Meet Adrienne Randle (B.S. ’13): Addie Rawr

For Black History Month, we’re shining a spotlight on Black alumni business owners. Meet the many grads of VCU’s College of Humanities and Sciences that have tapped into their entrepreneurial spirit.
Adrienne Randle

Meet Adrienne Randle, founder and designer of ByAdrienne and Addie Rawr. When she’s not designing, she’s helping other small black-owned businesses get started. Learn more below.

Can you describe your business and its goal?

I am an artist, designer and business consultant under ByAdrienne where I use my skills and experience to create for my brand Addie Rawr and for other small businesses. I have a purpose in being an authentic expert that assists small Black-owned businesses with their design needs along with consulting to help with their entrepreneurial journey. Under my brand Addie Rawr, I achieved my main goal in 2023 of introducing more positive art and products for Black women in the stationery and gifting world. After 10 years of creating one of a kind journals, greeting cards, planners, stickers, mugs and more, I was able to transition from focusing on products to helping others start similar businesses.

What inspired you to start your company?

I originally started my business in 2012 when I was a junior at VCU studying creative advertising and general business. Honestly, all of my courses and professors inspired me to use what I was learning in the classroom and apply it in the real world. I started to learn the skills needed to develop a business from my minor classes, while gaining experience in storytelling, copywriting, design and advertising in my major classes. It was a perfect mix that prepared me to be an entrepreneur.

What is something that you wish you would have known before starting your business?

Taxes is probably one of the most important parts of running a business but it’s the hardest to learn before starting a business. You kinda have to learn it as you go and there’s not many straightforward resources that can prepare you for what you need. I wish that I was able to take some tax preparation classes before starting.

What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur? Best part?

One of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur is learning work life balance. Since you’re making your own schedule and routine, it’s extremely difficult to know when to turn off work and get back to your own life. I had to start separating my business from my personal life by removing business-related apps, social media accounts, even emails off my personal phone. I created a strict schedule where I don’t work 24/7. It’s still hard to follow and requires a lot of discipline. But the freedom you have being an entrepreneur is priceless. You can really create the life of your dreams when everything you do is under your control. I’m happier, more confident and carefree as an entrepreneur than when I was working my corporate job.

Where would you like to see your business in 5/10 years?

In the next 5 to 10 years, I would love to see my design consultant services grow so that I can reach thousands of small Black-owned businesses in helping them in what they need to grow and scale. I see me having a cute little office where I can meet with clients and even host workshops in person. For my brand Addie Rawr, I know it will continue to expand and get shelf space in more retail stores. I see partnerships with wellness and spiritual brands in the future that will help me serve my mission of touching people from a place of God.

Check out AddieRawr on Instagram.