Stylist, designer, boutique owner, and proud Tennessee native Shatava Lindsey is catering to women of all shapes and sizes by creating clothing that sculpts each unique body type to perfection. She’s also empowering young black women everywhere by having the necessary conversations and reminding them that circumstances don’t determine their outcome. Shatava’s determination and creativity continues to showcases why she’s here to stay!

How do you find the inspiration when both styling and design? 

I started my fashion journey with a need to provide clothing for women that are curvy. As a curvy woman myself, I often found it hard to find clothing to fit me properly. I wanted to fill that void in fashion. Every time I design I stuck to the core of what my company represents, which is making sure I design and have clothes that fit all sizes amazing.        

Does it ever become tedious?

You know when you’re doing what you love, you endure it, so I don’t mind doing it at all. Oftentimes I go back and forth on what to design but putting together my ideas, helps me understand myself as a designer even more.

While building your fashion empire, how do you continue your mission to empower young women?

I feel it’s very important for young black girls especially to see successful women who look like them and come from similar humble beginnings. I want to mentor and empower them to believe that they can become successful despite any circumstances and just letting them know that it is possible. That’s why I donate prom dresses every year to high school girls in need from my stores because as a girl growing up it was hard for me to be able to afford those things. So I make sure I give back.

What has the impact been?

It’s been so amazing. Last year I received about 500 prom dresses, they ranged from $100 to about $1,000. These prom dresses were so amazing and seeing the faces of those girls when they received those dresses or hearing the thank you from their parents because they couldn’t afford to give the girls the dresses was such a big of an impact. It ended up in the news in Nashville, TN because it was on the news I had so many people donate wedding dresses and everything.It was amazing!

What can shoppers expect at the Runway Boutique?

Just a lot of fashion-forward designs again I sell custom so also if you need something custom made or if you see something online. Oftentimes people see something that they like and they can’t have, so we sew custom at the store. Not only do I hand select these items to ensure that they’re able to fit a wide range of sizes, but we also make sure that we’re sewing up these custom garments. If you’re going to a red carpet event, if it’s your birthday, or something special, you can come in and get that made for you.

How long does the process usually take to make an item?

It just depends on the type of garment and the fabric. I would say at the most two weeks. I do make prom dresses and wedding dresses so, of course,that would take about three to four weeks. Especially with wedding dresses, brides are always up and down in their weight so I try to wait until the last minute just to make sure it fits perfect.

What is one must-have beauty essential you must have?

My go-to is always a little eyeliner, just to make your eyes pop. I’m a person that likes to make eye contact so I have to make sure my eyes are on point. (Laughs) If not eyeliner, I would say a basic foundation, you know just going out and talking to different people, you always want to make sure you have that coverage. Those two are essential in just day to day.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m going to continue to host fashion shows at least twice a year. I do New York Fashion Week, both spring and fall shows. On top of that, here in Atlanta and in other cities as well, I definitely want to look into opening more Runway Boutiques. I like being in the boutique feel and being able to meet some women who have a need and want to find amazing clothing.

Along with showcasing my designs by collaborating with different fashion empires.

I also look forward to speaking at more universities, workshops, and panels. I’ve started doing more consulting, I’m teaching business owners how to set up and start their business. 

All images Courtesy of Shatava Lindsey

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