Raquel Leid is an avid fashion enthusiast in relentless pursuit of excellence in her field hailing from the picturesque island of Grenada. From childhood, she knew that she wanted to be involved in the fashion industry in some impactful way. With respect to her area of expertise, she is a self-taught fashion designer, stylist and creative director with a keen eye for design and detail. She has had over 6 years of management and organizational expertise garnered from her tenure as a Cert I English Teacher at The Anglican High School. She functions as head of the Always Leid creative team directly overseeing the day to day operations of the business and creative direction. Raquel is scheduled to begin her formal fashion education with a series of certifications at the University of the Arts London, beginning January 2018.
SB-C: Tell us the story behind your business. Where did it all begin? RL: In 2013, I started Always Leid because I was finally ready to let the world see my take on fashion, while inspiring and empowering others to stay true to themselves and use fashion as an avenue of self expression.
SB-C: Whilst growing up in Grenada did you always know you would work in fashion? RL: My love for fashion has been a core part of me ever since I was a little girl. I always knew that one day I’d be deeply involved in the fashion industry in some impactful way.
SB-C: What is behind your name "Always Leid?" RL: I wanted to create reputable brand renowned for encouraging individuality and non conformity . "Always Leid" is a play on the my last name "Leid" (pronounced ‘lead’). I believe the brand name within itself is a subtle, yet powerful reminder to our clients to unapologetically set trends and stand out.
SB-C: How has Grenada inspired your designs? RL: I believe that the experiences I’ve had growing up in Grenada paired with my obsession with the 90’s has curated my design aesthetic uniquely to a point where I can merge the two to create pieces that make my clients feel like they have an ‘island experience’ wherever they are in the world.
SB-C: Tell us about your latest collection Mt. Sealey? RL: Perfect for today’s bold and daring Caribbean woman, woman from the Diaspora and the woman who loves the Caribbean. Our Summer 2017 Capsule Collection, Mt. Sealey Garden is inspired by and dedicated to my late grandfather’s garden that he took so much pride in tending to. Mt. Sealey Garden is bursting with a myriad of color,tropical prints and a festive Caribbean vibe.
SB-C: What do you think it takes for Caribbean fashion Brands to go global? RL: A plan (or multiple ) of action, innovation, funding and the determination to succeed.
SB-C: Where would you like your business to be 5 years from now? RL: We aspire put to out annual capsule collections and signature pieces that will be featured at trade shows, major fashion events and retailed in stores that carry unique, fashionable pieces. We also hope to have a wider client base ranging from fashion forward clients to celebrities/influencers.
SB-C: What advice do you have for other women who are starting out new in business? RL: Find what you are passionate about, develop a strategy, invest in yourself and your brand and stay focused! Also! Try not to mix your personal funds with the business’ funds; let your business sustain itself. It’s sometimes difficult as an entrepreneur, but I try my best not to let the two spill over into each other.