We had the good fortune of connecting with Takara Beathea-Gudell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Takara, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
I’ve found ways to impact the community with art accessories that initiate action. During the election process, I created a VOTE Collection that ship nationwide. Knowing the importance of the “Woman’s Vote” I created a series of accessories using the “O” in vote as the female sign, similar to Prince using the male sign. We used the VOTE Collection to mobilize the community and beyond to get out and vote!

Currently, I’ve designed a “Vaccinated” pin to wear as a badge of pride. It’s a check mark with an engraved “vaccinated” indicating that you’ve checked it off your list – I’ve been vaccinated. Again, we’re shipping nationwide and making available wholesale to business owners to encourage their customers. Together we put the pandemic in check!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I think of my career, what has set me apart from others is the ability to pivot. I’ve been able to create products that represent the current time. Whether it’s clothing, totes, accessories or home goods, I design relatable products. I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve developed over the years with my customer base. Being authentic and reachable has shown to be a measuring stick for truth and understanding.

I’ve been able to overcome the challenges of my career by keeping one foot ahead of the other . I’m proud that I’m still moving and relevant, that what I design matters.

Lessons I’ve learned along the way, be true to you first and your brand second. Stay focused on your message to the world, sing your song and the world will recognize the authentic melody. It’s easy to copy an artist that has the spotlight upon them, I’ve chosen to create the light by being the light.

I’m Takara and I am what you see – I’m an artist that’s been at it for over forty years and watching my career shift, a mom of an adult woman, a daughter of a mom scrambling with the onset of dementia and a wife that appears to have limited time for her husband after the day ends. Seeking balance to handle it all and the constant feeling of exhaustion during this pandemic.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
During the pandemic I’ve missed the museums, galleries, restaurants and people watching. Simple things like smelling cut grass and hearing the chatter of people laughing. I would seek out the small mom and pop restaurants to support and local businesses. It’s important to get those businesses back on their feet, it’s what makes a community feel it’s connection. I so miss LIVE jazz and feeling the breeze on my face as I dine alfresco.

Small conversations with strangers and of course the smile … I really miss the smiles of America! Someone should create an exhibit of smiles. I sure would attend and offer my smile for exhibition.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest shoutout is to my customers and social media followers – They’ve kept me going when I’ve been in dark places of questioning. Their words of encouragement has been valuable to my creativity and the direction in which I’ve taken. I joined a few groups that have also lead me to unanswered questions regarding materials and ideas.

Honestly, it’s been difficult to get support and mentorship – It appears I give the impression that I have it together in all areas of my life. Which is the furthest from the truth, when I reach out for mentorship, it’s seems to be a blank stare and I’m referred to someone else. I often walk away scratching my head –

Website: shoptakara.com

Instagram: Takara Designs

Facebook: Takara Beathea-Gudell and Takara Designs

Youtube: Takara Deisgns

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