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Not Too Shabby, hey?

I'm an absolute lover of beautiful homeware and furniture, so when I stumbled across Not Too Shabby Ray I was super excited (also these Annie Sloan colours are to die for).


Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Well, my name is Rayan Taricone, but most people call me Ray! I am 24 years old. I was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. My mum is Italian and my father is Lebanese. I studied Liberal Arts at the American University of Rome, but lost interest after one semester. My whole life, I've struggled to find something I was passionate about. Then one day on a holiday in Dubai, I bought my first DSLR Camera. I fell in love with photography! I did that for a few years and life took me down a different path. I bought part of a drug rehabilitation facility in Cape Town. It was a very emotional job and I felt I was losing myself and my direction... I was bored and decided to paint a piece of furniture in my house. Since then I haven’t stopped! The art of transforming something old into something spectacular brings me so much joy!


How old is your business now?

About 10 months.


How did you come up with the idea of and name for your business?

Well my name is Ray, and I think I do a pretty good job, so, Not Too Shabby Ray (haha).


What is that “one thing” that this Lockdown period has taught you and that you will be using in the future? How will you be doing business differently?

This lockdown has taught me how easily fear can control people. I don’t think there is any way to prepare for the future, because anything can happen. I believe you should do what makes you happy and enjoy yourself! It’s quality, not quantity.


What makes your business unique?

I believe what makes my business unique is my character. I have been told I’m a bit nutty and funny. I also use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which only a few stores in South Africa are able to stock! So I have the opportunity to use the best chalk paint brand! And redo furniture for an affordable prices. Plus I have workshops to teach people how to chalk paint their own furniture. So I teach workshops, sell Annie Sloan Chalk paint and do commission pieces for people.


Are you a solo-entrepreneur or how many members does your team currently comprise? 

It’s just me!


How do you market your business, and which methods have been most successful for you?

Mainly via social media, i.e: Facebook & Instagram. My website is: https://nottooshabbyray.co.za


What does a typical day look like for you? And how many hours, on average, do you work daily?

I was working from home until about a week ago, I rented a space in a store! I get in at 9 and I'm there until 5. If there are some pieces at home, I paint them.


How has being an entrepreneur affected your life?

I just have a better sense of who I am. Even when I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life, I knew it was something creative and artistic. I am more independent and content.


If you could go back in time and start up your business all over again, what would you do differently?

Absolutely nothing.


What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone just starting out?

Breathe. It is going to be great! I have a poster in my shop which says:

Creative Process:

  1. This is awesome

  2. This is tricky

  3. This is sh*t

  4. I am sh*t

  5. This might be okay

  6. This is awesome!

Where can we find your business on social media?

Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/nottooshabbyray

Instagram handle: @nottooshabbyray


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