From Stylist To Fashion Creator: Q&A with Shavonne DeAnn
By Marc W. Polite
Coming into the business world is a challenge. In a field where many are already well established and known, carving out a space for oneself can be daunting. Shavonne Cooper is one individual who is not easily discouraged by this reality. Ms. Cooper is the founder of Shavonne DeAnn, an emerging fashion company. Utilizing the combination of a strong online presence and aggressive self-marketing, Shavonne has garnered attention for her apparel company. Madame Noire reached out to learn more about Shavonne’s brand, how she got started, and her unique approach to the fashion industry.
MN- How much money did it take to launch your own business?
SC-I was very creative in starting my own company. My initial legal costs were around $200; however, to launch my full introductory line cost close to $3800. To offset costs, I was able to raise money through a program called Kickstarter which helped me out tons.
What made you want to launch your own fashion company? Was your immediate reaction to your job loss the spark that started it all?
I have always known I wanted to be my own boss. My job loss was the motivation I needed to put my dream forward. I strongly believed God gave me a talent that I had to pursue and I used the opportunity of my job loss to make it happen.
What was the biggest challenge of launching?
My biggest challenge, like most entrepreneurs was securing the capital to start my own company. In addition, as a young, up and coming African-American designer, gaining the attention of boutique buyers is a challenge I face daily. Everyday I hustle hard, taking meetings, pitching my line, so that one day, consumers will find my brand in their favorite apparel stores.
What inspires your designs? How would you best describe the brand that is Shavonne DeAnn?
I draw inspiration from everything around me. I love to people watch and study classic movies. My current collection, “The Color Wheel” was inspired by the colors of Fall. The name sparked from just having some of the clothes fit very loosely, over-sized and comfortably chic. Quite often you’ll find more earth tones during fall/winter, but when I look at Fall I see how the leaves on the trees turn different shades of oranges and yellows, and I wanted to capture that vibrancy for my collection. That same type of boldness is at the core of who I am as a designer and a female entrepreneur. The Shavonne DeAnn brand exhibits empowerment, ambitiousness and confidence, while always maintaining a youthful appeal and femininity.