I ran into Desiree Marshall – creator and founder of Afrodelik Designs, at the How She Hustles pop up shop back in November 2015. Bumping into her felt like I was reunited with an old friend that I sadly lost touch with.
It was in 2007 that I first met Desiree when I caught a glimpse of her selling the cutest, 70s inspired t-shirts at a natural hair show. I was so taken with them that I asked her if I could interview her and write about her relatively new business.
Can’t believe that it was almost 10 years ago! I haven’t seen her since I wrote a few articles about her. It made me so happy to finally see her again and congratulate her on all her success.
Afrodelik has grown into a successful business that has added dresses, cardigans and bow ties to the brand. Her t-shirts have even gotten the attention of a few celebs who’ve been seen rocking her tees (keep reading to find out who!).
After reminiscing with Desiree and taking a bunch of selfies, I felt that I needed to do a follow up to my initial interview. A lot has happened to her and Afrodelik (she’s a new mommy!), so I felt an update was in order.
Wanna learn about this successful entrepreneur and new mommy getting her grind on? Keep reading.
Astrological Sign: Scorpio
When did Afrodelik start: officially…2007
Who’s wearing Afrodelik?: Everyone! People like comedian/actress Kim Coles, actor Darrin Henson, actor Kristoff St. John, singer/performer Omar and more.
What has happened since our first interview?
Lots.. . The biggest success I’ve had with Afrodelik was when Sherri Shepherd, the previous co-host of The View, bought my t-shirts, and wore my brand on the show. The first time I saw Sherri wearing my t-shirt, I believe she was wearing BILLIE HOLIDAY. I got a message on my Facebook page saying “Sherri Shepherd is wearing Afrodelik on The View!” Still dressed in my pyjamas, I ran down the stairs, turned the TV on and there she was…in Afrodelik. I was blown away. Didn’t feel my feet on the ground the whole day. It was magical for me…true magic. That was huge for me.
Also, I’ve expanded my brand to more than t-shirts. We have had dresses, bowties, and most recently cardigans for both adults and kids. They’re dope! Afrodelik has been sold in stores in Canada and the U.S. I have supportive and dedicated customers all around the world, including a great support here in Toronto, where it all started.
Did you think your business would have grown like this?
Honestly, I thought it would be bigger than it is…an empire of some sort. I had always envisioned Afrodelik to be big or bigger than brands like Ecko, Fubu, Karl Kani, Stussy.
How has the transition been running your business and becoming a new mommy?
It’s been challenging. I decided to dedicate 2 years to being a full-time mom. Now I’m trying to get back into the swing of things and it’s a bit harder than I thought….but I will do it. To add to that, I also work part-time and have another side business, I am a professional Video Editor. So it’s a very busy time all around, but I persevere and keep going.
Are you working on any new characters?
You know it’s funny….a couple of weeks ago I went looking at some artwork that I had done a while ago and realized I have a lot of artwork. I am always creating new art, and coming up with new product ideas. That’s fun for me.
Desiree keeps the funk alive!
What is Flavas of Funk?
Oh! This makes me smile! Flavas of Funk is my new radio show on ILive Radio, which you can listen to at http://i-liveradio.com/. It is a linear continuous of Afrodelik, and for my love of Funk music, which is what my spirit of Afrodelik is all about.
It’s a bi-weekly show that I produce, DJ and make my own music selection for each show. It’s such fun for me. It’s so great for me to share this with people as they get more of a glimpse of who I am. I am also blessed to have this opportunity to work with other really talented DJs who are amazing.
How would you like to see Afrodelik grow?
I would like to first streamline my current collection to have the best and most popular items selling. I would like to create more designs that would represent Afrodelik, and expand my audience culturally and worldwide while being true to what the brand represents.
It is also important to me that Afrodelik continues to remain a name in people’s minds. We have been in business for close to a decade with a couple of years off to be mom, but I try to always keep Afrodelik alive through social media, djing and wearing my own brand.
I am a creative person and would love for Afrodelik to be one of the two my main hustles in my life. A hustle that I can live on…very comfortably and happily.
I know you can do it girl!
So happy that I was FINALLY able to buy my very first Afrodelik t-shirt at that pop up shop, and reconnect with Desiree. Thanks for the great fashions, and for catching up with me, Desiree!
For more information on Desiree, please visit the following sites:
Facebook: click here
Youtube: click here
2 Comments Add yours
I went to high school with Desiree and always wondered what became of her. This is awesome!