Tameka Raymond Juggles Motherhood and Boutique Openings

10/10/2010 at 11:00 AM ET
Rob Ector

Atlanta-based mom-of-five — including Usher V, 2½, and Naviyd, 22 months, with ex-husband UsherTameka Raymond enjoys having a lot on her plate.

In May, she opened Estella in nearby Roswell, GA, her first fashion boutique, complete with a baby clothing room.

Three months later, she launched Estella Home across the street, which is stocked with chic furniture, home decor/accent pieces, accessories, jewelry and body care products for kids and their parents.

“It is a lot of work each day, but I have a great nanny who helps me get the kids to school so I can oversee the boutiques,” Raymond tells PEOPLE Moms & Babies. “Since I do all of the buying for the stores, I have to travel to Los Angeles and New York regularly.”

In addition to Usher V and Naviyd, Raymond’s children include Darrin, 20, Ryan (Meki), 11, and Kile, 9.

“I have to constantly juggle things,” she continues, “The kids go to daycare four or five hours a day then come home when I will be there. Their schedule is flexible so I can spend at least three or four hours at the stores and still be home with them in the evenings for dinner before they go to bed at 9 p.m.”

The talented stylist decided to open the stores because she wanted to share her fashion sense of “comfortable chic” with others.

“The textures, patterns and colors you see in my stores are a reflection of what I would wear or use in my home,” Raymond says. “Usher is very proud of me and thinks the stores are beautiful.”

Rob Ector

Raymond especially loves assembling the baby/kids room. She mixes adorable designer duds from Armani and Dior with more affordably priced booties, hats, shoes, socks and jammies.

“I love the kids stuff because I have my little boys, and I am so into dressing them,” she laughs. “It is a natural translation.”

The main room of Estella, which is housed in a historic building and named for her fashionable late maternal grandmother, is filled with modern, well-priced — nothing is over $200 — pieces for adults, while the vintage-style back room features marked down designer clothing from Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni and others.

The home store carries everything from children’s furniture, Indonesian armoires and luxe throws to Voluspa candles, HoneyChild body care and a complete room devoted to jewelry where singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige recently came to shop.

Rob Ector

“I love interacting with my customers and delving into retail because I grew up in it,” Raymond says. “My Aunt Sadie in Oakland, CA, had a resale shop where I worked at age seven. I priced merchandise. So I got an early start.”

Along with opening more stores in Los Angeles, New York and Miami in the next year or so, Raymond is in the process of designing her own private label to sell in Estella.

“I just returned from China where I am working with factories for my first line of clothing,” she reveals. “I am so excited. And the kids love it, too!”

Linda Marx

Rob Ector

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Showing 33 comments

amandamay on

how is she a celebrity? i get that her kids are celeb babies (usher) but she’s not a celeb herself. this is non-news.

zee on

As women we should support each other. She is a mother of 5 kids with 2 stores. What r u guys doing with Ur lifes. Keep doing Ur thing. Kudos to her.

MsP on

I love Tameka! She was successful prior to being married to Usher and after. Good job Tameka!! I dont understand why people must hate!!

Shannon on

I didn’t know she had a 20 year old son. The boutiques look nice. Good for her for following her passion.

Ashley on

While I wish more products were made here in the USA, she’s hardly the only person who has their goods produced in China. My husband’s father owns two companies, and most of the stuff he sells in his stores come from China as well. Because his businesses are small, he has to save money where he can and, unfortunately, Chinese goods are usually cheaper which means a bigger profit (and usually the quality is lower too, but it is what it is). We would have very few choices in where to shop if we only limited ourselves to stores that sell American made goods. Also, not everyone wants to or can afford to spend money on stuff that’s American made. Take my dad for example. He’s one of the best custom cabinet and furniture builders in the entire country but, because he does everything by hand the old fashioned way which takes more time and effort, he has to charge more and it’s hard to find customers willing to pay those higher prices when they can just buy cheaper, crappy, manufactured cabinets from a place like Home Depot. It’s sad, but what can you do?

