I don’t consider myself a “fashionista” by any sense of the most creative imagination. But, like most women, I definitely care about my appearance. I like to look good because when I look good, I feel good. Women try to feel good about themselves by creating a sense of individual or personal style. When a woman develops a sense of style, and is affirmed in that style, it shows through her confident interactions and self-esteem. But, when a woman is not happy about her appearance it often shows in her personal relationships and daily life activities. As a young woman seeking to create a personal style that is consistent with being a professional and leader, it is important for me to seek styles that allow me to stay true to who I am.
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shekina Moore, who has a knack and passion for style. From helping people create a personal style to developing her own fashion line, Shekina is definitely in tune with the connection between fashion and who we are as women. But, after a wonderful conversation with her, I found out that she’s no “ordinary” fashion designer or stylist. As a matter of fact, there’s nothing ordinary about Shekina at all. I’d never met her before but the moment I saw her walk into the bookstore, I knew she was who I’d come to interview. There was something very stylish, yet classy and professional about her.
Once the introductions were out of the way, I began to really understand her as a woman, wife, mother, and entrepreneur.
I had plenty of questions about how she started her business, Speedy Outfitters and the SoKina dress line, but first, I wanted to know what made her tick. From where did she draw her passion? How did she get to the place she was at this very moment, spiritually and emotionally?
So, I started out by asking her about her inspiration and what actually appealed to her about fashion and style.
Shekina said something that I believe is so true of most of our personal and professional journeys. She said, “It was a process.”
Growing up, she had a knack for style and fashion and she was always into the “girlie” things, but she also had a tomboy side. But it was in college when she really “turned it up.” She became a “go-to” style guru, doing it all from arching ladies’ eyebrows to giving shape-ups to the guys. As a result, she was able to make some extra money while a student at North Carolina Central University.
Even with all of her talent and skills, she still didn’t focus on it as a trade. She went to NCCU on a business scholarship, and then changed her major to English then to French. She was always interested in language and culture, especially French. And, being a military kid, she lived in Europe for nine years.
As she reflected on certain time periods of her life, she made a good point that even when life seems off track, it really isn’t because now, she’s fluent in French and fashion is heavily influenced by French culture.
Because she didn’t have a mentor in the field of fashion, she went to graduate school for education administration and worked as a teacher and school administrator for 11 years. She has recently taught French, but started devoting more time and energy to her business and fashion lines, which she believes is still a form of teaching and allows her to operate in her gifts.
Personal Style Philosophy
When asked about her personal style philosophy, Shekina answered that she would categorize her personal style as “sensual and smart.” Because this seemed to be an unusual choice and combination of words, I was immediately interested in learning more about her style perspective.
She explained that she doesn’t like to be overtly sexy. She would rather be feminine in sex appeal but classy in taste. Shekina has a strong presence when she walks into a room because of her style, but also because of her confidence. She admitted that she likes a little attention but only for the right reasons. Therefore, she’s smart about her style because she pays attention to where she’s going and who’s going to be in the room. She is confident and knows how to dress her body type.
What quickly became more and more obvious to me during our conversation was that Shekina Moore is a focused, driven woman who has found her gifts and talents and is using them to create opportunities for herself and others.
Shekina Moore: The Brand
At the onset of her business, Speedy Outfitters was more service oriented. Shekina focused on conducting make-up application classes and providing styling services. After becoming a member of the Touch and Agree (TAG) Christian business women’s network, she met women from different backgrounds and different experience levels who became the mentors she’d always longed for. She knew that she needed to diversify Speedy Outfitters and her TAG mentors advised her to develop a product.
Similar to other entrepreneurs trying to step out and do something new and different with the business, lots of insecurity set in for Shekina. However, she explained that it was her faith that conquered all of that. The thought came to her: “You’re waiting on God, and God is waiting on you!”
So, she decided that since she loved dresses she would share the essence of “her” by launching her dress line, SoKina.
“Known for its bold and sophisticated designs, SoKINA represents all things fashionable. Created for the woman leader that enjoys balancing fashion and influence, SoKINA designs are for the daring. Incorporating gallant greens and passionate purples, SoKINA holds nothing back while embracing slender to curvy figures.” www.sokinaonline.com
Shekina’s vision for SoKina is GLOBAL! She is not limiting herself or the success of her line, to the United States. She is currently pitching it in global markets like Paris, London, Tokyo, and Bangkok, in addition to searching for interested boutiques in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, and two boutiques in North Carolina.
In 2012, Speedy Outfitters will launch the Stanford brand, which, named after her husband, is a collection of bow ties.
Shekina Moore is an example of what happens when you use your God-given abilities and gifts to find your purpose and create opportunities for yourself. Because she is “walking in her calling,” her perspective of her business is that it’s “fun,” and she embraces the opportunity to learn more.
When asked about how she juggles it all and maintains balance between work and life, she said,
“When we are fulfilled, we are more happy and balanced.”
Shekina Moore is also an author and will release her book “Shoeing the Fat” very soon. Be on the lookout for more from this awesome woman, focused entrepreneur and dynamic leader!
Check out Shekina Moore and her ventures online via her various websites:
Skekina Moore: www.shekinamoore.com
Speedy Outfitters: www.speedyoutfitters.com
SoKina line: www.sokinaonline.com
“If the Dress Fits” Blog: http://ifthedressfits.blogspot.com
Facebook: Speedy Outfitters