All Articles Tagged "jewelry"

Makeup Gestures We Need To Stop Letting Men Get Away With

August 30th, 2013 - By Davisha Davis
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Makeup Gestures


Men only do what you allow them to do. In this case, it still holds true. Men will continue with the same habits even after messing up because they know exactly what to say or do to get one over on you. Stop being a bend over buddy and tolerating their mess. Here is a list of things men do that we allow time and time again:

On A Path To A Doctoral Degree, Kevia Jeffrey-West Found Her Calling In Jewelry Design

August 29th, 2013 - By Michelle Alerte
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Love jewelry? Want to be eco-friendly? Then you should know about Kevia Jeffrey-West’s sustainability jewelry and her business, Kevia, a word meaning “beautiful child.” The business officially launched in the winter of 2005, and has grown since, with Jeffrey-West’s designs appearing on TV shows like Desperate Housewives and magazines like InStyle. But before she launched her business, Jeffrey-West was in a PhD fellowship program in education and research and policy at the University of California Santa Barbara Recently. I asked Jeffrey-West some questions in hopes of getting to the heart of  Kevia’s start and its designs.

MadameNoire: How did you become interested in jewelry design?

Kevia Jeffrey-West: While studying in Zimbabwe on an undergraduate study abroad program I walked by a store that sold loose stones. The stones drew me in and I began to collect locally-mined and cut stones, sketch designs, and found local jewelers to make my creations. When I returned two years later to do post-baccalaureate research I again began to design pieces for my personal collection. I am not sure that I would have thought of selling my work if a local boutique hadn’t asked me to make items for their store after they noticed a necklace I was wearing. Designing is definitely my calling.

MN: When did you know jewelry design would be your career?

J-W: In my case, I initially resisted becoming a designer because I had spent most of my energy advancing a career in research. Designing seemed like a risky career move. Luckily, the universe kept pulling me in the direction of fashion and it reached a point where I was making money. I was completely content spending my time designing and my academic work became increasingly hard to prioritize. I took a year off from my doctoral program in 2006 and began working on the business full time. Once I was fully committed, the business took off and continues to grow steadily. Eight years after I designed my first pieces I couldn’t be happier doing anything else.

MN: Describe the growth of your business.

J-W: That this began as a hobby and grew into my lifelong passion and dream still seems surreal to me. Starting with just a small collection for a boutique and growing into a completely sustainable brand that is releasing new styles five times a year is incredible. Our customers are women who each have their own interpretation of every piece. Kevia’s designs simply complement their individual style, which, in my opinion, is the best part about my collection.

MN: How did sustainability come into the picture?

J-W: Sustainability has always been at the core of my philosophies and values, so when I started my line, I knew that I wanted to incorporate these practices into my pieces. Even though I was armed with an education and work experience in environmental policy, I had to learn to apply those principles into the fashion business. Initially, I made each piece domestically, but then realized that most of the raw materials on the market — wire, metal sheets, stone — were being imported from China and India then resold in the U.S. My firsthand experience living in Zimbabwe and witnessing the positive impact fair trade can have in developing countries, prompted me to look for opportunities that would allow me better control of the entire manufacturing process, including the sourcing of raw materials.

Raise Your Price Tag: Consider These Investments To Increase Your Net Worth

June 21st, 2013 - By Blair Bedford
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Net worth is a financial measure of your own personal worth in assets and investments. The healthier your investment history and the more money you earn from investing it wisely, the higher you own personal “price tag.”

As African-Americans, our net worth is not even a tenth of our overall consumer power. According to a report done by Democracy Now!, African-American women have, on average, about $100 net worth in 2013 compared to $41,000 for white women. As a race whose consumer power is in the billions, why are we shortchanging our own net worth?

Here are a few investments to look into to build your portfolio and your net worth. Don’t just jump in! After consulting and finding the right financial advisor, make sure to research your investment options. Learn as much as you can and begin writing the price tag for what you are worth.

Blair Sandlain & Kijafa Vick Talk Business,The PNKElephant & Mike Vick

March 14th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Kijafa Vick (L) and Blair Sandlain (R)

Kijafa Vick (L) and Blair Sandlain (R) Photo Courtesy of B. Sandlain

When Kijafa Vick, wife of Philadelphia Eagles superstar quarterback Mike Vick, and her business partner Blair Sandlain first met, it didn’t take long for the two to recognize that they shared mutual appreciation for affordable fashion. Shortly after, the pair would decide to take risks on each other and turn their passion into a business relationship, more specifically the PNKElephant, a clothing and accessories boutique located on the famed South Street in Philadelphia. Three years later, business is definitely booming as the boutique has become the ultimate destination for party girls looking for something trendy, hot and most importantly, affordable to rock for an fly evening out on the town including sequin dresses, sheer guitar style leggings and the very popular PNKElephant’s signature Girls Hustle Harder t-shirt line.

