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

Hi Rhonda, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
No risk…no reward!

My move to New York City a year after college was a tremendous risk. I bid farewell to family and friends to move to a city where I didn’t know a soul.

My endless fascination with New York began as a young child and remained throughout my college years. I saw it as the adventure of a lifetime. Fast forward a few decades later, deciding to leave my job was a great deal risker, especially to start a business in an industry where I had no experience.

After years of working for The New York Times as an Advertising Director for The Home Section & T Design issues of the magazine the opportunity to resign presented itself in late 2013. Realizing it was now or never, I took the leap and left the following year. The decision to leave left me feeling exhilarated. I would be starting over in an industry I knew superficially.

After spending roughly two years on research and development in discovery, I quickly learned you need a support team because you can’t do it all, especially if you don’t have the expertise. Understanding no one knows women better than themselves, I hired women located in New York to create patterns, samples, and technical drawings. Simultaneously, I learned to navigate The New York City Garment District, which I found daunting but, undeterred in early 2016, I went into production with my first shirt. That same year, I applied and won my trademark without hiring an attorney. I still had miles to go before introducing my product to the marketplace. Realizing I could fail, I moved forward anyway.

The bigger the risk, the greater reward! I made plenty of mistakes on my journey to becoming an entrepreneur and will continue to make them, but it’s one of the best ways to grow. Older and wiser, I know without seeking new opportunities, life remains stagnant. With that said, it all depends on your tolerance for risk. Risk is relative and varies, depending on your career choice.  Inherently, creative fields come with immense uncertainty.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?

I’m a fashion designer of white shirts, inspired by classics and finely made garments of a bygone era. I create refined pieces for the lifestyle of modern women.

I developed a business devoted to designing tops for women in various shades of white. Subtle sophistication and clean lines with a contemporary feel are elements that best define my collection. Crafted in New York City and Peru these timeless garments will last for several seasons with proper care.

My style reflects a less is more attitude. Using beautiful fabrics and natural buttons with properly sewn seams enhances the longevity of a garment. I don’t resonate with the world of fast, trendy fashion that encourages overspending on poorly constructed pieces purchased year after year. Frequently they fall apart after one season. I believe women should purchase better-made garments they can enjoy wearing more than one season.

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?
DAY 1

– Breakfast/Coffee @ Daily Provisions on the Upper West Side – https://www.dailyprovisionsnyc.com
– MoMa Museum visit
– Casual lunch at the Terrace Cafe in MoMa
– Walking tour of 5th Ave Shops
– Visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center for the view

– Walk the High-Line
– Visit Chelsea Markets for lunch
– See Chelsea Art Galleries (Gagosian & David Zwirner Galleries)
– Visit the Whitney in the late afternoon

DAY 2

– Dinner at Pastis – https://pastisnyc.com
– Coffee at Mar Ze Dahr Bakery on Greenwich
– Tour the West Village
– Lunch at Pisellino Bar- https://barpisellino.com
– Walk around Washington Square Park
– Listen to jazz at Smalls – https://www.smallslive.com
– Late dinner at Buvette – https://ilovebuvette.com/eat-drink-newyork-location

DAY 3
– Coffee/breakfast at Breads Bakery – https://www.breadsbakery.com
– Visit The Planetarium in the morning
– Pick up lunch from Momoya http://www.momoyanewyork.com Sushi Bar to enjoy in Central Park
– Central Park (Cherry Hill section, Strawberry Fields, The Poets Walk & Balcony Bridge )
– Tour Harlem (The Studio Museum, Apollo Theater & Mount Morris Historic District for Architecture) in late afternoon
– Dine at the Red Rooster – https://www.redroosterharlem.com

DAY 4
– Coffee at la Colombe in the Financial District
– Morning visit to 9/11 Memorial & Statue of Liberty
– Lunch – pickup food from Eaterly and dine outside in Battery Park
– Tour the South St Sea Port
– Dine at Salinas Tapas Restaurant – https://www.salinasnyc.com/menu/ located in Chelsea

DAY 5
– Visit the Farmers Market in Union Sq (Pickup coffee/breakfast to eat in Union Sq. Park
– Tour the Flatiron District – Visit Gramercy Park
– Casual outdoor lunch at Bedford Cheese
– Hop on the subway and head to Nolita & Soho for shopping
– Early pre-theatre dinner at BlueBird
– See a Broadway show or take in the ballet at Lincoln Ctr in the evening
– Late-night cocktails at Dantes- https://www.dante-nyc.comin the West Village

DAY 6
– Breakfast at All Day Bakery
– Visit Botanical Gardens
– Dinner at The Union Sq Cafe

DAY 7

– Rescue Spa – https://www.rescuespa.com/newyork/ (tine to relax and rejuvenate)
– Picnic in Riverside Park, weather permitting
– Pick-up chocolate on the upper west side from Kees Chocolates to give as
souvenirs – https://keeschocolates.com. The New York Times said it’s possibly the best in the world.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

No one has influenced me more than my mother, a kind, gentle woman with a background in business. My mother encouraged me to follow my dream for as long as I can remember. Although she passed several years before I started my business, her wisdom and words of encouragement remain with me always.

My mother influenced my style and the person I am today. Not only did she encourage me to follow my dreams but she taught me the value of hard work and responsibility.

I also owe a debt of gratitude to my daughter Victoria, a talented film producer who designed my website. No one understands my vision and brand better than she does.

A big thanks to Vicente Wolf, an extraordinary interior designer who permitted me to photograph my website in his beautiful home. He and his team have always been very supportive.

Website: https://rhondacole.com/pages/welcome

Instagram: rlc_nyc

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.