Introduce yourself and profession to our readers:
Hello Luvs, I’m fashion designer, Charla Ruschelle, clothing brand CR Clothing Co.(CRCCo.) and shop owner of Concoction theWork_Shop, where I clothe, create and consult…keeping women and men Fashionably Fly!
What inspired you to pursue this area of interest?
I was blessed to be gifted with the skill of sewing ,and being able to pursue my love further in fashion designing, as well as, fashion merchandising. My skills in sewing were passed down to me at the age of seven. My grandmother was a home economics teacher and my mom also knew how to sew, as it was something that was part of a skill women should have… I guess our domestication. When it came to needing a costume or a performance garment, my mom would be the one to make it. I also had major influences from my next door neighbor and her mother-in-law, who both were seamstress. I had all these women of color exuding the skill my way, along with, them all being well sophisticated women always put together from head to toe. Sewing is my go to for meditation and therapy, and designing has always been an outlet for me to be originally independent when it came to style.
What advice would you share with those interested in a similar pursuit?
I speak often to students, as well as, adults interested in the fashion and apparel industry. I ask them, what are they interested in and what have they started doing to pursue their interest? I always tell them figure out what you are good at, learn more about fashion, because there are more options in the fashion industry then just being a “Fashion designer.” I give them that common phrase, “ the starving artist” ,because it’s an art and you have to love it. It’s definitely a financial investment and you having to be willing to take on the expense. You have to be willing to invest in your talent, recognize your strengths, weaknesses and being real with self. Once you are able to figure that all out, then you set your goals and ensure that you have efficinet education that can take you to higher levels and provide an assortment of opportunities.
Discuss a professional challenge and how you overcame it:
I think I’m still going through the challenges and getting closer everyday in overcoming what may present itself. I’m still not where I want to be with my businesses. As a fashion designer, my goal is to be in closets of women who love to find small brand designers and love the story behind the brand , as well as, love that the clothes they wear represent them, and that the actual designer, me, literally put my hands to work in creating something they will keep forever, because it’s timeless. From marketing, to production to running a physical shop, it’s all me. So with that, the challenge becomes managing it all. I’m not one to give up, especially because I know my talent, there are people out there who already have me in their closets and many more will want it too. Just don’t give up… I live by my alma mater from Clark-Atlanta University, “ I’ll find a way or make one", and that’s what I do.
What is next for your brand/business in 2016?
For my clothing brand, Charla Ruschelle Clothing Co. (CRCCo.), I’m working on a luxe collection. This collection will be my renewed and rebranding, so I may submit to participate in the 2017 Essence Festival StyleMarket. And with my boutique shop, Concoction theWork_Shop, I’m just continuing to market to Atlanta as an authentic boutique by a fashion designer, who sews for her own clothing brand, takes custom re-make request for CRCCo., provides wardrobe consulting, minor alterations, quarterly sewing classes, as well as, host monthly shop and sips highlighting other local creative businesses. A hidden treasure with so many gems to offer, #GetConcocted.
How can readers connect with you online and through social media.
For the shop, Concoction theWork_Shop, Facebook and IG @concoctionccc, shop address 1102 Airline Street, Atlanta, GA, Shops @ West Inman Lofts. And for the clothing brand , CR Clothing Co. (CRCCo.) Facebook and IG @crcco. Website: www.clothecreateconsult.com