Hello loves! and welcome back. As you all know, I love supporting women out here who are doing great things and I’m all for supporting another women’s hustle. In this weeks ‘Noire Excellence’ segment, I want you to meet Rashida aka Rashida Gurl from Philadelphia, PA. I found her page randomly on Instagram one day and I have been a big fan of her jewelry line ever since. After playing email and phone tag for a while, we were finally able to catch up and I got to know the woman behind the brand. Want to see what I found out? Just keep reading… =D
ATBEL: Rashida Gurlllllll *In my Cita’s World intro voice* Lol How are you doll?
RG: Exhausted and excited at the same damn time! Lol How are you E?
ATBEL: I’m good now that I’ve eaten. Lol I’m so glad we are finally able to do this interview! We’ve been talking about this for a while now and today is finally the day! So let’s get started shall we? Give all my viewers out there a little 411 info about yourself..
RG: Finally would be an understatement!! Your patience is ridiculous! Lol But I really do appreciate it. Hello everyone! My name is Rashida and I was born, raised and currently residing in Philly and I create homemade jewelry.
ATBEL: Innnnnnn West Philadelphia, born and raised on the playground is where I spent most of my days.. lol Alright I quit I quit.. but shout out to Philly,PA. There is a lot of talent that comes out of that city and you ma’am are definitely one of them. Let me just say that you make some incredible one of a kind jewelry pieces! They are so edgy and fashionable and yet each design is/has something unique to it. Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?
RG: Why thanks E! Honestly, most of my designs are literally created in my mind. I envision it and then I create it. I do a lot of my creations absolutely from scratch. I’ll take a piece of wood, cut it, shape it, sand it, and then paint it. Done….lol
ATBEL: And there you have it. Lol Have you always wanted to make jewelry? If not, what made you start?
RG: I actually introduced myself to the craft when I was really young about 5 or 6. I would “steal” all the twist ties from the sandwich bags my mom would buy and shape them into earrings and I would mold aluminum into different shapes to make bracelets or necklaces.
ATBEL: Well check you out creative Coretta. Now when I was around 5 or 6 I was..you know what I honestly don’t remember what I was doing around that age but I know it wasn’t making earrings out of twisty ties. Lol Do you make your own jewelry or do you have a team that helps to get the job done?
RG: I’m the only one that get the job done *Drake Voice* lol
ATBEL: Believe me…Believe me..ayyyyeee.. That’s my jam! So since my name is Erica I just had to get your design called Erica Kane. Why that name and how does it reflect the design of that particular piece? Fun Fact Of The Day.. Did you know that was a characters name on the soap opera All My Children?
*Yours Truly Wearing Erica Kane*
*Sidenote..I loved her unique packaging! Even the box the earrings came in was wrapped up in cool magazine articles*
*I been drankin…Wadamelon… I LOVE these earrings!!*
RG: Erica Erica Ericaaaa darling, of course I am very familiar with the fabulous Erica Cane of All My Children lol. Many of my pieces are named after my friends or the person that inspired the piece. “Erica Kane” was created for my homegirl that goes by that nickname.
ATBEL: Lol that’s exactly how she sounds on the show too. But shout out to my name tho! *gives a self-five* Do certain things in your life inspire how your designs come out? I noticed that each piece is so unique and no pieces are the same. So what contributes to that?
RG: Self diagnosed ADHD contributes to all of that.
ATBEL: I’m sure you are already aware, but Rashida Gurl is BIG! Like your instagram stays poppin’ more than Orville Redenbacher. Did you ever imagine when you first started this journey that your jewelry line would go this far? Because pictures of your pieces stay on the popular page & being worn by big time bloggers and other celebrities. *hair flip*
Popular Style Blogger: Blake Von D (IG @BlakeVonD)
Nail Guru Extraordinaire: Kandi Yamz (IG @KandiYamz)
Dawn Richards From Danity Kane: (IG @DawnRichard)
and even Malaysia Pargo from Vh1’s Basketball Wives (IG @MalaysiaInTheCity)
RG: I never imagined that I would eventually earn my primary income from jewelry design. I was doing it because I loved to do it and I enjoyed expressing myself with my designs. I began to get so many inquiries everywhere I’d go that I finally decided to begin selling them. In the beginning I was so shy that I’d have my Mom or my friend Shari do it for me. We would even post up on Chestnut St or on South St here in Philly to sell them to whomever wanted a pair.
ATBEL: Well aren’t you glad you took that leap of faith and followed your dreams? It definitely worked out in your favor. Do you have any advice for anyone out there who has a creative bug in them and want to take that next step to get the process going?
RG: Yes I am so glad I did! It has been a long and hard road but it was worth every moment of my journey to get to where I am today. My advice would be to work hard, learn from the mistakes of others, be nice, and never give up. I know that it sounds so cliché, but it’s real.
ATBEL: I agree. Let everyone know out there where they can find you via social media so they too can get a one of a kind Rashida Gurl piece.
RG: Follow ya Gurl via Instagram @rashidagurl
Or on Rashidagurl.com
ATBEL: I think that is all that I have for you today doll. I want to thank you again for taking the time out to do this interview because I really do appreciate the love. I wish you and your company nothing but the best in the future.
RG: The pleasure was completely mine Erica!! Thank you so much for sharing me with your audience.
ATBEL: You’re so welcome! We will definitely keep in touch.
RG: Definitely! =)
And there you have it folks! I hope you enjoyed our interview and hopefully you got inspired from it as well. She couldn’t of even imagined how her designs could take her from a hobby she did in her home in Philly to actually turning it into her own business and gaining nation wide recognition from it. Your dreams are never too far out of reach; you just got to have faith and to make that decision to go after them. Rashida, I’m so proud of all you have accomplished and this is only the beginning for you love! Keep up the good work. Do you know anybody else who should be featured on my Dope Ones To Know segment? Point em out to me because I have some questions for them too. =)
Until next time loves..