Satin Doll Café

Satin Doll Café

About Satin Doll Cafe

Satin Doll Cafe is the place to come to hear about all the events that Satin Doll had or participated in. To hear about the latest styles and fashion craves. A place to let off a little steam about the daily grind of the fashion industry.

Feature of the Week: MyJunkyTrunk

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Friday, March 11 2011 06:58PM
This week we're featuring a great Etsy shop that sells original art and inspiration that is all about self-esteem, confidence, a healthy body image, a positive attitude, and gratitude to God for his many blessings. Enough talk... Now onto our feature featuring MyJunkyTrunk.

1. Tell us about yourself.
My name is Unessalyn Sweet, and I am a “God-taught” visual artist and creator of MyJunkyTrunk®, LLC. As a teen, I was often teased about having a “junky trunk” and was routinely accused of smuggling missing basketballs out of the gym underneath my sweatpants! After graduating from high school, I went on to college at the Art Institute to become a Fashion Illustrator. During my very first art class (which was also my last), we were asked to draw a model wearing one of our designs. As we all worked, I began to hear encouraging words from the instructor swirling about the room……until she came to me.

I was the only African-American student in the course, and when she saw my model (who had hips, thighs, and a curvy bottom—but not nearly to the extent that I illustrate in my work today), she sternly voiced her displeasure. She was clearly unhappy with my idea of what a beautiful model looked like (keep in mind that where and when I grew up, having a curvy body wasn’t as popular as it is today, and wasn’t celebrated in the fashion industry at all). “That’s all wrong!” She snapped. “Real people don’t look like that!” I thought to myself, “But, I do. Does that make me wrong, too?”

It was at that moment (as I walked out of the classroom) that I vowed to some day take the very thing that I was made to feel ashamed of, and use it in a way that would inspire other women to celebrate their curves. In other words, I would use my “junky trunk” powers for good, and not for evil! Years later, MyJunkyTrunk® was born.

2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
In addition to my own artwork and business, I also do quite a bit of graphic design work for other individuals and small businesses such as original, custom logos (using hand- painted images), children’s book illustrations, and t-shirt design. I’m writing my first book as well, so I keep pretty busy in my quest to use my gifts and talents to bring glory to God.

3. What do you offer on your website?
I offer high quality prints, original acrylic paintings on canvas, and Kidz Fun Portrait Paintings™. I also offer 100% cotton tees with a fabulous feminine cut which feature my gorgeous MyJunkyTrunk® Girlz. I call them multi-cultural cuties, with big ole booties! LOL! I have quite a bit of new merchandise that will be available this year as well, so please be sure to visit us often to see what’s happening with MyJunkyTrunk®!

4.Where do you create?
I have an art studio in my home, and I do most of my creating there. However, I don’t limit myself to just one space. I’m known to grab my easel, paint, and brushes and create outdoors if the weather is nice. It always gives me such a euphoric feeling! I also create in my favorite coffee shop, bookstores, and even on planes during long trips (sketching only……I don’t think the flight attendants would appreciate paint all over the seats!)

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
As cliché as it sounds, I get all of my inspiration from God. When He first gave me the idea for MyJunkyTrunk®, I asked Him to help me with ideas and messages of inspiration and encouragement so that my work would draw others to Him. I also asked that MyJunkyTrunk® always maintain a kind of purity and innocence at its core. Since my work is very unconventional, I’m always mindful to represent Christ well with it. For example, each name for the MyJunkyTrunk® Girlz is run by the Father first. He has actually “red flagged” a few of the names that I came up with on my own. I quickly sent them to the chopping block, of course. I trust and depend on Him greatly in my business (and in my life). I can’t do any of this without Him!

6. How did you get started in your line of business?
It started back in 2005 when God taught me how to paint. Then in 2006, as I was looking at old photos, I began to recall some of the funny names for a butt that I’ve heard over the years. Some of the names were definitely PG13, but most were just silly and fun like bottom, apple, fanny, tush, and caboose! One day, I sat in the middle of the floor and started brainstorming, sketching, writing and laughing with God. The rest is history! MyJunkyTrunk® has been the perfect vehicle for me to share the love of God in Christ Jesus with the world. It’s more than just art or business to me……this is ministry, and it’s what I was born to do.

