Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanelle John.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Shanelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Why does no one tell you what a big pain in the ass dreams can be? I wanted to be in Hollywood since I was four but never thought it would actually happen, I still pinch myself. Everyone knew I wanted to be an actor but I kept wanting to be a business owner to myself for fear of looking stupid because in my mind then business owners and people in fashion didn’t look like me. When I was 22 I got on a plane to New York from England and didn’t look back. My whole family thought I was crazy and I truly was. I knew maybe 5 people and not even well. I was so lucky to have people look out for me in those early days. The first time I came to LA was a date trip and I fell in love. I mean with the city, but, I didn’t actually get to move here until I was 29. Best decision I ever made! LA feels like home.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome? Not at all. I got so financially stressed I had to file for bankruptcy. Before that I had to deal with the long road of getting a green card and there were times when I thought it would never happen for me. The worst part was dealing with myself. My teacher told me I saw the cup half empty instead of half full and he was right. I know how to fight for myself, but my beliefs about myself created so many obstacles. I’ve worked meticulously on fixing that. I started learning business at a community college in NYC and was doing great but I couldn’t afford to finish. every time I thought things were looking up I got knocked down a peg. I didn’t think I’d be able to have a business without formal education. My only knowledge of sales was from being a waitress every minute of it. It made me feel worthless. Mostly because I was dimming my life for security. As a black woman failure feels like its not an option. Funnily enough, waitressing turned out to be an amazing training ground for getting to know people and how to interact with them and how to upsell. Nothing about the way I got here is traditional.
Please tell us about House Of Nisut.
My baby is House of Nisut (nee-soot. A Kemetic word meaning a woman in authority). She’s a boho-urban chic clothing boutique. California boss chick vibes. I want the women who wear my clothes to feel empowered in their feminity and like they stand out. I focus on statement pieces for events and vacation wear.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
In the summer we’d take family trips to Trinidad & Tobago. As so as we touched down and I’d smell the air I’d be in heaven. Nothing tasted like the food in Trinidad. the mangoes and coconuts off the trees. And they actually seasoned the chicken at KFC. The best carnival in the world. And then there were family and friends I couldn’t wait to be with. I remember sitting on the veranda with Ma (my great-grandma) when I was 4 picking peas out of the pew. I have vitiligo on my leg which I now have covered by tattoos but as a kid, I was really self-conscious about it, but in Trinidad, I was free to wear whatever I wanted and felt beautiful.
- Sets and rompers are $60-$110
- swimwear cover-ups $50-$65
- Jeans & shorts $50-$110
- Outerwear $60-$110
- Website: www.houseofnisut.com
- Phone: 4242450714
- Email: email@example.com
Keisha Coleman, Michael Letterlough