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

Hi Taja, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business came about once I graduated college. I was attending Western Kentucky University in the year of 2011 and enrolled in classes for the fashion design department. Year of 2013 came and I had gotten really sick and that kept me out of school for two weeks. Some instructors were really understanding and had given me the opportunity to make up work and sadly, there were some that didn’t. The ones that didn’t affected my gpa that I had worked so hard for. I had became discouraged but really fought through it. Then one day I met with my parents and my mom sat me down and showed me how much debt I had already accumulated just from 2 years of college. I had told them with my gpa being lower than I wanted, I would have to retake some classes, I couldn’t afford my journey that I had dreamed of. They then convinced me to at least graduate with an associates degree than nothing at all. So now that life was leading me down other paths, I went to my advisor, who was my fashion design instructor, and cried to her letting her know what decisions I had to make and what advice or help she could provide me since I wouldn’t be graduating with a 4-year degree in fashion design. Her exact words were, “you can always come back and complete your last years because no one is going to hire you otherwise. I don’t have any other advice to give you but hopefully we’ll see you back.” That shattered me and left me feeling discouraged and lost. So after graduation, I moved back home, got settled and decided that if no one would hire me in the fashion industry, then I would hire myself and from that day, I created my brand, Taja Le Chic and that was by far the greatest thing i have ever done for myself.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is unique; it’s funky, classy and a whole lot of sassy; it’s me! I was taught by my mother on how to sew at the age of 11. When I started sewing and running my business, I didn’t set any limits for myself. If a client wanted it, I was making it. I was sewing from scratch, reconstructing garments and shoes, getting my logo pressed on T-shirts and had my whole city, rocking my merch, then eventually I was led to bigger and better things. After being stuck in the house for over 24hours because of a snow storm, God placed it right in my lap to plan my first fashion show for my community. I wanted to build a platform for other creators, like myself, to show the city what their talent was and to live out their gift like I was doing mine. Admission was $5 and the creators were offered a free platform. That’s all there was to it. I never imagined that this fashion show would have changed my life forever. I had not only put together my first sold out event but I began learning what my purpose was. I truly had the spirit of giving placed upon me. I had so many individuals reach out to me, thanking me for opening up a door for them that others had closed in their face and just encouraging them to follow their dreams. It felt good and I knew I wanted that feeling at all times! I know that I have a long way to go when it comes to my business. I started Taja Le Chic in 2013 and I’m still learning. I have not figured it all out but I just know that fashion is for me, it’s within me and as long as I have the ability to create, I will not take it for granted. I want the world to know that with everything you do, do it with love and with passion. There’s no limit on what you can do. Just never stop!

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’m not from Atlanta but Atlanta is my second home! If my best friend were to come for a week and I want her to get the full Atlanta experience that I got, starting off with the good eats, we’re hitting up varsity’s lol it’s only right. Slutty vegan is on the menu because that’s a vibe you can’t get ANYWHERE else! The foods good but the experience is the best part. Me and my best friend absolutely love seafood so we’re definitely hitting up juicy crab. Hangout spots, we’re hitting up Atlantic station, we like to shop and get into different activities so that would be a perfect place, we love music and rappers lol so the trap museum is on the itinerary and I love fun park’s so six flags over Georgia is where it’s at. Bar/fun night, we gotta hit up Suite Lounge. It’s spacious and the music is always on point. The Goldroom where most of the time, you’ll find some of the hottest celebrities at and maybe a less club like place would be wet willies is a fun experience.

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 first dedicate my shoutout to my lord and savior for using me in such ways that I could never imagine and blessing me with my gift. Those that deserve ALL the recognition in my story are my beautiful parents, Sheila and Donald who support my wildest dreams, my big brothers, Darrell and Dalyn. My loving family across the world, my better half, Eric, my crew/day one’s that literally stand by me through it all, my best friends La’Ron, Latarah and Tameka. My supporters in my hometown, Radcliff and my industry friends that ive built lifelong relationships with in Louisville and last but not least, my sew sister Asia Woodard who rides with me as we grow everyday in the fashion industry.

Website: www.tajalechic.com

Instagram: @tajalechic

Youtube: Taja Le Chic

Other: Email: tajalechic@gmail.com

Image Credits
Denisha McCauley Thgraphixz Jon John Kayla Aneisha Jasmine Jenise Tiara J’Anna Erykah Gwendolyn

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.