We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea “Cherri” Dorsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrea “Cherri”, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking has always been a fear of mine, the thought alone would scare me. I’ve always relied on the saying ‘”Better safe than sorry”. All my life, I’ve defaulted to a very structured mindset to ensure that there was always a steady income, food on the table and the bills paid to ensure my family never had to do without. I’ve now transitioned into a risk taker believing that I’d be sorry if I continued to just play it safe and not explore life and its possibilities. I believe age and experience both have played a big factor in my change of thought process; time is of the essence and waits for no one. Not even me! There is no doubt in my mind that if I hadn’t taken a leap of faith and chased what I love and desire out of life, I would have been haunted by the “What If’s” for the rest of my life. Now, when doubt crosses my path I simply default to “What’s the worst that could happen”? I can’t even fathom that I was on the path of letting my talent and dreams sit dormant and live with regret. Taking risk has been the most valuable part of my growth and success.

What should our readers know about your business?
I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 16 years not including the multiple years I’ve invested helping other companies become rich using my skill sets. I must admit that whatever position I’ve held I overexerted myself and an over achiever to ensure I exceled in that position, but never took those same steps to invest in myself. A little over a year ago while working on a major project for one of my clients, I became very annoyed that I’ve never been passionate about any of the jobs that I’ve had throughout my life. I was always just there for a paycheck! I instantly became frustrated with not only the project but myself and slammed my laptop shut. I had just come to the realization that I’d let majority of my life slip by without a dream of my own. It was late night as I worked late hours quite often to complete my project demands. I locked my bedroom door, jumped in the middle of my bed in tears feeling worthless and that I was living without a purpose. I prayed asking for guidance and direction as I had so many things that I considered a gift/talent but wasn’t sure where to apply my energy. I was swamped mentally with business ideas, but nothing really resonated with my spirit, I was beyond confused. What risk am I willing to take as a single parent? Most of my life had been spent making sure I was a stable provider and support system to my deserving children. My alarm went off promptly that morning at 6:40am reminding me that I had 20 minutes until it was time for my corporate job duties, yet again. For some odd reason, my attention was drawn towards my walk-in closet, low and behold there were swimsuits scattered all over my closet like someone was frantically looking for something. Not possible, as I’d locked my bedroom door the night before and my large collection of swimsuits were tucked away in a bag in the back of my closet. I hopped out of bed and sat on the floor in my closet realizing for the very 1st time that I had an obsession for swim attire. However, every swimsuit that I’d purchased over the years had some sort of flaw (in my eyes) and did not accommodate my curvy plus-size figure. I had a real “Aha Moment”, this was my sign to design swim attire for curvaceous women like myself. On that day, Cherri.Cheeks Swim Attire was born, and I created myself a position within my own company as the “Swimsuitologist “. I have always been able to look at another women’s figure, determine her size and what would look good on her. I’ve always loved dressing my friends, I would even buy them all swimsuits when going on our girl’s trips, never even asking their sizes. I recall them all being shocked that the fit was always perfect. Although this has not been an easy journey as I had no idea how to become a business owner or where to start, I didn’t know how to sew or measurements but through prayer and being aligned with some like-minded people that have fed me their business knowledge, this journey is a risk and ride well worth all of the sacrifices. I overcame by getting out of my own way and realizing there are no mistakes, only lessons. I had to stop worrying about if I failed and only focus on becoming successful. The Cherri.Cheeks brand stands out as we cater to the shape and curves of real women of the world not what society believes we should be or look like, I create full coverage styles that are still sexy, classy and accent what makes us so phenomenal. It’s not just about my designs but the lives I’ve touched and confidence I’ve instilled in so many women that were once self-conscious, insecure, and ashamed of their figure. I had to build up my own self-esteem and model some my own designs along with other women that have at some point doubted their beauty because of someone else’s opinion. My motto/slogan is “Boldly and Proudly Do You”!! The love for self should never be based on the judgement of others. The testimonies and life changing experiences my customers have shared lets me know I’m on the right track and making a difference for an arena of women that deserve to shine bright.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are so many extraordinary places to visit in the Los Angeles area, but I must say the beaches have my heart. I would base our itinerary off some of the most popular beaches (Matador, Newport, Venice, Manhattan Beach and Malibu) and ride the PCH coast each day my “Bestie” is visiting California. We would randomly pick restaurants, lounges and winery’s during our drive based on where the wind and vibes lead us. I’ve learned to be more spontaneous by not always following an itinerary just live, laugh and let go.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Without a doubt, I thank God and my 3 beautiful children Breia, Robyn and Zyaire for their support, encouragement, and love. They’ve never doubted me as a parent and not once questioned my ability of becoming a successful businesswoman. My mother, Phyllis Robinson for all of the sacrifices she made to instill morals, courage, strength and the will to always push-through obstacles with my head held high. I’m so grateful for my brothers Cameron and Derrick for always having faith in everything I do; they’ve always cheered me on even when I didn’t cheer for myself. The support of my sister-circle friends and brotherhood for believing in my vision, their undying support and respect they’ve shown me throughout my journey. My late grand-mother Beverly Jane for showing me how to be a strong and grounded woman at a very young age. Finally, all of my aunts for investing their energy, time, and having faith in all I do and for their contributions to what I have become.

Instagram: @Cherri.Cheeks

Facebook: Cherri.Cheeks Swim.Attire

Image Credits
Aston Hart: Instagram @AstonnHartvisuals

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