TAMPA (FOX 13) - When we first met Lakeland designer Altrichia Cook, she was a single mother making a big splash with her revolutionary bathing suit designs.
She said she became frustrated trying to buy a bathing suit because nothing seemed to fit, so she decided to make her own. She had such a positive reaction to her creation, she started her own line of swimsuits called Allusions by A.Lekay swimwear.
Her career as a designer really took flight when big-name stars like Nicki Minaj began to appear wearing her gear.
"I was like, 'oh my God, this could be a business,' and literally, it was as if a light bulb went off," Cook said. "When I first started my business, I really wanted to go on "The Real." I was just coming out and I was like, 'oh my God, I would love to be on that show one day.'"
Two years later, she got an email from a producer, and says she literally dropped to the floor. She was getting her chance on "The Real," which put her on the radar of producers at The Steve Harvey Show.
But these invitations, Cook says, paled in comparison to an invitation from America's first lady to attend the first-ever State of Women Summit hosted by Michelle Obama.
"I received a nomination, an email letting know that someone nominated me for the White House," she recalled. "It was basically a summit that wanted to celebrate the achievements of women and change agents; those that are doing amazing things within their respective communities."
Even Oprah made an appearance at the event.
"If you can come to the White House and chat with the first lady and have her as your mentor, there is nothing in life that you can't do," Cook said.
She has accomplished so much in the last three years, and Cook said she believes it's just the opening act of a career filled with promise.
"The journey is definitely a rollercoaster. I feel like I am making strides to where I would like to be. Still not exactly where I want to be, but I'm definitely trudging a path of success and I'm excited about the journey," she said.