Kali Hawk is a successful actress and owner of H.CROWNE jewelry. You may have seen her in Fifty Shades of Black, Couples Retreat, Bridesmaids, and/or Tyler Perry Presents Peeples. Her company H.CROWNE is a high fashion accessories company based in Los Angeles that started in 2015. Through her work ethic, celebrities such as Beyoncé, Janet Jackson, Nicki Minaj, and Serena Williams have been spotted sporting her jewelry.
She spoke to Black Enterprise about what helps her succeed and how her faith keeps her happy.
What moved you to start the business?
While enjoying my acting career I became a serious jewelry collector, often wearing my own jewelry in whatever film or television projects I was in. It seemed that collecting jewelry gave way to commissioning custom pieces. What started out as a very personal endeavor turned out to have mass appeal.
Who are some of the people who have supported H.CROWNE?
The first person to wear H.CROWNE jewelry publicly was Madonna for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar. Beyoncé has worn my jewelry a few times. Nicki Minaj has worn H.CROWNE almost daily for the last two years.
What advice would you give someone who wants to invest in themselves and start their own business?
As long as you’re in business doing something you love, and feel passionate about, entrepreneurship can be truly rewarding. If you love something, you gotta give it a chance to flourish and see where it can go. You may be pleasantly surprised!
How do you balance the business aspects of your company with the creative mindset for your acting?
I lead a very monastic lifestyle, which includes a lot of long walks and quiet time. I’ve found the best thing has been to allow myself to ask for help with things when I need it. I can’t say that things are ever really perfectly in balance because the entertainment and fashion industries are super chaotic. Sometimes it’s the chaos that delivers you the gift of creation.
How has the NYC hustle mentality shaped your success?
What people describe as “hustle” is really just creativity. New York City life demands you get creative about accomplishing, whether it’s crossing the street or going after a job. You’ve gotta know how to improvise. That’s something I utilized in my acting career because my focus was on comedy and improv. I feel the most alive when everything is up in the air, and I think New York is definitely to blame for that! Everything about the energy of New York is just so motivational. Whether it’s fashion, or jewelry, or finance, big business is everywhere, and from an early age I felt swept up in the energy of it all.
What is your vision for the future of H.CROWNE?
The future of H.CROWNE is definitely to keep focusing on quality while pushing the limits of affordable luxury. I’d love to keep expanding and finding new ways to make my jewelry even more affordable and more accessible worldwide. One thing I created just for fun is a subscription box that fans can sign up for at various price points. It’s like a little sample sale that comes in the mail each month.
What drives you to run your business?
I think about jewelry all the time, and I really care about people being happy with their purchases. Love, joy, and happiness are not typically words people associate with business, but if you start your day with those words you’re guaranteed to have a better experience. As an entrepreneur, I find it’s always easy to get inspired thinking about ways to care even more about the energy my company is putting out.
What attracts people to purchase items from you?
Many times people are drawn to purchase whatever jewelry their favorite celebrity is wearing at the moment. Fans are super great about gathering up fashion details and sharing them across social media so that creates a lot of buzz. Quality sparkle and quality craftsmanship are key! We make fine jewelry, semi-fine jewelry, and fashion jewelry, but people often confuse our costume jewelry for fine jewelry because of how good it looks.
What are some of the characteristics you look for in a business partner?
I like simplicity when working with others. People who do what they say they can do, deliver results, and are accountable to themselves are the easiest to work with.
What is one thing you live by and why?
Always keep God first place. I do this by tithing. I honor each purchase from my company this way as well and donate 10% of each purchase to a church or similar organization. The more thankful you are, the more you’ll have to be thankful for, and tithing definitely creates financial wonders in my life all the time so I stand by it in business especially!