Getting to know Khalil Kinsey

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Khalil Kinsey, the only child of founder and owners of the Kinsey Collection Bernard and Shirley Kinsey, was raised in Los Angeles, Calif. where he grew up in a well-established and affluent household.

At a young age Kinsey was well-rounded in adult surroundings and was encouraged to develop his own thought process around professionals.

Kinsey attended predominantly white schools. He was at an advantage being a minority. Through his schoolwork he was able to educate himself and others on black history.

By the age of 18, Kinsey had already traveled around the world and experienced a life filled with unlimited opportunities. Some might even say he embodied the true essence of a “Cosby kid.”

At a young age, Kinsey felt he wasn’t “black enough.”  

“I thought I was supposed to be in the streets doing all types of crazy stuff and I did just that, and for every reason I should not be here,” he said.

A lot of Kinsey’s friends are locked up in jail or dead. He said this opened his eyes to the traps of America.

“It opened my eyes to how America has worked from the beginning, in terms of black lives and how we are perceived, and our life can really be taken at any given time,” he said.

Florida A&M University was a familiar place for Kinsey family, as Bernard and Shirley are alumni. By the time Kinsey attended FAMU he found it too easy to be social and didn’t focus on school.

Having the Kinsey last name, this brought a lot of attention. He didn’t want to deal with everything that surrounded him and wanted to walk away from that shadow.

After walking away from FAMU Kinsey worked with a friend as an entrepreneur at a clothing store at the Tallahassee Mall. At the time he loved where he was with his life.

“Being able to be creative, open a store and being an entrepreneur I loved it. I knew what I was doing and that is what I wanted to do,” Kinsey said.

Over the next couple years Kinsey had the opportunity to open more clothing stores, where he found a gig and picked business over school.

Seeing the lifestyle of his parents, Kinsey said he never wanted to work for someone else.

“I never wanted to work for corporate or work for anybody,” said Kinsey. “I’ve always been in the mindset of entrepreneurship.”

Kinsey is the chief operating officer for the collection, which involves him doing a little of bit of everything with the collection. He said he enjoys giving the collection his all.

“I’m one hundred and fifty percent with the Kinsey collection. Working with my family has its dynamics. It’s challenging at times because the lines are blurred between work and family. The vision I have for the collection is a lot bigger and broader than my parents, because they didn’t start this to be a collection like it is,” Khalil said. “I think about how much more it can be and how far we can take it with the next generations.”

Bernard said working with is wife and son is a joy.

“One of the greatest rewards in life is to be able to work with my wife and son everyday,” Bernard said.

Kinsey believes the Kinsey Collection is a contribution to every black community. He plans to keep improving black communities by continuing to share with different schools and conferences the African-American culture, and teaching kids them what they didn’t learn in school.