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Small Shop, Big Cotton Finds: Meet Rayo & Honey

Lisa Lo Paro

Lisa Lo Paro
November 11, 2021

Small Shop, Big Cotton Finds: Meet Rayo & Honey

Daily affirmations are proven to be a powerful tool to boost confidence and instill optimism and motivation in your day, an insight that Roachele Negron knew from her childhood. She recalls the many written affirmations and quotes that her mother adorned their home with, and when it came to building her own business, Rayo & Honey, Roachele once again tapped into the potential of the well-written quotation.

But it’s not so simple as pressing letters upon a cotton canvas tote or pennant. Roachele rightly calls her products and her creative process a kind of “typographical alchemy,” and from browsing her creations—and seeing them reflected in many Instagram images of beautifully-curated spaces—it’s an apt description. She transforms phrases from literature, affirming quotes, and pop-culture references that inspire her into hangable and wearable art.

“The phrases I draw on are from Black literature, art and music and distill them into modern affirmations. Each piece is a celebration. For me, an affirmation is a phrase that rallies you. It’s a phrase that strengthens you. It’s a phrase that pushes you and maybe pats your hand a little bit.”

Black culture is the cornerstone of Roachele’s business and artistic process. She looks to icons like Toni Morrison and John Lewis to inform the quotes she crafts, distilling her own words and theirs to create modern affirmations.

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“I believe that people connect with my work because of how I extract phrases that are uplifting while being both new and familiar.”

The finished product is a simple kind of poetry: 100% cotton canvas pennants and totes that are hand cut, pieced, and sewn. Products that have been featured by Beyonce herself, products that were commissioned by Magnolia Pictures, Google, and Twitter.

Clearly, the sky is the limit for Rayo & Honey, but the past year or so came with unique struggles. The global pandemic affected every part of the supply chain, causing long delays in shipments for materials or higher prices, slower production, and delays with product deliveries. Shows and markets Rayo & Honey had previously participated in were shut down, forcing all her commerce online. Luckily, there was a silver lining to all these rain clouds: the business itself flourished in a world where most Americans stayed inside, seeking out Roachele’s textile art to adorn their spaces and enliven their minds.

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