Black Entrepreneur of the Month: Rachel Stewart

Rachel wearing her Afro Pick earring and hair band

Rachel Stewart is one of the hottest names in the natural hair industry. An artist, she has created gorgeous jewellery that has been featured on Black Girl with Long Hair and Clutch Magazine. Below she talks on her entrepreneurial life, natural hair and her art.

About You
1) Can you tell us where you are from?
Raleigh, North Carolina (United States)

2) What is your job?
Im a mom, jewelry maker and artist

3) What are your passions and dislikes?
my passion is music and art..I dislike THE RADIO!..I collect vinyl, dig in the crates!

Afro cuffs made by Rachel

Natural Hair
4) From your blog, I can see you have a glorious crown of Afro hair! When did you decide to go natural?
Ive been natural for 20 years, right after high school I shaved my head and havent permed since.

5) What was your main driving decision behind going natural?
In my opinion relaxed hair isnt very flattering to black women, the hair you were born with was designed to bring out your natural beauty, the creator knew what he was doing.

6) What is your favourite natural hair style?
I love my shaved head!..its care free and chic.

7) What advice would you give to black women who want to go natural?
dont let your Mother, grandmother, friends or boyfriend dictate your decisions on YOUR life, if you want natural hair, then have natural hair, dont think its not for everybody, thats like saying breathing isnt for everybody, you were born that way how is it not for you?.

Your Jewellery & Art
8) When did you start selling jewellery?
its been about a year

9) What is the vision behind your African-inspired jewellery?
no vision, i just liked the idea of big bold pieces, the 90’s are back so we are gonna see a lot of kente and african prints, kufi’s, hammer pants and afrocentric jewelry.

10) What has the demand been like for your jewellery?
Its been better than I expected, I get orders from around the world, and im working hard to keep up!

11) You feature a lot of your customers wearing your jewellery. What are the main countries that your customers are from?
Of course the United States, but I get a lot of business from Spain, South africa and the U.K.

12) What are the day-to-day challenges of running your jewellery business?
none really, Im a stay at home mom, so I have the time I need to do whatever needs to be done on any given day, while my son is in school I work on marketing, networking and thinking of new products.

13) What tips would give anyone trying to sell jewellery online?
if you have a camera, an idea and a computer you can have a business, blogging is free so start there, connect with like minded bloggers, get the word out and never stop networking. Don’t try to start BIG, keep it simple and make sure you love what you do.

14) When did you start creating your art?
Ive been an artist all my life, but only seriously maybe 3-4 years ago..ive dabbled in everything, sewing, music, singing, but as i;ve gotten older (im 37) Ive felt the need to focus on something for more than a few

15) Do you find selling your art online is useful or are exhibits still the best way?
I dont like exhibits, there are a lot of pretentious people in the art world and I have no use for them, I have my website and thats working fine for me.

Your Future
14) With such a rising profile, how do you see yourself in the future, i.e. do you want to continue creating art and jewellery?
oh yes, my goal is to have my own gallery, with art, music, photography and jewelry..preferably in my I will need a huge space..

You can check out Rachel’s wicked jewellery to purchase here.


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