Successful Sistas: Racquel Dwomoh

26 03 2010

Successful Sistas is an interview series featuring successful women pursuing their dream careers.

Job Title: Founder of QuellyRue Designs [quellyruedesigns.etsy.com, quellyruedesigns.blogspot.com]

What is QuellyRue Designs?

QuellyRue Designs is a collection of “one-of” and very limited handmade crafts. This includes tote bags, blankets, decorative pillows, jewelry, hand-crocheted hats and scarves, stationary products and electronic accessories. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though; I plan to wander, dabble and expand my crafts to whatever I am in the mood to learn.

How did you become interested in design?

The heart of me is creating, whether it is a portrait, painting, photography, crochet, felt or jewelry. I’ve been passionate about art and design for just about as long as I can remember. Crafting is fun, and I love nothing better than to spend the day covered in paint, surrounded by scraps of fabric, all tangled up in yarn. The end result- cozies, cowls, totes, headbands and whatever else- strikes my fancy!

Why did you create this business?

Throughout my life, I have felt the urge to create and to express myself artistically. I find enjoyment in the process of design and in the end result, which is ultimately a product of my compassion for all things handmade. And so, I combined my love for hand crochet and art fancies to create my own collection of handmade crafts.

What do you love most about it?

I love the wonderful sense of accomplishment and freedom about being a business owner. It is so satisfying to see your business dreams become realities. I also love working toward self-imposed goals, and I love the challenge of trying to figure out, “What next?”

What is the most stressful aspect of running your business?

I wouldn’t say it is the most stressful, but the flipside is that it’s also extremely challenging working on your own and wearing every hat from receptionist to shipping manager to marketing and PR executive. Any tears shed are worth it because I’m doing something I really and truly love and am passionate about.

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me starts at 8 A.M. and slows down around midnight. Sometimes my ambitious juices overflow, and I find myself working in the wee hours of the night. I enjoy what I do, so my days are never ending. My brain is constantly thinking of something new for my hands to create. The bulk of my day is spent crafting, photographing new items and updating my shop. QuellyRue Designs is a one woman show!

I have a rule that I’ll never allow anyone to help me produce my items and that everything will always be produced “in-house.” I never want to mass produce anything or let my ideas leave my hands. In addition, I am my own model, photographer (thank God for timers on cameras), makeup artist, writer- you name it.

What advice or tips would you give someone who wants to do what you do?

Well, it helps a lot if you are extremely wealthy and have endless amounts of time and patience. But of course, most of us don’t. I would say my best advice would be to first understand what you have a true passion and natural talent for. Believe in your idea, plan for everything, but be flexible enough to roll with the punches. Trust your strength and use it. Always persevere, don’t be afraid to take risks and never become complacent. Pursue your passions; otherwise, what’s the point?

Finish this sentence: This career is for you if___ You are hardworking and determined to fulfill your dreams.

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My Quote of the Day- March 26

26 03 2010

“It costs everything to win and everything to lose. In my mind, you might as well at least just try and give it your all.”

-Maya Angelou





Premature birth awareness

25 03 2010

Amanda and Kyson Brown

According to the March of Dimes website, about 12.8 percent of babies in the U.S.  are born prematurely. And the rate of premature birth has increased by 36 percent since the early 1980s.

Premature birth is a serious health issue, and these babies are at a higher risk for newborn health complications like breathing problems and even death. They also face a greater risk of lasting disabilities like mental retardation, learning and behavioral problems, lung problems, cerebral palsy and vision and hearing loss.

Amanda C. Brown had always heard stories about prematurity, but she never really understood what a big problem it was. And her mother weighed just four pounds at birth.

 Then it happened to her.

Kyson's finally home

“When my son, Kyson, was born at only 32 weeks and weighed 4 lbs. and 9 oz., I knew I wanted to do something about it,” she says. “He was in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for nearly a month. I can honestly say that it was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever been through.”

Because of her experience, Amanda now sees how premature birth is an important issue.

“Currently, one in eight babies is born too soon, and often, they are very sick,” she says. “Premature infants are born with underdeveloped organs leaving them at an increased risk for disabilities and health complications. And what’s worse is that the cause of nearly half of all preterm births is unknown. It can happen to any woman, and it’s important to take care of yourself while pregnant to prevent preterm birth and give your baby a healthy life.”

Amanda recently became involved with the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. On April 17, her team, Team Kyson, is holding a March for Babies event in Elberton, GA.

“Kyson’s friends and family will be joining me to celebrate his progress and his 1/2 birthday by walking in his honor. I just really want to give back to the March of Dimes for providing me with support and information as well as what they’ve done for research.”

Amanda’s ultimate goal is to be there for other individuals going through this.

“The rollercoaster ride of the NICU is a hard one. Even though it’s hard watching your child struggle to do things we sometimes take for granted, talking to someone that has been there makes it a lot better,” she says. “It’s also important to me because I feel it’s up to the parents and families of the babies affected to tell our stories. Unfortunately, the cries of these babies often times go unheard.”

You can visit Amanda’s March for Babies website to get more info about the event and to donate.

For more information, check out the following websites:

www.marchofdimes.com

www.marchofbabies.org

www.nacersano.org (in Spanish)

www.shareyourstory.org (to read stories from real parents of premature babies)

 





My Quote of the Day- March 25

25 03 2010

“…if you never give up or let circumstances get you down, you can accomplish anything.”

-Selita Ebanks





Real Beauties: Karissa Reid

24 03 2010

{“Real Beauties” features women who are beautiful inside and out}

Age: 22

Occupation: Student

Why she’s a real beauty: “I’m my definition of beautiful. I’m slowly becoming the woman I want to be, and that’s sufficient enough for me. I’m being formed by what God’s word says I should be, and you can’t go wrong with him!

“Like any other human being, I do have flaws, but I think I’m beautiful on the inside. As far as outside beauty, I could do better (like dressing better and getting my hair, nails and toes done), but overall, I’m happy with who I am, and what I look like, and to me, that’s all that matters.” : )

Do you or someone you know want to be featured on for colored gurls as a “Real Beauty?” Ssend me an email: forcoloredgurls@gmail.com





Personal branding tips

24 03 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about selling you, or your personal brand. While researching, I found another fabulous article on mashable.com about personal branding.

“Many people think that personal branding is just for celebrities such as Paris Hilton or Brittany Spears, yet each and every one of us is a brand,” says Dan Schawbel, author and owner of the award-winning Personal Branding Blog. 

And since you’re a brand, you can use some of the techniques that allow corporate brands and celebs to appeal to their audiences.

In the article, he gives tips on how to discover and create your brand. One tip? “To know if you’ve discovered your brand, you need to make this equation equal:

Your self-impression =How people perceive you

Read the entire piece- Personal Branding 101: How to Discover and Create Your Brand

And when you’re done making your brand, check out Schawbel’s Top 10 Free Tools for Monitoring Your Brand’s Reputation.

Photo from: iamceo.com





My Quote of the Day- March 24

24 03 2010

“Figure out who you are and be that…Don’t try to become what you’re not. Instead, learn to love everything about you- your looks, your preferences, quirks and idiosyncracies…praise yourself from the inside out… Love what God made.”

-Susan Taylor