Meet Cheek Cases: Phone Cases For Any Aesthetic, Mood, Occasion Or Outfit

cheek cases

This is an interview done with Kaylie Boutwell, the creator of Cheek Cases, read her story below! If you, or anyone you know, would like to be highlighted in The Zillennial Zine, shoot us an email at thezillennialzine@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram!

Q: Tell us your story! Who is behind Cheek Cases?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: Cheek Cases was founded in January 2020, my senior year of high school. However, this wasn’t my first rodeo with starting my own business. When I was a sophomore, my family and I were going through a rough financial patch and I felt like I needed to do something to help. I put myself to work applying for jobs and making my own custom shirts for a concert I was going to. This caught some attention around school and led me to start my own t-shirt brand called Rosebud Customs where I did custom hand embroidery. RBC actually did pretty well around school but it was very taxing on my hands, mind, and body. I had a burnout after a year and a half, but I inevitably found new interests in screen printing. Which I need to add, didn’t last long. The equipment was too expensive and the learning process was long and complicated. Although I still find the whole process fascinating. I remember one day I was at my mom’s house on Instagram and I saw this girl with her own phone case business which immediately sparked inspiration in me. I did some research and discovered that the supplies to start standard sublimation phone cases were about $500. I had nothing to my name. So being the person I am, I used what I had on hand to try and make something happen. My prototype was messy but I didn’t care. I remember being really excited and wanting to show everyone! Funny enough, I went to a new years eve party later that night and talked to a girl about my idea. She ended up being the one to convince me to take this idea seriously. So I started promoting on TikTok where I had wild success about a year in. My videos were doing well so that meant I was constantly working. I even had to hire a few people to help out. Ironically, It wasn’t until my biggest video, which got 1.7 million likes, that things started to slow down. I was able to move out and focus on myself and my business.

Q: What makes Cheek Cases so unique?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: Cheek Cases’ focus is to reduce the amount of plastic used for phone cases while also not limiting yourself and your style. We have over 40 hand-drawn designs to choose from for any aesthetic, mood, occasion, etc.

Q: What is it like to own a small business? Is it challenging at times? Is it rewarding?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: Having your own business is very freeing and rewarding when your hard work is recognized. It can feel like you’re on top of the world. But from my experience, it has been difficult for my mental health. My experience with Tiktok has been amazing but I know that I’ve struggled with chasing that high almost every time I post a new video. I’d say I’ve been better at not having expectations but the culture with fast fame is toxic, especially for small businesses. Aside from Tiktok, It is challenging in general. There are lots of people who won’t understand what you’re doing at first but my advice is to believe in yourself and keep pushing. Your confidence in yourself and your idea will only attract more people who believe in you. I don’t think I would ever trade what I do for a normal job though. I have a full say in what I create and how things look. I even get to make an impact in reducing plastic consumption! It truly is amazing and a privilege.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is starting their own small business?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: No matter how much competition there is in the niche you’re pursuing, like for me, phone cases, keep pushing your idea out there. There is no YOU out there yet.

Q: Just for fun, which phone case is your favorite?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: I’d say my favorite phone case right now is the Fruit Sticker design. Only because it took me a week to finish and I’m super proud of it 🙂

Q: What do you want our readers to know about Cheek Cases?

 
 
 
 
 
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A: I have been doing pop-ups around Richmond VA so if any of your readers are in that area and are interested in my products, what better than to shop and see our cases in person!

Go Check Out Cheek Cases!

Instagram: @shopcheekcases

TikTok: @shopcheek

Pinterest: @Cheek Cases

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