[Feature] :: How Altrichia “A. Lekay” Cook built a brand from a Body Image Issue

We all have insecurities when it comes to our bodies, but how many of us actually take the initiative to solve common problems that we have outside of what can be corrected with physical fitness? Patents have been around for years to allow creators and inventors to retain exclusive rights to their property, but have any of you ever had the burning desire to cover up a cosmetic problem for the betterment of others?

At the Dream Project Symposium, I had the pleasure to speak with an innovative problem solver who was presented with an issue, and when it couldn’t be solved to her satisfaction, created her own resolution.

Altrichia Cook (@Allusionsbabe) at The Dream Symposium 2015

Altrichia Cook (@Allusionsbabe) at The Dream Symposium 2015

Altrichia “A. Lekay” Cook faced a dilemma when she was preparing for a vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico and shopping for high-waisted swimwear to cover her abdominal imperfections. While department stores and online boutiques offered high-waisted swimwear options, they didn’t come high enough to mask those imperfections.

“In March 2013, I aimlessly searched for a high waist swimsuit, ordering online and in department stores, but the ones that I found weren’t actually high enough to mask my abdominal imperfections, so I took matters into my own hands and I designed my own.” said Cook. “Upon using social media, I uploaded my photos and my comments and messages went haywire, and prior to that, I had been exploring different business ideas and sitting in my office one day — it was like a lightbulb went off, and I turned my idea into a brand.”

While some business and and brands are carefully thought out and executed, great ideas and businesses can sometimes come on a whim. A go-getter, Cook was a teen mother, who birthed and raised her son while simultaneously working 2 jobs and getting her degree from Florida State University.

“Within my brand, I do a lot of motivational speaking engagements to empower, inspire and uplift women,” she said. “Overcoming all my prior obstacles helped and prepared me to be a successful businesswoman.”

What’s your biggest goal for your brand and your business?

We’re a luxury and lifestyle brand, so I plan to continue to empower women to live a fun, fierce, fearless life through my brand and to continue to do a lot of motivational, empowering workshops & brunches to empower, uplift and encourage women. I hope to land my swimwear in department stores as well and become a global brand.

Cook currently has a Master’s degree from Florida A&M University and works as a probation officer in Florida as she continues to build her swimwear brand to a global level.

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