Today we’d like to introduce you to Larrisha Fletcher.
Larrisha, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for fashion. As a kid, I always played dress up, wore my mom’s heels, & even snuck into her wedding gown a few times. I was always into clothes and dressing up my little cousins & my friends every time they came over. My world was always a fashion show. I knew for the longest that I wanted to work in fashion I just didn’t know what I wanted to do exactly. That followed me from elementary school, middle school (where I won best dressed), and high school. My high school was an academy so we had to choose a major as you would if you were at a university. I choose the business & marketing path so I would have the business aspect of the fashion industry down. That followed on through college where I majored in communications and minored in fashion merchandising the three years I did attend.
During my schooling, I would rip up jeans here & there for my friends and that turned to me distressing, reworking, & tie-dying jeans and shorts for others any time there was a party coming up. I worked in retail also so that gave me my fashion “fix” as well, being able to help girls pick out outfits for different events & dressing the mannequins when needed. About my third year in college, a series of events lead me to move back to my home town and that was the start of my self taught sewing journey. I quickly realized that things don’t happen to you, they happen for you so I picked my self up and pulled the machine out of the closet of my parent’s house and got to sewing. I had sewn a pillow before in my childhood with my mother but I was determined to make full garments & that’s exactly what I did. I watched every YouTube video I could, ordered many books, joined a few sewing groups, & I even got a mentorship to learn under an expert. All those things were staples in me perfecting basic skills in my craft but there is no better lesson than actually taking a risk and just doing it!
I started with what I already had around me & used clothes I already had to draft patterns of skirts, shirts, pants & dresses and I took off after that point. My first sale was a bathing suit and most designers don’t design that in there a first year or two of sewing but I did in my first couple of months. I continued to sew and make custom orders from baby clothes, bathing suits, dresses & Birthday outfits. When I hit my first-year mark in 2017, I took on my first maternity gown clients as well as my first prom 2018 client. That was major for me because it was a huge goal I set for myself and I actually met it and to have them all turn out perfect both in mine and my client’s eyes meant the world. I was also given the opportunity to be apart of my first few fashion shows and fashion competition which I won #1 designer at! That moment was something I’ll never forget, knowing people outside of your hometown recognize your talents and skills is more confirmation your walking in your purpose. The first of this year, I had eight total prom clients booked for April and I was able to leave my full-time job to focus solely on sewing. A friend of mine also got me into Knoxville Fashion Week, so I was able to showcase to a whole different crowd of people in my hometown.
Now, that I’ve calmed down from all the shows, high school & kiddie proms I’m working on making sample pieces to sell as well as rebranding and preparing for prom and bridal next year! There have been so many wins but you take a lot of loses as well. The fashion world is not as glamorous as people make it out to be & you broke a lot of the time. You shed blood, sweat, and tears literally, but if it’s your passion you’ll never give up on it! To see a piece of fabric turns into a beautiful garment your client is in love with is pure magic and that’s something I’ll never get tired of.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
No, it’s not always easy. In the beginning, I wasn’t confident so I lowballed my pricing and often didn’t profit at all off my hard work. There were even times where I’d go to the clients home to get measurements (using my own gas), buy fabric with my own money only for them to not want it anymore so here I am stuck with a custom outfit I worked hard on with no payment for my time, labor, or money back for the fabric purchased! There are also a lot of late nights and early mornings so sacrificing sleep and weekends out with my friends was a major key for my growth!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Racks and Riches – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My brand is called Racks & Riches, I design & create custom clothing! I mostly specialize in formal wear such as bridal, prom, & birthdays. My clientele includes women, men, & children. As a company, I am most proud of our continuous growth in skill, I take pride in perfecting my craft at all times. What sets me apart from others is I do everything my self, from booking appointments to designing the garments, sewing the garments, alterations and shipping the garments if needed, plus every item is a custom one of a kind.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My future plans are to continue to grow my clientele nationwide and even internationally. I plan to relocate to Los Angeles and open up a boutique store and hopefully get a team to help me out, so I’m not always doing everything in my business and I can solely concentrate on the designs and sewing. I just plan to take to the fashion industry by storm and design gowns for not only prom and bday but also for the red carpets and maybe even the Met Gala one day!
- Custom birthday/club dress start at $200
- Custom gowns starts at $700
- Custom bridal starts at $1100
- Custom blazers/tux starts at $300
- Custom swim starts at $90
- Custom kids starts at $200
- Custom everyday wear starts at $175
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: Instagram.com/racksandrichesbrand
- Facebook: Facebook.com/larrisha fletcher
Client photos & backstage show photos