We are sharing our interview with young and talented Rachel Ahavah, she is 21 years old. Originally grew up in NYC and Fairfield County, Connecticut (USA). She is a shoe wear designer for her own personal collection called: “Ahavah by Ahavah, Italy” (the shoes are handcrafted in Italy with the finest materials, authentic Italian leather and Italian suede.. truly made with love and thought). She is also a slam poet, writer, musician, singer, body positive advocate and last but not least a mental health advocate.

Rachel Ahavah

Tell us a little about your rocky past?
I have been through pretty much everything A-Z but remain strong, I lost absolutely everything…. I developed severe C-PTSD from a sexual assault, didn’t leave my house for almost two years (agoraphobia) but rather than throw in the towel I decided to create a new life for myself, a healthier future. I moved 2,942 miles away from my hometown, obtained full time employment as a life coach, got a beautiful studio apartment facing a fabulous mural, and started my personal shoe collection.

What kickstarted your new start? What motivated you?
I would say myself, the harsh reality is that coffins don’t come in bunk beds. You are born alone… and you have to rely on yourself. You can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy. I have been through so much but I will never let my trauma defeat me, my middle name might as well be Triumph. I refuse to give in to the idea of not being able to achieve anything, anyone can do absolutely ANYTHING they set their mind too. I had to hit rock bottom to make it to the top, baby.

What was the inspiration behind your shoe line?
Trial and error, or more like people NEVER truly believing in my abilities. It’s not out of spite, I just always knew I had the power to deliver a message… and I’ve always wanted people to feel included, loved, and cared for… feelings sometimes I lacked… never wanting anyone to have those terrible feelings, everyone deserves to feel important! Also would like to say my mother is my motivation as well, she herself is an extremely beautiful woman inside and out with her own personal battles/struggles but continues to get up everyday and show love to each and every person she meets. I call her Mim but her name is Susie 🙂 she has always pushed me to be the best version of myself and to never give up. Love you mom!

You have achieved so much in a short amount of time, are you satisfied?
Absolutely! I wouldn’t want my life any other way. I am extremely blessed with the couple supports I have, my awesome shoe line, a fulfilling job (or two if you count the shoe line) that I know makes people feel validated and special! I will continue to conquer and make my dreams a reality because I know my voice should be heard.

What’s your favorite shoe design so far?
That’s a really tough question but if I have to pick just one it would be the IVY. I designed the Ivy for a very good friend of mine named Ivy Spillman, she is from the east coast (USA) and is one of the coolest people I have ever met in my life. She sings, she can do stuff on photoshop… I sit here in complete awe because I can’t even make a tray of Texas toast in the oven without burning it! Haha! The Ivy is designed for Ivy but also for the LGBT community as a whole, I myself am bi sexual and am finally ready to be open about it. I love the shoe! I love the LGBT community!

Anything else you’d like to share with the readers?
I’d like to invite your readers to check out my shoe collection… I have designed these shoes with every part of my soul…. everyone deserves a beautiful piece….. I’d also invite your readers to follow me on Instagram because I’ve got nothing but love and want to continue building connections…we’re a tribe! who knows, maybe a reader can be a model? Or I can help them through a tough time, life works in crazy ways. I love you all, God bless. -Rachel Ahavah, Ahavah by Ahavah Italy, Ahavahitaly@gmail.com, aliveshoes.com/brand/Ahavahbyahavah