7. How do you promote your business?
Social networks, local art exhibits, and apparel marts have been really helpful. I’m also really grateful to have found Etsy, which has allowed me to put my work before an audience that may not have found me otherwise. I’m always searching for more ways to increase my online visibility, but I honestly believe that one of the best ways to get the news out about MyJunkyTrunk®, will be through the buzz created by “word of mouth”.

8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
You have to be prepared to wear many “hats”. I confess that this has been a bit of a challenge! If you’re like me, you’d love nothing more than to create 24/7! While that’s a wonderful dream, it won’t pay the bills! I’ve learned that when you’re just starting out (and usually for the first few years), it’s not unusual for you to have to wear the hats of an artist, promoter, marketer, advertiser, salesperson, file clerk, PR person, writer, travel agent, tax preparer, and probably a few other hats that I’ve neglected to mention!

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
Hands down, my favorite “off Etsy” shop is by an artist named Frank Morrison. His work and career inspires me more than any other artist out there. On Etsy, I enjoy so many shops that it’s really difficult to pick favorites! However, I will say that within the Etsy Artists of Color Team, some of my favorites are FlowersFromFatima,SatinDollCo, MarcusKwame, TheSoapSeduction, ShayGon, QuellyRueDesigns, VirtuousCreations, and ForMySistersProducts, just to name a few!

You can find MyJunkyTrunk online at:
-Etsy:
www.myjunkytrunk.etsy.com
-Website: www.myjunkytrunk.com
-Twitter: www.twitter.com/myjunkytrunk
-Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/MyJunkyTrunk-Art-Inspiration/323813188341

Here's some great products that can found at MyJunkyTrunk:

Professional Peach Print

Kidz Fun Portrait Painting

Fetish Fanny Print

Word Workout Print

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Feature of the Week:Smell Good Spa

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Friday, March 04 2011 05:57PM
Last month we featured some great artists/shops for the entire month and I decided to start back up featuring a new artist/shop each Friday. This Friday we decided to feature a great shop/artist who is known online for her great bath and body products. I'm a proud user of a couple of their products. So enough talk and now on to the feature featuring Smell Good Spa.


1. Tell us about yourself.
Like my bio reads across several social networks: I am a wife, home educating mother, entrepreneur, business woman, and friend. I have evolved into a person that truly Lives, Laughs, and Loves. There are several additives to me, but the core of me is what I have mentioned here.

2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
Fulfilling all my roles as a woman: being a wife, assisting my children with there education, supporting other women with the same roles as mine, staying fit, and always being girlie and cultured.

3. What do you offer on your website?
On my online store I offer signature fragrance oil blends, signature hand-dipped incense, and wholesome, bath & body goods. My online store is for women, men, and girls.

4.Where do you create?
I create in my dining room and in my office.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration for my product creations are derived from gourmet desserts, gourmet beverages, and confections; Culture is also inspiration for my fragrances. My creative inspiration comes from big business such as Apple, Target, Cold Stone Creamery , Jelly Belly, and some other big businesses. The inspiration that keeps me going for what I desire for myself comes from my husband, children, and all women in business that are living their fullest lives.

6. How did you get started in your line of business?
In the late part of 1997 my husband had an idea of us selling oils and incense. We got tired of not being able to find the street vendor "guy" that sold us the oils. In 1998 the selling of typical fragrance oils and incense began. However, we needed a niche. I began creating blends, dipping incense, and researching more about wholesome ingredients for the skin.

7. How do you promote your business?
I promote my business via social networks, marketing materials, sponsoring giveaways and events, adding business information to online directories, and by being on top of my SEO. My customers are the most important promoters; Word-of-mouth is priceless.

8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
There were many lessons learned. However, one of the most important lessons is to remain consistent.

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
Are you sure you want to ask me this question? LOL. Here are just some of my favs from the accessory & beauty categories.

