Renata Philippe is the Chief Designer and Founder of Black Squirrel Company; a children’s wear, personal & home accessories company. As a military brat, she’s called many places home to include NYC, Philly, and Chattanooga, but her cornerstone can be found on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Despite an ever-changing landscape outside her bedroom window she always dreamed of being a designer. After completing her first semester of design school, she faced the reality that her parents couldn’t afford college. With that, college was put on hold and she decided to follow in her father's and grandfather's footsteps of serving her country in the Army National Guard. After almost 2 years of training and saving, she returned to school completing her B.S. in Apparel Design from the University of Delaware.
As an award-winning academic and decorated soldier she was selected frequently to travel abroad to Barcelona, Spain, Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium to name a few. Open air markets and small foreign shops ignited a love for textiles. In 2007 upon returning from Seoul, Korea with a few fabrics stuffed in her Army rucksack she dusted off her sewing machine and began to sew small clutches and tote bags for fellow designers in Philadelphia. With that Renata’s first company was born. As the economy tanked all around, her small business blossomed. In 2009 she was offered a promotion as the Communication Team Leader for IKEA Distribution, allowing a return home to Maryland. After almost a decade away from friends and family, Renata moved her small shop to the “Delmarva” Peninsula. Her flourishing business was now a side hustle for the “stable corporate design job”.
By 2014, Renata was blessed with a supportive husband, children and yet another opportunity to serve her country as a computer engineer for the federal government. However, in 2018 through divine intervention of a contract that was not renewed, she was compelled to bring Black Squirrel Company out of the shadows and birth it through the fertile ground of Anacostia DC. Now with the power of social media and 202Creates, Renata can share her textile rich designs with Ward 8, her country and the world she has been blessed to travel.