Interior designer, stylist and all around creative; very few people can hold the Renaissance man title but Rashon Carraway is working his way towards that very title. After leaving the corporate world Rashon also known as Mr. Goodwill Hunting began blogging full time and turned his passion for design into a career.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My childhood was one that was rooted and ground in the faith of the church. Mom always believed in the power of prayer and taught us daily to love ourselves regardless of what others may say. My mother is a creative person. Much of what I do stems directly from watching her as a home seamstress as well and her dabbling in various arts and crafts projects. I didn’t see it then, but now I see that all I am is a direct reflection of the life I was surrounded by. In this career of creativity and style, I have always been introduced to it so it was natural to go full force in it.
After receiving my bachelor’s degree in political science and two minors in sociology and mass communication, I worked in the secular world for quite some time. After going through a number of jobs, my last job pushed me into working for myself.
I pursued blogging full-time and landed a brief stint on the Nate Berkus Show as an interior design expert. As a celebrity design expert I offer style inspiration for the home as well as sartorial inspiration for men.
How was that transition from the corporate world to blogging full time? What were some of the ups and down?
The major down is the money. Let’s face it. I like nice things. It’s a lot of stress to come from a job where you know the money is flowing as compared to a creative job, where the flow of funds in inconsistent.
On my last job someone was always over my shoulder. Peeping, looking for a reason to reprimand. Fortunately I did my job well and wasn’t in fear, but the constant pressure was there. Needless to say the job bored me.
Blogging full time is a task. Content must be fresh and you must always engage your readers. The way one looks at the numbers in regards to traffic is important. This is what is used for advertising, collaborations and partnerships. The occasional TV appearances I can handle. Trying to maintain a relevant blog can be very very tricky.
How did the Nate Berkus appearances come to be?
When my job downsized in December 2010, they decided they didn’t need me anymore. Without a will to really look for another job, I decided to spruce my apartment up since I would be there more often. Since I was already blogging I figured I would take my readers on the journey of my finds and how I put them into my space. In February 2011 I received an email from the producers at the Nate Show that said they saw my bedroom and wanted to know if I had images of other spaces in my home. I said yes. Truthfully, I didn’t but how can you turn down an opportunity for national TV? I took the entire weekend and redid my living and dining room.
After they saw those pictures they were impressed and wanted me to join Nate in New York on stage to show my apartment in the House Proud segment. From that one appearance and the popularity to the many after it is how the Nate appearances came to be.
What is your process as an interior designer?
The process varies quite a bit. I will say the first step is finding inspiration. Whether that be a fabric swatch or even a meal at a restaurant. Inspiration is always the first step.
What are some of your first memories of seeing beauty?
My first memories of seeing beauty is a bit tricky, because I always saw the world a bit different but didn’t begin to refer to it as beauty until I was really prompted to. Everything is beautiful…at every stage of its life.
How did the name Mr. Good Will Hunting come about?
Mr. Goodwill Hunting came about because I would visit the Goodwill in my area so much until it was just a normal progression. When you try to carve out a niche on the Internet there has to be something catchy for to want to know more about your services. I am told that is how a producer found me. She saw the name Mr. Goodwill Hunting and was intrigued. While I shop more than just Goodwill, it’s a great name to have because no one else has it.
Why the love for vintage or thrifting?
The quality and construction of a vintage suit far exceeds the garments that are manufactured now. The price point of a vintage suit is far less than something one would buy from J. Crew or Ralph Lauren. The sartorial explorer in me is always seeking a look that is unique and this often comes from bespoke or vintage clothing.
Thrifted clothing does follow the same story line as vintage, but most thrifted pieces are cheap. Let’s face it, everybody wants a good deal.
What is a gentleman to you?
A gentleman is one that has manners and respect for all persons. He treats the smallest creature with kindness knowing that each life is precious. He is neat, organized and strong. A natural born leader. Of course he isn’t meddlesome, but has his pulse on current events and is able to express himself and debate his position when the time is appropriate.
A gentleman can be a number of things, but the most important thing is that he is loving.
What is style? Why is it important?
Style is simply the way one expresses themselves. Style identifies who you are, It tells the world what you are about.
With everything going on what’s next for you and where do you see yourself in 5 years
Five years seem so far away, yet a year passes by so quickly. In 5 years I certainly hope to be as relevant as I am now. With growth and develop my career path could change, but longevity is key and important.
So in five years I hope to impact the world in a positive way.
If you could go back in time and give a very young Rashon Carraway any piece of advice what would it be?
I would tell him that everything is going to be alright…despite the name calling and teasing. Everything is going to be alright.