This luxury streetwear brand out of Bristol is more than fashion. It’s a movement. – Hartford Courant

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This luxury streetwear brand out of Bristol is more than fashion. It’s a movement. – Hartford Courant

Bristol — BRISTOL — From motivational speaking to motivational messages displayed on their luxury streetwear, a Bristol couple is using their pandemic idea to create change within their community.

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DK Movement is a luxury streetwear brand that uses sustainable and recycled materials. It was founded by Kelly Houston and Derek Jones because they were passionate about fashion and fitness.

Jones, a Bristol-native, made the decision to turn his life around after seeing his mother suffer from drug addiction and his father with alcoholism. He grew up in foster care and later had to fight his own battle with alcohol. He quit drinking, started exercising and began dating Houston, now his fiancée, who he met online.

Houston was born in New York. Houston moved to Connecticut in 2005 after he had seen each other enough to travel back and forth.

“I’ve been into fashion and was in the fashion industry for 15 plus years modeling, the red carpet hostess, array of things,”Houston said. “So that’s where the clothing line comes into play so we decided to do the clothing line.”

To share their stories, the couple started a YouTube Channel. The online store that was established the trademark clothing line in 2020 during the pandemic was closed. dkmovementbrand.com.

Houston claims that selling online during the pandemic was difficult. Customers wanted to feel the products they were buying.

That is when a friend walked into Avril’s Boutique and thought DK Movement would be a great addition to the Bristol clothing store. After their friend showed Brenda Jules, the owner Avril’s Boutique, some of their work, Jules wanted to meet with the couple. Jules was in the midst of changing her casual-wear line to luxury sneaker brands and thought DK Movement would make a great addition.

Houston believed that Jules would be a unique, but positive experience.

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“I never recall [a time] where I could go into a boutique and get luxury streetwear and get a pair of Balenciagas, a Louis Vuitton bag and get a whole outfit in one shop.”Houston said.

Now, the collaboration is working to bring fashion to the Bristol community — and beyond.

“[Brenda is] big on helping, like we are. She gave us a chance in her store — she housed us in her store,”Houston said. “The collaboration is going to be great because we have so many things that we want to do together within the community.”

Houston is proud of their community involvement, but Jones wants to highlight the one thing that the two brands share in common.

“There [are] not too many collaborations with African American business owners,”Jones said. “We thought that would also be another spotlight just to help to show the community that we’re also working together.”

DK Movement, which is recognized by the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council (CT Chamber of Commerce) and ShopBlackCT (CT), often donates a portion of its profits and time to the Agapé HouseThe homeless are served by the church of Christ in Bristol.

After taking part in career day at Boys and Girls ClubThe couple shared their stories of difficult upbringing in Bristol to inspire the younger generation.

“Part of our speech [was] letting each individual kid know they can do anything they want in their life,”Jones said. ”Once you change your mindset, you can just do anything with positive thinking, goal setting and having a great vision.”

Houston believes that children should be taught by adults who are involved in their community to set an example of success. Houston learned from Fashion Week that not everything is gold. This message she shares her two daughters.

“Don’t live up to what you see on social media,”Houston said. “Look up to the people that you see within your community.”

DK Movement shares that they don’t give advice for show. The couple are business partners, lovers and each other’s biggest motivators. Houston believes that meeting Jones was one her best moments. Houston was an alcoholic before she met Jones.

“I haven’t drank in five years since I met Derek. He was already changing, he helped me change my life,”Houston said.

Together the couple plans to do more outreach to community members and plans to continue to share the brand’s slogan “become your better self.”

DK Movement will have an exhibit at the House of Fire MinistriesSmall Business Expo is located at 136 Riverside Ave in Bristol from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday. They will also be present at the Bridgeport Community FestivalMcLevy Green park, July 23, from noon to 8.pm. Rockwell Summer Festival, 238 Jacobs Street Bristol, August 20, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Avril’s Boutique is located on 912 Terryville Avenue Ave. in Bristol and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. The store’s grand opening is on Aug. 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Ahjane Forbes is available at [email protected]

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