Each and every Wednesday for “Woman Crush Wednesday”, The Dean of Fashion & Beauty will select an entreprenHER to be featured in her “Boss Babe Spotlight” Series. This series has been curated to shine some light on the small businesses of women who are unapologetically and authentically being themselves while leaving a footprint behind in the world that they live in.
WHO’S UP NEXT?
Today, I am featuring: Edrian Mallory of Designs by Shae. Recently, I had the chance to interview Edrian and learn some new and exciting things about her. I want to thank her for taking the time to speak with me so that I could shine some light on all of her dopeness and share it with you all. I certainly look forward to continuing to curate, collaborate, create and celebrate with her in the future! You can shower her with your support by letting her get you fly and fashionable for your next occasion! Sit back, relax, pour a glass of wine and read about what she shared with me:
What do you want people to know about you and your business?
You know, I’m really not sure of how to answer this. Most people are surprised to learn that I am introverted and reserved. Never have I ever thought that I’d start a small business because that would mean that I’d have to speak to people and I’m not always so good at that. I said years ago (and keep saying) that this is just a fun hobby for me. It just so happens to be a hobby that allows me to meet some amazing plus size women, change a few lives, and make a little money in the process. LOL. I feed off of the energy of my clients, so the more personality to get from them I can in turn put that personality into their garments.
What drives you as a business owner?
The journey and the people that I meet along that journey. I keep saying that I don’t want to mass produce pieces because I appreciate the connections that I make with my clients. I don’t just make clothing, I provide a service. So the ladies keep me going. All of the different personalities and the stories makes the journey worthwhile.
What kind of legacy/footprint do you want to leave behind?
I’m not so sure. But what I do know, though, is that when people think about DBShae I hope it makes them feel good. That’s what I’m all about. I’m a bit of a hippie so to speak. I’m all about good vibes and positivity. In a lot of cases I’ve had several clients to become friends because I’m interested in their story or they feel comfortable enough with me to share the intimate details of why they chose to get a custom made piece. So when someone puts on their custom DBShae piece I want them to feel as pretty as they think the garment looks. Because it’s not the clothes that makes the person, it’s the person that makes the clothes.
What knowledge would you like to impart on other small business owners, both new & aspiring and old & experienced?
I’m still learning myself. I’ve only been in the sewing game for a very short time. About 5 years. I’m still learning what to do and what not to do every day. Above all I’ll say stick to who you are and what you know and remain professional at all times. Every business owner of any size knows that there will be times where a customer or client will make you want to knock their heads clean off of their shoulders but you can’t do that because it’s unprofessional. Learn how to remove yourself from a nasty situation in the most professional way possible. It’s your reputation, protect it at all costs.
What does being a “boss babe” mean to you?
When I hear boss babe it means that I am in control of my destiny. Accept me for who I am and keep it moving if not. What I do with and for myself isn’t for anyone else to approve or accept. I am in complete control of me. It doesn’t mean that I am bossy, but that I know what I desire and require.
If you had to pick a phrase to serve as your words of affirmation, what would it be?
“What is for you is for you. What is for me is for me. What is for me is not for you, and what is for you is not for me.” I’m not sure of where it comes from but when I used to get upset about why things aren’t moving for me as they should because of how well it’s moving for someone else my mother would say this to me. It helps keep me in check. That, along with everything is in God’s time keeps me centered. I get antsy and upset and frustrated just like anyone else so that phrase gets and keeps me together.
Rachel Raé is a plus size lifestyle blogger known as The Dean of Fashion & Beauty. By day, she is a Dean of Students at a charter school located in Atlanta, Georgia. By passion, she is a lover of fashion, style, makeup, health, entertainment, travel & more. She dibbles and dabbles as a Makeup Artist and Interior Designer from time to time. She is 1/3 of a blogger collective known as The Fluffy Girl Tribe, that is dedicated to creating and curating resources, networking opportunities, brand building, marketing and support to the burgeoning newcomers of the blogging community. It was with The Fluffy Girls Tribe that she co-curated their inaugural event, A Brand Identity Workshop: “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”. She owns her own false lash extension brand (Simply Lashes by Raé). Her debut collection is named after the tribe and its members. She hosts a 'First Fridays' event (which is apart of what she calls "A Boss Babe Networking Series) where the goal is to support black owned & black operated restaurants, bars & lounges throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area, while creating networking opportunities for the curvy women who live there. She has plans to add a brunch component to the series very soon. "Boss Babe" merchandise will be available for purchase shortly. Her plans for the future includes opening an online retail store, The Curvy & Chic Boutique, that will carry fashionable clothing and accessories for women with curves in the fall of 2020.
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