We had the good fortune of connecting with Racquel Shelby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Racquel, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Since the sixth grade, I knew I wanted to be in the field of journalism or become an attorney. I chose the journalism route. I decided to create a brand and business because I wanted to do things my way. Working for someone else would mean I would have to use my abilities within the boundaries set for me by that particular company. Intentionally using propaganda in media isn’t a practice that I ever want to take part in. I wouldn’t truly be able to leave an imprint of my thought process and personal knowledge that has been gained from my life’s journey. Shining my light wouldn’t come freely working for someone else. It is important for me to leave a positive imprint in the world that would contribute toward the betterment of humanity. Having my own brand and legacy would trickle down to my children and their children. Generational wealth and enrichment of both the mind and spirit are things I find to be important. It was my thought that all of those things would be practiced, presented, and shared throughout my brand. Rocky Road Productions LLC is a broadcast media company that was created to give people of color a true voice in media that would lead to justice, love, and unity in humanity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a creative rebel. I am never afraid to do express what is placed in my mind, heart, or spirit through creativity. Porch Talk began as a show on my front porch. Those were fun times and I have always taken my craft seriously. produced, directed, and filmed a series of skits that were hilarious in collaboration with my friends MzFefe DaPlug and Kermit. I produced, filmed, and edited my own solo series of skits as Telling Taiesha and Shelly Knickerbocker. Telling Taiesha is the neighborhood gossip and block captain who disguises her messiness as concern and truly believes she isn’t being messy. Shelly Knickerbocker is a Caucasian woman married to an African American male of which she finds out is cheating on her. She finds herself in distress and uses her white privilege card to call Emergency.
In 2017, I was known as the pen pal of the former Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick. R&L Printing Company made me the face of their commercial and I was a guest on the Dr. Nandi Show. Persistence and connections made along the way is how I got to where I am and it hasn’t been easy. There are many times I had to get quiet to myself and think or talk to my husband to find encouragement.
It was 2019 I brought my porch show to the studio and made it a podcast. The show evolved and split into two shows, Love & $uccess, and Shade & Shenanigans. After that, Rants & Robes was formed as an Instagram LIVE show before I was forced to make it a YouTube show. Vitamin D came after that, For various reasons, all of those shows have come to an end and now I am rebranding. It was time. It is hard to walk away from something you have done for so long but, putting down projects when they have run their course is wise and it makes room for other and better things to come along.
Rocky Road Productions has been rebranded as Racqi Road Productions. I have a new website, YouTube, and am changing my direction just a bit. You will have to stick around to see what 2022 will bring.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
These days I don’t do much hanging out so I am a bit out of the loop. However, when it comes to eating, I would take my friend to Black Rock in Novi, Texas De Brazil and Centaur Bar in Downtown Detroit, Blaze Pizza and Las Caszueles in Southfield, Jamaican Pot in Detroit, and we would have to find some home activities.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give thanks and credit to my husband for helping put a name to my business. He is the one that came up with Rocky Road Productions LLC. He is also the reason I was able to connect with Billy T Thompson a.k.a Billy T Detroit. Billy worked for Radio One in the city of Detroit. He allowed me to co-host on his LIVE radio show that aired on 1200 am at the time. I was under his guidance for years and learned a lot about radio and camera presence, aside from prior schooling at a Broadcast Media Arts school. There is nothing like actually practicing what you have learned, and Billy made that happen for me. My kids and fur babies keep the battery charged in my back to never give up, so I thank them also.
There is nothing like support. Casino Bailey at SDM Flix helped me with my website, my shows, and more. I can’t forget about Miles Dixon a.k.a Doc Chill. He looked out for me at his studio Podcastic.
Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey are an inspiration because they are both African American trailblazers in the entertainment industry. They are proof that dreams do come true with persistence and hard work.
Other: This is the YouTube Channel I used for 5 years prior to the rebrand https://www.youtube.com/c/PorchTalk