Klarke Foreman Talks Building Queens and Embracing Your Uniqueness
“Still black. Still breathing. Still woman. Still magical.” Those are the words Klarke used to describe herself and we have to agree – especially with the magical part.
In such a short amount of time, Klarke has been able to take her most frustrating moments and use them to create a platform where other women can be free to embrace their own uniqueness.
Klarke and her sister started KweentoQueen to inspire other women to be themselves no matter their circumstances.
We were able to check in with Klarke since our last interview with her January 2017. Since then she's graduated from Texas Southern University, hosted a book drive for Harvey victims raising over 4k books, and started her career as a teacher. Read more below.
Tell us about yourself. What experiences from your childhood molded you into the woman you are today?
The name’s Klarke Foreman, better known as Kween Klarke. I was once a girl who loved the attention from boys. I would sacrifice my own morals and values, just to have their attention—even if it were only for a short period of time. I admit, I did like it, but I also wanted to be liked. I was afraid that if I did not do the things that made me uncomfortable, boys wouldn’t "like" me anymore. I used to believe that my popularity was measured by the amount of people that would speak to me in the hallways and number of guys that were gawking over me: boy, was I wrong!
I lost my virginity in the 9th grade to a guy (a clown) that played me. I had sex with several guys and had to deal with those embarrassing rumors that followed. I even uploaded provocative pictures online, and so forth. You could say—I was a hot mess.
Moving right along…
I’ve always been considered "thick". I came out the womb "thicker than a snicker." I have never been thin in my entire life- it’s not in my genes. My features made people think that I was older than my age. I always loved my appearance, but people told me that they were not pleased with it.
It was the people closest to me that would criticize my weight, my style, and what I chose to do. When I wore big hair and makeup, I was told that “people wouldn’t take me serious” or “big hair makes you look bigger.” I was even told that if I lost 30 pounds, I would look good in all of my clothes.
You may be thinking, “people actually said that to you?!”
Yes. I’m telling you the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Did I care about their opinions? For sure. Did those opinions hurt? Hell yeah!
But those experiences churned me into loving myself in its totality, and not giving a crap about what anyone has to say. I use my experiences as positive fuel to help another Queen. Just like the old folks say, “What the Devil meant for bad, God meant for good.”
What led you to start KweentoQueen?
God blessed me with an amazing sister and an incredible mom who supports me, and instills wisdom and positivity into me. Some girls do not have that. There are so many girls out there that do not have someone in their ear constantly reminding them of their worth, their beauty, and that they are a Queen.
As women, we compare ourselves to one another, and hate on each other often. We have not come to terms with who we are, nor have we learned to appreciate and embrace our uniqueness. So with that being said, my sister and I agreed that it was time to take a stand to help build Queens and return them to their royal thrones.
It's been 9 months since we've last spoke, and I personally know that you're rebranding. What prompted the rebrand and what will it entail?
Whew! Where do I begin? Haha. It was all of the arguing, crying, trying, failing, and praying that led us to rebranding. Seriously. I was at a place in my life and my business where I felt it in my stomach that Kween to Queen was not going in the right direction. We would try things that wouldn’t work out. I was honestly depressed for a period of time, if I’m being honest. I wasn’t happy. I knew God was taking Kween to Queen somewhere, but by me not seeing the GOOD change I was easily discouraged. It wasn’t until I prayed a simple prayer, “Lord, have your way in my life, my relationships, and my business” when things started going left. But all in all, I thank God for it because it led us to this point.
“Reigning like we mean it” is the new Kween to Queen mission. In other words, our goal is to inspire women to commit to becoming their best self and live their best life by living out our royalty in our careers, finances, with our ministry, our relationships, personal development, etc. What we realized is our generation, in this day and age, people are suffering from an identity crisis. Why? Because we do not know who and who’s we are. If we truly understood the unique power we each posses, it would shift our perspective on ourselves, others, our situation, etc. We would go from existing to making every single day count! Through our campaigns, events, sessions, web and social sites, we’ll provide tips, tools, and resources that will lead the Queen to discover who she is, the power she possesses, and how to use it in her everyday life. We also provide merchandise will fun, positive statements. We believe in not only speaking life, but wearing it as well.
Wow! That's amazing, congrats! You Cofound Kween to Queen with your sister. I know firsthand working with a relative can be challenging. How has your relationship with your sister changed since January and what challenges have you two faced since we last spoke?
My sister and I have faced a number of challenges since January of this year. We argued so much and I could never understand why. She went through a breakup with her first real boyfriend, and I was not there for her like I should have been. We would pop off at each other in ways like never before, etc etc. I mean it was all bad. We were both convinced that our relationship would never be restored and that’s how it will always be. But the Lord revealed something so crystal clear, it all made sense. He told me that the reason we were going through so much was because the enemy was trying destroy our relationship to try and keep us from getting to where God’s trying to take us. It was that moment where I knew I had to fight for my relationship with Chan. I had to get out of feelings and save our relationship and essentially Kween to Queen because we have a powerful assignment bestowed upon us. Truth of the matter is, before this year, Chan and I never just went through traumatic things as sisters. So now we have a testimony on our backs to show what God can do in your relationship(s) when you allow Him to take over.
