Handbags and More by Sha’Lari Couture

A woman can never have enough handbags. I am the kind of woman that likes to have a variety of handbags and switch it up every now and then. I had the honor to talk to the creator of Sha’Lari Couture, Shannon Richardson. She designs clutches, totes, purses, wristlets, diaper bags and so much more. During the interview, she discusses her brand and the joy of following her dreams. She is such an inspiration to women who have the desire to pursue their dreams in fashion, or in any kind of business. Getting into the handbag business can be tough, but Shannon made a brand and business out of it. She has customers all over American and in other countries around the world. Her leather and fabric handbags start at just $29 dollars. You can visit her website as well as her social media sites where she displays her work. Take a moment to read this amazing interview and get inspired!

What inspired you to create the handbags?
S: Believe it or not, the story began over 20 years ago. It started with a collection of one-of-a-kind handbags followed by a “brief” stint of trying to sew a corduroy tote. The collection lasted, but the “sewing stint” did not. In September 2011, I had the opportunity to design, create, and sew a reversible tote while on vacation…and the rest is history.

How did you come up with the name?
S: Believe it or not, the business started out as Nonnahsstyle (my name spelled backward; and the word “style”). I was talking with someone one day about designing a logo. It was suggested that I reconsider the name of my business and come up with a name that would represent me and my product. The end result, Sha’Lari Couture (my name Sha’-Shannon; my mother’s name La- Lavonne; and my last name Ri- Richardson; and the word “Couture”).

What was the first step you took when you realize you wanted to make this a business?
S: Once I realized that I wanted to make this a business, I decided what I wanted to specialize in and registered my business name.

What inspired you to learn about fashion?
S: Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to “grow up and make clothes”. I enjoyed going to the fabric store and looking through the catalogs. This was the beginning of “a little girl, a sketchbook, and a dream”. As I got older and the years past, my dream never wavered. Fashion was a part of me, I could not let it go nor did I want to.

How long does it take for you to create a product?
S: From concept to design to finished product, each item is carefully handcrafted and can take anywhere from an hour up to a few days. It depends on the product and the complexity of the design.

Do you provide samples, and do you do showcases where people can come to meet you and try your products?
S: I do participate in various events where people can meet me and see the products that Sha’Lari Couture has to offer. Continue reading “Handbags and More by Sha’Lari Couture”

The Problem We Face as Millennials

You are not alone.

You may not be in the job field you prefer, trust me I am a witness. The income and bills do not add up, your relationship sucks and everyone around you seems to be madly in love. You find yourself alone and in your thoughts, while others have family and friends to depend on. Life can throw some huge curveballs meanwhile you have to bounce back as if nothing is wrong.

You work so hard to get into your desired career. You enjoyed the years of undergrad, pursued an education in grad school to obtain a good paying job. All to be bombarded with student loans and God knows any other debt you collected over the years. You settled for a mediocre job for the time being just to make ends meet, but end up there longer than anticipated. You continue to get rejection letters from the career of your choice, yet you know you deep down inside you meet the qualifications and would do a better job than the person they hired. Everyone tells you it is going to be okay, but creditors are calling your phone and filling your inbox with the past due letters and unsubstantial balances. It does not look good from your point of view and screaming at the top of your lungs will not make everything go away.

What about those in a relationship? No, I didn’t forget about you. When you love, you love hard. You want what everyone else is raving about. To find what LOVE really means from someone that cares and not from a person who wants only what you have to offer. Falling in love is so easy while getting over a heartbreak seems damn there near impossible. You cry yourself to sleep at night all to wake up the next day with the same results. You go to work, make small conversations and try to avoid talking about the one who took you for granted. You are left with tarnish memories and anticipate when you can move on from an unwanted, unnecessary, and unappreciated relationship. Continue reading “The Problem We Face as Millennials”

Polish and Lather – Angelina Stewart

I admire people who pursue their goals and follow their passion. I recently met this amazing woman, Angela Stewart who creates Artisan soap, body polish, body frosting, bath teas, and so much more. Her products are unique because she puts her personal touches on her products, that no company can compete with. I was excited when I learned about her products because as a woman it can be difficult finding what you want to do with your passion. Especially when you don’t know how to market yourself. Angelina figured out how to make her craft a business. This is a story we can all learn from and to know that if we think outside the box we can conquer anything.

What inspired you to create the Artisan soap, body polish, and other products?
AS: I really wanted to have control over what I was using. I used to love Bath and Body Works sugar and salt body scrubs and would shell out $18 for a jar. One day I decided to take a look at the ingredients just out of curiosity. Before then I never looked and assumed it was made with quality ingredients solely based on the price. Now, this is going back about 15-20 years, and at a time “natural” bath and body products weren’t exactly a “thing” yet.

After realizing the dominate two ingredients listed were first sugar (no surprise) and the second was mineral oil! Seriously mineral oil? The same super cheap oil my mom used to remove makeup? The same stuff that I would layer with my lotion during the cold New England winters? The stuff that is at most $2 for a bottle! Talk about feeling like I got got lol. From that moment I decided to start whipping up my own body polishes with oils that I actually wanted and that I knew were a better option for my skin.

Soap making is the perfect craft for equally left and right brained people like me. Science has been my main interest and love since I was very young. Everything about it was just fascinating and awesome, but I was also an artist. I learned the science of soap making over 20 years ago and found it to be the coolest thing. To be able to take some oils and turn it into a functioning bar of soap through science was so dope. Continue reading “Polish and Lather – Angelina Stewart”