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Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes

Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker
2022 Honoree

Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes is a Fashion & Interior Designer, Entrepreneur and Motivational Speaker with a desire to Empower, Equip and Educate Women. In 2018, Rachelle founded the EmpowerHer Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association in her hometown of Orangeburg, SC and currently serves as the 2021-2022 National District 1 Vice President of the American Business Women’s Association.

At the tender age of 6yrs old, Rachelle’s grandmother taught her how to sew which developed her passion for fashion and fueled Rachelle’s desire for entrepreneurship. After producing many fashion shows around the world, having her designs featured in many magazines and on television, Rachelle brought her talents home to Orangeburg, SC and is beautifully restoring older homes in the heart of downtown Orangeburg and developing her oasis named, Rachelle’s Island. Rachelle’s Island has expanded to include Rachelle’s Island Boutique, Island Cruises & Tours Travel Agency and Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast, Catering and Event Venue. Rachelle is celebrating 30 years in business.

Rachelle’s mantra is “Show Up for Your Life” You’re Worth It!

Rachelle is honored to have been named the SBA 2020 SC Rural Small Business Person of the Year and to have been the 2019 Advisory Board Chair of the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SCSBDC). Still on cloud 9, Rachelle is grateful that her award-winning Rachelle’s Island Tea was the featured beverage for the 22 presidential candidates at the World-Famous Jim Clyburn’s Fish Fry in June. Rachelle’s Island Tea was voted the 2018 & 2019 1 st Place People’s Choice BEST Sweet Tea winners at the Summerville Sweet Tea Festival and the Taste of Black Columbia, SC in May 2019.

Always believing that the best is yet to come, Rachelle continues to raise the bar. She is the Founder & Chapter Advisor of the Orangeburg, EmpowerHer Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) for the personal and professional development of women and “Events for Causes”, an initiative that highlights awareness and assists in the needs of individuals and entities in the community. Rachelle has a heart for mentoring and believes in giving back and paying it forward. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Eastern SC and Past Campaign Chair of United Way of the Midlands. She volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, the Samaritan House Homeless Shelter and is a long-standing member of civic organizations such as The Links Incorporated, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Upon moving back to Orangeburg, Rachelle’s penchant for capturing accolades and honors continues. She was honored for her business savvy in 1995 by Main Street South Carolina. Rachelle’s Island Boutique was recognized for the Master Merchant Award for downtown revitalization for the City of Orangeburg. In 1999, the U.S. Department of Commerce named Rachelle the National Minority Female Entrepreneur of the Year as recorded in the Congressional Record by Congressman James E. Clyburn.

The same year she received the Trailblazer Award from BB&T Bank. Rachelle is the recipient of the 2010 SC State University ‘Unsung SheRoe” award and the 2012 recipient of the Chairman’s Award for outstanding support and service from the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she and husband, Chef Fred Holmes were featured in Ebony Magazine as one of the Top Weddings in 2005, Success From Home magazine in August 2007 as well as Your Business At Home magazine in October 2008.

The launch of the Flagship property, Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast, Meeting and Special Events Venue expands on the traditional B&B concept. Rachelle and Fred were chosen to compete in the Couples BuzzFeed Tasty Date Night Challenge at the Charleston Food & Wine Festival in 2016. Attracting 4.4 million Facebook and YouTube video viewers. The inn has also been featured as one of three SC B&B’s in the Official SC Travel Guide 2017 Discover South Carolina out of over 100 B&B’s in the state.


View this year’s Honorees, or browse our archive of previous honorees.

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