We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlene Dunbar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlene, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Consistency has really built the success of my brand. I really love what I do as a designer and bringing joy to my customers, so that’s helped me to keep going even when I get discouraged or certain ideas flop. I think that showing up, season after season has helped my brand to thrive over the long haul.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of the things that sets my brand apart is that I love mixing prints and creating special color combinations that excite my clients and help tell their story. I draw a lot of inspiration from my experience of being Liberian, Liberian culture and growing up in Atlanta. I also look to modern art for inspiration with coming up with new collections. One of the tough lessons that I’ve had to learn is that it can’t be all art or all business; but really balancing the two in a way that working for client and the business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take them to downtown for some seafood at the Optimist and then head to Little Five Points to take in the sights and do some vintage shopping. We’d rent bikes and ride the belt line to check out some art walls and wrap up at Loca Luna for lots of dancing and tapas. Next up, we’d head to the High Museum and then visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Finally we would head to Mina’s kitchen for the best Liberian food.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to recognize my husband Charles for being an amazing supporter! He has held me down emotionally, been our official photographer, set builder and definitely taken care of our family as I’ve had to travel and work crazy hours to grow the business. My sister Ciatta-Mae Stubblefield has also played a significant role in encouraging me and challenging me to think of my business in new ways. It’s easy to get in your own head and she has really helped me to keep marching on and provided support when things get hard.