We had the good fortune of connecting with Caeresa Richardson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caeresa, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
During my corporate engineering career in I learned skills that continue to be helpful to me as an entrepreneur. I wanted to start my own business because I wanted to contribute to our communities in an impactful way. I personally wanted to figure out how to align my consumer habits with my values. As I became a more conscious consumer I realized that there were other women like me. I created Ecodessa to empower and encourage other women to support brands that align with their values.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Ecodessa is a retail company dedicated to purpose driven sustainable fashion brands. We seek to empower women to support brands that align with their values.

I created Ecodessa initially as a Popup shop and our brand has grown to include our first brick and mortar showroom as well as virtual and in person events. Through this I work hard to give our customers the tools and information that they need to make conscious consumer decisions.

Opening a business during the pandemic has been very difficult. The main challenge has been financial as much of the support available to business owners does not typically apply to startup business owners.

Resilience is important as an entrepreneur and key to your success in difficult times like this. Finding creative solutions to get access to capital to sustain and grow my business during this time has been key to my ability to continue in business during this difficult period of time.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Finger Lakes region of NY is a beautiful place to vacation. I always encourage anyone visiting NY state to ensure that they visit Niagara Falls, take a wine tour in the Finger Lakes wine region, and enjoy at least one night of camping. My favorite lake in the finger lakes is Keuka and my favorite place to go “glamping” is at Firelight Camps in Ithaca, NY.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are so many people, namely Black women, who have been essential to my successes to date. My older sister, Shequeila Birdsong, has been my lifelong mentor, friend, and role model and I definitely attribute much of my success today to her and the example that she provided for me as a young girl.

Website: www.ecodessa.com

Instagram: @shopecodessa

Other: Ecodessa hosts their monthly sip and shop on the Third Thursdays of each month at 7PM EST live on Instagram and Facebook @shopecodessa join them for a night of fashion and fun and shop along at www.ecodessa.com

Image Credits
Photographer: Alice G. Patterson Models: Angelica Smith, Donnie Monk, Amanda Hughes, Ashley Mcleod

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.