I love these new bags! Cheryl Brooks is an up and coming designer and I think some of her denim bags are really pretty. They remind me of when I was younger, I chopped off the legs of an old pair of jeans, sewn them up and voila, I had a bag. I then decorated it. I included some photos of some of her favourite bags and some info on Cheryl herself. The bags range from $25 to $160.
Cheryl Brooks is constantly on the rise as a self-taught designer of things of beauty. Cheryl established Nilaja in 2003, while being a stay-at-home mother. Cheryl began drawing art on jeans and the rest is history. The multi-talented illustrator started selling her greeting cards in galleries and boutiques in the Cleveland, Ohio area where she grew up.
Cheryl has designed greeting cards for celebrities such as Beyonce, Common, Macy Gray, Kanye West and Erykah Badu and Angela Bassett. Cheryl started her business with the use of recycled goods, requesting that her friends and family members donate jeans, old jewelry and any other what-nots that she could stumble upon in thrift stores, garage sales and online.
Cheryl made a name for herself by taking embellishments such as crystals, rhinestones, glass beads, feathers, shells and turning out unique, eye-appealing accessories. Growing her way through the world of accessories, next on her list has been handbags. Celebrity clients such as Venus and Serena Williams, actress/comedienne Kym Whitley, Cassandra McCree-Walker of HBO’s “The Wire,” stuntwoman/actress April Weeden-Washington and neo-soul background singer Stacey Richardson-Crawford are sporting Cheryl’s handbags. Cheryl’s first collection was created from recycled denim.
Cheryl has been awarded a design patent for her flagship purse that she decided to take to the marketplace. This confident step was taken to ensure that the fashion industry would know that she believed in her
ideas. Cheryl has also designed hair accessories, earrings, and bracelets. Cheryl was taught to sew, paint, draw, crochet, cross stitch, make jewelry, needlepoint, calligraphy, and knit by her mother and grandmother during her childhood. Cheryl’s first original design was her prom dress, which are now her company colors. She also made cheerleading uniforms for her squad in high school at sixteen. What’s so amazing about this talented female is that she received her
Master’s of Business Administration in Marketing from Case Western Reserve University. She didn’t even aspire to be in the fashion business… but destiny drew her to it.
Cheryl has been educated to be a sound businesswoman and gifted to create. Cheryl has been featured in Cleveland Magazine, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, The Talk of Cleveland Magazine, Houston Sun Newspaper Online, Today’s Black Woman Magazine, and interviewed by Rolling Out Magazine. She has been featured on WKYC (NBC) Channel 3’s,”Good Company and”That’s Life with Robyn Swoboda” on Cleveland’s Fox 8. Cheryl is also a philantropist, donating purses to causes such as The Stuntwomen’s Association of Los Angeles, The Cleveland Rape Crisis Center and just recently, The Bay Area Community festival.
Cheryl has lended her talents to art auctions such as The St. Clair/Superior Development Corporation and The City of Cleveland Kennel. Working with the worldwide acclaimed, National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Cheryl taught students at the Cleveland School of Arts how to become entrepreneurs.