Posted on July 29 2017
Yaaaay!!!! RAY DARTEN is 1!!!!! I can’t believe it’s been a year already since we launched. So grateful to God, family, friends,team, business partners and of course our ever loyal customers, couldn’t have done it without you guys.
We are so excited and looking forward to many more years with you guys, we have so much more to offer in creativity and style.
A year ago, I had no idea my hobby and passion was a big deal until my husband pushed me to see the potential of adding value to so many people's lives through my creative and unique clothing styles. Before now, I only designed for myself and my kids. Wherever we went, we always received tons of compliments, which made me want to make more beautiful styles, however just for myself and the kids.
I started considering making it a business when people started requesting if I could pull off a similar style for them, mentioning how elated they would feel rocking one of those. This made me realize that it wasn’t just about the fabrics or pieces but the joy people derived when I put together these fabrics into a unique style that is in sync with ther personality and how they would love to express themselves through fashion. This passion is why I decided to pursue this over medicine, a simple case of going for what I love versus what I know.
When I finally decided to take the step, It looked almost impossible to start but nothing beats loving what you do, a lot of research, a supporting partner and of course hard work and persistence. One of the major startup challenges was keeping up with demands especially because I started with so little. I never expected the response to be so overwhelming, so once again, thank you so much.
We have successfully moved from my husband and I to a small team, from just me sewing to a small production factory in Lagos,Nigeria. This journey has come with tremendous challenges (boy do i relish the challenges), ranging from how to step up production to meeting the growing demand, to how to deal with my husband messing up my girls' hair while I was away from home. But with all the challenges comes even bigger solutions, the best of the lot being able to create job opportunities back in Lagos, Nigeria (definitely another dream come true). It’s also so much fun sketching the designs, sourcing the fabrics and seeing the designs come alive.
Our dear customers, most of you are friends and acquaintances, but we also see you all as storytellers. With each of our pieces you wear, you tell a story about Africa, how bold she is, about the tailor in Nigeria empowered by the appreciation of her craft, about our view point of life and most importantly, the story of how you, the customer feels and this is why our STORYTELLERS mean the world to us. My husband tells me all the time that the greatest value he sees I gain from this venture is the satisfaction of our customers.... I would never forget the school teacher in Oakland that said nothing else has ever made her look as beautiful as 1 of our Midi skirts or the storyteller in Nashville that cried in awe of how 1 of our signature dresses fitted so well and felt this was much more than just buying a beautiful piece or the beautiful 70 year old psychotherapist in New orleans who never thought she could still wear a flattering fitted dress anymore until she tried on our "Irawo dress"...but the best of the lot has to be the little girls that try on our kids' dresses and never want to take them off. We enjoy telling you about Ray Darten, about Nigeria, teaching you some Yoruba language, we relish styling you, knowing you a little more, taking pictures with you in our unique pieces and you telling us your stories of how you wore your outfits.
As we celebrate a year of great strides, the partnerships, friends and most importantly our storytellers, the burning question is WHAT NEXT? Hmmm, we would see. What we do know is that our vision remains the same "... to continue to tell the wonderful stories of Africa through our pieces by creating pieces to compliment each individual's uniqueness".
Please check out all the discounts we have on our website going on all week from July 29th to August 5th.