This is going to be our busiest year ever! Kicking it off with February ... celebrating Black joy, love, a residency in NOLA, new new, and a big move. It's almost too much to handle! Who are we kidding, these are the moments that have been years in the making.
We’ve been wanting to launch this blog for months, but we never felt ready. Honestly, we’re still not really ready but here we are writing our thoughts and plans and sharing them with anyone in the world who clicks the link.
For those who may not know who "we" are, let us introduce ourselves. We are Alicia Square and Lasheca Earls, a pair of soul sisters from Baton Rouge, LA. We started our friendship over 20 years ago and after being roomies all through college, living in Apartment 4, and doing all the budget decorating, we knew we wanted to share our vision of life and style with others. Alicia has been a resident of New Orleans, LA for 12 years, while Sheca has lived in Philadelphia, PA for the past 10 years. There has been a lot of life that's happened since those 2 young ladies sat at a dining table and did some big-dreaming but a dream deferred doesn't mean a dream denied.
In 2015 Apartment 4 Lifestyle (A4L) was born, it had to be around Labor Day because we celebrated at Jay-Z's Made In America festival. We immediately got to work and were excited to finally be starting...then before our annual Friendsgiving celebration, Alicia discovered she had a life growing inside her! That didn't slow us down, we launched in 2016 focusing on fiber arts, we mostly sold jewelry and experimented with yarn in regards to jewelry making. Elena-Rose was born that May and Alicia was a trooper, hosting pop-ups in NOLA while Sheca hosted pop-ups in Philly. Along comes 2017 and life just kept happening... by May there was another surprise. This time the life was growing inside Sheca.. talk about everything coming to a screeching halt! Leah was born in January of 2018 and our lives became all about our girls and doing what we had to do to provide ... those dreams were put on hold.
Motherhood can be a fog in the beginning, but once the fog cleared our vision was literally 2020! It was September of 2019 and we decided 2020 would be the year we launched A4L again but this time we wouldn't get caught up on one thing, we wanted to amass a collection of lifestyle goods. Well, we all know what 2020 had in store, hello global pandemic, but that did not stop us! Since March of 2020, God has been ordering our steps and we’ve been following the path because it finally feels right.
Over the summer we made and curated a collection of over 200 handmade goods and the reception was all LOVE. We launched our original “Born Brown” shirts and felt encouraged to celebrate Black joy. The universe led us to meet Rosa, founder of Merchant House in New Orleans, and she invited us to bring our merchandise into her space and share it with the good folks of NOLA! We could not be more excited to see how things have been going, even when we think something isn’t working out, we find opportunity in the pivot. There have been so many long nights and early mornings, 2 best friends and business partners, building a dream 1200 miles apart.
So, about that 1200 miles, we think it’s time to shorten that distance! One morning, Sheca woke up from a dream and called Alicia to say, “I'm moving back to Louisiana, that’s how we make Apartment 4 Lifestyle be all it’s meant to be”, that was in 2019 and now here we are less than 1 month away from her return and the timing couldn’t be better! We are seeing the results of our actions come to life and we truly feel like these steps were ordered. After over 10 years of us working in our respective fields, the universe moved some things out of the way, and now is our time to truly pursue a dream.
We plan to keep y’all up to date on this journey, share great DIY projects, parenting chit-chat.. everything is on the table and we are so glad that you are here!
You can shop our goodies in person at 1150 Magazine Street inside Merchant House and our online shop is opened 24/7. You can also follow our girls for all things kid here and shop of collection of goods for the little ones here.