CEO Spotlight: Kamilah Ryan Of Rock Paper Chic
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Brooklyn, NY.
What do you want to make sure your audience knows?
About you? – I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Simply put, if I wouldn’t wear it, I don’t sell it. I’ve created pieces only to discard them or completely take them apart afterwards. I enjoy what I do and it is important to me that customers also enjoy what they’ve spent their hard earned money on.
About your brand? – Rock Paper Chic is a brand that encourages boldness as well as not being afriad to rock a style you may love simply because of what others may say or think. It’s all about simply wearing what you love and what makes you feel great.
What made you decide to begin? – This venture all started with my desire to explore a new hobby. The process of designing and actally making the pieces was also my “escape,” so to speak, from life’s daily nuances.
What is the motto of your brand? It is simply, “Never be afraid to rock your chic!” In today’s world, especially, words of encouragement and empowerment are important.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding part of this for me would have to be the immense support I have received from my family and friends. From the very beginning, I have received nothing but encouragement and kind words as well as the occasional nudge at times when I doubted myself.
Least rewarding? – I was recently accused of duplicating another designer’s work. I would have to say this has been my least rewarding and most disappointing experience since starting Rock Paper Chic. It seems that at times, things like simply having a similar idea or using the same common pattern ( an African waxprint, for instance) but in a different way can get you labeled as a copycat. It’s unfortunate but is something I realize comes with the territory and for me, isn’t a deterrent.
Who depends on your success? Who are you doing this for besides yourself? Currently, there isn’t anyone who depends on me so I mainly do this for myself. I want to challenge myself while doing something I enjoy and starting a business of my own seemed like the perfect way to do that.
If you weren’t in your field what would you be doing? – My case may be a bit different from some others because jewelry design is something I do in addition to having a full time job. My first love is science, biology, to be exact. I currently work in that field but I’d like to think that if I weren’t doing that, perhaps I would be a full time designer.
What is going to be your legacy? – Essentially, I’d like Rock Paper Chic to be known for the motto mentioned earlier. I want this brand to be one known for it’s creativity and empowering message and for people to feel even more beutiful and empowered when they wear one of my designs.
Who is the rock behind your empire?
Though this company is currently run solely by me, I would have to say that in addition to myself, A few of my friends also play an integral role. Without quite a few of them, I wouldn’t have things like great photographs for my website and word wouldn’t have gotten out about Rock Paper Chic as it has. My business still has a long way to go – Rock Paper Chic is still very new – but I have my own rocks who have helped me out quite a bit along the way.
What projects do you have coming up? What should we be looking out for?
Rock Paper Chic’s Spring 2016 collection launches on March 1st and within the next few months, I am also looking to launch a unisex line.
What are your social media platforms?
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.