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Donna King On Launching P. Sherrod & Co., A Black-Owned Leather Accessories Brand


P. Sherrod & Co.

Donna King’s accessories brand, P. Sherrod & Co., began as a side hustle. Over a decade ago, King, originally from Jersey City, was introduced to a family-run leather manufacturer while she was on a trip to Columbia. She says that the brilliant colors, craftsmanship, and supple leather sparked an idea. “It was in this encounter that a seed was planted,” she tells King started releasing handbags in 2009 as a creative outlet following the serendipitous moment she experienced during her travels to South America. 

By 2015, she officially went full-time with her line after making it profitable. Her background in journalism and IT strengthened her skill sets by giving her a unique edge that most designers do not have. Though she doesn’t have a traditional fashion education the designer and founder explains that she pushed through feelings of fear and doubt. In an email, King shares that her brand has a commitment to affordability without compromising on quality. She notes her line is also a celebration of timeless elegance in an ever-evolving fashion landscape. P. Sherrod & Co. focuses on non-seasonal, modern leather pieces that can be worn with workwear and beyond the office. 

P. Sherrod & Co.’s Founder On Launching A Black-Owned Leather Accessories Brand 
P. Sherrod & Co.

During her entrepreneurial journey, King says that once her brand started gaining traction it began catching the attention of major retailers. The attention led to her products being stocked in stores including SteinMart and Belk. “Our products garnered well-deserved exposure with features in prestigious outlets such as Forbes and even prominent appearances on the CBS daytime soap ‘The Young and the Restless.’” She also expresses that her dedication to the brand has kept it thriving. “There is an immense joy that comes from seeing a ‘side hustle’ evolve into a brand that resonates with a diverse audience.”

“Witnessing the impact that women, Black women in particular, are having on the culture and the world is a powerful motivator,” King adds. “I’m continually inspired by who they are and how they show up in the world, especially when they have a P. Sherrod bag on their arm.”

We recently caught up with Donna King to learn more about P. Sherrod & Co., what inspires her, how her background in journalism equipped her to be an entrepreneur, and more.

P. Sherrod & Co.’s Founder On Launching A Black-Owned Leather Accessories Brand 
Courtesy of Donna King What is your brand ethos?

Donna King: At P. Sherrod, our ethos is rooted in challenging the prevailing notion that style and quality must come at a high cost, with lots of bells and whistles, and be associated with big branding. We defy this myth by curating collections of quality, classically styled leather handbags and accessories that are inspired by retro simplicity and timeless elegance.  Our commitment lies in creating pieces that never go out of style, offering a bridge between contemporary fashion and enduring classics.  We are fostering a community of like-minded individuals who share our passion and conviction that one should not have to compromise style and quality for price. 

What are you most inspired by at the moment? 

All things classic, sophisticated, and the timeless allure of retro style are always at the forefront of and a source of inspiration for my brand–it’s the foundational inspiration that serves as a guide. We stay true to the resilience of classic pieces that transcend trends, and it’s this enduring quality that continues to guide our design aesthetic.  

Can you describe the road to launching your brand?

The serendipitous beginning of turning from corporate consultant to handbag designer came during a trip to Colombia, South America, where I crossed paths with a small, family-run leather manufacturer through a friend. This road to launching P. Sherrod & Co. was an unexpected journey fueled by my creative and entrepreneurial spirit. With no formal background in handbag design, my introduction into the world of leather goods began as a simple hobby and served as a creative outlet [for] my corporate job. Thinking this would only be a side hustle I functioned with that frame of mind for many years.  

How did your background as a journalist and consultant prepare you for your current life as an entrepreneur?

My background as a journalist and business consultant has been instrumental in shaping my journey as an entrepreneur and the CEO of P. Sherrod & Co. The skills honed in my previous roles have seamlessly transitioned into the dynamic role of running a lifestyle brand. As a journalist, I cultivated the art of storytelling and communication—essential skills that now play a crucial role in building the narrative of P. Sherrod & Co. Crafting compelling brand stories and effectively communicating our mission, marketing messages, and brand promise to our audience has been an easier task, thanks to my background in journalism.

My experience as a consultant equipped me with invaluable transferable skills. Strategic thinking, problem-solving, and analytical abilities acquired in the consulting realm have been pivotal in navigating the daily challenges and complexities of entrepreneurship.

Does Atlanta influence your designs? It’s such an energetic city.

Atlanta influences everything. It’s not just the city of the south anymore; it’s a vibrant source of inspiration for the world and significantly influences the essence of P. Sherrod & Co. Having called Atlanta home since graduating from undergrad [at Clark Atlanta University], I’ve witnessed the tremendous growth and transformation of this city, and it undeniably shapes the way we move as a brand–especially since traditionally fashion has always belonged to New York and Los Angeles [at least] stateside. The city’s unique blend of history, culture, and the amalgamation of influences from people who have made it their home in the past few decades, serves as a dynamic backdrop of inspiration. The rich history of Black people, in particular, resonates deeply with me, and it reflects in the ethos of P. Sherrod & Co. It’s partly why we have such a firm conviction for diversity, community, and the celebration of style.

P. Sherrod & Co.’s Founder On Launching A Black-Owned Leather Accessories Brand 
P. Sherrod & Co.

What about your brand sets it apart from other brands in the accessories market?

P. Sherrod & Co. distinguishes itself in the accessories market for its compelling blend of timeless design, rich color, affordability, and unique classic perspective that resonates particularly with fashion-forward, professional women. It’s not just the aesthetic of our products but we speak to a specific woman who understands, appreciates, and can relate to the essence, feel, and spirit at the core of our brand.

In an accessories market where PVC is often substituted at similar price points, our dedication to using authentic leather materials is also a differentiator.  We believe in the inherent value of genuine leather, which not only wears better over time but also aligns with our ethos of offering products that stand the test of time.


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