25th September 2020
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Photography: Christopher Tomás
T.A. is the One Stop Shop You Have Been Dreaming Of
Meatpacking District boutique owner Telsha Anderson says to expect the unexpected.

Telsha Anderson is a powerhouse. The 27-year-old New Yorker, by the way of Akron, Ohio, and New Jersey, has managed to establish herself as a fashion industry household name in less than six months. Telsha was set to open her concept store T.A. just before the pandemic hit New York, forcing businesses to close down and inevitably delaying her plans for a grand opening.

The young entrepreneur, though, was not disheartened and quickly adjusted to the current situation, swiftly launching an online outlet to serve her quivering fanbase composed of the coolest kids in the city. It is not rare to see some of New York City’s most prominent social fixtures visiting and tagging her curated storefront on her instastory.

Besides, the anticipation for the opening was pumped up by the most interesting personalities in the scene, making the establishment extra attractive for the rest of us, fomenting real FOMO in those who cannot travel anytime soon, including me. The visual identity of T.A is up to speed with contemporary graphic trends, but really the logo is just a reflection of Telsha’s gripping, chipper personality. Exuberant and the direct opposite of monotonous, her curation skills are on point. The girl is already a legend.

Telsha’s smile is contagious. Before getting to speak to her one on one, I already knew I would love her vibe just by following her digital persona and observing how she worked relentlessly to build her business prior to launching.

Telsha Anderson by Christopher Tomás Smith 1

Over the past few weeks, her project gained massive traction, landing her several press opportunities which she molded to fit her upbeat character. A mix of banter and straightforward positivity. If you did not watch her take over on The Cut, well you’re missing out. Anderson has a background in social media management that justifies her digital savviness and impeccable communication skills. Her flawless taste and assorted yet consistent aesthetic are the cherries on top. Her flow is hyper-modern and timeless at the same time. To make an architectural metaphor, I’d compare Telsha’s aesthetic acumen to a beautiful, renovated historical brownstone in Brooklyn.

Opening her own concept store had been a dream of hers since studying and graduating with a degree in brand management from NYU. Clearly, her passion matched her purpose as she defeated all odds and launched a successful business during the unprecedented times that are currently threatening the industry she just broke into.

Needless to say, Telsha Anderson’s authenticity and remarkable work ethic paid off with a thriving enterprise set to stay here not just for the good and long run. I caught up with Telsha on a Friday morning, through the most abused software of 2020, Zoom, thanks to the help of her PR, Danika Daly.

telsha anderson

She popped up on my screen immediately brightening up my dull Friday afternoon. “Hi! Good morning,” she entered the call greeting me with her sweet, high-pitch voice wearing a white, off the shoulder top and a huge, warm smile. After a quick introductory chat, I asked her to run me through the process of opening a store during a pandemic and to finally be able to see her efforts come into fruition after months of delay. “I haven’t had the time to sit down and take it all in!” Telsha acknowledges her success in an honest and humble way, she’s excited. She’s happy to be able to welcome customers in her space and give them a personal experience.

“It’s magnificent to be able to see the flowers bloom after you have been working so hard for one plus years,” she tells me. Everything you see at T.A. was handpicked by Anderson herself. From the logo to the apparel selection, down to the furniture and decorative knick-knacks you can find laying around. The store drips of her essence. I cannot hold back in showering her in compliments for what she managed to accomplish. She’s appreciative and you can really hear the gratitude in her tone.

Telsha lets me know her initial opening date was set for February but rescheduled to March due to construction delays. In the meanwhile, COVID-19 came through to halt that. She was not caught off guard. In fact, thanks to her overseas connections, Telsha was aware and prepared to react as the brands she buys from let her know the factories started shutting down.

She started to consider delaying the opening further as half of the store offering wouldn’t get there on time. “Right before I made a decision with PR, the world shut down,” she says of her forced deferral. “I thought it would be a matter of weeks, but I was definitely wrong!” she laughs it off. Clearly, this was just a hiccup and possibly a way to increase desire in her future customers.

telsha anderson

In the meanwhile, she wasted no time and used the uncertain period to work on her brand identity, launch the website, and make sure everybody knew what T.A. was and stood for. “I launched my website in less than 24h, on Squarespace! I was so grateful to have all the pictures and assets needed because I honestly didn’t want it to go live until maybe the end of this summer,” she wanted to encourage people to come to the store and have an IRL experience directly with her.

The editorial images she had ready were initially thought for social media purposes but she acknowledges the fact that starting out digitally reinforced her physical presence and allowed people to take time to study her platform and get acquainted. The biggest learning she gained from this endeavor is to expect the unexpected. “As cliché as that sounds, obviously nobody could have predicted a pandemic so I wasn’t prepared for that,” she comments in regards to the eye-opening lesson gained from the disturbing months.

