What do you get when you combine a businesswoman, yogi, and mentor? A woman who is full of the knowledge, balance and self- empowerment needed to create The POSE Box. The POSE Box’s mission to provide a subscription service that caters to the whole woman, inside and out is representative of what our founder, Kalish Nesbitt does and encourages other women to do in their life. Kalish is the ever-moving and ever-evolving woman her brand speaks to, and The POSE Box is one of her biggest evolutions to date! After four years of working in the corporate retail industry, Kalish decided to take her love for the business side of the fashion industry and use it to start her own business. Her girl boss moves are also heavily rooted in her motivation to give back. A percentage of the subscription sales goes back to WINGs, a dedicated non-profit organization who makes it their mission to support low-income women through personal and professional development programs. We spoke with Kalish about what pushed her to become an entrepreneur and how she plans to help women around the world find their balance one box at a time.
We love "The POSE Box" name! What inspired you to name the subscription service “The POSE Box”? What are some of the other names you considered?
"Interestingly enough, I’ve never considered any other names. Being a yogi for 6 years had some influence on naming the company as well as the product offering. I initially wanted to only target yogis but didn't want to exclude anyone else who lives an active lifestyle. So combining the fact that you do yoga poses in the practice of yoga and can pose in lingerie in whatever way you’d like to imagine (haha), I thought that it was a pun-focused play on the word, but I didn't want to objectify the use of lingerie. The ultimate narrative behind the name is that as women, our POSE is an expression of the dynamic complexities of womanhood; strong yet soft, bold yet simple, and beautiful yet flawed. A woman’s POSE is where she is centered, true to herself and where she finds her strength to move through the unfolding of life – while manifesting her destiny and leaving her mark.
My desire is to offer a curated experience that empowers every woman to embrace her flaws, love herself through and through and more importantly, to own her unique POSE while balancing all that she does and all that she is. Oh, and to also know that it's okay to treat yourself!"
Your years of being a yogi definitely shine through when you talk about The POSE Box. What inspired you to become a yogi?
"Yoga was actually something I started doing with a few of my close friends. We were workout buddies and would always finish our sessions off with a 60-minute flow class. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the benefits and how it makes me feel empowered and sexy. It has been key in keeping me disciplined on taking care of my body and mind."
What were some of your biggest worries when you decided to take a leap of faith and start The POSE Box? How did you overcome them?
"My biggest worries were about being able to fund it. I’m a visionary, once I have an idea or vision in my mind I know that I can execute it. When you do anything for the first time, there are going to be bumps in the road. So, I anticipated and made room in mind for anything that could possibly worry me on this journey. Because I quit my job and practically cut off a stable stream of income, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to have the financial backing needed to make my dream come true and also cover my personal expenses. This has made me quite crafty when it comes to finding streams of income. In most of the entrepreneurs’ stories I’ve read about, they pick up side gigs, become bartenders, and more. Earlier this year while developing The POSE Box, I made a plan to drive UBER and hopefully make a connection to securing a part-time gig (It happened!). This coupled with the help of freelance consulting helped lessen the initial worries I had when I took the leap.”
How does practicing yoga help you deal with the stress of starting a business?
"There is so much newly found stress I’ve experienced in starting a business. Yoga has always helped me in finding my own strength through hard times and helped me quiet my mind as well. I’ve always been a planner and somewhat of a control freak. Yoga literally helps me to chill and regroup when I feel like my life is moving too fast or if I’m focused too much on the future. I’ve learned to take life a day at a time and enjoy what indulging in the present moment has to offer."
What was your biggest motivation for launching The POSE Box?
"My family! They have been so supportive and encouraging on this journey. My mom, in particular, has been a great shoulder to lean on when I go through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. I mean she literally has known me before I could fully comprehend knowing myself. She constantly reminds me that I’ve always been a leader and capable of finally bringing my entrepreneurship goals into fruition. She also reminds me of all the times within the last 3 years that I complained about working in corporate and that I wanted to start my own business. So, here I am."
Yes, here you are! Speaking of working in corporate, how did your experience help you start your business?
"My experience has truly helped me learn how to manage a business on a higher level. After working in a few buying office headquarters, I’ve especially been able to apply knowledge like, how to have an effective supply chain process and how to source quality vendors for the subscription box products. One of my first experiences in corporate retail work was at a buying office in New York City. I interned in the intimates department and fell in love with the intricacies of sourcing the perfect lingerie for our customers. I soaked up a lot of knowledge because my desk was set right in front of my manager's office….intimidating! Sitting through meetings and overhearing phone calls truly helped with the way I run my business."
How do you deal with the anxieties that often come with being a natural born go-getter?
"Prayer, meditation and lots of red wine! I also like to read stories or listen to different podcasts about people who are on the entrepreneurial journey as well. Doing this reassures that my feelings, worries, or anxieties are normal and part of the experience. A big part of it is just prioritizing the things that need to get done first. I tend to take on more things than I need to. Learning to get better at distributing my energy between tasks has been the key to helping with anxiety."
Self-care plays a huge role in The POSE Box and in your personal life as well. What does self-care mean to you?
"Self-care is putting yourself first. Women, naturally carry the weight of being the nurturer of others and in most cases, it results in neglecting your own needs or wants. Self-care is taking the time to make sure you feel full within yourself and by yourself. Go to the spa, take a hot bath in a candlelit bathroom, go for a jog, or indulge in retail therapy! I believe it is doing what makes you happy and centered."
We love how you incorporate your love for giving back and empowering women into your business. WINGs is an organization that is very close to your heart. What was your experience volunteering there like?
"I found out about WiNGs during my time living in Dallas, TX. I was searching for volunteer opportunities as a small business mentor. WiNGS offered the exact opportunity in the Women’s Enterprise Program. They assist low-income earning women or those who have been in traumatic situations with the proper tools and education to start their own businesses. This was somewhat of a divine connection because my ultimate goal is to become a consultant for retail/e-commerce startups. My first mentee was a woman who wanted to start a business where she would host networking events for creatives in the fashion industry. It was very rewarding to help shape her vision and see her progress along the way. After moving away, I still wanted to give back to WINGs in some way, which is why The POSE Box is cause-based and in line with the vision I have for empowering women entrepreneurs and women in general."
What products are inside your dream POSE Box?
"I would like to eventually move into product development so we can have full quality control over fit at the design level. As for lingerie, I would love to partner with SAVAGE X Fenty Rihanna's lingerie brand ( I mean, she literally has a song called POSE so its destined!) and for active I would love to partner with Alo Yoga. For self-care, I would love to partner with a spa chain to offer a signature POSE self-care service or package that only our subscribers would be able to use. Big dreams I guess haha."
What advice do you have for women looking to start a business?
"My advice to women looking to start a business is to be consistent and open to change. You have to become nearly obsessed with your business goals, but not so much that you become stubborn. If something isn’t working out, you have to learn why and pivot towards trying something new. Take breaks and nurture your personal life. Always stay focused on your overall vision and work in the details to make it happen. Recognize when you have to take things slow or go full force in creating something for the world to enjoy."