-Etsy:Farrago Bags,Lunaversoul,Mignz,Idea 2 Life Style,Kezzmit,Satin Doll & Co,Uzuri,Afrique La Chic,Crazy Boy,Quelly Rue Designs,Jaz Jewelz,Beads In The Belfry,and Jenny N Design.

-Online:Narah's Jewelry,Bohemian Spirit Jewelry,Tomoka's Twists,Myla's Bags,Yes Lioness,Milan Minerals, and M.A.D Minerals.

You can find Smell Good Spa online at:
-Website: http://smellgoodspa.com
-Blog: http://smellgoodspa.blogspot.com
-Twitter: http://twitter.com/smellgoodslady
-Facebook: http://facebook.com/smellgoods98

Here's some great products that can be found at Smell Good Spa:

Signature Oil 4oz

Almond Scrub

Marinade 2 oz.

Black Soap

ChocoTruffle Lotion

Stay Sweet Whips

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Black History Month Blog Series: Kezzmit

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Thursday, February 24 2011 04:01PM
We're coming almost to the end of our blog series for Black History Month. We're featuring a amazing shop named Kezzmit. Kezzmit features affordable unique funky boho ethnic fashion jewelry. If you love all of those elements in jewelry then read on.


1. Tell us about yourself.
I operate by my senses - anything that delights my eyes, smells heavenly, or makes my body want to move... I'm ALL over it. I’m an avid lover of the arts…all of the arts. I love beauty and music – so I appreciate artists, musicians, poets, dancers and especially anyone who can really throw down in the kitchen…because that’s a true art too. I’ve been married 27 years to one of the kindest men on earth…have three brilliant grown children and very one very precocious grand-daughter.

2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
My craft is my passion and I spend a lot of my free time creating…or thinking about creating. If I’m not in my studio…I’m either reading or watching a movie. I also have a lust for travel because I find inspiration everywhere I go.

3. What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?
I offer affordable, unique, primitive, organically funky one-of-a kind jewelry…mostly earrings.

4.Where do you create?
I create in my head constantly, but I have a room designated as my studio/office.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from other cultures, history and Mother Earth

6. How did you get started in your line of business?
I use to wear my hair cropped very short when nobody did back in the early 70s until about 2 years ago…so I wore big earrings so no one would mistake me for a boy. It just happened that I walked into a bead shop one day and that was the beginning – I started to make my own BIG fabulous earrings. Folks liked them…and that’s when my little unofficial earring business jumped off.

7. How do you promote your business?
I primarily use Facebook and Twitter. Social networking has been the crux of promoting my business. Love it because it’s free.


8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
Don’t get discouraged…hang in there. There is a lot of competition out there…but if your product is of quality and uniquely you…your target market will find YOU.

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
I have so many, but these are my top favorites -Lunaversol, Yokoo, idea2lifestyle. I constantly check to see what they have new.

You can find Kezzmit online at:
-Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Akus-Ear-ornaments/115183349435?ref=ts

Here's some great products that can found at Kezzmit:

HANYA-African Twist Earrings

Turquoise Blue Phoenix Earrings

Maka Rustic Tribal Earrings

Bahati Beaded Textured Choker

Samfira Reversible Tribal Pendant

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Black History Month Blog Series: Marcus Kwame

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Wednesday, February 23 2011 02:49PM
If you are a lover of black art then you're going to absolutely love our next feature featuring Marcus Kwame. Marcus Kwame's shop you can find prints and originals which are limited edition. Enough talk and onto the feature.



1. Tell us about yourself.
I'm an artist living in the capital region of upstate New York. I've been making art for as long as I can remember. My cousin introduced me to comic books at a young age and I was hooked. I loved the stories but I was even more inspired by the way that the artists were able to bring narratives to life using sequential art. It wasn't long before I was drawing my own characters and creating my own comics. I am still writing and drawing comics to this day.

