Daylight: Tell us a little about your business and what brought you to where you are now.
Blakely Thornton: My business was born out of the frustration of often being the only person of color or queer person in the room. For better or worse, I feel the need to speak my mind. It’s built into me on a molecular level. More and more often, I see the cultural capital we create and a community being used to create financial capital for the same demo (cishet white men). Civil is a way to take Trojan horse access to capital through everyday style. We invest 20% of our annual profits in minority/queer founders.
DL: What does community mean to you and your business?
BT: Community means people to lean on. Community means a place where ideas and projects are discovered and supported by like-minded individuals. Community is inclusion, and that’s the point of our brand.
DL: How has the LGBTQ+ community impacted your business?
BT: We’ve just done the soft launch for our gender neutral engagement rings, and the response has been OVERWHELMING. I think the phrase “you have to see yourself to be yourself” is true, agnostic of culture or creed.
DL: How has your business contributed to and/or engaged with the LGBTQ+ community?
BT: Our business is run by queer black men, so I feel like the inclusion is in our ethos, whether collaborating with queer women for our innagural shoot, or having the impact investing in queer founders embedded into our mission statement.