When we watch reality tv, we think that we know all that there is to know about some of our favorite stars. What we tend to forget is that what we see is what the producers allow and there are many different aspects of the stars life that we miss.
Rasheeda Frost is not just a reality star, she is also a hip hop artist and an entrepreneur. When we were first introduced to Rasheeda, she had us nodding our heads to her contagious song, “Bubble Gum”. We later seen her on the hit reality show, “Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta” showing us her life as a and a mother. And although many may judge her marital choices, Rasheeda handles her life the best way she can. “You can’t please everybody,” says Rasheeda.
Expanding her online boutique that garnished her a few hundred customers to being the owner of a very successful boutique located in the affluent Buckhead district of Atlanta that has thousands of people coming through its lavish doors not to just meet the stylish star but to shop. Rasheeda is far more than a pretty face—she is also a Boss!
When I learned that I would be talking to Rasheeda, I was eager to ask her a million questions. Not about the controversy that is surrounding her marriage, there are plenty of blogs and magazines that are doing that. I wanted to get to know the real Rasheeda—the mother, the entrepreneur. The black woman.
We did something unique with this interview. We opened the floor for to #PYNKGIRLS to ask questions from this successful black woman about everything from how she manages to balance being a mother and entrepreneur. Who she uses as a stylist and what inspires her style, and how she was able to conquer dealing with postpartum depression.
#PynkGirls: What advice would you give to young black fashion entrepreneurs, who are starting at the bottom?
Rasheeda: Don’t be distracted. If it was easy, everyone and their mama would have businesses and that is not how the world works. At the end of the day, stay focused and if you feel passionate about something you have to rock with it because things don’t come easy all the time. In today’s society, we don’t understand practicing patience, staying focused and being diligent. Diversions and setbacks are a part of the learning process so that you can get where you have to go, use them.
#PG: As a fellow mother and entrepreneur, I often find myself struggling with balancing motherhood and business. What are some ways that you balance the two?
Rasheeda: You have to find the schedule that works for you. It’s difficult because every woman is different and every woman’s schedule is different. Sometimes it is hard to differentiate how to maneuver, but at the end of the day you have to be focused. There are a lot of early mornings and late nights. You have to know when you are mom and then the businesswoman. It takes a lot of time and dedication to make it work for you.
#PG: What do you do to combat procrastination?
Rasheeda: Shit, you got to do it! Straight up! Procrastination can be your worst enemy, seriously. When you are procrastinating, you feel like it is something that you are not one hundred about which means that you have to move on and do something different. If you want to get ahead to the next level you have to finish what you started or promised. At the end of the day, you have to do what the hell you got to do.
#PG: What differences do you find with an online boutique vs a brick and mortar store? Are there any advantages/disadvantages to either?
Rasheeda: I always suggest to women that ask me this to start with an online boutique because you reach a larger audience. You will not have the overhead like you would with a physical location. I had my online store for six years before I opened up Pressed and there is a huge difference. I have payroll, I have sale taxes. It is different online because you can be in the comfort of your own home and be in a place where it cost you almost nothing. The doors at Pressed have to be open almost every day of the year. Online, you can work at your own pace, you can build a base and realize if you want to open a brick and mortar.
#PG: How often are you in the store?
Rasheeda: I’m not in the store as often as it seems but during the weekend I love to be at the store. I love interacting with my fans there than at a club. I talk with the women, I put them in outfits and make them feel good. I definitely do some styling.
Through the week, I am doing other things for the business, and with that type of boutique which is large and in that type of vicinity, I can’t be there every day.
#PG: Even with the negative side, are you happy with the exposure that reality tv gives you as an entrepreneur?
Rasheeda: It’s a give and take. You have to take the bitter with the sweet because it is not all good and let’s face it, the world doesn’t want to see all good. As an entrepreneur, it has been an amazing platform. At the time that I started with Love and Hip Hop ATL, my online store had several hundred customers. When I was able to expose my online store on the show, I had several thousand customers and that allowed me to grow and expand. I was able to reap the benefits of that exposure, however when it comes to your personal life, you have to deal with the drama that comes with it.
#PG: At what point in your career did you realize it was important to invest in other business ventures?
