small business

Savvy & Chic Business Corner- Designs by Estell

Cherika Hart, the owner of Designs by Estell, is quietly and quickly taking over the trending craft of sewing and designing. Self taught, minus the one class she took at Joann's Fabric, Cherika's craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing considering she has only been sewing and designing for 10 months. With designs ranging from tea skirts, monogrammed clutches, maxi dresses, and even head wraps, Designs by Estell is a brand to be on the look out for!

Cherika Hart owner of Designs by Estell

When asked what inspired her to sew, Cherika states, "I have always wanted to sew but was afraid of the actual sewing machine itself. Watching my grandmother and aunt sew until they passed away was very inspirational to me. To see a piece of fabric become my uniform for school was like magic to me. Once I got older, I was so curious about sewing that I would look inside of my clothes to figure out how everything was attached to make the actual garment. However, I was still afraid of the machine. Until one day, I left a very depressing job that I could not take another day of. I decided that I would start selling bows to gather enough funds for a sewing machine. Bows turned into tutus, monogramming and bow hangers so the money came quicker than expected. September 2015, I knew this was not something temporary. I knew this was a passion that was buried in me for years. My husband decided then, at that moment I needed a logo and a name before we moved any further. Well…. Considering nobody knew my middle name but my close family, I decided it was time to break out of the shell of embarrassment. Yes for 30 years I was embarrassed that I was named after my grandmother, Estell. I lied to several friends about it. Because my grandmother was my inspiration to sew, it was only right, I carried her legacy on with OUR name."

In January of 2016, Cherika realized that this was more than a hobby/ penny pincher. "I actually felt good waking up and starting on projects and orders. It was refreshing!" Cherika started sewing different items and started receiving orders immediately. "It amazes me how far I have come in this little time but I know I have a long way to go in this industry. I’m excited to learn more so that my business will expand."

Her biggest challenge to date when it comes to running a business- "My biggest challenge at this point is stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new pieces. I’m more comfortable with creating skirts and little girls pieces more than anything. However, I have created dresses, rompers and peplums as well, which I find very challenging. I’m in a sewing academy now learning how to self-draft and I’m getting comfortable with making adjustments with commercial patterns." Cherika is also looking to expand her line to include items for tall women."It is hard trying to shop for apparel that really fits tall women. Most of the time, the real issue is the length. A maxi is not considered a maxi if it stops above the ankles, right? lol. It feels and looks funny. As a tall and slim woman it is frustrating when I see beautiful pieces to only try it on and be disappointed with the length."

We asked Cherika what's next for Designs by Estell "I  also plan to teach my daughter Joi Lei the basic of sewing because she seems to be very interested and curious like I was. The only difference is, she is not afraid. Her business will “Blossom” later.

For more info on Designs by Estell

Like Designs by Estell on Facebook 
Follow @Designsbyestell on IG. 

Small Business Saturday- Where to shop locally

Today is Small Business Saturday. Be sure to go out and shop small. Small Business Saturday was started by American Express on November 27th 2010. This campaign to increase sales in small businesses has been a success and continues to grow. Here is a list of local small businesses in Memphis that you can support today.

Style by L.Thomas

Style by L. Thomas offers personal shopping, style consultations, online shopping, and makeovers.

Dean of Fashion Glamtique is located at 5963 Summer Ave. Plus size fashion is their specialty. Beauty services are available also. 

Sweet Treats offers a variety of delicious chocolate dipped fruits. 

Located at 1586 Madison, HM Dessert Lounge offers a variety of sweet and savory desserts. 

Looking to book a intimate space for your next event? The Dizzy Bird is a great spot located at 652 Marshall Ave.

Is is a cupcake? No. it's a candle!!! The Candle Bakery located at 2838 Hickory Hill Ext. is full of great candles and sprays to freshen your home!

Savvy & Chic Business Corner- Serenity by Sonya


Wildberry handcrafted soap, bath bomb, and candle
Mango Butter, Pound Cake,  Passion Fruit, and Lemongrass.....these are just a few of the scents you can purchase at Serenity by Sonya. Serenity by Sonya is a lifestyle brand built by former Virginian housewife Sonya Holmes. As a housewife, Sonya had a love for candles and in 2009 turned that love into a business. She did so well with candles that she slowly added more items to her product line. Today her brand is booming and the addition of skin care products, jewelry, clothing, and shoes is making Serenity by Sonya a household name. 
Coconut Lime Bath Bomb

When asked what is the secret to her fast growing business, Sonya says-  I stick by my slogan : Every woman deserves a little Serenity. It brings me great joy and satisfaction seeing women happy with their purchase.

You can visit Serenity by Sonya at 1985 Kroger Rd. Suite 13c located In West Memphis, Arkansas.Also visit the website Serenity by Sonya