So this time last weekend I got a text from my lilsistafriend (definition: a friend who’s like my little sister, who is also literally my little sister’s friend) Toi, asking me for a favor. She had driven home from school to visit her family for the weekend, and wanted me to model some pieces for her new online vintage resale boutique, TheToiBox. Now I’m no Tyra, Naomi or Chanel Iman, but a shawty knows how to do a little sum’n-sum’n in front of the camera. And plus I’m always down for supporting other young entrepreneurs on their grind, so of course I said, why not.
Toi had a ton of dope stuff for me to try on, and I actually wound up buying pretty much every ensemble she had me modeling in. I was so happy and proud to see her in her stylish element, doing what she loves. The young, eclectic girl who had been friends with my sister since the sixth grade had grown into a beautiful, artsy and stylish entrepreneur. For a split second, I felt like someone’s proud auntie. I thought to myself, This is really dope. More people need to know about what she’s doing. So I decided to feature Toi on A2K in a Q&A type of deal. I’ve also included some photos of the outfits I modeled for her (and purchased lol) during the shoot. Check it out below:
Q: So obviously I know you (lol), but tell the world who Toi Creel is.
A: Hmm…well I’m a journalist, vlogger (follow my YouTube channel Toi Creel), avid thrifter, 21-year-old college senior (at Kentucky State) from Michigan. I’m super big on family, anything and everything old, I love food and I love people.
Q: What inspired you to start TheToiBox?
A: I have always had a passion for clothes! Male or female, there is something so admirable and finished about a well-dressed person. Whether they’re designer or from a dollar bin, confidence and careful selection will make an outfit look like a million bucks. With this love for clothes, I’d always catch myself picking up things in a store saying “Oh I want to get this,” or “This would be perfect for a so and so,” but I’d have put it back because I didn’t have anyone to give it to. Eventually I started going to thrift stores and just buying clothes, even if they weren’t for me. After stockpiling clothes for a year, I finally told myself, Alright. It’s time to start (TheToiBox).
Q: Have you been gaining a lot of customers? Any special deals you’re currently promoting?
A: Yes actually, I’m normally really subtle and shy when it comes to promoting myself. I hate obtrusive promotion, but I realized I have to find a happy medium because if people don’t know about my items then they can’t shop. I find the more I talk about TheToiBox and the more I post the more people want to shop. So that’s really encouraging about the future in terms of longevity. I had someone buy things from Alabama and Chicago so that’s been fun. I’m also open to negotiations on select items. Everyone deserves a sale.
Q: Describe your personal style in three words.
A: My personal style is comfort, panache, ever-changing.
Q:What motivates you daily? Who is you biggest inspiration?
A: My mom is one of my biggest motivations and someone who really instilled the entrepreneur spirit in me. Growing up, whether catering, selling jewelry, or helping me fundraise for one of my many trips, she always had a keen sense for business and taught me to think beyond my walls. I always go to her for questions, guidance, and advice. She’s a great asset and she’s always wiling to help.
Q: Yeah I remember those delicious pound cakes you used to bake to raise money to go to China one year. That was so awesome! Do you have any plans in the works after graduating?
A: I’m going to Africa lol. I have a friend in Nigeria whom I wanted to visit and then I want to work for a media company as a personality, reporting on arts and entertainment. I also don’t mind blogging or continued vlogging because I love those so much.
Q: I’m so excited for you! So when will TheToiBox website be launching?
A: The website will be launching on Monday, September 28, but for now people can purchase or checkout my page via Instagram @thetoibox_ .
Q: Can’t wait to see it! Anything else you’d like to add?
A: Support Black businesses and TheToiBox! At the end of the day, while department stores are fun, a lot of the time they carry multiples of the same item. Thrifting is cool because you get these unique items no one has, and they become really great statement pieces to dress up a wardrobe. Most people don’t have the time to go to thrift stores, rifle through the duds, and find quality, cool merch. Let me do it for you! I also do personal shopping.
Well, TheToiBox definitely has a new customer. *raises hand*