For a young man in his thirties, Kirk Remekie has certainly achieved a lot. A quick glance at his Instagram page tells you he is a serious, disciplined individual who believes that success is achieved by hard work and determination. An early entry reads, “All roads that lead to success have to pass through Hard Work Boulevard at some point.”
Even at his tender age, Remekie understands that nothing in life comes easy, unless you were born with the proverbial “silver spoon” and he wasn’t. At 26, when most young men his age were trying to figure out life – looking for the right job or their own apartments, Remekie made a bold move and launched Making It Look Kool (M.I.L.K.) — While Inspiring Others, an apparel business he has grown into a recognized, sought-after brand.
The concept behind M.I.L.K., which Remekie runs with his wife, is finding your niche, having fun with it and inspiring others to do the same. “It’s all about passing it on,” Remekie stated to the Canarsie Courier. “I help you. You help me – you know – the village.”
The young entrepreneur attributes his work ethic to his hardworking Jamaican immigrant parents. “My Mom worked so hard and provided us with so much, I used to think we were rich.” He said his desire to start his own business comes from watching his Dad who, for all of Remekie’s life, worked at his own company. “My Dad is a businessman. I grew up watching him work in his own business as an electrician. So, I always knew I would do the same – work for myself.”
The opportunity to do so came quite by chance the day one of his young daughters made a fuss about her school uniform and wanted to have something sparkly on it. The father of three, an admitted Daymond John enthusiast, said he drew inspiration from the FUBU owner and fashion designer, as well as his own two sisters “who always dress fashionably,” and added a few touches to his daughter’s uniform. The new look triggered a sensation among her classmates who also wanted to wear something “‘kool’ and sparkly.” The young Dad pitched the idea of redesigning his daughter’s school uniform to the powers that be who, at first, were reluctant to give him a chance, but he eventually ended up inking a contract.
As word of Remekie’s creativity got around, he began receiving calls from other school administrators. Although he currently has contracts with over two dozen schools, he’s quick to tell you it was by no means an easy road, recalling the skepticism and rejections he encountered along the way. But he took it all in stride, never seeing the glass as half-empty. “It’s all about how you look at life. Obstacles can become opportunities,” he affirmed.
This attitude has carried him a long way. At only 34, Remekie’s accomplishments include a contract with the NYC Office of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit, handling all printing needs from t-shirts and other apparel to trinkets. He has also had speaking engagements at schools on Career Day and has staged runway shows in the British Virgin Islands as well as the Cayman Islands. A great source of pride for him is that he achieved all that he has without ever approaching a bank. “I never took a loan. I’m self-funded from Day One,” he said
. However, that may soon change as he aspires to take M.I.L.K. to Shark Tank
and hopefully “blow the business up!”