I also developed a love of painting. As I grew older and learned more about the rich cultural heritage of my people, my art naturally began to reflect the African diaspora. I am particularly interested in representing the diversity of that diaspora. I believe the arts can be a powerful vehicle for change. I have a lot to say and art is how I am most comfortable communicating.

2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
First and foremost, I'm the father of a wonderful two year old girl. I also work full time as an art teacher and lend my talents to community work and projects.

3. What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?
I currently offer original art, paintings, and greeting cards. I will also be opening up a second Etsy shop featuring illustrations for children later this year.

4.Where do you create?
I create most of my work at home in my art room.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from everywhere. I mentioned earlier that much of my work represents the African diaspora, but I'm open to other sources of inspiration. I am inspired by my daughter. Music has always been a big inspiration to me. I listen to a lot of reggae, jazz, blues, hip-hop and soul music. Life in general is where I get my inspiration from.

6. How did you get started in your line of business?
When I graduated from college I began to sell my art locally at craft fairs and festivals. I also exhibited my work in local galleries. In 2007 I created a website for my art to reach a larger audience and opened my etsy shop, www.etsy.com/shop/marcuskwame.

7. How do you promote your business?
I do a lot of promotion online through social networking. I'm also a part of the Etsy Artists of Color street team, where shop owners network and support each other. I also believe in the value of word of mouth promotion. I give out postcards and business cards for my sites whenever possible.

8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
Being online can open you up to a worldwide audience, but without a continuous effort to bring traffic to your site you will become lost in the crowd.

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
Here are some, but I know there are many others that I'm forgetting.

Shadra Strickland's shop (www.etsy.com/shop/shadrieka)
Jen Wojtowicz (www.etsy.com/shop/jenwojtowicz)
Jerise (www.etsy.com/shop/jerise)
Lark Calderon Gomez (www.etsy.com/shop/larkcalderongomez)
Baby D Baby (www.etsy.com/shop/babydbaby)
Thepairabirds (www.etsy.com/shop/thepairabirds)
Aleebird (www.etsy.com/shop/aleebird)

You can find Marcus Kwame online at:
-Website: www.marcuskwame.com
-Etsy Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/marcuskwame
-Blog: http://www.marcuskwame.blogspot.com/

Here's some great art that can be found at Marcue Kwame:

Lady Day 14x17 Archival Print

Martin Luther King Injustice Archival Print

Marvins Sepia Blues Print

Holiday Kwanzaa card Umoja

Sun Daughter

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Black History Month Blog Series: Madame Koiteh

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Tuesday, February 22 2011 10:37AM
If you are into organic products then you're going to love our next feature. Madame Koiteh features organic Shea butter, cocoa butter and African Black soap. Madame Koiteh also features Yoruba metaphysical herbal and spiritual supplies all religious traditions. Enough talk and onto the feature.


Tell us about yourself.
I started crafting many years ago, actually as a child. I always loved to sew, crochet, draw, and make perfumes. My mother and other relatives were always making something,from soap to clothes to incense. My first perfume was a sad little bottle of water with a peach pit and some of my mom's Tabu. (I was 5!) Later I would collect flowers, add spices and perfume, and make potpourri. Only in the last few years did I decide to turn my crafty dreams into a business, and it has been the experience of a lifetime.

What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?
Now, I have the wonderful opportunity to share my lifelong love of shea butter with the rest of the world. I spend most of my days developing formulas that feature the goodness of pure African shea butter combined with the elegance of modern western beauty care. I use techniques that I learned from my elders in Africa to work with shea butter in a holistic way that preserves its legendary properties. I offer the finest quality organic shea butter, African Black Soap, handmade soaps, unique hair products, African spiritual supplies, and much more in my Etsy shop. I have also innovated some of my own techniques to make some unique products, such as a very limited edition "Shea Butter Pearl" bath product that will be available later! (Hint, hint)

Where do you create?
I create most of my products and designs in my own lab/studio. Some of my knitted and crocheted pieces featured in my second Etsy shop are made outdoors, in the forest or by the river, where I also like to create and meditate.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is a very special concept for me. It is a part of my everyday life. I consider myself to be very blessed to be able to draw inspiration from many sources, chiefly from my ancestors. The ideas for much of my work comes in dreams, during meditations, and other spiritual impetus, as well as from admiring beautiful artwork, music, and nature.

