We had the good fortune of connecting with Labrina Watkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Labrina, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting my own business was that I simply wanted to be my own boss. I realized through working for various companies that I thrive better when I am free and independent. In working for other companies with different values and beliefs, I noticed that my values and beliefs were strong and did not fit well into a conventional work environment. I wanted to be able to create and earn a living without walls . I wanted the freedom to be myself and create art that others would appreciate. I wanted to be able to create a legacy that my children would be proud of.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My earrings are unique, one of a kind and handmade with love. I try my best to be original and innovative. I pull from different designs, inspiration, findings, shapes and colors that I incorporate into my designs to give them a wow factor. To date, I am most proud of to my Pure Elegance Collection. The collection is geared towards a sophisticated, earthy but edgy person. To get where I am now professionally was a challenge. The challenge was mostly within myself. I constantly thought to myself: why would someone buy anything from me, is my product good enough, am I as talented and creative as others, and would someone pay my price without trying to get a discount? It wasn’t easy, but after creating a budget and business plan everything I wanted and needed business wise made sense. The creating was just one piece of the puzzle. Setting goals, advocating for myself and finding a mentor was a major contribution to my success. I’ve learned to open up to feedback and constructive criticism from others, and that it is okay to fail and fail some more until I perfected my process. I learned to be a part of not only a niche but a community. A community where I could be free to ask questions and make mistakes. Also, I’ve learned that research is the basis of my business. If I want to stand out, researching quality findings, quality clay and quality techniques will set me apart organically and appeal to my customer base. I want the world to know that my brand is built on love and art. During my day job, I work as a mother and an advocate/employment specialist for those with various disabilities. L. Raveene was created to be an outlet where I could express my creativity.. My brand is unique and has purpose behind the creations. As an artist/creator, I produce a one of a kind experience that is affordable and makes the customer feel gorgeous and like family.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would take my bestie to one of my favorite restaurants in the city, The Ragin’ Burrito, and order the Ragin’ Queso Burrito with chicken, shrimp and guacamole. I would order a pitcher or two of the house frozen margarita and kick back and relax. We would talk about everything under the sun and relax and unwind for hours. We would then plan our next destination to visit in Atlanta to continue the fun all night long.

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?
Working with polymer clay was not something I always dreamed of doing, this started from me simply watching tons of YouTube videos and having a creative mind. Then I started buying lots of stuff and began making. Of course, my “studio” began as a folding table in my basement with my toaster oven from my kitchen. My pieces lacked the quality it has today until I did my due diligence. If I had to choose a few people in my life to thank and recognize for my continued success, I would say the outstanding love and encouragement from my mother, grandmother, step-mother, mother-in-love, sister-in-love, auntie, sisters and all of the other beautiful strong women in my life that contribute to my why. Also, Pastor Keion Henderson from The Lighthouse Church in Houston, Texas. His sermons were and still are so relatable, impactful and incorporate why God needs me to not just live but fulfill my purpose in this life.

Instagram: LRAVEENE

Image Credits
(photo of me in the park sitting) Kenneth Peltier- Nvision Graphics

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