Keisha Greaves always knew she had a strong passion for fashion. When she was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, she channeled that passion into starting a brand and a movement — Girls Chronically Rock.
“It’s a movement, to spread awareness of the disability community and that’s what I plan to do, that’s what keeps me going,” Greaves says as she explains Girls Chronically Rock to Parentology.
Along with designing for her brand, Greaves uses her voice and experience as a motivational speaker and is the Massachusetts State Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
Growing up, Greaves found inspiration on social media and in style powerhouses like Betsey Johnson and Kimora Lee Simmons. When she was diagnosed with MD, she also found it from her experience and this new community of individuals also living with chronic illnesses. Together, these sources helped Greaves make Girls Chronically Rock the brand it is today.
Keep reading for Parentology‘s Q&A with Greaves and how you can shop Girls Chronically Rock.
Q: What advice would you give to those struggling with their chronic illness diagnosis?
A: What helps me is definitely connecting with other individuals that are dealing with a chronic illness/disability in that community. Yes, we all may be dealing with different things but there is nothing like talking to somebody that understands what you’re going through on a daily basis. That fatigue, your body feels strange, you’re going to the doctor to get different infusions, going to physical therapy. It’s connecting with other individuals that understand what you’re going through that definitely helps.
Q: How would you recommend people go about finding their community, whether it be for a chronic illness, hobby, or career goals?
A: Social media today is awesome — I learned hashtagging definitely helped. I was on Facebook and Instagram, using #chronicillness, #disabilityawareness, #musculardystrophy. I realized that brought me a whole different range of so many other individuals.
Q: As a motivational speaker, what’s your favorite topic to speak about?
A: My brand and just how I got started. My journey [after my diagnosis]. When I was wearing a cane, I would go to my job and tell them I sprained my ankle or I was in a car accident, instead of just saying I had Muscular Dystrophy. That’s how much of a different mindset I was in. I just picture that story and let [my audience] know this is where I come from — different stories and journeys I’ve come across along the way.
Q: From spreading awareness on MD to Black Lives Matter, what advice would you give to younger folks about how they can use their voice?
A: Just write a message on social media — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter. You’ll be surprised of how many people will come across it and then your voice can go viral. If you have an iPhone or whatever, do a video. Sharing your voice any way you can, I think it’s awesome — you’ll be heard.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about running your own business?
A: I just love my passion for my business. I love creating new things. Anything to spread the word — that girls chronically rock. It’s a movement, to spread awareness of the disability community and that’s what I plan to do, that’s what keeps me going. I love it.
Eventually, Greaves dreams of seeing Chronically Girls Rock in stores like Target, Macy’s and TJ Maxx. In the meanwhile, you can order directly from Girls Chronically Rock’s site. While it’s hard for her to choose a single product, Greaves recommends a few of her favorites from the store’s current lineup:
- “Trust Your Dopeness” shirts
- “Black Lives Matter” and “Disabled Black Lives Matter” shirts
- Face masks made from recycled Girls Chronically Rock shirts