We want to take the time to celebrate Co-designer of Nina Monique Voluptuous Boutique Tiffany Sheppard’s birthday by sharing her story!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a 34-year-old daughter, sister, aunt and aspiring entrepreneur. I design clothes, do hair and makeup while retail helps pay the bills. I love the arts, music, dance, theater and museums. I believe as long as you can see their beauty to be found in the world.
2. What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
In 2009, I was one of the many people caught in the middle of a corporate layoff due to the national financial crisis. I was pretty much over the corporate world at this point and taking orders from people who don't know how to do your job functions or appreciate you for all you do so I happily accepted my severance package. And while home had a decision to make. Do I look for another corporate job or go back to school for something I'll actually enjoy I ended up going back to school this time to major in fashion design. It's something I've always been interested in even as a kid. Making clothes for my dolls and matching all my outfits. I've always had an eye for fashion and enjoyed staying up on all the latest trends. Initially, I wanted to be a stylist, but I wanted to learn about fashion from scratch
3. According to you what is your favorite part of being a fashion designer?
Honestly, I love the whole process. From conceptualizing the design. To the sketching then creating the samples and seeing the finished product. But if I had to choose it would be seeing the creation that was initially just in my head on a model or the person i created it for. It's like magic that I had a hand in. The feeling is so amazing.
4. Tell us a little bit about your background in the fashion world.
Well, I've always had a love for fashion, but I went to school for fashion design at wood Tobe Coburn and graduated in 2012. While I was there, I interned at Rebecca Taylor. The night of my graduation I actually met Nina Spain and eventually became a designer for Nina Monique Voluptuous Boutique. Currently, I am developing on my own clothing line.
5. What type of fashion styles do you like?
Growing up, I was very much a tomboy, so I definitely relate to a more casual chic kind of style. At least that's how I would describe my personal style. But I also love dresses. I love their beauty and how they enhance the beauty of a woman.
6. How do you stay up to date regarding the latest fashion trends?
The older I've gotten less concerned with what other people say or what is "on trend". Because I love fashion I still stay in the loop by buying magazines, watching TV, Watching and attending fashion shows when I am available. Also, walking the streets of New York is a daily fashion show.
7. Do you ever want to have your own clothing line?
I would love to have my own line. Working with other designers is an amazing learning experience. No matter how little or big your contributions is, seeing something you know you helped create come down the runway is one the most amazing feelings I have ever felt. To see a woman, walk down the street in something that I created that's all mines is a feeling I can't wait to experience.
8. If you could style any celebrity who would it be and why?
Taraji P. Henson!!! I think she's an amazing talented black actress. I love her style. Her looks are so sophisticated and chic, yet she can keep it casual and sexy too.
9. Besides designing clothes what else do you enjoy doing?
Besides designing clothes, I love to style hair. I went to cosmetology school and I also love the beauty industry. I really just love all things beauty and fashion. It is truly rewarding helping people feel good. And if that's a new dress or hairdo or beat face I'm all about it. I also really like to cook. I debated culinary school briefly for going into fashion.
10. How did you become inspired to do hair and makeup?
After high school I actually wanted to go to beauty school, but my mother wanted me to go to college, so I did. While I was in design school, I was thinking about how being an up and coming designer was very expensive and knew it would be helpful if I was able to handle the hair styling and makeup needs at photo shoots. When I completed my degree, I went to cosmetology school and while there I fell in love with makeup. So, I took some makeup classes at Nina Mua to become a certified makeup artist in 2016.
11. Which do you enjoying doing the most, Fashion designing, being a beautician or MUA?
If I had to choose, I would choose being a Makeup Artist. Whether you're just enhancing someone's natural beauty or creating a masterpiece on someone's face it's just amazing to see the transformation. And the joy on their face afterwards is just priceless.
12. In five to ten years what do you see yourself doing?
In five to ten years, I see myself with my own line selling in stores or in my own boutique. I plan to work with another business catering to makeovers, like a one stop shop for hair and makeup. And I'd also love to have a family. That would complete the dream of being a successful entrepreneur.