If you live in Raleigh, chances are you’ve either seen the tee shirts and jackets of fashion designer Rick Moore and his unique Nyla Elise Clothing Company. You’ve probably heard the name tossed around in conversations and may be curious as to what all the fuss is about. Well if that is the case, then this article is for you! Rick Moore, owner of Nyla Elise, shares exclusive insight into his successful company and talks about all of the hard work he has put into his business in order to make it big.
Mr. Moore named his company Nyla Elise after his daughter. This is a fact that his daughter loves and is proud to share with everyone. In fact, when his daughter first saw someone else wearing the Nyla Elise brand, she felt a surge of pride for her father and his hard work. Moore boasts about his daughter saying, “She is not the selfish type and loves helping others”, which is a good representation of the Nyla Elise Company because helping others also plays a role in his business.
Of course, there are challenges as with any venture. Moore shares on the challenges that come with being a designer and entrepreneur by saying, “The process of learning of what you’re about to start is the main challenge to overcome. You have to take in account about funding or how to get an actual product made”. He also adds, “That’s the main thing anyone should figure out because it is not for sure how much money will be needed for the business”. However, with a strong passion anything is possible. Moore shares that his biggest triumph was staying up countless nights trying to create and hone his craft.
At a young age, Mr. Moore expressed a passion in playing basketball. He would work hard to win games and he blossomed into a very talented and highly skilled player in high school. He was so talented that various high school coaches throughout North Carolina reached out to him to play for their schools. However, Mr. Moore held out for a school that had the best program to fit his talent. He eventually found that program in Word of God Christian Academy, also known as WOGCA. It was there that he made a name for himself in the basketball world, appearing in the newspaper quite often.
Even though Mr. Moore excelled at basketball, he was eventually pulled toward his other passion: fashion. Growing up, his biggest fashion influences were his two uncles. He says, “They lived an elegant, edgy and very fashionable life. They took pride in their appearances and in who they were [as individuals]”. They showed him how a man should carry himself. Mr. Moore shares a wise word from the well dressed, and that is “If you look good then you feel good”. He continues to take his Uncles’ words on how to carry himself as a man.
While fashion was always a passion for Moore, it wasn’t until a man sold him T-shirt equipment that his love for designing emerged. He learned the process of using the equipment by viewing videos and getting help from a buddy who ran his own t-shirt shop. From then on, Moore knew where his heart lay and that was in the design world.
In a productive business nothing is ever achieved alone. Mr. Moore surrounds himself with a supportive team with the same mindset of being dreamers. These people share the same ideals and the same belief that it is important to make your dreams a reality. He states, “It is not easy to be on the cover of The City Insight Magazine and it is not easy to get a two-page article in Black Enterprise”. His drive helped him reach those milestones in his career and he continues to thrive in the fashion industry with a vengeance.
Mr. Moore also believes that everyone has something in them that they love to do. Of course, everyone also has a story or a situation that could hold them back from their dreams. What is important is to not give up on those dreams and to push past the obstacles. This former basketball player turned fashion designer is living proof of that.
Mr. Moore also thinks that it is good to have a perspective on what is important. He says, “First, I thank God and then I am grateful for my work ethic and talent”. Mr. Moore also believes that anyone can make it big from wherever they are located: “I can be a fashion designer and make it big in Raleigh. I do not have to go to New York, or California to make it big. Bring the big cities to where you are located”.
While Mr. Moore is seeing success, he has no plans on slowing down. He feels that Nyla Elise is so much bigger than him or his daughter: it is a movement. He has huge dreams to create a multi-million dollar company. Of course, it is not about the money or becoming rich to Mr. Moore, but it is about being able to foster a whole new generation of kids that may not have much or just need that extra push in the right direction.
Mr. Moore creates, prints and sells everything that is under his company’s name. Every shirt he designs has a meaning behind it. A great example of this is on a shirt that reads “Natural Vibes Only” with one of his favorite pictures of his daughter on the shirt. He created that shirt because his daughter was at school and was wondering why her hair wasn’t like the other girl’s hair. He explained to her that her hair was beautiful the way it was because that’s how God made it. Natural vibes are the way to go whether it is in households or functioning in society. He sees his shirts as conscious clothing, a tool of empowerment.
Nyla Elise is not only well received on a local level, on a national level as well by very known celebrities and influential people. He proudly shares that, “Cedric the Entertainer stood next to Will Smith with a jacket made by me.” It is not just Cedric the Entertainer that is noticing Moore’s designs, but actors like George Lopez and Olivia Wilde have supported the company along with many other celebrities. This is something Moore really aims for. He wants his brand to be on the platform and on the backs of celebrities because he feels like his designs are the best. He works extremely hard, uses the best material and has a unique and creative mind within the fashion world.
In fact, Mr. Moore has known Kevin Hart for about three and a half years and Kevin has seen Mr. Moore grow as a designer. Last time they talked, Kevin told Mr. Moore, “I keep supporting you because you are such a hard worker”. Mr. Moore is modest about his success and shares that his accomplishments give him goose bumps; he says, “no job is too small”. It is that mindset that is propelling Moore to the top!”
Social media and technology has also played a part in Moore’s success. Mr. Moore partners with Lenovo. Lenovo has given him the tools to create and make his creations come to life. Lenovo traveled internationally to shoot a commercial using one individual from a select few regions, and once Lenovo made its’ way to the USA they chose Mr. Moore to do the commercial.
Something that really sets Rick Moore apart is how he measures success. He doesn’t factor in money or notoriety, but rather by how many footprints he has made in someone’s life. Of success, he shares that, “I measure it by how many people come up to me and say how much I inspire them. I get letters about how I inspire others”. Because of this, Moore is certain that Nyla Elise will be a $100 million company five years from now. All of the feelings from his garments are good feelings and will make you feel good about yourself. His clothing obtains significant meaning along with making a notable fashion statement.
Mr. Moore also shared some information on his upcoming book and how it is going to be about his business. It will touch on the things he experienced in life and on the process of starting his business. He says that being an entrepreneur can be frustrating and the experience of starting a business can be a bit overwhelming. People want success quick and fast which he calls a “microwave America” and America needs to get away from that concept. People need to realize that the best stories are the under-developed stories being that struggling is the part to break through to reach success.
If there is one thing Moore would like people to remember about him, it is that he doesn’t believe in dream killers that treat his work like any other type of work. He only focuses on the positive forces in life and those who help instead of hinder. This is something Moore shares when he speaks at colleges, high schools, and to regular youth to empower and inspire.
Interview By Ella Frazier
Written By Tiara Sanders