Singer/songwriter, and star of TI & Tiny's Family Hustle and WeTV's Growing Up Hip Hop TV star has just launched her new merchandising company. Since the finale of GUHHATL's first season, Zonnique also released her debut EP, LOVE JONES, which debuted in the Top 10 of the iTunes R&B chart.
ShineMyCrown spoke with Zonnique this week about her new merchandising venture, the challenges of having two famous parents, her music and more!
ShineMyCrown: You’ve launched your own clothing line, was it a long term dream of yours? Have you always wanted to have a clothing line?
I've actually always wanted to have all types of lines that are mine. It started with a clothing line, something simple at first. I feel like you always have to get into it and figure it out a little bit. I figured since I was doing my mug shots that would be how I started. And then I want to get into all types of different clothing and artwork and cool little tees that people wear and I also want to make purse and little diaries. All types of things I'm really into, I want to make for other people.
ShineMyCrown: Awesome. So you just want to take over everything?
Zonnique: Yeah, pretty much.
ShineMyCrown: During an episode of Family Hustle, we saw that T.I. wasn't necessarily a fan of you putting the mugshot on your clothing. Did you manage to turn him?
Zonnique: I actually did not manage to turn him and it's very hard to turn him away from how he feels already. I don't even like to go through all the convincing because he always comes back with all these smart things to say and big vocabulary words. I let him feel how he feels but at the end of the day I'm grown now and I'm a young lady and I feel like he understands that as well. But now when he sees them, or something, with the mugshots, he always just makes jokes. It's nothing too terrible.
ShineMyCrown: But we saw mom is a huge fan. She's on the site rocking the tees.
Zonnique: Oh, yeah. She loves it.
ShineMyCrown: What's been the hardest part about the clothing from the inception to actually having it manifest physically?
Zonnique: I would say the timing part. I feel like just getting everything together and making sure you have enough material, like enough shirts that you buy. You have to put your money into it as well and this is my first time actually putting my money into something that I feel like will get me money back. It's just like the process of actually getting it together and making sure you're spending a good amount of money for your first little round and then you kind of have to see if it's worth putting your money into. I'd say that's the most intriguing part about it all.
ShineMyCrown: Okay. You have the t-shirt and the hoodie. Do you have an idea of which product might come next?
Zonnique: Yeah, I actually want to do some hats next but not with my mugshot. I just want to put some cool things on it because I feel like I, just by myself, run out of hats. Like I never find really cute hats in the store. So I just want to make a bunch of little caps and stuff that people can just throw on when they're having a bad hair day.
ShineMyCrown: You have two very famous parents. Does this make accomplishing your goals, or does it make things more of a challenging?
Zonnique: I think it's a little bit of both. Because I think when your parents have a hand in a lot of different things you can always go to them for help, but also, with my parents, I feel like they have so many things going on that, not even me, but all of my siblings hate to just go to them first. So it can also be difficult because people think everything is going to be perfect the first time because you have these famous parents. Like, it has to go well is how people, you know... So it should be but it's really not like that and it can be very frustrating trying to do things on your own and do it without them and trying to figure it out on your own. I think that's what makes it challenging and people just don't see that part of it.
ShineMyCrown: Moving along to your music, your EP did extremely well. Top 10 on the iTunes R&B chart. Were you surprised?
Zonnique: Thank you. I really was. I was so very surprised. I didn't think I would get that high up. I felt like, "You know, I'll make it on the charts, but probably somewhere in the hundreds. Maybe even the three hundreds." But I didn't even think that it would get so far up. I feel like my fan base is from OMG Girls and Family Hustle and things. I just didn't know it was that strong, so I was so very surprised.
ShineMyCrown: On Growing Up Hip Hop ATL, we did see your journey make this EP. We saw you first working with Brandon and then Miss Deb. Are you currently working with Miss Deb?
Zonnique: I'm actually not working with Miss Deb. I'm really cool with her though. I like to go to her here and there and ask for advice because I think she's just really good with her words. She's really a great motivator and I think she always gives me ideas every time I talk to her but we don't work together at all.
ShineMyCrown: Now, your skin is always flawless. Can I ask, your secret, what's your skincare regime like?
Zonnique: Oh, actually I use these Aveeno wipes and the Aveeno scrub. I don't use it every day because I don't want it to end up breaking me out or something. I remember my auntie told me when I was young, "When you use products, use them until your skin looks good and then take a break." But I feel like it does get the dirt off my face and other than that I just wash my face with warm water and then cold water right after that and I put just a little Vaseline on the rag and just wipe it on my face because my grandma told me that. And it just stays clean.
ShineMyCrown: Who are some of your go-to brands for hair care? And why?
Zonnique: I'm really getting into the curly-girl thing, and I've been trying not to press my hair out a lot. So I would say my go-to products right now are Devacurl. I use really all of their products. I tell everybody I think that they work for all hair textures and it's just really great. And then I've been using Redken for a cream for my curls. I would say those are my main, main ones. I've been trying to try out new ones because when you're doing this curly hair process you have to try out new things to see what works for you best, but it's a process.
ShineMyCrown: What is your favorite go-to style for your hair?
Zonnique: I get really lazy with my hair, and I feel like even though I'm trying to do- my hair is pretty curly and I've gotten pretty far in this curly hair process, I don't feel like my curls always come out the best. So I really just love a slick bun. And even when I'm filming, my cousin- she does my hair most of the time, and she gets so tired of me saying, "Let's just slick my hair up into a bun today." And she's like,"You have to do something cuter." So really my cousin does all the cute styles on me, and if it's a bun, most likely I have put that bun in my hair.
ShineMyCrown: What advice would you give to young girls out there looking up to you, wanting to be successful, possibly have their own clothing line? What's the one piece of advice that you would give them?
Zonnique: I would say, if getting into clothing is something that you want to do, then really take your time to figure everything out before you get into it. Really get all your ideas together and make sure that it's something that you're really passionate about before you step into that line, but definitely, try all things. I always say, whatever that you feel like you dream about or that you dream you want to do, just try it out or get it ready to try it out.
ShineMyCrown: What's next for you on the music front?
Zonnique: For music, I actually have one more video coming out very soon. I just put out my "Should've Been" video, which was on my EP. Now I'm going to be putting out "Patience" next very soon, which I love the visuals. After that I definitely want to drop new music, I feel like I'm going into the single category. I want to put out a single and then maybe another project soon after that.
ShineMyCrown: Black Girl Magic mean to you?
Zonnique: Oh my god. Black girl magic is just, for one, so magical. I feel like black girls are just so diverse. We can do things with everything. I feel like our hair is one main thing about us that's just so diverse and beautiful. I think black girl magic is really just women empowering each other and really just being who they are and loving themselves.
You can check out Zonnique's new line by heading to shopzonnique.com.