How do you promote your business?
Most of the promotion that we get is from word of mouth, and from being in the public at vending events, business conventions, and industry buying events. I would like to get more involved with Internet marketing, mainly through the social venues, but being naturally shy this is sometimes a challenge for me. I really prefer to stay behind the scenes and let the rest of the family shine on that!

What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?
But being a good businesswoman also means honoring others. Every time someone purchases something from you, they are extending their trust to you, in the expectation that you will deliver what you promised and make them happy. I've learned that to honor that trust is the key to business success. Honoring your customers means being grateful for their business, taking the time to communicate with them, providing the finest products and service you can, going out of your way to resolve any issues, and staying calm and friendly no matter what happens. When I first joined the family business and opened our Etsy shop, I thought it was all about numbers, accounting, record keeping, etc. But I learned that all of those things are secondary to the way you work with people. If you keep in mind that each person is worthy of honor, business becomes enjoyable, customers become friends, and struggle becomes success.

2011 is a very special year for my whole family at Madame Koiteh, because this year we have launched our first independent fundraiser campaign for one of the causes that is truly special to us. This year we are donating 10% of our net profits to the Sheikh Jobe Institute in the Gambia West Africa, where severe flooding has ravaged parts of the countryside and left thousands homeless and impoverished. The Institute is a school, children's hospice, and orphanage that houses more than 300 children, ranging from age 4 to adulthood. The facilities were damaged during the floods and are in urgent need of repair. In addition, many of the parents have lost their livelihood, and subsequently the hospice has not been able to collect critically needed school fees in order to maintain operations. It is an honor and a privilege for Madame Koiteh to sponsor the Sheikh Jobe Institute and its children for the year of 2011, and we thank you for your business which also supports this worthy cause. You can learn more at my blog madamekoiteh.blogspot.com/2011/01/raising-funds-for-children-of-brikama.html

We will be featuring special products throughout the year in our Etsy shop and other online venues to further support our goal of raising a minimum of $5000 to be donated to the Sheikh Jobe Institute. Please visit us frequently to check out these very special listings.

What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?
I would love to shout out a few of my favorite online shops: I love the gorgeous beadwork of SedonaSkye on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/sedonaskye). I also really like the beautiful soft colorations of the artwork of Daphnecellophane (www.etsy.com/shop/daphnecellophane)and the NightJar (www.etsy.com/shop/TheNightjar). I'm a big fan of OliveHue's intense modern artwork, which is a cool blend of comic book line art with fairy tale chic (www.etsy.com/shop/olivehuedesigns). And being a devout knitter, I have to include my favorite fiber painter on Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/JodyPoesy). Jody Poesy is awesome at creating colorscapes that look like rainbow waters flowing across the ribbons.

You can find Madame Koiteh online at:
-Etsy Shops: www.madamekoiteh.etsy.com & www.scarfandskirt.etsy.com
-Websites: www.madamekoiteh.com & www.thesheabutterqueen.com
-Blog: www.madamekoiteh.blogspot.com
-Facebook: www.facebook.com/mymadamekoiteh
-Twitter: www.twitter.com/madamekoiteh

Here's some great products that can be found at Madame Koiteh:

African Black Soap Butter Variety Moisturizing

Yellow Shea Butter Organice Unrefined -1 pound

Melissa Lemongrass Handmade Bath Soap Cold Process

Rich Moisturizing Cream for Dry Hair with Pure Shea Butter

Pure Pressed Cocoa Butter Rich Chocolate Fragrance Food Grade 25 Pounds

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Black History Month Blog Series:Calabash Creations

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Monday, February 21 2011 10:23AM
If you are a lover of handmade cards,art and gift items then you're definitely going to love our next feature featuring Calabash Creations. Now onto the feature.


