Today we’d like to introduce you to Talaya Jessie.
Talaya, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m from a place where front doors are open, and screen doors are shut all day. (That is the country to be exact.) I’m from a small town by the name of Waverly, Florida. Having been raised in a single parent household, I fell in love with fashion through the observation toward my mother. I loved the beauty that was presented in tailored suits, subtle jewelry, and some BOMB shoes! I remember seeing JET and ESSENCE magazines on the ottoman that was at the foot of my mother’s bed. I would always tell myself, “I’m going to make clothing so my mother and I could be on the cover of these magazines.”
After graduating high school, my dream of pursuing fashion was more than a dream; it was a burning desire. At 17, I moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue Fashion Design. Having interned for the marketing and wholesale side of the business and having worked on the production side of the business, I was exposed to all of the intricacies that makes up a business.
Upon graduation, I moved back to Florida. I wanted to see those from the same community prosper in the arts. I produced fashion shows that created a platform for local talent while also fundraising for local charities. I finally made the decision to walk on water, and I birthed Talaya Jessie LLC; we are a graphic apparel line and a luxury professional line. I am excited to see what else is to come about on this journey.
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?
Though the journey has bloomed the most beautiful bouquets, the growing process has not been an easy one. Imagine only being 17 in a city that is nothing like home. Imagine going from childhood to adulthood in one split second. There were times when I doubted my creativity and questioned if I was fulfilling my purpose. I struggled with “enough-ism”. I kept questioning how is that someone who had so many external insecurities would be passionate about fashion and beauty??
I realized that there was so much more than the external! I took a deep dive into self-discovery. I had to find my why again. I had to heal from childhood sexual assault and other trauma. It was in that healing that I found my why again. I discovered other gifts that would ultimately add to my love for fashion such as, writing, creative directing, and brand marketing.
Though the growth process was no easy one, the bouquets have been so beautiful!
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Talaya Jessie LLC was birthed in June 2017. We began with producing fashion shows to expose local talent and fundraise for nearby charities. As one of the local talents, I was able to introduce my design aesthetic which led to making custom apparel. We gained traction for our custom apparel and this ultimately led us to begin developing a specific line of apparel.
In 2019, I released a book titles ‘Image Control: Breaking a Faulty Eyesight’. Through the release of the book, our graphic apparel centered around spiritual identity was birthed. It gives us the chance to cater to everyday wear as well.
As a company, I am most proud that I was able to adapt to change. Though life was happening, I never quit. That persistence brought forth a team of people who not only understood the vision, but they were also willing to pour into me as a person.
Our company is set apart with our branding and visual identity. It is more than a product. It is more than a sale. It’s an experience that starts with connecting via social media to the website, to the blogs, to purchasing products, to receiving the infamous TJ box, to opening the box.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My grandmother would always tell me that confidence and humility equals power. I never fully understood the saying until college. I was always afraid to talk about certain accomplishments because I never wanted to hear the word arrogant. That saying helped me realize that faith, hard work, and consistency resulted in excellence. The truth is, I was never able to do it by myself. I had to believe in a power much greater than me, and I had to release pride and ask for help. It all has led to success.
- Graphic apparel range $25-45
- Website: www.talayajessie.co
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @talaya_jessie
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talayajessiedesigns/
Joshua Penny @joshuacolepenny, Chantal Gainous @saucychachiii
Check out the VoyageLA Podcast:
Episode 1 with Content Partner Lisa Taitelman, Founder of Hiking & Wellness company Find Your Trail.