Telsha Anderson, the 27-year-old founder of the new luxury boutique T.A. based in New York City, makes it her mission to create an open and eclectic space where all feel welcome. Telsha is a young innovative entrepreneur who is determined to make sure her customers feel encouraged to freely explore her store as well as their own style. As one of only a few Black women who owns a luxury boutique in the city, Telsha leads the way for a more open and inclusive fashion industry for any and all fashion lovers.
Telsha describes herself as a colorful and creative child who spent her time taking art and photography classes. Since she was eight years old, she’s had a love for fashion, and she loved to help her mother get ready. She was fascinated by everything, from the colors to the textures of the clothing her mother would wear.
While in college, Telsha would explore various boutiques and fashion brands in her free time and found herself inspired. She then realized her interest lay in the e-commerce side of the fashion industry. Deciding to turn this interest in “the shopping experience” into a career, young Telsha interned at NYC Fashion Week. After graduating from Syracuse in 2014, and embarking on a career in social media management, Telsha took a leap and followed her lifelong dream of opening a boutique in her own vision. Although this endeavour was not without its challenges, a huge one being opening a business during a global pandemic, Telsha quickly adapted and has been able to realize her dream, developing it into the thriving business it is today.
Telsha named her store after her mother’s, sister’s, and her own initials, T.A., as an ode to the people without whom she says she wouldn’t have gotten to where she is. That is only the beginning of the personal connection Telsha has to her store. With handpicked pieces from Paris, Peru, Milan, South Korea, Los Angeles, New York, and many other locations, Telsha puts thought and care into every decision made. In her boutique, Telsha creates a space where everyone is welcome and encouraged to explore not only her wonderful selection but also their own self-expression. Stepping into her store, she says, is like stepping inside of a piece of her mind as she designs her store as she would her own closet.
In this episode of ‘Our Folklore’, we sat down with entrepreneur Telsha Anderson to speak about the ups and downs of her professional journey and what keeps her pushing forward. Listen to the podcast here, and on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, and read excerpts from the interview below.
“Owning a store and being a buyer is what I have always wanted to do. I love clothing, I love textures and I love conceptualizing ideas and putting them into one space especially through self-expression, which is often outwardly seen before it is inwardly seen.”
“It encompasses all of us, not only our style, but just as Black women, our tenacity… It’s an ode to them because without them I wouldn’t be here and it’s an ode to even myself for stepping out on faith and doing what it is I’m doing, and it was funny I wanted to name it so many other things but somehow I just kept coming back to T.A, and now we are here.”
“A lot of it was a surprise as far as what I would go towards but overall it was trying to find stuff that people hadn’t seen or experienced or touched. There is so much importance in an experience, especially a retail experience.”
“I went with representatives who really cared about the brand and cared about the designer and cared about where it would be and cared to let me know about shipping and where it would be and who wanted to see me win. I know you shouldn’t always go to buying with such a personal element to it but that is kind of how I approach life as a whole, so I definitely went with brands who showed me respect when I didn’t even have a store.”
“It’s my child, the store, but also it’s a peek inside my brain, my closet, and my living room. So it exposes me a lot and I think that was not only eye-opening but a great business strategy. Because I am so exposed, I look for other brands and people that are willing to be exposed as well and if we can both cover each other up in that exposure, that’s a good business to me.”
“When you get excited to get dressed and that is what we offer you, excitement, not only to just come and be in the space but excitement to discover something new.”
T.A. is located at 332 W 13th Street NY, NY 10014
Words by Reann Philogene
Photographs by Vanessa Granda and Justin Boone, courtesy of Telsha Anderson