How a creative solopreneur brings vibrant mixed-media designs to life
QUÈLLYRUE owner, Racquèl Dwomoh, offers unique handcrafted afro-chic items, ranging from housewares to paintings and accessories. The mixed-media apparel line is a personal and ancestral offering of love intended for anyone interested in original, vibrant designs that bring a piece of the artist right into their homes.
Mashable caught up with Racquèl to discuss running a business while being a busy mother of three, creativity, and how Epson’s EcoTank ET-4850 printer helps her stay on top of balancing the demands of her growing family and business. The multi-layered artist, who puts quality above all else, gives her stamp of approval for the zero-cartridge waste and family-friendly tech tool.
Self-taught solopreneur and artist
Inspired by her upbringing in Ghana, Racquèl's handcrafted pieces combine different mediums, ranging from fabric, cowry shells and beads, to acrylic paint. Her love of texture involves sewing and stitching to express the edges of herself, making her three-dimensional art technique reflect unique designs bursting with color. The artist takes inspiration from her mother’s do-it-yourself attitude to make each item unique and special for her clients.
Racquèl taught herself to crochet and through the encouragement of friends and family, she began QUÈLLYRUE as a small shop on Etsy. From there, she began to partner with Curly Girl Collective to market her brand at CURLFEST®. You may have previously shopped her collection at the Brooklyn Museum, MoCADA, and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. These opportunities, she described, were great for artists like herself to gain more exposure, build even stronger relationships with clients, and sell her products.
Turning hobby into business
Racquèl has been an ardent businesswoman for over a decade now, driven by her passion and the love that radiates from it. Through her handmade pieces, she enjoys the opportunity to share her craft with those around her, inspiring them to do what they love for a living. QUÈLLYRUE also serves as an empowering example to Racquèl’s children, as she encourages them to explore new realms fostered by the self-determination that comes from believing in yourself first and foremost.
“It is important for me to have time with my children,” Racquèl said. “And for them to see me doing something, creating and being productive, while also teaching them how to use their imaginations and their creative ambitions. We do a lot of projects together and also use the machine for school projects.”
As a mother of three children all under the age of six, setting a schedule and planning are key ingredients to running a successful business. Racquèl uses the early hours of the day to work and plan her day before her children wake up.
Running a business with ease from the comfort of her home
Creating an environmentally-conscious workspace is essential for Racquèl. The Epson EcoTank's refillable ink bottles have an ultra-high yield and are free of plastic cartridges, enabling Racquèl to avoid the need for frequent ink replacements. After all, the last thing a creator wants to do when they’ve hit their flow is stop to replace a fussy ink cartridge.
“The overall quality and speed of the printer are great,” she shares. “The prints and vibrant colors from the ink enables me to print the range of documents I need from colorful promotional flyers showcasing my artwork to business docs and prints needed for my kids’ school projects. With this printer, I’m able to check the quality of my work prior to offering my customers high-grade prints. This is also key for me since many of my mixed media canvas paintings have an array of textures and dimensions which I want to translate on paper prints.”
Racquèl creates prints in the form of stationary, postcards, bookmarks, and stickers. The variety of paper options that Epson offers helps her proof the quality of her work and play around with the design before giving it her stamp of approval.
The EcoTank is also quiet, which is an essential aspect of Racquèl’s schedule, as it allows her to print at the dawn hours of her quiet work time without waking the family up. And as an added bonus, the EcoTank is compact, leaving more room on the desk to layout the design for comparison of quality or color.
Setting boundaries is the name of the game
For young mothers seeking to kickstart their business from home, Racquèl advises setting schedules and boundaries to give time and space to the hustle and also to nurturing children’s creativity. But most importantly, to not be afraid to reprioritize when necessary. No matter where you may be on your own entrepreneurial journey, Racquèl has these words of wisdom to offer:
Have patience, go easy on yourself, keep positive, and have fun on the journey.
Check out QUÈLLYRUE to add a splash of vibrant artwork to your walls, and while you’re at it, make sure you’ve got the right tech tools to never run out of ink while you’re scheming up your own business ideas.