GENERAL NEWS REPORTER
Humber student Jency Abarca is opening an apparel and accessory line complementing her hip-hop blog VYB3.
Beanies and stickers are launching on Oct. 2 with a full line this January. The brand will be selling products dedicated to hip-hop culture which include t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, phone skins, pens and more.
The third-year public relations student has a team behind VYB3, a term for “vibes”, who support and believe in her vision of her brand. The team consists of Laura Velez, VYB3’s communication director; Tabitha Summerhayes, who specializes in graphic design; and Shardae McPherson, a creative designer.
“We want our line to celebrate hip-hop culture and both subgenres (mainstream and underground) of hip-hop music,” Abarca said. “We want to create something where every hip hop fan feels included and heard.”
Rebecca Kennedy, one of Abara’s customers who purchased a beanie, said Abara’s passion and drive is going to take her places and is happy of her growing empire.
“She’s [Abarca] definitely going to make waves no matter what direction she goes in, ” Kennedy said.
Abarca said VYB3 started as an app idea, but later became a blog after further research. By writing down a list of her passions, hip-hop stood out.
The blog’s name, VYB3 was inspired through a Google search of the word hip-hop. The term “good vibes” came up and her blog became that, a vibe.
“We launched in January 2016 and within a two-month period we were already at one thousand views and we are still building our vision,” Abarca said.
The team entered Humber’s LaunchPad competition again this year, which gives student entrepreneurs a chance to win all or a share of $40,000. Kennedy said Abarca remained focused and determined through last year’s contest, even when she didn’t qualify. Abarca will have to submit a video and answer questions to be eligible for the semi-finals, where she will have to deliver a pitch in 5 minutes.
Abarca is thankful both her friends and family are supportive of her decision and give positive feedback in return.
“Jency first started the blog as a project,” said Velez, VYB3’s communication director. “But as her friend, and not just her co-worker, I really want to see her succeed and get what she deserves.”
Abarca said her parents don’t understand her obsession with hip-hop.
“To them all they hear is cursing, more cursing and gun clapping, you know? But they are proud that I found something I was passionate about and that I have committed myself in pursuing,” she said.
Abarca’s webpage is currently under construction for its 2017 launch.