1. Tell us about yourself.

I'm a wife and "Mommy" with a love of paper, paints, and fabrics. I tend to think of myself as a free spirit who loves to design handmade cards, bookmarks, and mixed media and collage pieces. I thoroughly enjoy the creative process and what it has to offer.

2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?

I've been working on some resource materials for early childhood learners. (I 'm a former elementary school teacher.)

3. What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?

I offer an eclectic mix of handmade greeting cards, art, and gift items on Etsy at:

http://www.calabashcreations.etsy.com

and I also have my work featured on cards, prints, and gift items available on several POD (print on demand) sites:

http://www.zazzle.com/calabashcreations

http://www.gcuniverse.com/calabashcards

http://calabashstudio.imagekind.com

4.Where do you create?

I'm fortunate enough to have a studio space at home. It's the perfect place for me to escape and create.

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I'm inspired by lots of things... but when I really think about it, I realize that I'm hooked on vibrant colors, textures, abstract dimensions, and ethnic vibes.

6. How did you get started in your line of business?

It's been quite a journey. This all started as a hobby based on a love of paper and handmade cards. I made cards for friends and family, and they encouraged me to take things a step further. Over the past eight years I've watched my card making hobby take on a life of its own... it has evolved from hobby to business and I've gone from playing around with paper and collage elements to making conscious business decisions. I still play and have fun, but as things have changed, my play time is much more focused and goal oriented.

7. How do you promote your business?

A good deal of my promotion is from word of mouth, but I do have a blog http://calabashcreations.blogspot.com/

and a Facebook fan page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Calabash-Creations/265031720261.

I blog about stuff that I'm working on, and I use my fan page to stay in touch with my customers.

I also do a few local shows during the year. One of my goals this year is to do more to promote my business.

8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?

There have been so many lessons learned along the way, but the one that seems to be the front runner is the one on marketing. In order for your business to grow and do well, you have to pay attention to your marketing efforts.

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?

There are so many... http://hugsandholidays.etsy.com,

http://www.petitepaperie.etsy.com, are 2 shops on Etsy that come to mind.

You can find Calabash Creations online at:

Etsy: www.calabashcreations.etsy.com

Blog: http://calabashcreations.blogspot.com/

Artfire: www.calabashcreations.artfire.com

Zazzle: www.zazzle.com/calabashcreations

GC Universe: www.gcuniverse.com/calabashcards

Here's some great products that can be found at Calabash Creations:

Blank Teacher Note Card

Motivational Paper Bookmark and Magnet Set

Tulips Blank Greeting Card

My Sister My Friend Original Acrylic on Canvas

Decorative Magnets Set of 3

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Black History Month Blog Series:TatusWelle

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Friday, February 18 2011 04:01PM
If you love super cute and unique hair accessories then you'll definitely love our next feature featuring TatusWelle. A shop that sells handmade eclectic and ethnic-inspired apparel and accessories for modern woman. What more could you ask me, now onto the feature.

1. Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Nigeria and have lived in the Houston area for over 10 years.

I love to sew. I took a couple of classes about 2 years ago and fell in love with it! I also enjoy running or woggin (walking/jogging) when I can drag myself to the track LOL. My favorite things are my morning cup of coffee, hanging out with family and doing stuff with my church fam. I love a good book and am a recovering TV addict!


2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?
I work full time in Healthcare Operations and I am in my final year (by the grace of God) of grad school.

3. What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?
I have one etsy shop, www.tatuswelle.etsy.com, where I offer handmade accessories mostly made out of african wax print fabric. Right now I have hair flowers, hair bows, hair bands, brooches/pins and some bangles listed. I will be adding new styles and new items including some handmade jewelry and maybe clothing items soon.

4. Where do you create?
I create in my smoke-free, pet-free, bedroom! LOL. Really. I have my sewing nook set up in one corner of my bed room and that's where all the magic happens!

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

My favorite thing to create with is African Wax Print so I am definitely inspired by my Nigerian culture and really anything that has an ethnic vibe to it. I was inspired to start making hair accessories because I was tired of all the 'hobby lobby' hair flowers & cookie cutter accessories.I am also inspired by my natural hair, and all the lovely people I see rocking theirs.