Given her social media past, Telsha initially didn’t want to be so heavy on the channels. She wanted to keep her business on the low and trigger curiosity in her customer. Unfortunately, her plans got overturned but the situation reiterated something she already was aware of, the power of digital and its interconnective qualities. The virtual fame she gained translated into offline presence as soon as it was safe to visit her space. Frankly, I am not surprised as T.A. truly seems like a place anybody would want to pass by and absorb its good vibes and refined décor as well as Telsha’s positive energy.

telsha anderson

Anderson started working on the project when she was 25 and took the time to curate and design everything on her own, from start to end. “I hate sitting idle,” she answers when asked where does she get the stamina from. “I like to have multiple things going on at all times,” she explains in regards to her life prior to the store, where she brought this attitude along. “At T.A. I am not simply the owner. I am the cleanup crew, the cashier rep, the salesperson, the buying team, the social media girl!” you can hear the passion in her voice.

This multi-potential mindset was instilled into her by her parents, who signed Telsha up for all kinds of activities while growing up. She did ballet, soccer, and attended many other academic classes. The lifestyle seamlessly translated into her career. Age or experience is not a deal-breaker for Telsha who clearly likes to freestyle and is always open to new knowledge. In fact, she brought her business to grad school with her. Here she was able to fit her real-life aspirations into the curriculum and apply all that she was studying towards the fruition of her enterprise. In terms of inspiration, she takes herself as a reference. She wanted to create the kind of space she needed and a model for a younger Telsha as she was not aware of that many cool, independent, Black-owned shops growing up.

The Banana Republic was the kind of option available for her peers and as this industry grows and small boutiques blossom, she wants to be part of the conversation. Intentional buying is at the center of the practice and also her strong point. She owns her talent and purpose with veiled, inspirational confidence typical of those people who follow their instinct and natural pro-pensions in everything they do.

Our conversation was really just me fanning over her but to my defense, Telsha Anderson is incredible and it’s really hard not to fall victim to the enchantment cast by her polished art direction. Her mother and grandmother play a pivotal role in the construction of her own taste. “Growing up, both of them had incredible closets. They had Louis Vuitton backpacks sourced from Paris, unique jewelry that who knows where they got from!” she says in regards to the influences on her style. “I can wear all black and still feel like I am wearing bright yellow,” she lets me know. This quote sums Telsha up. That’s what her personality feels like.

Aside from sourcing independent and Black designers, T.A. aims to be a space with its own strong identity. As soon as you walk in, you immediately visualize the type of customer. It’s a trickle-down effect starting from Telsha Anderson’s own intellect. The store’s offering caters to many but also pools them under one unique style category, one of effortless, nonchalant outfitting. Her mom’s influence comes back into play in regards to interior decorating. The obsession for the smart spatial design was passed down to Telsha who reclaimed it and infused it throughout her store with little quirky accents such as her favorite printed matter and mid-century items.

She held a glossy, boot-shaped vase in front of the camera. “Everybody was going crazy about this one,” she says referencing her The Cut take-over. All of these elements are carefully handpicked by Telsha herself with the purpose to start a conversation, the same way a particular garment would. As some of the biggest retailers struggle to open back up after the lockdown, Telsha agrees that a more familiar, peer-to-peer approach is possibly what is going to drive the industry forward as customers resize their willingness to spend and seek tailored experiences.

telsha anderson

“Even before the lockdown I felt a shift in retail,” says Anderson “People want certain businesses to be held accountable, to be transparent on how they treat their employees and factory workers. I am happy to be a part of this new atmosphere,”  T.A. is the epitome of retail 2.0, thanks to its owner’s first-hand touch in everything. Prior to the current complications, Telsha traveled to Europe to examine, touch, and select all of the brands present in the store. She prepared her wishlist ahead of departure but things got shook up once she arrived at the showrooms. Here she individuated brands she had never heard of and made an unexpected selection.

Ottolinger, Barragan, Ellery, Priscavera are just a few of the brands you can find at her Meatpacking district location. Every piece stands alone but when displayed together, they create a kaleidoscopic shock of color, pattern, and textures that really construct and support the avant-garde vibe present in the store. One designer she is particularly excited about is Wesley Harriott. The London-based brand, known for his gender-defying silhouettes and fiction inspired cuts, will be part of T.A.’s refreshed Fall/Winter stock which she bought completely digitally.

Before I let Telsha Anderson go and get ready for another busy day being the whimsical creature she is, I ask her to name one brand she would love to house in the future. After a quick second of uncertainty, she goes “Oh wait! I have one tab open on my laptop here. Kepler London!” before listing a number of phenomenal lines, dubbing them with a snappy “Obsessed!” at the end of each word.

telsha anderson
Photography: Christopher Tomás
T.A. is the One Stop Shop You Have Been Dreaming Of
Meatpacking District boutique owner Telsha Anderson says to expect the unexpected.