Amber on

How on earth is she considered celebrity enough to be on this blog? Aren’t there any standards?

sarawara on

How is SHE relevant to CBB? Because she married Usher for 2 months and she’s fertile? Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger… *wink*

JM on

i really don’t tihnk we can talk about celebrity standards on this blog. i don’t know who half the “celebrities” featured on this blog are. i mean, i agree she shouldn’t be classed as a celebrity but then i also don’t think that the kardashians should, that woman who used to be a playboy bunny (whatever her name is), any of the “real housewives…” lot, and so on. i mean aren’t there any standards anymore? being born rich and then either sleeping with a famous person, or appearing on reality tv shows i don’t think constitutes being a celebrity.

like i said i don’t think there is any point in complaining which is why i only bring this up here because i was surprised that people seem outraged that she is classed as a celebrtiy. erm, care to head over to the kardashian post and say the same thing?

T McKinney on

Wow..people are so judgmental and down right mean. At any rate, the stores look really nice. I will have to check them out one day soon. Keep striving and rising sista girl.

Chelsea on

I love that she’s making the most of her situation and not dwelling on her former marriage. She seems like a very down to earth and its clear she’s a good mother.

Lorus on

I’ve love to open a couple clothing stores. Maybe I should have a couple babies, marry, then divorce a rich celebrity so I can do it too!

Mira on

Why is her last name still Raymond?

Sarah on

Granted I used to be jealous of Tameka, but I got over myself and got real. The odds of even “hooking up” or dating Usher were NEVER going to happen, plus, her past no matter how scandalous I thought it was based on what I read on gossip blogs, IS HER PAST. She was clearly moving forward when I wasn’t, I was jealous. I grew to like her once she and Usher were married, plus, she seemed like a nice woman. I wish Tameka the best in whatever it is that she does from here on.

Don’t hate on someone out of jealousy, I’ve done it and still do it sometimes. Either way, let it go and do whatever it is you can to get what you want out of life so you can also be happy! I’ve been doing that since I was in my mid ’20s and I’m still doing it today. I wish she didn’t have to leave twitter though, by doing so I thought she was letting the haters win. To each their own.

CelebBabyLover on

Why does everyone hate on Tameka so much? What has she ever done to anyone?! Anyway, I’ve always been curious about the names and ages of her other sons, and now I know them.🙂

Also, trying to set a few things first….Hasn’t she had children with just TWO men? I thought her three older boys were all from one relationship, and of course the two youngest are from her relationship with Usher.

And as far as why she’s famous…..Isn’t she an actress?

Mari on

Wow, the standards have really gotten down here. A couple of month ago most of these comments wouldn’t even have made it on the discussion board.

While I don’t consider her a true celebrity, some people should just not go to a thread about her instead of spewing filth. If nobody posts on a thread like this, there will be none about her in the future because of lack of interest.

Lady on

She….well…disgusts me…but yah…good for you girl…use Ushers money…..

Beautee on

Not a celeb? LMAO Please, there are a posts of quite a few Z listers at best on this site. Tameka started out the same way Kim Kardashian did (being a stylist for the stars) for people like Lauryn H., Jay-Z, Toni B., and of course Usher. She’s worked with Patti L., Chaka K. Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige etc… Her work has been on the covers of magazines such as Harpers Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, Seventeen, People, Teen People etc… So let’s not act like she was unemployed, broke, got lucky to get pregnant and marry Usher and is living solely off of his money.

If Kim can help leak an X-rated dvd of her and a “CELEB”, get a reality show of her, her parents and siblings and then her siblings branch out and get their own reality show, one is unwed, gets pregnant by someone who acts like an immature idiot, starts a blog that got posted on here with over a hundred praises in each post, then surely someone who worked their butt off prior to even marrying a CELEB (not someone like Scott) can. *rolls eyes*

Good luck to anybody that is trying to make a better life for themselves and/or children. Even if Usher gave her the money to start her business, that’s the EASIEST part; maintaining a successful business is the hard part. If she had 5 children by 5 different men, nobody on this blog is paying for them. There are plenty of divorced people who do not go back to their maiden name.

Nina on

Sarawawa and Lorus your comments are spot on.But lets give Tameka credit she is using her settlement and child support money she gets from USHER to better herself.It appears USHER has a thing for”OLDER MOTHERLY TYPES”and well Tameka was right up his alley.Tameka is no dummie she has always looked out for herself and her interest from day one.

