CLOSE UP: Telsha Anderson
The first time that I met Telsha, she was working for a PR company, and my immediate thought was “who is this gorgeous girl?” I instantly gravitated towards her energy, as she was so incredibly kind, and gratuitous. Now knowing even more about her, I see how this also translates to her ambitions, innovations and successes in her career.
Telsha has launched her most exciting venture yet, t.a.
t.a. is a unique luxury concept store right in New York's Meatpacking district that provides products that present a renewed outlook towards luxury living, and features brands from all over the world. While Telsha had initially planned on opening her IRL store in March, the unexpected circumstances of a global pandemic forced her to restructure her launch, providing her the opportunity to create a truly unique and impactful online presence. Now with her Meatpacking store officially opening its doors last week, we spoke to Telsha about the opening and making the most of unexpected circumstances!
EJ: Hi Telsha! Well the day has finally arrived, the official IRL opening of t.a. New York! How are you feeling?
TA: I'm blessed! I haven't had a chance to take it all in yet, there's so much happening at once and everyday presents a new task. I'm grateful for all the love and support that t.a. has gotten thus far and am looking forward to seeing how it develops. I believe in a month or two, I'll take a second and it'll all hit me.
EJ: What has it been like opening a new store in the midst of a global pandemic, and have you encountered any unexpected opportunities or silver linings as a result?
TA: The pandemic was 100% not expected. The plan was to open our doors at the top of March 2020 and move forward from there. When COVID-19 hit and the state was given orders to close, I immediately pivoted towards launching our e-commerce site and built it myself in 24 hours. The original plan was also to create an in-store experience and guide shoppers towards internal buying and suggestive styling through the merchandising and layout. I took the original idea and presented it online and on our social media. Launching online has allowed us to create an online community and introduce shoppers to our offering and story prior to opening our doors IRL. I've encountered several unexpected opportunities and am looking forward to more.
EJ: How would you describe t.a. New York, and its mission?
TA: t.a. is intentional. I aimed to create a brand matrix that was not only contemporary but had a direct approach to luxury women's wear. As a consumer, it's important to know where your dollar is going and who it's going to, especially in regards to fashion.
EJ: What were some of your inspirations in developing the store?
TA: My Mom was a huge inspiration for the store, her closet had some of the best pieces I've ever seen in my life. It was well organized, intentional, and most importantly it was fun. Her closet showcased designers from all over the world and was a direct representation of her lifestyle and body type. I wanted to take those elements and incorporate them into t.a.
EJ: How did you go about curating t.a. ny and selecting which designers/brands you wanted to include?
TA: Research! Research! Research! A lot of brands featured at t.a., I had become familiar with prior to the idea of opening t.a. and once the vision began to grow into something concrete, I reached out and developed relationships with designers and showrooms. I'm fortunate to have had creatives interested in not only having their designers showcased at a New York retailer but also interested in getting to know my background and vision.
EJ: Are there any Black designers or Black owned brands featured at t.a, that we should know about!?
TA: Wesley Harriott & William Okpo are both Black designers currently in-store and they're incredible. Their approach to design alongside the fabrication of the product is something I believe everyone should have in the closet.
EJ: What are some of your goals for t.a. moving forward, and how would you like to see the store grow?
TA: I'd like to continue to feature up-and-coming designers in-store and online. My favorite part of opening our doors this far has been talking to customers about the brands we have a t.a. and in turn having them introduce me to new designers.