I agree, giving God ultimate control is the best thing you can do for your relationship. Outside of you and Chandler, what are some obstacles you’ve faced this year personally and professionally?
*sighs for 3 seconds*
2017 has been a trying year for me spiritually and emotionally. One of the most traumatizing experiences I’ve ever faced was being violated by two men I trusted: my father and my neighbor. My neighbor tried to finesse me by pitching his lustful desires at me, trying to get very intimate with me during a goodbye hug after I finished babysitting his child. Crazy, right?
My father and I got into a heated discussion due to poor communication, and it led to him smashing my new MacBook and him punching me in the face several times. Immediately following that horrific event, I left my home and moved in with my aunt and uncle.
Me writing this is even making me emotional and have me questioning if I truly forgave either of them. I think I just swept in under the rug, replacing it for the idea of forgiveness, so I can keep peace around here. I hate that awkward feeling the elephant in the room gives. So I’ll bury my emotions and free the person who hurt me, but ultimately neglecting myself in the long run.
My sister and I went through the storm and rain in our relationship. We’ve argued in ways like never before and I could never understand why. It seemed like every time she came home from college, we had a big fall out. We were both convinced that our relationship was beyond repair and did not care to fix it. It wasn’t until God revealed to us that the enemy is trying to attack our relationship to keep us from fulfilling the assignment God has placed on our lives through Kween to Queen.
I’ve been struggling with my anger and sexual immorality, but I’m doing so so much better.
My relationship with my boyfriend is kind of at a stand still because of my own personal issues, and walls I’ve built up. Yeah, sucks. But it’s the truth.
Professionally, I was confused on the direction God wanted us to go in through K2Q. I prayed, cried, prayed and cried, changed the mission several times but nothing sticked. I’m just thankful for the confirmation I finally received because I’ve been seriously praying for this.
I can honestly continue, but for the sake of length, I’ll stop here.
The enemy has been coming at me tough this year, but I’m excited to see what God’s purpose in all this.
Well, you do a great job at not looking like what you've been through! What are some things you’d do differently going into this next year after all that has happened? What are some lessons you've learned?
Two lessons I’ve learned this year:
- Be slow to speak, and quick to listen
- Love is an action.
I’ve been making sure I use prayer as my first resort and not my last. I make every effort to start my day with God. I refuse to go into the year being that Christian that only talks to God a couple of days a week, because I desperately need God on my good days just as much as I need Him on bad days, if not more. I will choose to forgive quickly and not allow negative feelings to linger, because I am currently experiencing the consequences that come along with that. I will give it to God and move forward. I’m no longer allowing my past and negative emotions rule my day! I will stop giving the enemy a place in my life. I will protect my relationship with Jesus Christ, my loved ones, serve others, and go hard for my dreams.
I will stop allowing my emotions to guide me, but to stop, breathe and process things before taking action that could ultimately lead to destruction.
Professionally, I made the decision to stop sleeping on my gifts and really train it. Do the proper research, seek the kingdom on what to do with it, and act accordingly. I will stop eating whatever the hell I want and start taking care of my body by feeding it healthier foods and exercising more. Diabetes and low cholesterol is not something I want to be apart of.
I just desire to be my best self and reign like I mean it!
What's some advice that you have for people that look up to you?
Communication is KEY. I’ll say it again for the people in the back: COMMUNICATION IS KEY. In order to have a successful conversation, both parties have a responsibility whether on the sending or receiving end to actively listen or communicate EFFECTIVELY. Imagine how many wars and family feuds that could’ve easily been resolved because of a successful conversation. If I can give anyone a piece of advice, it would be to listen to understand and not listen to reply. Actually hear the other person out and try to reach and understanding, whether you agree or agree to disagree. Communicate in ways that express how you feel without name calling. No one likes rude and inaccurate labels. Love isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. Feelings are fickle. Do not rely on your emotions to dictate what you are suppose to do for your loved ones. Get outcha’ feelings and move on. Two lessons I’m still trying to master.
Great Advice! What are some things you do outside of Kween to Queen?
For those who may not know, I am an iphoneographer. In other words, I capture images with my iphone. I’ve been doing photography since 2012 and I love what I do. I am currently running a $50 special. I am also a high school teacher in the Alvin ISD school district where I’m able to pour into the intellect and inner being of the student. I’m the Chief Branding Officer for Pink Productions (turn up!)
I absolutely love what I do.
You are great at what you do. I know that you have goals of meeting and working with amazing women in the industry. Who are some celebrities you’d love to work with and why?
First let me say I have a heart for young people, especially teens. With that being said, I would love to work with the sister singers Chloe and Halle, Willow Smith, Malia and Sasha Obama, and Yara Shahidi. Those girls are really dominating and I admire them for creating their own lane as teenagers/young adults. I admire them for being positive models of Queens dominating their worlds and the industry. I love seeing young people grinding for what their hearts desire. I would also love to work with Solange, Michelle Obama, and Steve Harvey because they’re dope. I know it’ll happen soon and very soon. Just waiting on my time to come.
What are goals you wish to accomplish going into the new year?
Honestly, our main focus for the remainder of the year is to complete all of the goals we’ve set to be ready for relaunch when January 2018 arrives. Stay close, because it’s gonna be good!