The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, December 08, 2021 1:00 am

Local business in the spotlight

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Last year, Oprah Winfrey paid attention.

This year, it's

KaAn's Designs, a local business launched in 2014, is again getting a spotlight.

The local business that Ashley Green launched seven years ago made "Oprah's Favorite Things" list in 2020. That selection was based on a t-shirt line with phrases including The Original, The REmix or The ENcore across the chest area. A MIC DRop shirt has been added to the collection and also one that says A Fresh New Beat., an online heavyweight, has a Small Business Gift Guide that encourages shoppers to encourage these entrepreneurs all season long. It shows categories including Black owned, women-owned, family owned and military family-owned. As part of the guide, Amazon partnered with Gabrielle Union and Brew Barrymore, both actresses and entrepreneurs, and Billy Porter, an actor, singer and director, to have them identify gifts from small businesses that are worth consideration.

Green wasn't aware that Amazon would pick her business, but said she was interviewed about the potential in late October and had participated in Amazon's Black Business Accelerator program. 

The former high school teacher gives full-time attention to KaAn's (pronounced Can's) Designs. Her husband's name is Kenneth and they are parents to Aiden, Noah and Kensley. The husband also recently left his job as a case manager with a local non-profit to focus on the business.

If you search Green's business name on Amazon, items that come up include a tote that declares in bold lettering "Nothing in this bag belongs to me" followed by the words in cursive "mom life."

KaAn's Design products, including an "Everything" bag named after daughter Kensley, are geared to help families acknowledge and celebrate life stages. Her daughter is enamored with purses right now.

“We try to create products for parents exactly where they are," Green said.

And she knows language matters, and can make families thing about the times, the memories and how to permanently capture them.

"We like to create product that prompts taking a picture," Green said, "and matching shirts tend to do that."

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