By Mikki A. Ealey (MAE)
Entrepreneur Anastasia Morgan-Doe has paved the way for a special place for African hair care products right here in Connecticut.
In June 2020, Morgan-Doe launched her online business African Hair Bonnets by Edzorna out of Bristol, bringing a splash of gorgeous, colorful hair bonnets for the whole family. To keep busy during the pandemic, she started sewing several types of African fabrics—which ultimately grew to a growing business with several employees, including in Ghana.
Before launching African Hair Bonnets by Edzorna, Morgan-Doe did her homework to make sure there was a demand for her niche idea. A designer by trade, she inquired with many friends and acquaintances to see what they thought of the hair bonnets they typically see for sale. The feedback was that they wanted something less “plain” yet also practical for kids. And so, her idea became a reality when she took the step to market her designs.
Morgan-Doe shared that before starting her business, something “came over her” in a spiritual sense. She wanted to ensure that the name of her business reflected her spirituality, while also naming each of her bonnets something significant from her culture. She settled on a nod to “enyonam” (it is well with my soul), “dzifa” (one is at peace) and “Elorm” (God loves me).
Remaining consistent with her heritage, custom, culture and plan, Morgan-Doe was committed to creating hand-sewn hair bonnets (called “taku” in Ghanaian) that highlight an assortment of motivational and imaginative fabrics. The satin stain-resistant fabrics from Ghana are handpicked and less prone to deterioration. Plus, Morgan-Doe helps her customers choose fun and comfortable fabrics. But she doesn't just help clients choose colorful fabrics—her work is much more specific and reflects her passion for fashion.
Morgan-Doe is looking forward to expanding her offerings by introducing a Mommy and Me collection coming soon. Some of her specialty offerings include bonnets with matching face masks and smooth sparkling bridal caps.
Remaining consistent with her heritage, custom, culture and plan, Morgan-Doe was committed to creating hand-sewn hair bonnets (called “taku” in Ghanaian) that highlight an assortment of motivational and imaginative fabrics.
In addition to creating dazzling designs, Morgan-Doe is a full-time patient care technician at Hartford Hospital. She’s a mom to a 12-year-old son and has a deep love for her community. Morgan-Doe frequently ships educational supplies to Ghana, spreading her love across many miles. As for the future, as an entrepreneur at heart, her long-term goals include the launch and expansion of her catering and party planning business featuring traditional Ghanaian cuisine, and she would also like to sell African beaded necklaces and bracelets. One thing is for certain—Morgan-Doe has wonderful ideas that are growing and are as beautiful as the fabrics she works with!
Find African Bonnets by Edzorna at africanbonnetsbyedzorna.com/.
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Mikki A. Ealey (MAE) has 15 years of experience in the literary field and is currently the CEO and Founder of “Mz Social Butterfly Network, LLC and Small Press”, a company that takes pride in building quality unique products and service. In February 2017, she published her first book “Ready Set Go: 30 Days of Motivation to Get You to The Next Level” and in 2019, she just released a book collaboration called “Glambitious Guide to Winning in 2020." She is currently working on her second book “Unlock The Power in You.” In addition to writing, MAE is deeply involved in her community. She also sits on the board of several organizations, Complete Girlz Inc., ENACT, just to name a few. MAE is a proud mother of four beautiful children. She is a hardworking, and spiritually inclined woman whose goal is to help heal the world any way she can. Her journey stems from receiving her first diary at the tender age of ten years old from her mother. She has always been determined to face her fears, and step into her purpose to grow from a Caterpillar to a Butterfly.
Shariffah Mason is a female, versatile, freelance photographer from Connecticut. She typically admires photographs of friends and family, scenic views, and just moments that are memorable without even realizing it! She wanted people to see that same beauty she does so she decided to get a camera, create her brand (Reef's Views Photography) and went to work! Now she's able to deliver quality content and make memories last a lifetime for her clients. Currently as a photographer, she volunteers for ShopBlackCT and does her own freelance work too. If you'd like to see more of Shariffah's work, check out her IG/Facebook @Queenofallltrades!
10/1/2023 0 Comments
By Lajeune Hollis
In the vibrant world of fashion, one name is rewriting the rules and bringing accessibility to the forefront: Clancee Victor, affectionately known as 'Fancee Clancee.' By day, she's a dedicated social worker, but when the sun sets, she's the driving force behind 10Thirteen Vintage, an innovative business that's all about making fashion accessible without compromising on style.
It all started with Clancee Victor's uncanny knack for spotting hidden treasures in thrift stores, estate sales, and tag sales. These pre-loved garments had stories to tell, and Clancee was ready to give them a new chapter. With this realization, the seeds of 10Thirteen Vintage were sown.
Nestled in the heart of Victor’s home-based business in Bloomfield, CT, 10Thirteen Vintage is more than just a store; it's a movement that believes fashion should be attainable for everyone. The heart of her operation resides online, at 10ThirteenVintage.com, where she carries “affordable, high-end pre-loved designer gear from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Small Leather Goods” just to name a few.
Here, you'll discover carefully selected pieces that seamlessly blend vintage luxury with contemporary flair. This digital boutique caters to the fashion-forward woman who craves a distinctive style and the thrill of sporting high-end designer clothing and accessories without the hefty price tags. Each pre-loved garment gracing her collection undergoes meticulous dry cleaning and steaming before being presented to you. And with fresh additions every week, there's always something new to explore, catering to women of sizes ranging from 0 to 20.
