The encounters that I have with DOPE BLACK WOMEN are cosmic! Every single one is a testament of how we are meant to give light and love to one another and the power that those lights have when we connect. Meet my sister, affectionately known as my DesignerBAE, Soila Knochellah of Konchellah.
A clothing designer, a stylist, a model, a manufacturer, a math whiz, a runner, a songstress, a soloist, a flautist, a teacher, a mother, a Kenyan-American, a dynamic woman, and most recently added title WIFE, Soila Konchellah has had a full life of diverse experiences. Born in West Palm Beach, Florida to a Maasai father and African-American mother, Soila spent her early life in the small town of Belle Glade, Florida, with her parents and three sisters. She has had a life filled with travel and engaging education, that developed her penchant for fashion, math and music. She majored in math at Florida A & M University, where she also was a member of the Marching 100 for four years. There, she was chosen Freshman Section Leader of the Piccolo section, and subsequently became piccolo section leader in the Marching 100 for two years. Known for her superior musicianship and performance, Soila later applied her math expertise and fashion knowledge to a pursuit of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Florida State University, which resulted in her current business, “Konchellah”, custom clothing, specializing in African print couture.
I met Soila a few years ago while I was working in Belle Glade, Florida. I actually attended church with her and first fell in love with her beautiful voice. She and I would also share some mutual friends. I had seen these gorgeous prom dresses on my social media feed but initially had no idea that she was the designer and seamstress behind these designs. I knew that I wanted and needed to get a Konchellah custom outfit and I had a birthday photoshoot coming up that would position itself as the perfect opportunity for us to meet.
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Ya'll... when I met with Soila for my initial consultation and shared what my vision was she immediately knew what look I was going for and was ready and willing to make it happen. In that time, while she was measuring me (which is something that I never let anyone other than my mother do for me) we bonded and I shared some very personal goals with her. She noted them and we prayed. When I say we prayed, we PRAYED PRAYED! I know the Heavens moved on both our behalf because I did not see her again until I came to pick up my outfits. Each item fit perfectly and was exactly what I envisioned and asked for. She's captured it perfectly. That is who Soila Konchellah of Konchellah is...a VISIONARY! Little did I know, shortly after she created my custom outfits she would be hitting the runway for THEE New York Fashion Week!
The multitalented Konchellah has been featured on numerous blogs and websites; most notably, on the front page of Essence.com in its 2018 Prom issue. She was also a featured clothing designer at New York Fashion Week 2018, representing Cantu Beauty in collaboration with artist, Melissa Mitchell of Abeille Creations, in the “Textures on the Runway” fashion show.
Soila has always had a keen eye for fashion and a very distinct personal style, but it wasn’t until the age of 27, after being asked to create a set of bridesmaids dresses for one of her three sisters, that she decided to completely commit to pursuing her lifelong dream of being a designer. Konchellah specializes in, but is not limited to, gowns for red carpet events, weddings, proms, and milestone birthdays. Soila has a special connection to African fabrics, as it is a part of her Kenyan culture, so designing and creating these gowns is an especially intimate process for her. Before each piece is made, a personal connection is made with the client, and all things are considered – including body shape, style, event, and theme.
Check out our interview and learn how this DESIGNER found her JOY and won't let it go!