Thriving With: Kevwe Mowarin of Koviem
“If you see a problem, fix it and turn it into a business.” We’ve heard this so many times over the years, and find it so inspiring when people who are passionate about their solutions are able to thrive in whatever industry they’re in. One person that comes to mind when we think of that quote is Kevwe Mowarin, the founder of Koviem. After starting her career in investment banking, and struggling to find the ultimate power suit, Kevwe took it upon herself to create a brand that would help women do just that.
As working women ourselves, we completely understand the mission behind Koviem. When you feel good about what you’re wearing, it allows you to put your focus on other things throughout the work day, instead of worrying about a shirt that’s not fitting quite right.
That being said, we’re so excited we got the chance to learn more about Kevwe and what helped her get to where she is today. Read on for all the inspiration:
Sabine & Carine: It can be really difficult to find a suit that fits perfectly, Especially ones that are professional, but also modern and chic. What inspired you to create Koviem?
Kevwe Mowarin That is exactly what inspired me to create Koviem! I began my career in investment banking and had a very frustrating experience trying to find a suit that fit me. I was always left with the choice between an ill-fitting suit or very expensive alteration fees. Working 80+ hours a week meant that I didn't have time to make multiple trips to the tailor or stand in line to return a suit that didn't fit. The clothing industry has very little standardization in sizing so a size in one brand rarely fits the same way as that size in another brand.
When developing the idea for Koviem, I wanted to solve a problem for women just like me - BUSY but still wanting a tailored look.
S&C: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
KM: Not really, but I've been obsessed with early stage companies for a long time! My interest in companies creatively addressing problems made me think I would pursue a career in venture capital. It was only when I stumbled upon a problem that I could uniquely address that I knew I had what it took to start my own company.
S&C: Did you have any fears about starting your own company? If so, how did you push past them?
KM: Yes! The biggest fear was not being able to recover the money I would be leaving on the table by leaving investment banking ha! Financial stability is a massive hurdle to jump. That's part of the reason that when I left banking, I still took on another full-time job that gave me more time to devote to the development of Koviem. I wanted to prove to myself that this idea could work BUT still be able to pay rent.
S&C: What's the biggest lesson you've learned since launching?
KM: "The best things in life are on the other side of fear." - Will Smith. I read this quote shortly after Koviem got its first big break and it really embodied how that moment felt and the lesson I had learned. To me, entrepreneurship is like skydiving! The most difficult part is getting over your fear (fear of failure, mostly) and learning to just JUMP. Another thing I have learned to do is constantly ask myself, what's the worst that could happen. Usually when I start writing this down, I realize that the downsides to any decision are not that bad and usually unlikely.
S&C: How do you prioritize wellness while balancing your career? What does #SelfCareSunday look like for you?
KM: Let's be real - at the end of a long day, I don't have the willpower to draw a bubble bath, do an elaborate skincare routine or meditate for an hour. I've learned to just do whatever feels right at the moment instead of putting myself under pressure to "relax" a certain way. Even just plopping down on my couch and watching yet another episode of Friends gives me a 30 minute break from decision-making. I also do A LOT of DIY home projects. I love watching apartment tour YouTube videos and replicating projects in my own space. My apartment changes all the time because of this!
As a caveat to that, one thing that I do regularly to stay grounded is to meditate and read my Bible. I find myself less stressed when I approach life with a spiritual mindset. I find I treat people better and let fewer things bother me.
S&C: Do you have a go-to affirmation? If so, what is it and why does it resonate with you?
KM: My favorite is "My character (what I know about myself) is more important than my ego (my perception of what others think of me)." This affirmation resonates with me because entrepreneurship can put you in a very public position. Many times people can be personal in their critiques and as the face of the company, a lot of it can be directed at you. Initially, I received criticism and negative comments about my age and taking on such a big goal. In order to be successful, I had to push past all of this and take a firmer hold on what I let define me.
S&C: What's your best advice for anyone looking to start their own business?
KM: Seek advice...but do it anyway, ha! I say this because external advice is a great way to identify blind spots, but a lot of times going with your gut works out better. One thing to consider is where that advice is coming from. Most people that tell you not to do something are coming from a place of fear. They probably don't have the bravery to do it themselves. But if they are coming from experience, LISTEN VERY CLOSELY.
S&C: What helps you thrive in your career?
KM: Knowing that at the end of my life, I will probably look back at this season and smile.