Telsha Anderson is a powerhouse. The 27-year-old New Yorker, by the way of Akron, Ohio, and New Jersey, has managed to establish herself as a fashion industry household name in less than six months. Telsha was set to open her concept store T.A. just before the pandemic hit New York, forcing businesses to close down and inevitably delaying her plans for a grand opening.

The young entrepreneur, though, was not disheartened and quickly adjusted to the current situation, swiftly launching an online outlet to serve her quivering fanbase composed of the coolest kids in the city. It is not rare to see some of New York City’s most prominent social fixtures visiting and tagging her curated storefront on her instastory.

Besides, the anticipation for the opening was pumped up by the most interesting personalities in the scene, making the establishment extra attractive for the rest of us, fomenting real FOMO in those who cannot travel anytime soon, including me. The visual identity of T.A is up to speed with contemporary graphic trends, but really the logo is just a reflection of Telsha’s gripping, chipper personality. Exuberant and the direct opposite of monotonous, her curation skills are on point. The girl is already a legend.

Telsha’s smile is contagious. Before getting to speak to her one on one, I already knew I would love her vibe just by following her digital persona and observing how she worked relentlessly to build her business prior to launching.

Telsha Anderson by Christopher Tomás Smith 1

Over the past few weeks, her project gained massive traction, landing her several press opportunities which she molded to fit her upbeat character. A mix of banter and straightforward positivity. If you did not watch her take over on The Cut, well you’re missing out. Anderson has a background in social media management that justifies her digital savviness and impeccable communication skills. Her flawless taste and assorted yet consistent aesthetic are the cherries on top. Her flow is hyper-modern and timeless at the same time. To make an architectural metaphor, I’d compare Telsha’s aesthetic acumen to a beautiful, renovated historical brownstone in Brooklyn.

Opening her own concept store had been a dream of hers since studying and graduating with a degree in brand management from NYU. Clearly, her passion matched her purpose as she defeated all odds and launched a successful business during the unprecedented times that are currently threatening the industry she just broke into.

Needless to say, Telsha Anderson’s authenticity and remarkable work ethic paid off with a thriving enterprise set to stay here not just for the good and long run. I caught up with Telsha on a Friday morning, through the most abused software of 2020, Zoom, thanks to the help of her PR, Danika Daly.

telsha anderson

She popped up on my screen immediately brightening up my dull Friday afternoon. “Hi! Good morning,” she entered the call greeting me with her sweet, high-pitch voice wearing a white, off the shoulder top and a huge, warm smile. After a quick introductory chat, I asked her to run me through the process of opening a store during a pandemic and to finally be able to see her efforts come into fruition after months of delay. “I haven’t had the time to sit down and take it all in!” Telsha acknowledges her success in an honest and humble way, she’s excited. She’s happy to be able to welcome customers in her space and give them a personal experience.

“It’s magnificent to be able to see the flowers bloom after you have been working so hard for one plus years,” she tells me. Everything you see at T.A. was handpicked by Anderson herself. From the logo to the apparel selection, down to the furniture and decorative knick-knacks you can find laying around. The store drips of her essence. I cannot hold back in showering her in compliments for what she managed to accomplish. She’s appreciative and you can really hear the gratitude in her tone.

Telsha lets me know her initial opening date was set for February but rescheduled to March due to construction delays. In the meanwhile, COVID-19 came through to halt that. She was not caught off guard. In fact, thanks to her overseas connections, Telsha was aware and prepared to react as the brands she buys from let her know the factories started shutting down.

She started to consider delaying the opening further as half of the store offering wouldn’t get there on time. “Right before I made a decision with PR, the world shut down,” she says of her forced deferral. “I thought it would be a matter of weeks, but I was definitely wrong!” she laughs it off. Clearly, this was just a hiccup and possibly a way to increase desire in her future customers.

telsha anderson

In the meanwhile, she wasted no time and used the uncertain period to work on her brand identity, launch the website, and make sure everybody knew what T.A. was and stood for. “I launched my website in less than 24h, on Squarespace! I was so grateful to have all the pictures and assets needed because I honestly didn’t want it to go live until maybe the end of this summer,” she wanted to encourage people to come to the store and have an IRL experience directly with her.

The editorial images she had ready were initially thought for social media purposes but she acknowledges the fact that starting out digitally reinforced her physical presence and allowed people to take time to study her platform and get acquainted. The biggest learning she gained from this endeavor is to expect the unexpected. “As cliché as that sounds, obviously nobody could have predicted a pandemic so I wasn’t prepared for that,” she comments in regards to the eye-opening lesson gained from the disturbing months.

