Retail entrepreneur Rachelle Jamerson featured in weekly Executive Speaker Series, Aug. 29

Monday, August 27, 2007

Retail entrepreneur Rachelle Jamerson featured in weekly Executive Speaker Series, Aug. 29ORANGEBURG – The first installment of the eleventh year of SC State’s weekly Executive Speaker Series will feature retail entrepreneur Rachelle Jamerson, owner of Rachelle’s Island Inc.

The lecture will be held on Wednesday, August 29, at 12 p.m. in the fourth floor auditorium of Belcher Hall. For additional information, contact Dr. Ann S. Winstead at (803) 516-4864 or Debbie Morant at (803) 536-7138.

The Executive Speaker Series, sponsored by the College of Business and Applied Professional Sciences, is a component of the Leadership and Professional Development Program, which all business majors are required to complete. The series exposes students to various aspects of the workplace, including viewpoints of leaders who are on the cutting edge of business, industry and government.

Past participants have come from a wide array of companies and industries, including Pfizer Inc., Springs Industries, Bowater Inc., Ernst & Young, AT&T, Ameriprise Financial, Black Enterprise, Blue Cross Blue Shield, SCANA, Sonoco, Bank of America, Johnson Controls, Milliken & Company and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Rachelle Jamerson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Winthrop University and also attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

While at Winthrop, Jamerson charted her life’s plan by creating a fashion variety show to present a unique collection of designer clothing. The show combined singing, dancing, comedy and drama, all intermingled with fashions she designed, resulting in numerous requests to take the show on the road. She performed at colleges, both in South Carolina and beyond, also performing for public and private organizations. For the college tour, she designed and manufactured a line of college sorority and fraternity sportswear called Signature Paraphernalia.

Following this experience, Jamerson became an assistant buyer for Ivey’s (now Dillard’s Department Store) in Charlotte, N.C. After gaining experience in retail operations, she was offered the position of assistant designer at Gilead Manufacturing. In recognition of her talents, Jamerson was offered a proposal to work with top fashion designers headquartered in New York, such as Russ Togs, Holly Leaders Sportswear, Bill Blass and Mary McFadden.

A dream was realized in 1987 when she opened her first “Total Image Concept” design studio in Charlotte, N.C. – Rachelle’s Island Inc. In 1989, Jamerson moved her design studio to New York. In September 1992, after five years in New York, Jamerson returned home to Orangeburg, S.C., to relocate her business enterprises. Located at 891 Middleton Street, Rachelle’s Island Inc. has grown to include Island Cruises & Tours Inc., a full-service travel agency.

Jamerson has appeared twice in feature stories in The New York Times, and also has been featured in Upscale Magazine, Black Elegance, Black Hair Today, Blackdress, Midlands Woman, The Carib News, Naomi Sims Cosmetic Video, Women on the Move and Orangeburg Inside Out, as well as on BET Screen Scene, MTV Style Report, WIS-TV Live at 5 News and WIS-TV Awareness.

Jamerson employs more than 50 people and overseas daily operation of her business.