Today we’d like to introduce you to Natasha Hunter.
Natasha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my business many years ago (I think it was 2007) while on Active Duty in the United States Navy. I then moved to Maryland and was attached to a deploying unit that went to Afghanistan, so I had to stop. Fast forward to 2014, fighting depression with a two-year-old and my cousins who were visiting from out of town, we’re going through my storage. They came across a box of unsold shirts and were like “Uh, what are you doing?!? These are hawt you need to get going again!??” So, I did. The in-between from there and now is a blur. Just a lot of work and sacrifice!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Smooth road??! LOL! What IS that?! Seriously, there’s been so many bumps along the way: Ideas that weren’t as hot as I thought they were, models not showing up for shoots, shipments being lost, money mysteries, a little bit of everything. However, if you are embarking on this journey, I suggest you adopt an “attitude of alternates” right away. Basically, by that, I mean just remain ready to have to switch up from your plans at any given moment and roll with what you got. You cannot fall in love with your plan, fall in love with your purpose. You will need that focus to overcome any challenges you may – nah WILL face in serving it. It took me a while to develop that understanding, and when I use it- I feel amazing and amazing things happen!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I specialize in apparel for women/children of color. I’m known for my “Chocolate Chick” tees although we offer many others, those are the most popular. As a brand, I am most proud of being able to offer something that is authentic, original, creative and relative to a sliver of the black experience. I take pride in personally curating subject matter and detailing every offering from my line. When you buy Chocolate Chick Apparel, you’re buying a piece of my heart and soul. I think that’s kinda dope.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
So, so many…but here’s a few:
My Grandmother Frankie Townsend (RIL): One of the most independent and glamorous women I’ve ever known. With a 4th grade education, she came from Pine Bluff Arkansas and worked her way up in Minneapolis to owning her own home, and raising her children and assisting in the raising of her grandchildren with the most ferocious love imaginable. My grandmother certainly wasn’t anyone’s punk and I think I get a lot of my fight from here.
I cannot remember their names for the life of me, but at my very first duty station PSD NAS Oceana, I worked for a black woman Commander and Senior Chief. I had never personally seen Black Women in positions of this power before and I was just blown away by their confidence, their authority and how they still maintained their identities as black women. Later, I met another woman Aviation Master Chief with the same “balls” who was also an inspiration to me as a woman in leadership, lol! The funniest part of all of this is that I have had verbal altercations with all of them as a junior sailor but I felt that they respected that I go hard for what I believe in and in their seemed acknowledgment of that, I respect them eternally.
Alek Wek/Lauren Hutton: They refused to close the gap! LOL Growing up I was so – I mean couldn’t afford the “or” poor so braces were out of the question. Of course, I was teased mercilessly behind my “book teeth.” Nothing I could do but try to hide my smile and take whatever jokes came my way. I remember thumbing through a magazine one day seeing Lauren Hutton just smiling away with a gap similar to mine. Then seeing Alek Wek- gapped, glowing and gorgeous. And I said “Wow! This is confidence. This is beauty and this is what I want.” And that is how I began to carry myself going forward.
- My prices range from $15-$50 on most items. Really affordable when you consider the originality and exclusivity of what I offer.
- Address: Natasha Hunter
- Website: chocolatechicktees.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @chocolatechicktees
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CHOCOLATECHICKAPPAREL/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/chocchikapparel
“Homegirl” and “Brown Sugar”- Natural State Images, “Black Diamonds & Pearls/ Squad” and “Influential AF”- Kens Lens Photography, “3 Queens”- Rebecca Rabb, “Blue Warrior Tee” – Chélese Ewart, “Headwrap” – D.Debbster, “Red Sandals & Chocolate Chick”- Xavianna Mayfield