We had the good fortune of connecting with Racquel Parker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Racquel, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After working in high-end retail for over 10 years—where I sold products on commission—I knew I wanted to sell my own products one day, and the skills I’d learned would help me. In my friend group, I’ve always been considered the beauty junkie and the one who is constantly experimenting with new products. When it comes to nutrition, I’m very health-conscious and need to know exactly what’s in my food. I learned about the clean beauty movement, and it occurred to me that I should care as much about what I’m putting on my body as I do about what I put in it. After thoroughly researching and trying numerous products, I decided to make my own brand without harsh chemicals and with exclusively vegan ingredients to raise awareness and show the importance of clean beauty.
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.
I’m a writer and my degrees are in communications so starting a business wasn’t always in the cards for me. As an HBCU graduate of Clark Atlanta University, and a graduate of Agnes Scott College, a women’s college, I knew I wanted my life’s work to consist of empowering, uplifting, and inspiring women. I’ve used my communications degrees to tell the stories of women. While matriculating in my graduate program I had no idea I would be using my communication skills to build a beauty brand. Pulling from my writing and personal blogging skills, I saw the path to building Rose Orleans while telling my story the way I wanted to.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Food: Milk and Honey, Nana’s Chicken and Waffles, Breakfast at Barneys, BQE Lounge, Slutty Vegan, Dave’s Cheesesteaks, Two Urban Licks, Poor Calvin’s
Fun Activities: Wine tasting at Chateau Elan, Asia Rose Spa for relaxation, The Black Hair Museum, 9 Mile Station at Ponce City Market, Cocktails in the Garden at Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
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?
Throughout this journey of entrepreneurship, my family has been my biggest support system. From testing products to listening to my ideas, to sharing words of encouragement, they’ve supported me. Many people see all the glitz and glamour of starting a business but what they don’t see is the days behind the scenes when I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and didn’t believe I could do this. They don’t see how hard my team and I have worked to bring Rose Orleans to life and all the support it takes, but my family has been with me every step of the way.
Pink Dress Portrait – Miesha Shaw All others – Courtesy of Rose Orleans