Post by Kay
“The Bon Bon Vie lifestyle isn’t necessarily about material possessions, but rather self-love, pursuing your dreams, and celebrating your own personal joy. Bon Bon Vie is where fellow shirt addicts fulfill their graphic tee fix while expressing their individuality.”
I came across Shari Neal‘s brand Bon Bon Vie when I had a ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ moment about her Brown Skin Lady t-shirt on Instagram. I DM’d her immediately and she kindly sent a t-shirt to Thandie in LA.
She’s a kindred spirit and it is our pleasure to introduce her to our readers…
The company name Bon Bon Vie was inspired by a funk song of the same name by T.S. Monk.
The lyrics really spoke to me, he sang about a job that was getting him down and he just wanted the good life. I wanted to make the “good life” my reality and inspire others to do the same. I wanted to build a life for myself I was happy to be living instead of just punching in and out and going through the motions.
My parents emigrated to the US from Belize, so I very much had the immigrant child experience. My mom expected me to work hard, have impeccable manners, be responsible, get good grades and generally not do anything to embarrass our family, lol.
My older brother is also an artist and just as nerdy as me, so growing up we loved all things art and pop culture.We’d spend hours watching Michael Jackson and Prince videos and countless days exploring the city of Chicago, just riding the train, having photoshoots on the lakefront, walking and going to museums or the library.
I loved knowledge and read whatever books I could, the ones by black women authors really spoke to me. “For Colored Girls…” by Ntozake Shange is one of my all time favorites.
I read “The Coldest Winter Ever” and “No Disrespect” by Sister Souljah more times than I can count. I probably checked out all of the books my local library had by Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez and Asha Bandele.
In the short-term, I would like to keep adding new products and designs. I started out with t-shirts, but I now have mugs, bags and other things customers have expressed interest in. What I’d like to do more of is collaborations with other brands and folks I admire. I have a few things in the works that I hope I can let out into the world very soon.