We had the good fortune of connecting with Shaquoya Jackson-Ishman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shaquoya, what do you attribute your success to?
I attribute my success to God, Family and Perseverance. Without God I would have no guidance. Without family I would have no support, and without perseverance I would have no will to keep pushing in spite of difficulty to succeed and achieve a goal.
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.
My swimwear designs are really wardrobe style. It’s an easy transition from the pool to the lounge to have a drink. It’s not everyday that you can take your swimwear pieces and wear them to a party or concert as a cardigan or a top. I’ve had customers wear cover ups as cardigans and house robes as well as wearing tops at a concert. There’s no accomplishment that I’m not proud of, but being in Macy’s is probably the most exciting. I’ve been in GQ Magazine, featured on VH1 and music videos, ect, but being in a major department store is sort of classic to me. I got where I am today professionally by not giving up, staying persistent, continuing to teach and enlighten myself through research and experience and definitely by the help of my support system. It definitely was not easy, it’s still not easy. It’s a lot smoother than the beginning. The challenges were definitely a test to overcome. In every situation you have to stay focused in spite of and think about the solution. You can’t think about the negatives when dealing with challenges. The only option is “How do I fix it”. So I overcome every challenge by sticking to resolutions and moving forward. There are many lessons that I’ve learned along the way. Do your research on everyone and any event that you are wanting to work with or want to work with you. I’ve learned to test the waters first and not be so impulsive. Stick to whats working. Many times you want to step outside of the box and try new things, but you dont need to reinvent the wheel to make it work. I want the world to know that ShaLaJá believes you are beautiful no matter your size and there are no restrictions on what you can do. ShaLaJá is all about providing opportunities and enhancing beauty.
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?
If my bestie came to visit me for a week I’d have to start off with a good meal! The first place we’re going is to get food. There are so many options, but Stoney River is definitely one of my favorites. They have delicious food and serve large portions so there’s always left overs for later. You’ll want to order everything off the appetizer menu alone! After a good meal it’s time to relax, preferably a nap, but since we would be trying to live our best life I’d say catch some live music and have some drinks or go to a bar with good music. Maybe Peter Street so we can bar hop and have options. At some point we would do a little shopping around town.. maybe Perimeter and Lenox Mall and later on unwind at Fellaship Lounge where we can sip good drinks and eat great food. The rice bowl with salmon is my favorite! I can’t let my friend leave without catching a day party and brunch at Negril Village or BQE Lounge, and of course night life. We’d have to go to Revery Bar just for the virtual reality experience. One hour being tipsy playing virtual reality is all we need for a good laugh. If we’re in the mood for a chill turn up night we’d hit up Cafe Circa and party, but if we’re in the mood to pop bottles we’d get a section at Opium. I don’t do too much so it may not be the most exciting, but the best part would be enjoying my crazy company lol.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Oh my gosh, where do I start? I am thankful and appreciate everyone in my life that has contributed to my journey to success. I first have to start off saying thank you wholeheartedly to my family for forever being supportive and being my team when I really need one!.. Thank you to my Husband for always being positive and uplifting me with your encouraging words. Shout out to my friends out for keeping me motivated, and last but not least I want to thank my supporters who shop with me and genuinely admire my work. You push me to keep going… and thank you to the one’s, especially Kendra Witherspoon, that are willing to lend a helping hand out of the kindness of their heart.
Kareem Quow Photography Megan Monique Photography Danny Hoang Photography