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Conversations with Calah ‘Cae’ Shields

Today we’d like to introduce you to Calah ‘Cae’ Shields.

Hi Calah’ Cae’, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Hello my name is Calah ‘Cae’ Shields. I am the Shiéo. (she-e-o) of Haus of Shiéc. (sh-ee-k) operating out of Atlanta GA. I first started sewing in high school. I would make new outfits out of old clothes using anything I could find around the house. One Christmas my Nanna, Deborah Moss, a fashion designer, bought me my first sewing machine. She passed before I could take lessons with her, so with one year of home economics and a lot of youtube, I taught myself how to sew as a homage to my late grandmother. Fast forward to Today I am now the owner of Haus of Shiéc. a custom clothing company created to curate luxury experiences for connected communities.

I found passion in bringing my designs to life. It fascinates me how each design starts off as just an idea that evolves into something tangible. Overtime I have taught myself how to make many different things such as swimsuits, suits, gowns, boots etc. However overall I believe that what I create are experiences. I see so much power in the capability and skill of creativity.

When I transferred to Clark Atlanta University in 2019, I knew it was time to get serious about my goals. I still did not know entirely what I was doing, just that what I was doing made me feel like I had purpose. Things started to move fast. I went from just styling people to having a business where I create looks from scratch. By my senior year I had a full-fledged business running out of my dorm room in Brawley. Shiéc. Is now a service that I can provide to my community, the world and myself that generates confidence and body positivity.

Since graduating with my BA in Mass Media communications, I’ve been working to build a strong foundation for my ecommerce business. Having experience in designing, filming, editing, branding, and marketing, I use all of my knowledge in my business to branch out and establish Shiéc. in not only my home city, St. Louis or Atlanta but our goal is to leave an imprint on the world.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been fairly smooth?
It has not been a smooth road but it’s not always bumpy. My journey to building my business started with my Nanna passing. In the midst of processing my loss I realized I had the same capability for creating as she did. My creativity through sewing gave me a connection to my grandmother and a sense of purpose.

Being self-taught is no small feat either. Just about every design I have done has come from watching a Youtube video or through trial and error based on my own creativity. It is not always easy constructing pieces on your own, even when doing video research. I believe if you have the will to do something, there is always a way. You just have to figure out what works best for you. As my Alma Mater’s motto goes “Find a Way or Make One.” I truly live by this.

I started my business while I was a full-time student in undergrad. There were many sacrifices that I have had to make and lessons I have had to learn while building Shiéc. from the ground up. I remember many times I would get out of class and go straight to my dorm room to work on orders. Then leave and go to my next class, ship and repeat. I did this during midterms and finals too.

It takes discipline and focus when building your business. Especially while juggling other major things in life. I’m still learning to have patience with myself and projects. There are times that I look back and wish I could have asked my Nanna more questions while I had her or wish that I at least had a mentor in fashion to help guide me, but that’s not the case so I have had to learn patience with my growth and figuring things out. I believe eventually I will be in community with other like minded creatives and have all the resources needed as well as be one to others.

The truth is entrepreneurship isn’t always as glamorous as some perceive it to be. To whom much is given much is required. As local business owners we are charged with doing the work and executing to the highest level that we can at all times. We will run into a lot of things that we cannot control. The key is to find a way to get things done that works best for you.

I combat these bumps and hard roads by taking moments when I need to and breathe. I remember my goals, my ‘why’ and grow from there. Honing in on optimized organization also helps me. I create documents to track my business’s growth while organizing my clientele information. Lastly, I remember the mantra, to keep your gifts, you must share them with others. It humbles me and helps me to remember that I am not doing all this just for me. It’s bigger than that.

My advice to a person wanting to explore and expand their passion and gifts is to go for it. It may be intimidating or new but if that is what God has put on your heart to do, you must share that gift with your community. They need your talents!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I believe what I do and am known for is creating custom experiences and curating confidence through custom hand-created pieces for people who enjoy accentuating the intrinsic aesthetic of details and self-expression. I am proud that Shiéc. is still here creating custom clothing experiences for our communities. What sets Shiéc. Apart from others is our intention and vision. We put a lot of thought and love into everything we create because we believe energy does transfer and we want nothing but for our clients to feel the best in their pieces. We believe that presentation is power and fashion accents energy.

Shiéc. is now global, and we’re still growing. I was invited to do the homecoming fashion show at Clark Atlanta University when it resumed in 2021. It was an amazing experience to work with so many talented creatives in the AUC, a lot of whom I still collaborate with Today. The Shiéc. Community has grown, rap Artist Kali is now a Shiéc. Girl, I just recently created custom pieces for Kali and her dancers’ performance at the Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival in Chicago IL.

In light of the pandemic COVID-19, we wanted to ensure that creativity can still flow for those seeking it. Shiéc. has also branched out with a branding and marketing service to connect other aspiring business owners with the tools and networking knowledge they need to progress their business.

What’s next?
Haus of Shiéc. will be a vendor at the upcoming Atlanta Streetwear Market in Atlanta GA on July 23 2022 which we are very excited about expanding our community more.

Our Shiéc. plans for the future is to have an impactful presence with our business via e-commerce and multiple brick and mortar of our fashion house around the world. We also want to create a foundation later down the line and invest in other opportunities to progress our communities forward.

Being self-taught, I understand the struggles of figuring everything out independently, so I wanted to become a resource. I am in the process of making virtual learning available to aspiring designers, where they can achieve techniques and tips and have one-on-one conversations to learn about the world of sewing. I also create ‘how-to’ videos that I share on my social media platforms for aspiring designers and creatives.

I am the Shiéo of Shiéc. It is a journey, but I am excited for what God has in store. I am grateful for all the support I have been given over the years. It’s funny looking back on me in high school making things from just a passion for fashion to me doing it now in real life. I am not yet where I see myself going, there is still much to figure out and learn but Shiéc. is on the way. Stay tuned!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
some photos pictured by eppshotme, Cashdidit and images posted by clients

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