When we first met RaeShanda Johnson, it was a virtual meeting as we perused her website getting to know her taste and style a little better. She has a knack for putting together an outfit from the purse, to the shoes, to the jewelry and the beautiful clothes. It was this talent that led her to start putting together looks on her Facebook page back in 2012. She had thousands of followers on Facebook who liked her style before she even opened up her online boutique, All is Fair in Love and Fashion. When we met her in person at her boutique in the Heyburn building downtown, she was calm, cool and collected and about to start a pop-up shop in Oxmoor Mall. It’s hard to believe that this is the same woman who five years ago was at rock bottom: a veteran, homeless, divorced, and broke with four young children. She worked her way back — expressing gratitude and inspiring others all along her journey — for it is only those who have seen a great darkness that see the great light. Welcome today’s FACE of Louisville, RaeShanda Johnson!
You were a homeless, divorced mother of four when you decided to start your business. What gave you the push to do it?
I knew I wanted to be self-employed. I knew I wanted to see my children off to school and welcome them when they returned home. Knowing this gave me the push I needed to come up with a business that I could work from home.
How did you start your new business and tell us how you grew it?
I started All is Fair in Love and Fashion on Facebook. I put together style ideas and the page went viral. A follower of the page suggested I open an online boutique and sell the clothing I was displaying, so I did. I always say I didn’t grow my business — it blew up by itself. I had a following before I opened the boutique, so when I finally did, it spread like wildfire.
How long have you been into fashion? Did you have a calling for it even when you had other careers?
I’ve always been fashion-forward. I remember being overdressed for the playground. I attempted to bring style to my Physical Training uniform (PTs) and Battle Dress Uniform (BDUs) while I was in the military from 2000-2007. When I was a financial aid specialist, I always had fun dressing for the office and styling my coworkers.
What do you consider to be “your style?”
My style is anything that is absolutely amazing. I love color and maxi dresses.
You just had a pop-up shop in Oxmoor Mall. Tell us about your retail plans for the future.
After the Oxmoor Mall pop-up shop, I was invited to Jefferson Mall. I will be in St. Matthews Mall in September and then I will go on the road to various malls in the U.S.
What are the biggest challenges with your job? What are the biggest achievements?
The biggest challenges are not having enough help and time away from home. My biggest achievements are being on the “Steve Harvey” show, the pop-up at Oxmoor Mall and dressing celebrities like K. Michelle and Miss USA.
Give us a peek at your agenda. What’s a typical day or week like for you?
Mondays are re-ordering inventory days.
Tuesdays are packing and shipping days.
Wednesdays are photo shoot days.
Thursdays are inventory check days.
Fridays are new inventory pick-up days.
Saturdays are restock days.
Sundays are for meetings.
What advice do you treasure?
Not every day will be a good day but every day is worth it.
Fill in the blank. You’ll never see me without my__________.
Where can we find you hanging out around town?
I’m not a hanger; I’m a homebody.
Favorite thing to do in Louisville?
Movies are my favorite thing to do here.
Are you a night owl or early bird? What do you do during that quiet time?
Night owl. I like to read or research during my quiet time.
Tell us some of your favorite local restaurants.
What’s on your personal reading list right now?
The Power of Broke by Daymond John
Lightning round! Give us your:
Candy or junk food splurge: Twizzlers
Guilty pleasure song: Britney Spears “Work”
Tearjerker movie pick: The Green Mile
Standby nail polish color: Taupe
Favorite cocktail: Labamba Rita
Cartoon alter-ego: Optimus Prime
What are three of your favorite things right now besides faith, family and friends?
Maxi dresses, junk nails and pop-up shops
Thank you to Adele Reding Photography for our FACES of Louisville photography.
Want to be inspired? Read about more amazing local women making a difference in our community in our FACES archives.