Written by: D’Shonda Brown
The #ShopBlack Interview Series is a new installation that shines light upon budding and booming Black-owned businesses ran by millennials and Gen-Z’ers who are heavily influenced by hip-hop culture. Introducing Sonique Saturday, the boss babe behind SoniqueSaturday, a brand of bags, shirts and more galore from the social media maven, designer, stylist and creative director herself. Read below the in-depth interview between D’Shonda Brown and Sonique as the boss chicks talk about the importance of balance in freelance life, the competitive space for a Black woman and an endorsement from the one and only Amber Rose.
Hey, Sonique! Thank you for your interest in speaking with me about you and your business. I’m super excited because I’ve been watching your business so closely for a while. Why don’t you give us the rundown of who Sonique Saturday is, and how she got her start?
Absolutely, thank you for having me! There are so many thoughts that run through my head when asked to answer a question like this. But I want to make it clear that, I’m a creative first. I like to create products that make people feel confident in (almost overly confident). Over the years, my handbags and other products have made people feel ‘cool’, and I’d love to continue making people feel the coolest for the rest of my life.
I’m such a huge advocate for mental health, and as a full-time freelance entrepreneur, I know the struggles of stretching myself too thin and wanting to do everything for everybody. In your “About Me” section on your website, you say that Saturday is your day. With the recent discovery by medical professionals that burnout is actually a diagnosable condition, what is the importance of balance and positive mental health when running a business?
Balance is everything to me! It’s the way that I’m able to multitask between so many creative ideas & actually execute them. As an entrepreneur, I think proper planning and creating boundaries in the beginning stages of building a company will eliminate half of those worries. Things like overthinking, overworking, stress, diet, and the lack of sleep can cripple your brand instantly. I’ve had my fair share of over-scheduling my calendar or committing to more projects than I can handle – my advice is to always put your health first, not yourself but your HEALTH. To aid in my mental health I have to plan days off, take power-naps, eat something healthy, or just do something that I enjoy with no regard to work. When I’m relaxed and in a great place mentally, I come up with my most genius ideas. When I’m relaxed, I feel healthy and whole.
Now, in the handbag and accessory space, we have Burberry, Gucci, COACH and now SoniqueSaturday! With the handbag and accessories space being mainly ran by Caucasian men in their late 40s to early 50s, how difficult as a woman of colour is it to find your footing and still find the space to be unique and yourself? Is it more difficult to find a seat at the table, or to build your own?
If I were to start my company with the thought that, the majority of my competitors were middle aged white men, I would have never gotten started. Doing something that was extremely challenging wasn’t within my thought process at all, instead I was extremely excited and I let that drive my motivation. I think this is why dreaming is so important because when you’re dreaming you don’t have time to live in reality. Everyday I work towards my dream, and my dream was never having a seat at the table. Instead, I’d rather build a table with creatives from all different backgrounds, and foster longevity within those spaces for generations to come. Generational wealth/ownership and financial freedom, that’s the goal.
Back in the day, people would always claim that you could tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse. I think you do this differently and more defiantly in the sense that your statements are made on the outside of the purse with statements like “Thug Life,” “New Year Still Bored,” “Tampons Should Be Free,” and “Don’t Stay In Touch”. I mean, honestly your collection is an entire mood. How do you want customers to feel when they get your hands on one of your items?
I want my customers to feel the way I do when I’m making their handbags. The ‘butterflies in my stomach’ feeling always comes over me when I create a new slogan or find a new fabric – it’s what keeps me alive! It keeps me inspired and free! I want my customers to feel that same freedom when they wear my handbags. It’s liberating and I take pride in that.
Okay, so obviously, I can’t interview you without hyping you up and reading a few of your receipts. Yung Miami from City Girls was seen with your “Flewed Out” bag, which was super cute. Amber Rose was seen wearing your famous “You Fake Like This Birkin” bag and made the Internet go crazy figuring it out where she got it from. What was that moment like when you saw your designs in the hand of someone like Amber Rose?
I nearly died to say the least. The funny thing is, Amber wore her bag the same day she got it! She genuinely loved it and wore it like it was her favorite handbag, which is something I still gag over today. Anytime someone wears any of my products and they actually appreciate the process, the design, and the product itself, it makes me feel as if I’m the luckiest girl in the world. It’s always nice to have high-profile clients, but I treat every customer equally! Whether you’re Amber Rose, or Jennifer from up the street, as long as you understand my brand, and identify with the freedom in self-expression, I’ll forever be inspired to continue to create products that shape or change the culture.
Speaking of influencers such as Yung Miami and Amber Rose, what has been the influence of hip-hop, or even popular culture in general, in the creation of your pieces?
Hip-hop has always been a huge influence in my creativity and the same goes for pop culture. I’m very much a product of my generation so it’s important that I keep my ear to the streets, and know what’s going on around me and strategically figure out how to incorporate that into my creative process. With that being said, I feel like it goes both ways. As a street style influencer, hip-hop and pop culture are inspired by us as well. In this digital age we live in, larger brands are more influenced by micro-influencers than ever before. They have so much free access to what’s popular, and what will sell – and they get it from people like myself and my peers; regular people living out loud.
What’s next for SoniqueSaturday? Your “I Hate Everybody I Work With” shirt absolutely sent me and I wish I had that shirt a few jobs ago! Do you plan on expanding more on apparel, are there new bags coming soon, any collaborations we can look forward to?
It’s funny that you mentioned that, it’s my favorite shirt of all time, I wear it everyday although I love my team. But to answer your question, YES! I’m working on new handbags and new merch. I’m also excited about releasing my famous nail art on my very own press on nail collection that’ll be releasing this summer. I’m constantly creating so I’ll just say sign up for my newsletter to keep up!
SoniqueSaturday can be found on Instagram, @SoniqueSaturday and, you can also learn more about her and shop the line now available for purchase online at www.soniquesaturday.com .