As you all know, I'm always searching the internet, blogs and more for stylish things and stylish people.My ultimate purpose is to expose myself and my readers to designers and stylists who may not be in all of the mainstream magazines, but who are doing outstanding work.With much luck, I ran across an awesome accessories designer for this month's Style Influencer post. Racquel Dwomoh, founder of QuellyRue Designs, has run her business since 2008 and she has some amazing advice for any of you looking to turn your designing into a business. Racquel is an amazing talent and I'm so honored she agreed to do this interview. I have just fallen in love with every handcrafted piece from her line. And I'm certain you all will, too.
Tell everyone who you are and a little about your company...
Hi all, my name is Racquel Dwomoh and I am the creative designer behind the label QuellyRue Designs. QuellyRue Designs is collection of tote bags, African jewelry, contemporary jewelry, hair accessories, and more. All handmade with an Afrocentric flair.
What is the meaning behind the name of your company?
“QuellyRue” is one of my many nicknames. I find it to be such unique short version of my given name, Racquel. So, that’s where the name QuellyRue Designs comes from.
What was/is the inspiration behind QuellyRue Designs?
The inspiration behind QuellyRue Designs comes from many places – my cultural legacy, my life growing up in Ghana, my own crazy imaginations, nature, happiness, truth, colors, textures, African prints, the beautiful women of Africa, the beauty of natural hair, and individuals also inspire Me. I try my hardest to remain open because inspiration can visit anytime.
Since you've run QuellyRue Designs for a few years, what is the biggest lesson you've learned about running a fashion/style business?
I would say to believe in your idea, plan for everything, but be flexible enough to roll with the punches. Always persevere, don’t be afraid to take risks and never become complacent. Always provide exceptional customer service; get to know your customers as much as you can, and let them get to know you. It’s these personal interactions that also get me fired up each day, and help me to put in the long hours it takes to run this business.
What would you mark as your biggest accomplishment or proudest moment?
Erma Bombeck once said: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me. I agree wholeheartedly with this statement, and for me, this too shall be my biggest accomplishment and proudest moment.
I am still surprised that doing what you enjoy doing can turn into something big, into a business simply because others love what you are making. It is the best feeling! I am endlessly thankful for all of the dedicated bloggers who have promoted my work over the years, and I am always humbled by the comments and compliments that I receive [from family, friends, customers, and fans about my work.
If you had to choose 3 words to describe QuellyRue Designs, what would they be?
Afro-fabulous, Expressive, and Necessary.
Can you name your favorite item you've created thus far and why it is your favorite...
My favorite? Oh dear, I love all my pieces but my top would have to be my collection of tote bags. I truly enjoy the personal connections forged while making my tote bags. They are such a unique reflection of my love for Africa, natural hair, and all the creative wanderings in my mind, my art, and my style.
What advice would you give to an aspiring fashion accessories designer?
Align your creations with your vision and your values. There are so many designers making so many incredible goods...you just have to use your own style and your own talent and make the things in the super-special way that is your own. Then, get out there and promote it! It's a great time to be a crafter, with so many resources available: blogs (like this, and individual crafter blogs), forums, Etsy, craft fairs everywhere...Take advantage of it all!
Where can people find your designs?
You can find my designs on Etsy: QuellyRue Designs
For more information about me, news and updates:
Any last words?
Yes, first I want to say thank you for the interview! Your blog is awesome and I also want to thank my customers and your readers for taking the time and reading this. I would love to see your comments and anything anyone can suggest for the New Year. You can send all your suggestions, comments and questions to email@example.com
THANKS AGAIN RACQUEL! YOU'RE AWESOME!
EVERYONE MAKE SURE YOU GO CHECK OUT HER DESIGNS AND SUPPORT HER AMAZING BUSINESS!
*photos courtesy of QuellyRue Designs