Racheli Diament has always been artistically inclined. The 16-year-old Bergenfield native and Naaleh junior has been painting and drawing ever since she was a young child, and she loves sharing her work with the world. Recently she’s “dipped her toes” into entrepreneurship, launching RD Laced, a shoe-painting venture that offers her unique artwork on patrons’ shoes and sneakers.
Diament began taking art lessons when she was 6 years old, and stuck with it all the way through middle school. Nowadays she’s more adventurous with her talents, keeping up with the latest trends and constantly practicing to hone her craft.
“I do a bit of everything,” Diament shared with The Jewish Link. “I love learning about all the different styles and designs, and you can always find me either doodling or working on something new. I really pride myself on my work, and I’m always looking for ways that I can grow and improve.”
During the pandemic, Diament had lots of time to focus on honing her talents. Then once she was settled into high school, she was ready to share her talents.
“The one good thing about the pandemic was that it gave me the opportunity to experiment with new things and improve on what I can already do,” Diament continued.
From there, she was interested in finding outlets where she could share her art with the community, and that’s when she started thinking about creating a business where she could do just that. Previously, Diament had made a hobby of drawing designs on her friends’ and family’s shoes, and decided it was something she was interested in pursuing further. She launched RD Laced earlier this year, and quickly began getting offers.
“I was thrilled that people were interested in paying for my designs,” Diament continued. “The fun part is that in working with customers, I get to come up with designs that I wouldn’t have thought to create otherwise.”
One of the big things about Diament’s business is that she accepts any and all design requests, including those that are themed. She is happy to also come up with her own designs, should a patron be uncertain what they would like on their shoes.
“I really try hard to work with my customers,” Diament continued. “I’m not restrictive, and I don’t turn daunting offers down. A bigger challenge just means a more fun opportunity.”
A portion of all the money Diament makes goes towards tzedaka, and thus far, she has provided her designs to a number of community members and received positive feedback from patrons.
“It’s been really great seeing pictures of people wearing my designs,” Diament continued. “I did one for a little girl, and her mother texted me pictures and said that she loved showing off the shoes. Those moments just make me feel amazing, and inspire me to keep doing what I’m doing.”
Diament reports that her specialties include prints and designs that have a lot of eye-popping color. Examples can be found on her Instagram page, @rd_laced.
“The reason I love art so much is that it allows me to explore my creativity,” Diament continued. “I love going on Youtube and watching videos of people drawing or painting, and it inspires me to really explore and try new things. RD Laced is so great because it provides me that outlet, while also being a fun opportunity.”
For other teens similarly looking to pursue a venture of their own, Diament has nothing but encouraging words to share.
“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there,” Diament went on to say. “It’s always worth it to give something new a shot and also to keep doing what you enjoy.”
Diament is actively accepting requests for her shoe designs. If you are interested in learning more, you can email her at [email protected] or DM her on her Instagram page, @rd_laced.
Adam Samuel is a journalist from Teaneck. He blogs at www.adamssoapbox.com.