Chicago Advertising and marketing Exec Invents New Scarf for Her Children, Makes Oprah’s Listing of Favourite Issues

It all started when the polar vortex hit the Midwest a few years ago. Raquel Graham’s son and daughter wore scarves and refused to continue wearing them. Enter a little mom’s joke.

Little did Graham know that what started as a DIY home project would become an NEKZ, a scarf alternative featured on Forbes, Good Morning America, the Home Shopping Network, The View, and as one of Oprah’s favorite things.

Graham’s company, Roq-Innovation, has expanded its range of creative protective clothing. All of their products are high quality, fashionable and functional.

Sitting down and talking to this phenomenon was absolutely amazing! Listen in….

Please tell us about your path to success.

It all started when the polar vortex hit the Midwest a few years ago. My son and daughter were so frustrated with wearing scarves and refused to continue wearing them. I wasn’t an inventor, but I grabbed supplies, scissors, glue, and a few other supplies and got to work. Little did I know what started out as a DIY home project was going to become a NEKZ!

My background is in marketing and I have held various positions in the field including marketing director for Ebony magazine. One simple hack to my kids’ scarves led me down a path to entrepreneurship and I haven’t looked back.

My Chicago-based company Roq Innovation has expanded to offer a range of bespoke wearable tech accessories including Headlightz Beanies, Headbandz, Handylightz, and Face Maskz. With the rapid spread of the pandemic, I had to make some adjustments and change my product offering. These pivot points have proven successful and we consistently meet the needs of our customers.

Why would you want to fall back and help others get into HSN?

I am one of the few black and female owned companies to keep appearing on the Home Shopping Network (five consecutive years) and I would like to share my story with other entrepreneurs looking to launch their products on national platforms. I live in Chicago but my products are sold worldwide. I feel it is my duty to share my experiences and advice when other black business owners navigate a crowded market.

Doing business internationally has many levels, and I know the lessons I have learned can help others save other small business owners a great deal of time and money.

What can people expect from you in the coming New Year?

With the upcoming year 2021, we would like to expand our product line with more innovative offers. With the spread of COVID-19, we are particularly focusing on further spreading our face mask. The masks are trendy and fashionable, but also durable and protective.

Please give some advice to this struggling entrepreneur.

I would say “keep going” to any entrepreneur. There have been days when I’ve questioned my direction or a decision, but quitting wasn’t an option. It’s important to surround yourself with those who can help, but be sure to open up with those who can offer encouragement. Words are powerful and can go a long way if your business isn’t going the way you imagined. Finally, be flexible, patient, and open. Your path to success will be different from others. Stay on course and let your journey unfold.

Dr. Jessica Mosley is a serial entrepreneur who loves teaching other CEO women how to show themselves in their truth and power. As the steward owner of the MizCEO Entrepreneurial Media brand, Sovereign Care Home Care, Sovereign Care Medical Training Center, and Deborahs Place for Battered Women, Jessica is busy taking action that will affect her community and those around her .

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