#ThatGirl Meets Shannon Rucker, Founder of Bag CrushFeb 03, 2023
Female CEO readers, today I bring one of my favourite encounters.
I purchased a custom leather handbag from a vendor on one beautiful November nearly four years ago. To be exact, I was at the biggest Doll Show in the country, facilitated by the incomparable Sandra Epps. As my daughters and niece scrolled through the venue, a snake-skinned leather clutch bag started talking to me from across the room. It's been my favourite bag ever since.
I met the designer, Shannon Rucker, and her beautiful daughter Arielle during the purchase. Their joy and customer service left a positive impression on me. Four years later, Shannon became a proud client of the Being That Girl Agency, and we found a sisterhood like non-other.
Our sisterhood and business relationship have been a match made in heaven. I love her luxury purses, and she appreciates how we help consult and market her brand. More than anything, we love each other's spirit, supporting other entrepreneurs and genuinely fostering collaborative relationships.
It made perfect sense to share her with The Female CEO tribe because we love women, business, and collaborations. Have you ever met a purse that could figuratively do the talking for you? Can your bag take you to the tales of the world on dates? I only experienced either once I started purchasing bags from Bag Crush. Without further ado, let's dive into the makings of Bag Crush and how a Fashion Designer went from prison bars to an unemployed felon to being one of Detroit's most sought purse designers.
#ThatGirl, Shannon "Hollywood" Rucker, is a Female entrepreneur and the owner of BagCrush, established in 2015. BagCrush is a brand of luxury items such as bags, purses, clothes, and wallets. Self-taught, Shannon began by creating clutch bags and eventually applied her talents to others. Shannon has demonstrated her artistic talents spanning the past three decades, working as a makeup artist and a nail tech. These experiences led her to expand her skills and start creating handbags.
"I believe this is my calling and passion," Shannon says, "and I'm here to obey and listen. I dream of opening my own manufacturing company in Detroit, MI, or the surrounding area. My goal is to be a household name worldwide, and I want to continue to create what my customers want."
Shannon says being an entrepreneur is significant to her. "I'm a felon, and this is an outlet for me," she remarks, "I put my all into my brand. I'm simply using the talents God gave me. Being a felon, it's a little harder to work for someone else but being an entrepreneur is a no-brainer for me. I don't have to work for anyone and can move how I want with my business. My brand means a lot to my customers because they know my back story and want me to win. They see how hard I work for my brand and the love I put into it."
Shannon's BagCrush products are available at www.bagcrush2015.com and sold at various stores throughout Metro Detroit, including Inspire Marketplace at Partridge Creek Mall, Village Art Gallery in Rochester Hills, Michigan, and Oakland Park's Boss Babes Boutique. She hopes to one day expand her line to stores throughout Michigan and other major cities across the United States, including high-end department stores. I caught up with Shannon to ask her a few questions about Bag Crush:
When did you become a fashion designer?
I became a fashion designer in 2014 and started making bow ties. In 2015 I branched out and became a handbag designer with my brand, Bag Crush. I'm self-taught and determined to build my brand from scratch. I have always been into fashion and doing my own thing, and I wasn't a big-name brand person. I can pull looks off that are affordable without breaking your pockets. It's not what you wear. It's how you wear it.
How are your handbags made? What fabrics or leathers do you use for your bags?
My handbags are custom-made, and I create the patterns, cut, and sew my bags. About a year and a half later, I began mass-producing my designs. However, I continue to offer custom orders. The client wants 'different,' and I provide that option.
What is your definition of an artist?
My definition of an artist is someone who is not afraid to take risks. An artist has a different eye than the norm. I'm a walking piece of art, and I'm not scared to be bold. We can put things together that some would probably not think of doing or are too afraid to do.
What is a day in Shannon's shoes? Wife, Mom, Fashion Mogul?
Balancing being a wife, mom, and fashion mogul can sometimes be challenging. I'm constantly making moves to build my brand. I balance out every aspect of my life. I am doing everything myself. Many hours of my day are contributed to my craft. My husband helps me as often as possible, and I appreciate his effort because every little bit helps. My main focus is to build generational wealth for my family. Right now, I have to put in long hours. Eventually, I can sit back and enjoy the benefits.
What are your genuine thoughts on sisterhood and collaborating over competing?
I'm a genuine person, so being able to collaborate with different sisters that are ready to build together is a blessing. There is nothing like sisters coming to do something great together and in the community. We need more sisterhoods, and we are stronger together. It's sad when we can't work together due to jealousy and hate.
What makes you #thatgirl?
I'm #thatgirl because I'm already ready to build with sisterhood. I love uplifting our sisters. I'm inspiring others to develop their brand and never give up. Many would have folded in my shoes. I didn't let the obstacles in my life stop me from making my mark on this world and helping as many as possible by watching my story. I AM #THATGIRL
Who has inspired you most in your life?
My dad inspired me the most. My dad has been the one person who has always had my back. He always told me I could do whatever I wanted in life. He was so very proud of me no matter what. Even now, he's in heaven, and he still inspires me. I'm inspired to keep making him proud and to be that boss/leader he always knew I could be. He always saw greatness in me. I will never let him down.
What's your best advice for entrepreneurs?
Never give up on your dreams. Don't dream small; DREAM BIG! Trust in your brand. Please don't get discouraged even when it's hard to keep pushing. Your hard work will pay off. You get out what you put into your brand. You have to put in the work. No excuses; do it!
Natasha Lee is a visionary, entrepreneur and advocate for all things SHE led. She has built businesses, raised a family and worked alongside some of the most inspirational women globally.
Her #ThatGirl brand is all about strong female leadership, and she wears what she preaches! Have you seen the red lipstick cute T-shirts?! From an early age (She was an 8-year-old DIVA) to the present day, she worked toward her dreams. Natasha doesn't allow anything to hold her back. You can read all about her journey to becoming That Girl here and if you want to ask her any questions drop into The Community
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