6. How did you get started in your line of business?
I have always liked to make stuff but I didn't think anyone would REALLY be interested in buying anything I made. So after my sewing classes, I just started making things for myself. I would get a lot of compliments on my handmade accessories. After being on etsy for over a year with nothing listed in my shop, I finally listed my first item in August 2010! I also had a few very supportive friends and my sister pushing me to go for it. They would give me time frames and then ask 'what have you done towards the business this week? : )

7. How do you promote your business?
I currently don't do much as far as promotion is concerned but I will be working on that in the next few weeks. I am considering advertising in some of the natural hair blogs and sites. I have a facebook page www.facebook.com/tatuswelle where I post updates. It's also linked to my etsy shop. I also have a blog www.tatus-welle.blogspot.com that I try to keep up with.


8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?

Not to undervalue my items. I realized that handmade items take a lot of work, love and patience to create and that if you love your craft and provide quality items; people will support you. My focus when I create an item is to make something that I myself would wear without hesitation. If it's not good enough for me, then it's not good enough for my customers. I also have to add that providing the best customer service is of utmost importance. I believe if someone is going to spend their money with you; you should do your best to make sure it is an exceptional experience no matter how small or big your business is.

9. What is some of your favorite online shops on and off Etsy?

shops on Etsy:

YellowRoseDBS - She makes the most fabulous hats and headpieces - http://www.etsy.com/shop/YellowRoseDBS

Olele - I love the african print fans - http://www.etsy.com/shop/Olele

Ododo Originals - She has the most beautify beaded hair flowers - http://www.etsy.com/shop/OdodoOriginals

For off Etsy online shopping; my usual spots are www.half.com; I buy and own a lot of books, ebay, and coastalscents.com.

You can find TatusWelle online at:

-Etsy: http://TatusWelle.etsy.com

-Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/tatuswelle

- Blog: www.tatus-welle.blogspot.com

Here's some great products that can be found at TatusWelle.

Ankara Hair Clip Small Yellow,Navy with Red Polka Dots

African Wax Print air Bow, Pin or Brooch

Ethnic Bohemian Hair Band with Beaded Cowrie Shells Center on Chocolate Brown Satin Hairband

Multi Print Bangles African Wax Print

Large n Happily Colorful African Wax Print Brooch/Pin

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Black History Month Blog Series: QuellyRue Designs

FeaturesPosted by Gaetana Thursday, February 17 2011 06:36PM
I first came across this artist/Etsy shop a while back and what caught my eye was the cutest felt owl gadget cozies. So cute but when I took a closer look I found a amazing shop that features not only cute cozies but great tote bags, hair accessories and now jewelry too. Enough talk, now on to the feature featuring QuellyRue Designs.


1. Tell us about yourself.

Hi there, I’m Racquel Dwomoh, the self-taught designer and creator behind QuellyRue Designs. I’m a 25-year-old natural fine artist who revels in the possibilities, and lives somewhere between the dots of etcetera. The heart of me is creating, whether it is a portrait, painting, photography, crochet, felt, pottery, or jewelry making. I've been passionate about art and design for just about as long as I can remember. I am a strong believer that the truest expression of love is art. The purest part of you is that which is created, born and nourished in your heart.

A few random tidbits about me:

I am named after the actress Raquel Welch (thanks dad, you are truly a fan).

I was born in the Big Apple, NY and raised in the buzzing city of Accra, Ghana (West Africa) - it is an awesome country.

I tease that I am the sister of Jesus Christ because my grandparents were named Mary and Joseph

I collect Tyco's Kenya dolls (my first African-American doll) for little girls in Ghana during my visit back home.

Some of my favorite television shows include the Cosby Show, Martin, In Living Color, How It's Made and Amazing Wedding Cakes.


2.What are you currently doing besides your creative craft?