Beyond garments, 10Thirteen Vintage boasts a treasure trove of accessories. Designer scarves, vintage earrings, and designer sunglasses are all part of the experience. Victor's motto, "We look back to create what's forward," encapsulates her talent for seamlessly blending vintage elegance with a modern edge.
10ThirteenVintage carries affordable, high-end pre-loved designer gear from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Small Leather Goods just to name a few.
Expanding her reach beyond the digital realm, Victor organizes Pop-up Shops across Connecticut. A highlight is her eagerly anticipated F.A.B. (Fill A Bag) event, where attendees can shop ‘till they drop’, quite literally. To exit, you must leave holding the bag Victor provides, grasping it "by both handles" – an experience that underscores her unique approach to pre-loved shopping. With items priced at an affordable $20 and up, these Pop-up Shops create an accessible haven for fashion enthusiasts.
Venturing beyond state borders, Clancee Victor takes 10Thirteen Vintage to places like Brimfield, MA, Washington D.C., and Houston, TX during the summer months. Twice a year, she elevates shopping to a thrilling adventure with her Dollar events, where everything is truly priced at just one dollar. Such events exemplify her commitment to making luxury fashion available to all.
The name "10Thirteen Vintage" is a personal homage to Victor's birth month (October) and her birthday (Thirteen), encapsulating her deep connection to her brand. Clancee is also honoring her late grandmother's legacy, who dreamt of her having a brick-and-mortar store. It's a tribute that perfectly balances tradition and the modern world. At the core of 10Thirteen Vintage lies a mission – to "re-work and re-create pieces that sustain over time." Through her journey, Clancee aims to show people of all ages that sustainable clothing is a fashionable and responsible option.
Her dedication is evident not only in her online presence but also in her personal interactions. With mobile shopping as yet another unique offering, Victor goes the extra mile to bring the 10Thirteen Vintage experience to you.
Clancee isn't just offering fashion; she's sharing knowledge and empowerment. Her YouTube channel, aptly named "10Thirteen Vintage," is a hub of discussions on "Quality Thrifting and Everything Fancee." With meticulous care, she unveils her thrift store finds, shares their stories, and offers style advice. Her vibrant community extends to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, creating a space where fashion enthusiasts connect.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Clancee Victor imparts invaluable wisdom: "Focus, stay connected, do not give up, do not hesitate to ask for help. And most of all, do not be driven by fear." These words resonate, encapsulating her recipe for success and offering a guiding light to those ready to take their own leap.
Wise words for sure.
You can find 10Thirteen Vintage online at 10thirteenVintage.com
YouTube: 10Thirteen Vintage
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This article was edited by Sharon Taylor.
By Lajeune Hollis
Fashion has always been Brittany Rae’s first passion. So much so that in 2021, she made it her full-time career and opened Richual Boutique—pronounced "ritual"—in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a curated thrift, vintage clothing and accessories shop.
Before opening the doors of this new chapter in her life, Rae was invested in the mental health field, having managed group homes and worked as a case worker and social worker in New York, where she was born and raised.
After losing loved ones to COVID-19, Rae did some soul-searching and decided to focus her energy on what she loved most: fashion.
“The pandemic definitely gave me the courage to say life is short and I should just go for it,” she shared.
And go for it she did. After visiting a friend in Bridgeport, Rae decided to relocate, noting that she liked “the diversity and culture” that downtown had. She was also inspired by the “art world” the city offered.
Rae opened her business and noted lower rents and grant opportunities as some of the silver lining to the pandemic for entrepreneurs. Since she started her business with her own capital, she was able to negotiate more with landlords.
"I love helping people, so owning my own boutique came very naturally. It went from a hobby to my full-time career."
But, it was a challenging time to open a business in the height of the pandemic, because shoppers were not coming out to stores like they previously did.
Rae’s solution was to offer private shopping at her boutique based on the shopper’s availability. She also offered online shopping on her website so that anyone across the country could purchase her products.
Richual Boutique features a mix of new, thrift and vintage styles. It offers trendy, fashionable, affordable clothing for both men and women, including furs, coats, shoes, handbags, accessories, jewelry and more.
For those looking for a special twist, Richual offers The Curated Thrift Box, a collection of 20 pieces of clothing or accessories valued at $200-$300, but at a cost of only $50. Shoppers are asked to indicate their sizes, preferred colors and tone, style and other key factors before Rae chooses what is added to their box. Because of her great fashion sense, the results have gotten rave reviews.
Rae hand-picks the pre-loved clothing available at Richual Boutique, using her keen eye for fashion and her knowledge of all the latest trends. She only selects fashion-forward, unique and on-trend items for her shop. Rae also works with designers who specialize in upcycling clothing and jewelry.
“I was kind of born into fashion,” said Rae. “Raised by very fashionable women, I have always been a shopper, have always thrifted, and I have all of these clothes that I collected. I love helping people, so owning my own boutique came very naturally. It went from a hobby to my full-time career.”
A shopper at heart, Rae admits that she thrifts almost every other day. She loves to travel too, which she says is “tied into thrifting” as she looks for unique pieces domestically or overseas.
Richual Boutique’s mission is to provide high-fashion designs and great material for little to no cost and to save the Earth by buying second-hand. Rae also believes in giving back by donating clothing to people who are experiencing homelessness.
As for what’s next for Richual Boutique, Rae hopes to expand and open additional locations throughout Connecticut. Her ultimate goal? To build a nationwide brand.
Richual Boutique is located in the Arcade Mall, 1001 Main Street, Suite 12, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Find Richual Boutique online on Facebook, Instagram or at their online shop at shoprichual.com.
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