We had the good fortune of connecting with Kera Ioane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kera, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The idea behind the company I own with my siblings was to combine our eclectic skill sets to create an environment where we could freely express ourselves and build a platform that further amplifies the issues we care about. We each spent the last 15 years gathering knowledge and experience in different professional, social, and artistic settings and recognized that we can foster community not only for ourselves, but for other BIPOC creatives struggling to function within the current structures as well. The concept has continued to grow, and how we operate has been, up until this point, considered unconventional and often unacceptable within the capitalist systems in place. Since the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and countless others, we’ve become more aware of our agency and how we can be most useful for our communities. People are at a point in time where they have to use their imaginations and operate outside of what used to be considered “normal”. This movement is providing the guidance and avenues we were missing in order to align our values with our vision and cultivate stronger connections. Our process has and will continue to evolve as we navigate how we can be most impactful in the revolution.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After you and I spoke briefly about this in September, the functionality of the company I own with my siblings has pivoted quite a bit. At one point we thought we’d have to operate using a typical capitalist business model. Since its inception, though, IO4NE was really about utilizing our diverse set of skills to connect with creatives like us who need a platform for honest expression and who struggle to function within the current systems in place. So, executing our idea in the form of a “typical” company went against much of what we wanted to achieve. That said, in the last few months, we’ve shifted our entire infrastructure in a way that aligns more with our original intent while also taking into consideration how we can be most useful in the revolution. Now, rather than just being a place for creatives to make and own their work, we’re recognizing that we can also be community organizers. We can build new and transform existing spaces, create impactful intersectional content, and amplify revolutionary voices of people/organizations that are for the movement. What we’re certain of now is that we don’t have to do it within the confines of an oppressive capitalist structure. As we continue our pursuit of a collective and cooperative space, we’re proud to step into our roles in a greater evolving ecosystem.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
To be honest I don’t get out much, but if I was showing someone around LA, I’d seek out BIPOC-owned businesses. One local business owner I can definitely recommend is Chef Nekia Hattley and her plant-based pop-up shop, My Daddy’s Recipes. I first got to try her desserts at the Süprfest vegan festival in Leimert Park and her sweet potato cheesecake is out of this world! In addition to pop-up events, you can also order her food online.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My siblings are an essential part of who/where I am today and are impossible to exclude when I share my story. Their collective dedication, effort, support, guidance and love has provided the space for me to build my foundation on, and the moves I make will continue to be a reflection of the values we all share. As far as IO4NE LLC, we’re thankful for the information that Bee from the To Bee Loved pet care co-op, Lei from the Emerald Matriarch bookkeeping co-op and the L.A. Co-Op Lab have provided us thus far on our journey to build a cooperative community.
Other: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0qaKOy6bB9xIkYfxsqrhrl?si=zVKWc36_Qgu5N7DeYAC2KQ https://soundcloud.com/keraioane https://www.instagram.com/thiskayjohn/ https://soundcloud.com/kayjohn
Callét Ioane, VIP, DeShea