J Cole said if you really believe in it you have to talk about it so here we go.
There are two parts to shades.
Shades is a shoe line dedicated to creating nude shoes for Black Women. This is important because most nude shoes only match lighter tones. We named the colors Joy, Success, Ambition, and Love because these are the things we want women to have in their lives. Usually, products marketed towards women of color are named after food, we wanted to change this because melanin is not for consumption.
We also want to use shades to inspire. I created the tag line "Standing in my Shade" to represent the brand. It means being unapologetic about who you are and the space you take up in this world. It's about finding joy and love in the face of adversity and using your ambition to achieve success.
Being open about the shoe line was hard for me because it is going to be a long and expensive process. As anyone chasing a dream can tell you there are many moments of doubt. We were recently in a pitch night competition where we had the opportunity to win $20,000 towards our business and while we did not win, we made a lot of connections and the positive feedback solidified Shades is needed and will be successful!
While we're chasing this dream I still want to use the Shades platform to support, motivate and uplift Black women. The Standing in Our Shades series is my way of doing that. Periodically I will be featuring a woman that embodies our motto though education, a passion project or simply being herself in a world that is not always kind to Black women. I hope these stories inspire you as well.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey so far and to those just now discovering me, welcome!
The shop is now open if you would like to purchase your own logo t-shirt!