Rasheeda: Very early, you have to know with any business that it evolves. I started in music and it has changed. It is not the same business as when I started it. I realized that a long time ago, that when it comes to the business side of music, you should always have a plan A, B, C, and D. I knew that I wanted to eventually get into fashion and start a cosmetic line. I knew that TV was a good lane for me when music began to change. Now look, Atlanta is now a film and movie mecca, everything has changed.
#PG: Do you plan to expand your business?
Rasheeda: I do, but I am not rushing. There is a lot that goes along with having a successful boutique. With that being said, when you step into the next venture, you want it to be as successful or better than the first. I have a few cities in mind, but that will be in the near future.
#PG: In hindsight would you have gone the fashion route first over Hip Hop considering the success of your boutique in such a short amount of time?
Rasheeda: No, not at all. As a hip hop artist, my love for fashion came together as a business at the right time. It allowed me to become the woman that I am. I was inspired by hip hop and because of that, I have been able to express my love for fashion and have a great career with my fashion and beauty businesses.
#PG: What’s your next career move? Your hit bubble gum was in ‘08, will you be getting back in the studio?
Rasheeda: That is sweet, but I had a lot of songs since Bubblegum, that are hits too. I have been thinking about getting into the studio. A lot of people have been asking when I will be making more music, but my schedule always seems to be so hectic. I would like to get into my creative space like in Septemberish? It will be something cool and fresh.
#PG: What do you think about the state of rap today, particularly pertaining to female artists?
Rasheeda: There are never enough women in the business. I like that the females are out there and they are definitely doing their thing. You have Remy Ma and Nicki; you have Cardi B. and Trina; you also have Lil Kim and all of the underground artists that are doing their thing.
I don’t think that they are underrepresented. I just think that the playing field is different. Some of these men can get away with coming into the game looking like, girl I don’t even know, but it works for them. But for us, we have to be more polished, and down with a female movement. The women in hip hop can be catty because we don’t battle it out in the park. So yes, we have our moments, but there are times when we have to shut it down and be sisters.
#PG: Do you have a stylist? Your fashion sense is dead on!
Rasheeda: No, I don’t have a stylist and people ask me that all of the time. I also want to mention that I am the buyer for the store. I am not just the face for Pressed, I am online, I am on conference calls, I am doing so much for the store.
#PG: Who are your style inspirations?
Rasheeda: I have a problem with this because I get inspired by what I see that is not the norm. Like, I will go to Instagram like Unapologetic Dopeness. I love fly people like Karleusastar, she bad and she ain’t got no stylist! She is fly!
#PG: Beauty regimen? How do you remain looking so young and gorgeous? I need it all!
Rasheeda: I am flattered, thank you. My skin gets plenty of cocoa butter. I wear a lot of wigs because when it comes to television, I like to keep it protected because of all the flipping, etc. So, I keep it moisturized and conditioned and I always use a leave-in product. I don’t shampoo my hair to death because it dries it out!
#PG: How do you keep yourself in good spirits?
Rasheeda: I stay prayed up and when I feel down I spend a lot of time with my kids. My teen son will say something nice or my lil baby will run up on me and say, “Mommy, you so cute!” that really makes my day. Nothing else matters after that!
#PG: Are you taking care of your mental health just as much as your physical, spiritual, and emotional health? Knowing that you suffer from postpartum depression (PPD).
Rasheeda: I make sure that I have time for myself and finding that comfortable space in my life. I don’t have to run or hide from my issues, there is nothing wrong with sharing things because it helps to get it off my chest. Now I am at a point in my life where it is what it is and I am who I am. If you roll with me cool, it not, you don’t have to. Post-partum was a part of my life but I was able to get past it by talking to other people who also went through it. I was not alone and that was so helpful. You have to be the best person you can be.
#PG: What do you want your legacy to be?
Rasheeda: At the end of the day, I want people to bring up my name as a strong black woman that tried to set a good example, went after her goals and accomplished them. I want people to see my as poised and confident. I think that I have been my hardest critic and I have been able to accomplish a few of my goals but I am a work in progress and I have a long way to go. I like doing the vision boards because it helps me see what I have accomplished.
#PG: Any plans for writing a book?
Rasheeda: Absolutely, and #Pynkgirls will be the first to know.