Ebony please tell us your talent/work rate per hour?
I am a shoe designer
Ebony. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
Ebony Monique grew up like most little girls, playing in her mother’s closet. Her love for shoes can be traced back to when she was two-years-old while most toddlers are busy getting into everything, Ebony was busy playing with her mother’s shoes, trying them on, falling in them and modeling them for anyone who would give her their attention.
Her love for shoes started her on a long journey to find stylish and affordable shoes. Each time a lovely pair of shoes caught her eye, she did what most shoe-crazed women do – Buy them! At one time, this led to Ebony seeking an extra bedroom just for shoes.
Ebony truly respects great shoe designers, but she has often wanted a shoe to have that special something to make it truly perfect.
Determined to locate that perfect shoe, she launched a shoe boutique in 2013. She never found it. Soon, she decided to fashion her shoe line and bring her vision to life. She started describing her ideal shoe in detail to sketch artists and began working with a manufacturer to fabricate affordable and quality shoes.
Her obsession for shoes has helped her create shoes with personality that all women and men will love. Ebony Monique's approach is to combine classic designs with a trendy and edgy approach. Ebony Monique's Men's Footwear is just as fashionable and well thought out. Ebony’s journey to becoming a shoe designer has truly been a labor of love. She has designed her shoe collection all while being a loving wife to her husband and proud and energetic mother of three, a toddler and twin infants.
Ebony holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, a master’s degree in communications management and is working toward her PhD in leadership and management with a focus on organizational change.
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Our readers would love to get to know you more Ebony. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I wear many hats. I'm an Emmy Award-nominated journalist who has spent more than 15 years working to produce provocative and creative content in Journalism, Broadcast Media, and Marketing. I currently host an online talk show, Just Chat.
I began my professional career working in the Production and Marketing Departments of some of Cleveland's top companies. Those professional successes drove me to the education field where I served as an associate professor at one of the local universities. I also am dedicated to the continuous improvement of myself and my community through my involvement in some organizations. As an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, I am heavily involved with public service events that help to mentor young men and women as well as those affected by poverty and/or lack of educational opportunities.
In July of 2012, I released my first book of short stories titled, "52 Weeks and Counting." I am currently working on two e-guides that will be released Fall 2018.
Ebony, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
I am dedicated to making a difference and becoming a trend setter. I don't believe in taking the road less travelled because that way I leave a footprint. My love for shoes runs deep. At one point in my life, I owned over 200 pairs of shoes. I opened my online shoe store in 2013. I bought other designer's shoe wholesale and then sold to my customers. I was not happy with that because it was not MY design. It was not MY creation. It was not MY quality. I felt like I was compromising myself to make a buck. I was not happy. This was when I began the journey of designing my shoe line.
Who is your inspiration in life Ebony? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration in life is my late grandmother. I affectionately called her my "golden girl." She was the woman who pushed me to reach as far as I could reach. And if I couldn't reach anymore, she said to get a ladder. On her death bed, she told me to never give up on my dreams and to keep "going. My mother is also my biggest inspiration. She is one of my biggest cheerleaders.
We all make mistakes Ebony; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Designer ; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
A potential customer wanted me to replicate a famous designer's shoe. I refused to. I think I handled the situation well, but, I should have reached back out and thoroughly explain why I could not.
Ebony , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
My life and careers have always been driven by deadlines. My days are always prioritized the night before, as well as my client's needs. Everything is placed in the manner of urgency and immediate need.
Please tell us, Ebony, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
Ebony, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
A customer was set on buying a particular shoe that I felt did not complement her well. It was one of the most expensive shoes, but she did not wear the shoe well as she was not comfortable wearing very high heels. I was able to convince her to buy a different shoe, with a lower heel, which made her look more confident and amazing. She is currently a repeat customer and lets me act as her shoe consultant.
Ebony, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
I launched my shoe line in August 2017. I had no idea how I wanted to launch or where to launch it. Through networking, I was able to meet some people in Charleston, South Carolina. They were so impressed with my work and personality that they decided to host my launch, and got me, several sponsors, to pay for it. It was a huge event. Charleston's local media covered it, and my shoes were worn by models.
Ebony, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Since I just launched, I have had just a few custom orders. One client wanted a basic black heel custom made to her size 13 feet. She was adamant about it being basic. What made it exciting also made it difficult. I had to think outside the box so that when people saw her wearing the heels, they knew they were "Ebony Monique's." How do I make a basic black heel creative? After much thought, I decided to add just a few of my signature spikes on the heel part of the shoe. The spikes were black, so they blended well with the shoe but was noticeable enough not to be labelled "a basic shoe." The client loved it.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?
Three words. Just do it. But also research your marketplace and who you want to appeal to. Also, research manufacturers. You're going to have a trial and error period, but don't get discouraged. The vetting process can be very discouraging if you let it.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Photographers, stylists, models, personalities, and store/boutique owners
Now for the best part Ebony! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Marla J Photography, Javet Blunt Photography