Totally Stoned, LLC

by Terry Watson | September 11th, 2012
Robin Russell

Robin Russell (Photo by Howard Gaither)

Robin Russell of Winston-Salem is a woman who wears many hats. She is a mother, a wife, business partner and business owner. Her venture is Totally Stoned, LLC, a rhinestone apparel company that specializes in custom designed items. Russell says her products consist of anything that can be rhinestoned including tee shirts, purses, jeans and more.

Russell says that most of her clients are usually seeking rhinestone t-shirts but she has sold personalized ribbons, pants, personalized bath robes, tote bags, jackets, stockings, baby hats and onesies. Additionally, Totally Stoned offers logo design as well. Her client base includes business owners that use personalized shirts as a means of advertising and also non-business owners who may just want shirts for relatives, brides and everyday wear.

Totally Stoned started unofficially in 2009. “I needed some items created for my wedding and I asked a young lady to do them for me. She was very rude and she did not have an idea of customer service. I decided I was not going to pay someone who treated me poorly to do something I was sure I could do for myself,” says Russell. That was the beginning of her business and she took her ideas and combined them with her own idea of creativity and began making rhinestoned inspired items for family and friends. In 2011, Russell obtained her limited liability company, and Totally Stoned was officially opened for business.

“When I started designing my line, I never intended for it to be a business. I made some items for myself out of necessity,” says Russell. “When other people started seeing the product and after seeing their reactions, I was prompted to take the necessary steps to make this a real business.” Basically, Russell turned a hobby into a business. She noticed there was a need for bling and knew how to meet that need. “I absolutely love the look on people’s faces when they see their shirts for the first time. Whether they get their unborn child’s name on a garment, their son’s name and football team name and number on a shirt, or when a business owner sees their logo; the reaction always leaves me fulfilled,” she says.

“I love being a business owner. I love the freedom it brings and how it allows me to choose when I work and how much I work,” she says. “Due to enjoying what I do, I work in my business as much as possible.”

For the greater portion of the existence of Totally Stoned, Russell says they were doing all of the designs by hand. That process she says was challenging and very tedious because more often than not, she would have multiple orders. Though there are some designs that are still done by hand, she now relies on the assistance of a rhinestone machine which helps with her increasing amount of large orders.

Owning and managing a business requires hard work and having constant faith in God. “God has impacted my life in so many ways. He has impacted this business by keeping me focused, ushering certain people in my life that have been a blessing to the business,” says Russell. “I do not believe in coincidences. Everything that has happened with Totally Stoned, has been according to God’s plan. He continuously allows me to meet the right people to keep this business expanding. I am truly blessed.”

Russell says that after moving to Winston-Salem from Ohio, no one knew her. She relied on building relationships with her immediate community. “People took a chance on me. Totally Stoned would not be in business and would not exist without these people. They are our greatest asset,” she says. Additionally Russell says her family keeps her inspired. “I like trying new things and pushing my abilities to the limit. I know the more I do, the more customers I will have which will benefit my family.”

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