23, January 2016: At the mere age of 11, the life of Kywuan Terrell Warren was turned upside down when his mother, Jamila T. Davis, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison for bank fraud. In her absence, Kywuan and his sister, Diamond Baker, struggled to sustain the lifestyle that their single mother once provided.
"When the judge sentenced my mother to over a decade behind bars, I thought my life was over. I don't think he realized by punishing her so harshly, he was actually punishing me!" stated Kywuan Warren.
After being accepted to a major university, yet unable to afford the tuition fees, Warren discussed his dilemma with his mother in a federal prison visiting room. Together they came up with the idea to start an upscale, outerwear apparel company for men. Warren devised the design concepts with Davis on visits. Then, she would go back to her cell and hand crochet each sample. The mother and son creative duo went back and forth until the entire line, which includes trendy hooded scarves and arm warmers, was complete.
Although Warren was unable to attend the university of his choice, he enrolled at Nassau Community College as a Business Major and pursued his dream to launch the clothing line. After months of searching the world for skilled hand craftsmen to duplicate his mother's samples, Kywuan was finally in business!
"It took some time, but we stayed diligent, and I was able to find some of the greatest hands craftsmen in the world to manufacturer our garments. They hand crochet each piece using 100% high quality, alpaca thread. Therefore, each garment in the Kywuan Terrell Outerwear Collection is custom made with love and care, just like the originals that my mother made for me!" Warren stated.
As a 19 year old college student, who is one of the 2 million children whose parents are behind bars in the U.S., Warren has beat the odds! Successfully launching the Kywuan Terrell Collection, while remaining on the honor roll in school, his clothing line is highly sought out by fashion icons, celebrities and NBA Ballers, such as Jason Terry, James Hardin and Carmelo Anthony.
"After making tremendous sacrifices to get the line up and running, and now to see celebrities such as NBA players, rap moguls and famous television personalities rocking and enjoying my apparel has been an unbelievable accomplishment. It's literally a dream come true and a testament that regardless what hardships you experience in life, if you make a plan and take action, you can turn adversity into success!" Kywuan Warren, CEO of Kywuan Terrell Collection stated.
The Kywuan Terrell Collection is now available online at www.kywuanterrell.com. The complete line and celebrity photos can be viewed on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @kywuanterrell.
By: Crystal Joyner