I started Mocha Design Studio back in 2016. At the time I was living in a dingy apartment in San Diego, fresh out of the corporate world and eager to create opportunities for myself. I’d just quit working a marketing job at a small non-profit (which at the time was pretty much my only lifeline) because they were planning on hiring someone (to take a portion of my workload) and pay them nearly 2x what they were paying me. It was such a huge blow that I quit within 24 hours of the announcement and never looked back.
I bottled up all of the frustration and launched a bunch of e-commerce stores trying to prove to myself that I could be successful all on my own. Mocha Design Studio, an extension of my original Melanin Magic brand, was my very first store. I took the couple of dollars I had left, took a deep breath and launched apparel products from my original line. I had sales the next day. And by the end of the month, I’d earned more than my last 2 paychecks.
And ever since then, it’s been one hell of a ride. Being a serial entrepreneur and managing multiple businesses often meant that Mocha Design Studio didn’t get as much love as it could have. And even with everything going on, 3 years later Mocha Design Studio is still going strong. Here’s a short recap of the past few years:
- (2017) The clothing line that inspired Mocha Design Studio (and I’d pretty much abandoned once I opened Mocha Design Studio), sparked a frenzy when beauty Influencer Jackie Aina tweeted about our designs on White models
(Ours is on the left. If you're wondering why we put a black girl magic shirt on a white lady, read the article. We didn't get to choose the models. Each shirt type was limited to a specific model and the more affordable shirts happened to have white models 🤷🏾♀️)
- (2018 and 2019) We were featured in 2 apparel stores and had the opportunity to sponsor 2 events.
- (2018 and 2019) We went to Essence Fest TWICE at a private pop-up shop and even had a chance to meet Supa Cent
- (2018) Our following grew to over 10K on social media, thanks, Demand Virtual!
- (2019) We were featured in Essence twice! Once as one of their 10 Black Girl Power Tees That’ll Remind Everyone How Dope You Are in April and our "Trust Black Women" shirt was featured in an August 2018 article
- (2019) We partnered with a content creator to have our products featured in a short video
We’ve experienced and seen so much and I’m eternally grateful for all the support, opportunities and recognition we’ve seen over the years. I’m so excited for the future of this brand and to see where the coming years take us. Happy Anniversary @MochaDesignStudio