I was scrolling along on Instagram one day and this image popped out at me ⇒⇒⇒
It spoke to me and I had to have it!!! Even though I already had a planner, it did not represent me. And I’m not just referring to me being a Woman of Color. I’m talking about my hustle, drive and ambition. And this “Get Shit Done” Planner says allllllllllll that. If you are a “Planner Girl” then you don’t want to miss out on this planner with a twist. But let’s go beyond the planner. Shanieism offers so much more. From tote and travel bags, mugs, stickers and die cuts…you will surely see something that will have you obsessed with Shanieism. Just like me.
Shanieism offers creative products for women of color. Our aim is to always provide products that promote a positive view of Africa-American women.
I’m so glad to have stumbled across this amazing company. So I could bring Shanieism to my Beautifuls. Learn more about Shanieism products and the Queen who brought this brand to life by reading the Q & A below and clicking on the spotlight video link. Small Business Spotlight Shanieism Video
Q. What is your name and where are you from? when established, etc)?
A. I’m Shantel Collins owner of founder and creator of Shanieism. I launched my business in November of 2016. I’m centrally located in Washington, DC but my business caters to customers worldwide.
Q. What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design?
A. The inspiration actually came from my discovery of this artist who did Pop Art images. I’ve loved Pop Art for a long time but I had never seen any products or mainstream art with women of color.
Q. What distinguishes your product from other brands?
A. One of the main things that distinguished my products from other brands is that I don’t follow trends. I try to keep the ideas behind my products as original as I possibly can. I think this matters when folks are trying to find something that makes them stand out in the crowd.
Q. What challenges have you faced with starting the line?
A. One of the biggest challenges I faced was starting the business with little knowledge. Even though I’ve been blessed to have a successful start it has not come without trials and tribulations. In the beginning, I failed to establish a written agreement with the artist, which resulted in her selling images I paid for through image sharing sites. That was a huge error on my part because pretty soon I started seeing others using the images I had paid for. I learned quickly though when I hired the next illustrator and now I don’t run the risk of seeing our custom images in the hands of others. The one thing that kept me from quitting is how often I would have complete strangers telling them they saw my images being used by someone else. That in itself was proof to me of how well I had branded my business in such a short time.
Q. What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business?
A. One of the personal goals is to open up and brick and mortar shop that caters exclusively to African-American women. That’s a dream that I will not sleep on. I’ve already mapped out the details of how I envision the shop and everything. I’m looking forward to enticing investors with this opportunity.
Q. Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?
A. If you’re aspiring to be an entrepreneur you can’t be afraid of failing. You have to embrace the notion of taking risks. And please please please learn how to ask for help. Being in charge means knowing how to delegate and recognizing that you simply can’t do it all.
Q. And finally, how do we get our hands on your custom designs?
A. Don’t hesitate to check out my shop at www.shanieism.com. I typically add new products on Tuesdays and Sundays. Thank you so much for the awesome feature.
Q. Also, I know you are also a fellow Naturlista! Why did you decide to go natural?
A. My going natural was a financial decision. When I worked in Corporate America I could afford to get my hair done every two weeks and sometimes weekly. However, when I moved to DC in 2015 and left that job behind, I realized that I would need to make some sacrifices. Giving up the salon life seemed like the reasonable thing to do since I no longer had a 9 to 5.
Q. How long have you been natural? Did you transition or did you big chop?
A. I’ve been natural now for almost two years. I didn’t have much to chop but I did cut it all off very low initially. I felt that was the best route for me to take on my natural hair journey.
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of your natural hair journey?
A. Not having to sit under the hair dryer for 60 minutes is probably the best part of being natural.
Q. Has anything been a challenge on your journey?
A. One of the biggest challenges is maintaining a look that doesn’t look manly or butchy. It’s kind of hard because my hair grows back so darn fast.