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Meet Trailblazer Arrica Afton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Arrica Afton.

Arrica, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I had been in the fashion industry for years designing and upcycling from vintage textiles and always wanted to create a brand that was fully sustainable, focused on giving back and helping others to grow.

There was a time in my life where it felt I was losing everything. Overcoming adversity made me so much stronger and more patient with everything in life. It was an extremely traumatizing period, however, I became a better version of me by experiencing all of it.

I decided after this period of my life that I would create healing through art program that would be a spin-off to what I was already creating as a designer. I originally launched a denim project where trauma survivors would paint, distress or embroider denim to help them cope and heal.

I have now taken the brand further creating all types of garments and anything art related. Everything is still created by trauma survivors but we also strive on working with displaced families to help them perfect their craft and provide for their family.

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?
Definitely not. I did not have start-up funds and being a “single” mom, so to speak, was rough trying to start a business. You really have to market yourself and that is hard to do with a baby. My eldest child was my right hand. I couldn’t have done it without her. She was right there with me at all the markets and events. I am surprised we haven’t pulled out backs out yet from all the loading for traveling events we have done.

My advice, do not count on your friends or family to support you first. Do not get offended and stay focused. Share your why with your customers and audience. They will support you. DO NOT DO IT FOR THE MONEY! If you take your passion and only chase the money, it will burn you out.

It is not an easy road, but it is rewarding and gives you the luxury of creating the life you want to live.

We’d love to hear more about CECE + TAME.
We are most known for the famous “VINTAGE LEVI MOM JEAN” Oh ya, that jean that compliments everyone in all the right places. Probably because that is the jean we started with.

We do pride ourselves on only using vintage or recycled textiles. We are huge on the fashion footprint and do not want to leave our bruise on the planet.

Another one of our core beliefs is and probably what we are most proud of is all of the work that goes into each garment is handmade by a trauma survivor or a displaced mama trying to support her family.

What sets us apart from others is our designs, you will never find us copycatting or stealing designs since they are created by different artists nothing will ever be the same… and well everyone wants to be different.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Absolutely! My mother was a single mom after being a stay at home mom for 20 years. Watching her struggle and overcoming that was a huge role model for me. She told me one day, she chose the landscaping industry because she knew she had to make a “MAN’S MONEY” to support us. So, she literally went out there and worked like a man- blood sweat and tears. It was rough seeing that sometimes but it humbled me and helped me understand that you can overcome anything and nothing is permanent.

She was always taking us thrifting and garage selling because well, shopping for 5 girls wasn’t cheap. She was always dressed so elegantly and looked like a million bucks and had us looking just as sharp.

This taught me to be frugal with my money, not to waste it on “things”. That helped me tremendously once I fell upon my own financial struggles later in life.

Pricing:

  • Most custom work $45-$65
  • Only the nest vintage denim sold $125
  • We take on any project, including full art installations.

Contact Info:

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

Image Credit:
First 2 images are taken by photographer Faubricio (instagram @faubriicio ) Model ( Alexandria Martinez Instagram @Alexandra.e.m founder of @a.list7 )

Second image taken by photographer Sofia Emm (Instagram @itssofiaemm )

Third Image taken by photographer Layla- Yasmine Hillail (Instagram @_lezuphotography) the first one to ever capture me as a hijab woman, so this was very special to me.

 

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