My life at the moment revolves around my business, which takes up the majority of my time. I haven’t quite found a good balance between work and play. Probably because my work feels like play most of the time. Occasionally, I venture out of the house to meet with a group of friends for dinner, thrifting, and attending craft fairs. That’s about all the wild and crazy socializing I can take. I prefer just being at home enjoying simple things like a good cup of hot chocolate, and staying up really late working. I like to read, write, watch films, look at art, travel, and spend time with friends and family. I have also put on my Humanitarian hat, in hopes of starting a foundation that aims to empower women and children in Ghana through the arts and education. Life is good.

3. What do you offer in your Etsy shop and shops?

QuellyRue Designs offers a variety of quality, affordable, unique handcrafted products for everyday indulgence and great gift ideas! This include, novelty fabric tote bags made from a wide variety of fashionable prints, African jewelry, contemporary jewelry, natural hair ties and accessories, crochet blankets/hats/ scarves/baby items, cozies for electronic devices( iPods, mobile phones, handheld game systems,) home decor, AND MORE! You can also expect to find more products that celebrate natural beauty, reflect and pay homage to the beauty of Africa. Additionally, I plan to incorporate new products geared towards awareness for causes dear to my heart such as, education, poverty, healthcare, homelessness, lupus, animal rights, disaster relief etc. I currently sell items in support of the Haiti Relief efforts. 100% of the proceeds are donated to charity.

4. Where do you create?

I create from the comfort of my home, covered in paint, surrounded by beads, scraps of fabric, all tangled up in yarn. The end result, cozies, cowls, totes, headbands, jewelry and whatever else strikes my fancy!

5. Where do you get your inspiration from?

The concepts for my designs are really a reflection of my personal style - bohemian flare, whimsical, yet refined and reminiscent of my love for Africa. My design ideas and inspiration come from many places, my own crazy imaginations, nature, a smile, love, happiness, truth, colors of spring and fall, the sea, my love for Africa, African prints, the beautiful women of Africa –the ways they paint and adorn themselves, natural hair, natural beauty, an insatiable thirst for vibrant earthy jewelry, and the sheer splendor of life. Sometimes I find inspiration in memories and conversations gone by.

6. How did you get started in your line of business?

To be honest, I stumbled into it, kind of like Alice and the rabbit hole. It was during the winter of 2007 when I desperately needed a chunky crochet hat to cover my natural tresses. Frustrated and anxious that I was unsuccessful in finding exactly what I imagined in stores, I decided to make a hat for myself. My entire family is very creative, and I grew up in a real do-it-yourself environment. So, I taught myself how to crochet, made the hat of my dreams, and the rest is history. I wandered, dabbled and expanded my crafts, making cases for my iPod and cell-phone, journals, jewelry, tote bags, etc. My family fell in love with my knickknacks and encouraged me to open a store to share all the creative wanderings in my mind, my art and my style. My parents owned their own business while I was growing up, so I adopted their entrepreneurial spirit, combined it with my artistic talents, and QuellyRue Designs was born .I launched my shop in July 2008 and have thoroughly enjoyed starting an independent business.

7. How do you promote your business?
The usual suspects: I try to create a relationship with my fan base through my blog, my Facebook fan page, Tumblr, message boards, art and craft communities, that sort of thing. I do regular giveaways to my fans as an appreciation of their continued support. I belong to several groups and Etsy Teams like Etsy Artists of Color, and Black Business Women Online. I also promote myself in the real world, participating in craft shows, passing out my business cards everywhere and taking any and all the press I can get! I am endlessly thankful for all of the dedicated bloggers who have promoted my work over the years! And Etsy treasuries — thank you!

8. What is one of your most important lessons you've learned since starting your business?

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?

You can find QuellyRue Designs online at:
-Etsy: QuellyRueDesigns.etsy.com
-Facebook: facebook.com/quellyruedesigns
-Tumblr: quellyruedesigns.tumblr.com
-Blog: QuellyRueDesigns.blogspot.com

Here's some great products that can be found at QuellyRue Designs:

Tears of Sunrise earrings

SET OF 3 African Tribal Bangles

I Love Africa Tote Bag

Afro Woman Tote Bag


Like what you see, now go check it out....

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