Today we’d like to introduce you to Rakia Johnson.
RAKIA, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
As a child, I developed an eye for fashion, and started to dream of becoming apart of the fashion industry at an early age. I always knew that I would be in the field, because every time I grabbed a pencil, crayon, or marker, I was drawing clothing items found in the pages of my Seventeen magazine.
After attending college, where I studied Apparel Design, minoring in Costuming, I began to build my brand Raki and Ruth clothing co. (formerly known as MSc, My Style clothing). The brand name, Raki and Ruth, is derived of two names, Raki, current sole designer, pattern maker, and seamstress, and Ruth, who is Raki’s late grand mother whom I share a birthday with.
Since graduation in 2012, Raki and Ruth has appeared in multiple fashion shows, and even a couple hosted by myself. I plan to keep Raki and Ruth clothing co. at the cutting edge of fashion and continue to amaze my clients with my custom visions coming to life!
My motto: Never give up on your dreams, it may take some time but remember good things in life take time, so focus on finding peace and patience within.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Roads that are smooth, don’t give you much of a challenge.
From 2012 (college graduation) to 2016, my business only thrived amongst friends and family. I had no outside clientele. To some, that could be discouraging , four long years and not making any real revenue , because of course you don’t start off charging friends and family full price (a different conversation for a different day, lol), but you just keep creating and keep wondering when you’ll get your big break. Even now in 2021, business has slowed being mid-post-pandemic, but you have to keep pushing, keep creating, keep finding new ways to keep your business afloat.
In addition, as a creative, sometimes we have what authors call, writers’ block, and that stage can be very discouraging. As humans, we often believe busyness means productiveness, however, when “writers’ block” happens, busyness becomes a thing of UNproductiveness. So taking time to just be present in the moment, maybe not creating, dealing with “writers’ block” was a struggle I had to overcome and learn to be cope with.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a fashion designer/ seamstress. I sew and cut custom dresses, from party, to prom, to bridal dresses. My business is known as Raki & Ruth, from Nashville, TN.
I am most proud of having sewing as my craft, as my God-given talent. It is a trade that is not as common amongst households as the past. I am proud to say that I have been in the midst of multiple fashion shows, and even hosted some of my own. I also gradated with a degree in fashion which makes me VERY proud in itself.
My esthetic and fabric choices set me apart from other designers in Nashville. I work with unconventional fabrics and designs to create almost any dress look a client can think of. Recently, I made the decision to specialize in dresses, however, I can make a little bit of everything from kids clothes to men’s swimwear. The recent business decision came from me zoning in on what my strong points are and where I am best at, and that just happens to be women’s dresses.
Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Follow Raki and Ruth on all social platforms. Facebook & IG: @rakiandruth
Prom season will open October 2021, give or take CDC guidelines for the new school year