Sheselle, also known as Donna Belle Ibarra creates fun, youthful, and cheeky garments and accessories that everyone needs in their life!
Her pieces are a direct reflection of her childhood nostalgia growing up in the ‘90s, obsessed with bold colours, and a playful sense of humor. Sheselle’s mission is to inspire individuals to embrace their unique traits and not take life too seriously.
What is your main focus?
Did you study at University?
I'm a Graphic Designer, Illustrator, and Photographer.
I actually studied Communications at the University of California Davis. Unfortunately, attending art school was never an option for me growing up since my family wasn't very financially stable. I'm a self-taught designer and starting playing with Photoshop around the age of twelve by creating fansites on Angelfire and Geocities (if you remember these websites, you're a 90s kid for sure). After college, I made the big move to New York and began interning for several design departments in the magazine industry to get my foot in the door! It wasn't until 2018, though, that I developed a deeper love for illustration and began designing my own products.
What made you want to create pins?
After working in a corporate design job for three years, I realized how creatively unfulfilled I felt designing for someone else and wanted to be able to bring my creative visions to life but didn't know exactly where to start. It wasn't until I came across fellow artists and small brands on Instagram like Shop Bando back in 2017, that I felt inspired to develop my own brand. I immediately started brainstorming concepts, researching manufacturers, and designing products soon after, in 2018, I launched my first enamel pin!
Any advice for anyone thinking of starting their own independent brand?
Be patient! Creating a brand isn't an overnight process... give yourself time to creatively explore and figure out what you want to put out into the world. That being said, do a ton of research and ask questions when you can. There will be people along the way who will doubt you but you have to believe in yourself enough to keep going. It will be hard af and you'll experience "failure" but you'll always be learning as an artist and evolving as a brand.
What pin design are you most proud of?
The Bite Me Cherry Pin will always be a baby of mine since it was the first product I ever created but I think I'm most proud of my Lick Me Pin because it's a good representation of what I want my brand to be: cute, fun, and a little cheeky! ;)
What is your favourite pin design at the moment?
Do you have any favourite designers?
I have a ton of faves but one pin designer that I personally resonate with is @justine.gilbuena because she creates nostalgic pieces centered around growing up Filipino-American. It's absolutely refreshing to see because there isn't much visibility in this community and her work makes me feel represented.
Anything exciting planned for the future?
I'm in the process of designing my upcoming Summer 2020 collection, which consists of tees, enamel pins, and more. If you're interested in seeing my process or receiving launch updates, you can always follow me @sheselle on the gram :)
We love the tips Sheselle has to offer, and totally agree with her, its all about learning and asking questions. If you have been wanting to get your designs kickstarted but have no clue where to start. Don't sit worrying in silence, our inbox is always open and we can help you with any queries you may have! 💜