Stories About Pretty Things

Wasn't born yesterday

  • By Alisha Thomas
  • 1 comment

Wasn't born yesterday

Ruby Assata wasn't born yesterday. It was really born on August 3rd, 2010. I had just been rejected by two grad schools and all I wanted to do was make bags. I moved into my parent's house because my dad had an industrial sewing machine I could use.

I started a blog that day and blogged almost every day for a year. This was before I had an iPhone or Instagram. I had to take all the photos with a real camera and upload and edit them every day. I documented my design process, inspirations and life.

alice bag ruby assata

Everything was going pretty okay and then my best friend Courtney Bridgers jumped aboard and made it magic! She had just finished school, was seeking work in the film industry, but had not yet landed a steady gig. We lived with my parents and made bags day and night. We had a fashion show in Charlotte that was really amazing. Had a website and sold Ruby Assata in a few boutiques. 

courtney and alisha girls jumping

We had a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising enough money to get our own industrial sewing machine.

ruby assata flyer

Feeling awesome, Courtney, my new boyfriend and I moved to Wilmington, planning to keep making bags and also getting side jobs to help pay the bills. Within a week of being in Wilmington, I quickly got caught up in the whirlwind of Freaker USA - a local knit bottle insulator startup. They had just finished their own Kickstarter campaign and needed someone to help fulfill the rewards.

freaker office

One thing led to another - I ended up being part owner, running operations, getting married and rarely designing bags.

courtney film

Courtney, being the magical being she is, was scooped up by the film industry where she bosses all the camera guys around.

alisha pink pretty

In 2017 I left the Freaker I helped build to go back to what I love, designing and making accessories. I couldn't be more thrilled to be back at the machine being frustrated for half of the day that I can't get my thread tension they way I want it.  

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