need to express a different gender ? Again I’m going to make a point that’s often overlooked and that is the number of women who wish to live a male lifestyle , obviously to many of us that is an alien idea . The assumption is it’s easier for a female to appear male than it is for us to appear female , is being a woman harder than being a man ? I’m sure most of us would agree it is , so the eternal question , ” WHY DO WE DO IT ?” Your post really does sum up the variations of that question .

  3. Kandi,
    As a former marketing director (self-appointed) for a new start-up boutique winery, we had to come up with a logo or symbol to distinguish our bottles on a crowded shelf. But that only gets the first sell, sustainability is in the repeat customer. So, our wine needed to award winning. It is.
    The uniqueness of the pangolin logo will get your first purchase. Maybe add the second and third paragraphs to one of the label tags. The hard part is to get the repeat customer. Apparel is a crowded fickle arena, but there are many lucrative niche markets. Good luck.
    (End of Marketing)
    I know I’ve been an unicorn my whole life.
    I felt to be truly happy I needed to embrace my WHOLE self, while maintaining my career. Luckly, life circumstances provided me with a path to blend both sides.
    My hope is that others will find their own happy place.
    Happy New Year Kandi.

    1. Thanks Cali! What I have seen without knowing what the f@!* I was doing is that I have access to some outstanding products. With my “blind squirrel” techniques, I have done things the products I represent did not previously do. Trouble with that, I dipped my toes, I need to dive into the pool. One thing I know, I know really god people, I know smart people and I lean into all of that.

      Stay tuned!

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