We had the good fortune of connecting with Adrina Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Adrina, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I started my business, it was to be more in control of my time so I could give more to my children. With having two special needs children, I constantly had to leave work early, call off, etc. to go to their schools, meetings, and appointments. With, then, selling and presenting at many pop-ups and events from Hew Hampshire to NY, I was constantly asked if I have a physical location for clients to attend. I finally decided to take the leap in 2018, and though there was a great deal delays– including totaling my car and becoming homeless for a month, by summer 2019, I secured my first brick and mortar store! It was a life-long dream come true. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I attended and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology, after attending North Carolina State University for three years. Fashion was always a passion of mine, out of all the arts, as it was everchanging, and allowed me to express the feelings, events, moods, etc. I was going or lived through/witnessed, without necessarily being required to have a full in depth conversation. I also love being able to use my art/design work to show beauty in non-apparent places. Gaining inspiration from people, places, and things, that may not traditionally be used as such, to make items cherished by people, the world over. Having my own store was always a dream–being able to sit and constantly churn out everything these inspirations formed in my mind. It was definitely a difficult road towards finally realizing that dream….not having the full support from those I, at the time, felt I wanted it from the most, the mental and financial burdens that come with abusive relationships, setting out to re-root, as a single mom, in a totally new city, homelessness, death of loved ones I held close–you name it. I’ve run the gamut, yet somehow, AD was still created and opened! With it all, I’ve learned that pressing forward, though extremely difficult–especially with no end or light in sight, can still yield some very beautiful results. I do want to give back by allowing my shop to be a platform for resources for those that suffer in light, or in silence. Donating garments to those in need, as underwear is a basic need often overlooked for donation drives. I want to have seminars and intimate gatherings so those needing help {or knowing of someone needing help} with domestic abuse, mental illness, food sovereignty, etc., can receive some form of assistance. In the meantime, as we wait to come out of the grip of the COVID Pandemic, I offer undergarments from basic to extravagant, for all sizes and shapes, providing commonly needed pieces that are unfortunately considered ‘specialty,’ ie. mastectomy, maternity, transition garments. I offer apothecary goods for the mind, body, and soul. I offer metaphysical goods to assist in one’s spiritual journey–allowing for a safe space, especially for us black and brown folks, to discover and purchase the things we need to continue on our spiritual paths.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were visiting, I would definitely have them eat at Mama Said Handpies in Pressbay Alley. It is full of savory bites and delectable desserts. We would visit some of the hiking trails, parks, and falls that Ithaca is famous for–like the Children’s Garden, with Gaia the Turtle, and the lush plants and herbs grown within, Black Diamond trail and its scenic views through nature, We would visit Taughannock Falls to see the majestic waterfall.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my dear friends {Hi Jess, Marren, & Jazz!} that listen to and help implement my insane ideas and grand plans in the dead of night and at the crack of dawn, and my Pressbay Ithaca Community that has become the backbone of my road to success. Supporting the vision, my products, and most importantly, my family, during a period of time where giving up would have been all to easy.

Website: www.adrinadietra.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/adrinadietra
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/adrinadietra/
Twitter: www.twitter.com/adrina_dietra
Facebook: www.facebook.com/adrinadietra
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/adrina-dietra-ithaca
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/adrinADietra
Other: Tumblr: https://adrinadietra.tumblr.com/ Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adrinadietra/

Image Credits
All images by me

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.