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Conversations with Valencia Shanelle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Valencia Shanelle. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Fashion sparked my interest at a really young age. I studied fashion marketing and management in college at Northwood University and while in school I began designing garments on my own time. After graduating, I moved to New York to study fashion design. I spent around 5 years working in the fashion industry behind the scenes on photoshoots and with marketing and production. I decided to launch my brand in 2020 during the pandemic. I realized that I had forgot about my dreams of designing and had just been working to survive. I would spend so much of my life putting time and energy into someone else’s dream and I visualized what could happen with my brand if I did the same for myself. With the launch, I have been focusing on luxury knitwear. I am looking to create my first collection to show in New York this Summer. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think my biggest struggle would be with myself and my imposter syndrome. I struggle with putting myself out there all the way. It has also been a struggle running all aspects of the business myself. Designing often takes up most of my day but I also have so many other tasks that need to be done to keep my business running. I try to focus on one day at a time, making sure that I’m productive and working towards my goals. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I focus on luxury knitwear. I have very sensitive skin and before I launched my brand, I took some to learn more about textiles and how they perform. I learned which fibers work best for each season, as well as the durability and comfortability of each fiber. The textiles that I use for my designs come from all around the world. I also choose to focus on natural fibers only to ensure that my products will last a lifetime. Lastly, I make sure that any farms that I collaborate with are practicing humane procedures for shearing. 

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
To just keep going. 

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