Given her social media past, Telsha initially didn’t want to be so heavy on the channels. She wanted to keep her business on the low and trigger curiosity in her customer. Unfortunately, her plans got overturned but the situation reiterated something she already was aware of, the power of digital and its interconnective qualities. The virtual fame she gained translated into offline presence as soon as it was safe to visit her space. Frankly, I am not surprised as T.A. truly seems like a place anybody would want to pass by and absorb its good vibes and refined décor as well as Telsha’s positive energy.

telsha anderson

Anderson started working on the project when she was 25 and took the time to curate and design everything on her own, from start to end. “I hate sitting idle,” she answers when asked where does she get the stamina from. “I like to have multiple things going on at all times,” she explains in regards to her life prior to the store, where she brought this attitude along. “At T.A. I am not simply the owner. I am the cleanup crew, the cashier rep, the salesperson, the buying team, the social media girl!” you can hear the passion in her voice.

This multi-potential mindset was instilled into her by her parents, who signed Telsha up for all kinds of activities while growing up. She did ballet, soccer, and attended many other academic classes. The lifestyle seamlessly translated into her career. Age or experience is not a deal-breaker for Telsha who clearly likes to freestyle and is always open to new knowledge. In fact, she brought her business to grad school with her. Here she was able to fit her real-life aspirations into the curriculum and apply all that she was studying towards the fruition of her enterprise. In terms of inspiration, she takes herself as a reference. She wanted to create the kind of space she needed and a model for a younger Telsha as she was not aware of that many cool, independent, Black-owned shops growing up.

The Banana Republic was the kind of option available for her peers and as this industry grows and small boutiques blossom, she wants to be part of the conversation. Intentional buying is at the center of the practice and also her strong point. She owns her talent and purpose with veiled, inspirational confidence typical of those people who follow their instinct and natural pro-pensions in everything they do.

Our conversation was really just me fanning over her but to my defense, Telsha Anderson is incredible and it’s really hard not to fall victim to the enchantment cast by her polished art direction. Her mother and grandmother play a pivotal role in the construction of her own taste. “Growing up, both of them had incredible closets. They had Louis Vuitton backpacks sourced from Paris, unique jewelry that who knows where they got from!” she says in regards to the influences on her style. “I can wear all black and still feel like I am wearing bright yellow,” she lets me know. This quote sums Telsha up. That’s what her personality feels like.

Aside from sourcing independent and Black designers, T.A. aims to be a space with its own strong identity. As soon as you walk in, you immediately visualize the type of customer. It’s a trickle-down effect starting from Telsha Anderson’s own intellect. The store’s offering caters to many but also pools them under one unique style category, one of effortless, nonchalant outfitting. Her mom’s influence comes back into play in regards to interior decorating. The obsession for the smart spatial design was passed down to Telsha who reclaimed it and infused it throughout her store with little quirky accents such as her favorite printed matter and mid-century items.

She held a glossy, boot-shaped vase in front of the camera. “Everybody was going crazy about this one,” she says referencing her The Cut take-over. All of these elements are carefully handpicked by Telsha herself with the purpose to start a conversation, the same way a particular garment would. As some of the biggest retailers struggle to open back up after the lockdown, Telsha agrees that a more familiar, peer-to-peer approach is possibly what is going to drive the industry forward as customers resize their willingness to spend and seek tailored experiences.

telsha anderson

“Even before the lockdown I felt a shift in retail,” says Anderson “People want certain businesses to be held accountable, to be transparent on how they treat their employees and factory workers. I am happy to be a part of this new atmosphere,”  T.A. is the epitome of retail 2.0, thanks to its owner’s first-hand touch in everything. Prior to the current complications, Telsha traveled to Europe to examine, touch, and select all of the brands present in the store. She prepared her wishlist ahead of departure but things got shook up once she arrived at the showrooms. Here she individuated brands she had never heard of and made an unexpected selection.

Ottolinger, Barragan, Ellery, Priscavera are just a few of the brands you can find at her Meatpacking district location. Every piece stands alone but when displayed together, they create a kaleidoscopic shock of color, pattern, and textures that really construct and support the avant-garde vibe present in the store. One designer she is particularly excited about is Wesley Harriott. The London-based brand, known for his gender-defying silhouettes and fiction inspired cuts, will be part of T.A.’s refreshed Fall/Winter stock which she bought completely digitally.

Before I let Telsha Anderson go and get ready for another busy day being the whimsical creature she is, I ask her to name one brand she would love to house in the future. After a quick second of uncertainty, she goes “Oh wait! I have one tab open on my laptop here. Kepler London!” before listing a number of phenomenal lines, dubbing them with a snappy “Obsessed!” at the end of each word.

telsha anderson

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