Last but not least from my 2013 archives.
C Dyann: Tell us about yourself and Sparkle Allure.
Sparkle Allure: My name is Tonya Duckett and I am a Registered Nurse from Los Angeles, CA that loves bling, sparkle and anything over the top. If it can be blinged out, I will try and do it. I see rhinestones everywhere on everything. Sparkles Allure is my company that customizes cell phone cases, make-up brushes, shoes, and clothes with rhinestones or glitter. I love for everything I have to sparkle on it, once I saw a cell phone case that had small objects glued on it, I was very intrigued and said ‘I want that’. I started seeing other cases that where embellished and said to myself, I can do that. The cases looked so personal and something no one else had. So I researched how to construct the cases and realized I have been doing this to other things all along…it was a natural progression. Friends and strangers started asking for cases, for me to make them custom shoes and computer covers and my company was born. Everything is made to order and one of a kind but a few select projects can reproduced upon request.
C Dyann: Since I’ve known you, you have loved sparkly things – rhinestones, sequins, glitter. Were you born that way or did you just see some glitter in the store and decided that everything should shine?
Sparkle Allure: When I was young in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I would love watching old black and white movies. Old Hollywood was so glamorous to me as a child, I wanted to wear feather boas, sequined costumes and formal gowns all the time. If it had ruffles, or some kind of embellishment I wanted to wear it. My mother used to sew and make clothes, and she would take me to the fabric store with her…there I would see sparkles, rhinestones, and all kinds of textured fabric and I loved everything that sparkled. I guess you can say that’s when I really fell in love with sparkly things or fabric embellishments. As I got older I just would always find myself wanting things to sparkle or glitter, my shoes, my clothes, my purse, furniture, I could see bling in everything.
C Dyann: You have a great eye for color and style – were you formally trained or did you just pick it up naturally?
Sparkle Allure: I am self-taught, I don’t have any formal training. I watched my mother as a child when she would sew and I would beg her to show me how to construct clothes. I took basic sewing classes in school to learn how to make basic things on a sewing machine but nothing beyond that. If I wanted a certain outfit or wanted a particular look, I learned how it was made and I did it myself. I would read craft books and spend time in the crafts stores trying to learn about products. I spent a lot of time taking clothes apart and putting them back together. When I had children I wanted my daughters to do baby pageants so I could dress them in ruffles and rhinestones. I wasn’t able to do it but the desire never left me. I would dress them in the frilliest most ruffled dresses I could find and applied rhinestones with a glue gun to everything. I had rhinestones on books, shoes, furniture, jars – anything I could get them to stick too.
C Dyann: I know you are just getting started with Sparkle Allure. Where do you plan to take your enterprise?
Sparkle Allure: With God’s grace I see my company ultimately making clothes and crafts not just cell phone covers. Possibly doing costumes or making custom clothing pieces. I love transforming shoes and making them look totally different and unique. I love to sew and I still find myself looking at clothes and wanting to make them.
C Dyann: Our country has seen some difficult economic times, and a lot of people are turning to what they love to do as a way of making ends meet. Do you have any advice for anyone who might be looking for way to launch their brand or start a business?
Sparkle Allure: I am still so new to this business world. The best advice I would have for someone starting is, do your homework. Read, read and then read some more. Doing something you love doing make it easy and less like work. If you love what you are doing, you will have a passion for it and find yourself wanting to do it all the time. Know your product; know your market and who you want to sell to. With the new era of social media, learn how to use this to your advantage and market yourself and your product. It takes time and patience to grow; you just have keep working at it and have faith that God will bless you and your hard work.
C Dyann: Where can potential customers contact you?
Sparkle Allure: My email address is Sparkleallure@gmail.com, and I’m planning to have a website in place in the near future.
C Dyann: I just want to thank you for your time! Definitely enjoyed speaking with you and I know that you will be a great success.