Oakland, CA based designer, Rashima Sonson is the owner of SONSON® (an E-commerce traditional and luxury bow tie brand) The brand offers bow ties made of African wax print fabric, lamb leather, pearls, and Swarovski® stones. The brand has been featured on Fashion Bomb Daily, The Knot, San Francisco Chronicle, Shoppeblack.com and more.
She grew up in the city of New Orleans, by way of St. Croix (U.S.V.I). During her time in New Orleans, her God given talent in visual arts was the key to her being accepted into New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (without any formal art training), which is also referred to as the Juilliard of the South.
In 2005, her life drastically changed from the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina. Displaced to Philadelphia, living in a shelter and having to start her life from the bottom, she continued to push forward with her goal of creating her fashion brand. Throughout the years, she has harvested her talents to being a professional within the Fashion Industry via showcasing her first collection at the Essence Music Festival in 2006, working for Gap Inc. leading global product quality initiatives to starting her accessory brand in 2014, and being NPR’s first class fellows in 2018.
She is a commercial veteran with over 10 years’ experience in various textile/apparel roles within Strategic Sourcing, Quality Management, Merchandising, and Designing. She is an Alpha Kappa Alpha woman who holds a B.S. in Human Ecology, an MBA and is Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. Despite her many accomplishments and setbacks, she has always had an appreciation for the arts an supporting her community.
One of her favorite sayings is, “Every Artist needs an Artist!” This was the inception of “The Intermission Event.” The Intermission Event, is part of her vision, in which creatives can come together and curate a production to showcase their talents in a laid back inviting setting.
Zinna has 15+ years experience designing and producing just about all types of print collateral and presentation materials including strategic plans and annual reports, brand& identity packages, interactive slide decks, info/process graphics,five-piece invitation suites, brochures, postcards, direct mail pieces and websites.
In 2000, Zinna began her career writing, editing and designing countless documents and graphic diagrams (including maps and process graphics) under the rigorous tutelage of urban planners and accomplished graphic designers at an multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm in Berkeley (MIG). This highly demanding position, required she wear vastly different professional hats including technical writer, graphic designer, project manager, to name a few, but it was in this position that she fostered a clear passion as well as demonstrated an innate talent for graphic design. Providing associate and project management level support for one of the firm’s & founding principals, she was able to amass an extensive graphic design portfolio while narrowing her career focus.
In 2005, Zinna shifted to the nonprofit sector as in-house designer, working at both the micro level to produce a wide array of high-quality materials and at the macro level to help the Independent Television Service (ITVS) unify its visual identity and brand as an organization. Specifically, she designed and produced innumerable presentations, white papers, reports, process graphics, brochures, catalogues, branding collateral (including series and event logos as well as the organization’s business cards) and other various materials necessary to assist the organization’s & President in institution building. Additionally, Zinna managed and facilitated metric processes/reporting and institutional planning processes across all departments. Demonstrating multiple competencies, Zinna realized what she enjoyed most was creating and conceptualizing remarkable design solutions to complex communication challenges, which led her to pursue a freelance graphic design career in 2010.
Since then, Zinna has completed over 100 design projects for 35+ clients—many contracting her annually to create promotional materials for recurring events as well as branding for new initiatives. Her clientele includes an array of businesses and non-profit organizations, such as Homeless Prenatal Program, Impact Media Partners, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc.-Oakland/Bay Area Chapter, Social Justice Learning Institute, Healthy Generations Project, End Child Poverty in California, Devil in the Machine Productions (film), Healthy Qi & You, Double Happiness Health, Whipper Snapper Restaurant, McKnight Higgins Consulting and the Santa Monica Public Library.