Georgina on

I don’t mean this in a bad way, buy you guys in america have the weirdist shops. I’ve never been in a shop that sells armani childrens clothes in one section and indonesian furniture in another! Its just really random! We have department stores over here that sell everything, and small independant stores that sell say furniture or are a kids boutique.

But I guess there must be a market for it otherwise she wouldnt be doing so “well.” I find it odd she keeps the name Raymond too. Guess its a Tina Turner situation, and she gets noticed more with that name.

ILuvPerfectParents on

Good luck Tameka. If I were in her position, I would keep his last name and very proudly cash my settlement checks, he was the one who filed for divorce not her. IMO they BOTH got what they wanted in the end, which were their sons.

Saraya on

Most of you commenters are jealous, and angry that she is both Beautiful and smart. This woman is giving the total package, brains, beauty, a boss, a mother, and being Usher’s ex (a perk in my book). Why be mad that shes working hard and has opened not one but two boutiques in a year? She is inspiring to me. I wanna look like her when Im 39 and I wanna be like her too, I want kids, a husband, and businesses. Stop being jealous because she married Usher and congratulate her, shes kind of bad ass.

Saraya on

Go Tameka! You were the Bomb.com before there was Usher and now you are equally bad. Keep the haters angry and jealousy filled. You are beautiful and smart. Ushers loss on you. Many wont agree but I see the difference in him. You’re a fabulous lady!

KD on

can someone verify the math: she has a 22 month old and a 2 1/2 year old? huh?

robin ward on

Congratulations Tameka!!

Busybeingt on

Wow…..women amaze me. Lets support and uplift. For one the store looks beautiful, she looks pretty, the kids are happy. Isn’t that something to speak on? She is a celebrity in her own right. Now come on what woman on here wouldn’t want a nice child support check, a thank you for marrying me and putting up with my BS check. Hell, I know I do. Regardless I find inspiration from her to pick yourself up and keep going in life. The checks means nothing compared to her marriage being dissolved I’m sure. She has her head held up high and has not uttered one bad word against her exes. So layoff and do the same ladies.
God Bless

Laura on

To Beautee your comment is the best – Amen. Tameka was well known in the business before Usher, if you were into styling you would have known about her.

Anonymous on

KD…the boys are 12 1/2 months apart! Cinco is technically about 34 months (not quite 3, but a little more than 2 1/2) and the youngest is 22 months. They both have birthdays at the end of the year! It would have sounded better if they had just said almost 3 instead of 2 1/2, but oh well! lol

And I say go mama! You are raising 5 children while running 2 stores! Wow! And to all the haters, you just wish you were in her shoes! She was successful in her own right before Usher and she didn’t let their divorce slow her down!

GR on


loren on

Tameka looks good. I also say congrats on staying in business while caring for 5 boys. Glad for anyone who has talent and drive to use it,
she could just collect child support. She worked before and she is still working; the stores do look beautiful. All the best to you in your business and personal life.

Jessica on

She looks great in the first pic! And good for her on doing her own thing. But really!!??? She kept his last name??!! ‘Now I ain’t sayin’ she a gold digger, but she ain’t messin’ wit no…’

Lala on

Good for her! She sounds like a great business owner & mother! She looks great for having a 20 year old son.

Bayareanative on

Let me set the record straight. First off she is no stranger to a celebrity lifestyle, her grandfather was a great singer in the group Sam Cooke and The Soul Stirrers. Her father was also a great singer in his day. She grew up this way. Then she landed jobs dressing celebrities, including her ex-husband Usher. She dressed him for 7 years prior to them getting married. She may not be a celebrity to you but to celebrities she is famous because of her job and lineage. So be clear and know the facts. Tameka, do your thang sista and know the Bay Area has got your back!

Ms.Tab on

First, Congratulation on your store Tameka. I don’t believe she is hanging on Usher coat tail. When you have kids you need to have some communication(neutral grounds). I not saying Usher wasn’t wrong for the things he did to this woman. He could handle things in a better way.But,one thing is for sure BEHAVIOR DOESN’T CHANGE.So way he treated Tameka is going to be the same way with this other woman(cheated on Chili and Tameka).I’ve never met Usher,but I think he is a great businessman but his personal life is messed up.He need to put GOD first.

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