Altrichia Cook, 27, is a mother, and millennial fashion designer with tons of vision for success. As the daughter of two pastors, throughout life, Cook felt the need to serve society, and she’s managed to do that in several ways, the latest, being her unique designer swimwear.
“When a woman wears Allusions by A.Lekay Swimwear, I want her to feel beautiful, I want her to feel confident, fashionable, comfortable and I want her to feel empowered.”
BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the founder of A.Lekay Swimwear to talk their passion for women’s fashion, how owner Altrichia Cook got her start as an entrepreneur and how rapper, Nikki Ninaj modeled her swimsuit on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine.
BlackEnterprise.com: Tell me a little about yourself and your background, and what you do for a living?
Cook: I am an ambitious, thriving millennial. [I’m] a mother, daughter, sister, friend and servant. A native of Lakeland, FL, and all throughout my life, I have possessed leadership qualities. From playing school as a little girl, I was always the teacher. When I was in kindergarten, I can remember being the line leader. All the things then, resonate and make sense now. As I watched my parents, Pastor Al & Debora Cook, serve others, innately, I became a servant. I knew that I wanted to go into the help profession and was accepted into Florida State University, as first, to pursue nursing. Once I realized that blood was too consistent with nursing, I quickly changed my major to Social Work. I completed my studies at FSU and furthered my education and attended Florida A&M University to obtain my Masters of Social Work degree as I aspired to found a non-profit and become a clinician. Once I graduated with my Masters, I relocated back to Lakeland and worked as a misdemeanor probation officer . I oversaw and supervisor criminals with misdemeanor charges. From my experience as probation officer, I found many disparities in my clients. I was able to provide therapeutic counseling to those that were in need of direction and who wanted change.
Where does the inspiration for your swimwear come from?
Well, in March 2013, for my sorority sister’s birthday, yes, I am an AKA, I aimlessly searched for a high-waist swimsuit for the trip. I did not want to wear a one piece swimsuit. All throughout college, I wore a one piece swimsuit on spring break trips and summer vacations because, as a mother in college, I obtained abdominal imperfections from carrying my son, Anthony. I had an ordered a swimsuit and purchased one from a department store. Neither high-waist suit accommodated me. With me being a fashionista from my love for fashion as a college student, and a recently developed love for thrift shopping, I had developed a strong rapport with my local tailor. When the high-waist suits did not accommodate me, I took matters into my own hands. I designed my own high-waist-kini, and my tailor made it come to life. My inspiration was simply that. The high-waist style swimsuit is an inspiration of the pin-up era, but also in my case, it’s stylish and fashionable for any fashionista, a mother or even someone that has not yet reached their ideal weight goal.
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