Shikiri Hightower-Gaskin, veteran fashion entrepreneur, communications strategist, of Chinese and African-American descent, is the founder of shikiri.com. The Berkeley, California native grew up amidst a diverse family dynamic. As her mother immersed Shikiri in Chinese heritage, her father was a member of the Black Panther Party, experiencing “the pro-Black love mixed with the Asian revolutionary spirit.” As a young girl watching her aunt work in fashion, she realized early on that she’d found her calling. “The idea that you could make money by selling clothing was the most fascinating thing to me.”
20 years ago, Hightower-Gaskin opened the doors to Shikiri in one of Los Angeles’ hippest shopping districts. Shikiri drew a wide array of celebrity clientele. In 2005, Hightower-Gaskin launched Golden Butterfly in Santa Monica, a breathtakingly ornate boutique located on Montana Avenue that specialized in high-end shoes and accessories.
In 2014 she founded China Royal, a high-quality, affordable luxury clothing brand. It is available exclusively at shikiri.com. In 2015 China Royal was featured in the online publication, The Root as one of the “50 Gift Ideas From 50 Black-Owned Businesses.”
She holds a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, a Master of Arts from the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of
Journalism, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Southern California.
In her free time, Shikiri enjoys indulging in the latest fashion trends, writing, long-distance running, yoga and traveling the world with her husband and their children.