We had the good fortune of connecting with Deseri Rice and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Deseri, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I never really saw myself working for someone else. Applying to creative based jobs were always a hassle. I either didn’t have the experience or didn’t know the right people to get my foot in the door. It wasn’t until I got my first adult corporate job that I really took starting my own business seriously. I struggled with fitting in non creative spaces and it was like no matter the effort or energy I gave, I was replaceable. So my only answer was to start my own.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The name of my business is Au Courag, pronounced like ooh garage but with a ‘c’. Derives from a French word, au courant, meaning all things current. I’ve always been inspired by the images in vogue. Always dreamed I’d be featured one day but my focus kinda shifted as my style is moreso thrifty editorial high fashion. I’m still figuring out my lane but my point of mentioning Vogue was that I wanted a name with a similar impact.
I recently opened my first art gallery and photo studio space in the heart of Decatur!
This journey has definitely been a wild goose chase of what I really want. The most difficult part for me was and is asking for help. I get overwhelmed and I struggle with letting others in on my vision for fear of it being taken over or ruined. I’m learning my way though. I have so many connections and people willing to help. My advice is definitely a closed mouth won’t get feed.
I’ve ran into so many bumps that use to give me major anxiety and I’ve recently acknowledged my growth. I’ve been doing this for about 8 years now and certain ways I would’ve reacted to bumps in the road back then versus now has really opened my eyes. I no longer cry over spilled milk I keep going. My confidence has even grown which also enhanced my professionalism. I’m so proud and excited about this.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My go to areas in the city are East Atlanta Village, Little 5 points, and Decatur Square but really it depends on what live shows and events are happening. I’m a huge music fan. Also art galleries! The High Museum of course! The MODA, and more on my list to explore. A lot has changed since the pandemic so recently I’ve been enjoying nature and checking out new walking trails. A lot of my friends are musicians so we’d definitely go to jam sessions and kick backs. Vista Vibes on sundays, The Basement Unplugged, the early show, just to name a few music events.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mother has been super supportive and very helpful as my business partner/manager. I couldn’t have done any of the non creative stuff without her. So grateful.
Samantha Sinclair Lola Ladae Sierra Chelsea Chala Shirae Courtney Anderson John Mgbemena