But despite their personal success and overall fun atmosphere, which can only come from a shop plastered in pink and leopard print, both women will readily admit that running a business has not always been easy. Recently I sat down with Vick and Sandlain, who spoke candidly about the learning curve, which comes from being a first time business owner, and what affect being married to one of the most controversial players in the NFL has had on business.


Hopefully I won’t offend you because I mean this as a compliment but I’m walking around the boutique, going through the racks and accessories such as the Trust No B**ch nameplate necklace and I’m like, Oh Yeah, I seen that on Love and Hip Hop and Basketball Wives: LA. So describe for me who you had in mind as a typical PNKElephant customer?

Blair Sandlain: We like to think of ourselves as the ultimate party destination where women can come and get their club outfits, cocktail/after hour outfits. If you are going to the club or going to the lounge, we like to think that when people come to us they are going to have a good time.

Kijafa Vick: And it is funny because when we started out, we started as just an accessory store, we didn’t really want to go into clothes but it was like every girl that came into the store would ask for clothes too. And we’re like, ‘okay we can’t miss out on all this money [laughter]; let’s try it out.‘ And we did. Last April, we started with just a little bit [of clothing] and the response was amazing. So we were like, ‘let’s do it, let’s sell clothes too.’


Do you do your own personal shopping for the boutique?

Vick: Yup


That sounds like a lot of fun?

Sandlain: A lot of fun? [laughter] It is a job.

Vick: No lunch breaks [more laughter]


No lunch breaks? Well how many hours do you spend in the shop?

Vick: She lives here [pointing to Sandlain]

Sandlain: Yeah, I do like 12-hour days. You know, she has a whole family, a whole situation; husband, kids, house…so I just have her on the phone with me most times –

Vick: All day long…

Sandlain: And we’ll go over numbers, everyday, every week and you know, we’ll recap. I’m in the store a lot but she is still involved. She knows the day-to-day happenings and what is going on. She knows how much money we make [laughter].


So how did PNKElephant come about?

Sandlain: Actually, I was selling jewelry out of my house. And my friend was staying with me. He is a fashion designer and Kijafa found him on Facebook. She would come up to get her clothes custom-made by him because he is a great designer. And he would always show her my accessories and I would be at work because at the time I had a full time job; I used to work for Footlocker’s Corporation office. And so, she asked him if [I was] looking for a partner because I want to get into the business. And I met her and we just kind of clicked from there.


So from concept to implementation, how long did it take to get PNKElephant up and running?

Vick: A little less than a year. When I met her and we were doing business. I just kept riding by [the location] and was like, it’s a store here. I’m going to call and see how much it is. I called and it wasn’t outrageous. And I was like, come on, let’s do this. She was a little nervous because she was working but she was finally like, alright I’m going to do it. And we opened up. I think that was like March we found a building. And we opened up June 1st [2011].

Forget Food Trucks, Harlem Designer Runs Mobile Boutique Out Of A Snack Truck

February 22nd, 2013 - By madamenoire
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Source: DNA Info

From StyleBlazer

The endearing nature of being on the come up, can really inspire creative business ideas. Harlem based designer, Nneka Green-Ingram is a city bus driver who ingeniously started a accessory fashion line out of a former snack truck. “Location is everything,” the 36-year-old told DNAinfo.

Located on 125th Street between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, she sold metal shelves that held chips in the truck to finance a total renovation. Now, the vehicle holds her precious designs. From necklaces to eyeglasses, hand bags and rings all her pieces have an eclectic, Afrocentric feel ranging in price from $5 to $35.


‘Basketball Wives LA’ Star Malaysia Pargo Talks About Her Jewelry Line, Three Beats

November 28th, 2012 - By Tonya Garcia
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Malaysia Pargo is one of the stars of Basketball Wives LA, a mom of three (including a set of two-year-old twins), and the founder of jewelry company Three Beats. Though she could’ve been a stay-at-home mom, she decided that she needed to set an example for her children, both the boys and the girl.

“[W]hen my son was about four, he came and said to me, ‘Daddy goes to work everyday. Where’s your job at?’ I told him that ‘Mommy’s job is taking care of you,’ but he wasn’t really feeling that. It was at that point that I really thought about the need to show my kids all the facets of a woman beyond just mom, even though that is a very admirable and challenging role in itself,” she tells Black Enterprise.

Pargo discusses her role in designing the jewelry and the affect that the show has on her business. “It’s pretty much a free commercial,” she says.

To read more, click to

Just Spend The Extra $10! A Few Things You Shouldn’t Even Think About Going Cheap On

November 13th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: iStock

I enjoy a good deal just like the next woman on a budget, but after living and learning the hard way I’ve come to accept that there are just some types of items where going cheap is just not going to get it. A lot of people have grown accustomed to asking for the generic versions of prescription medications at the pharmacy or comparing the ingredient list on a bottle of NyQuil and the drug store’s Nite Time, but going the bootleg, discount, get it for the low-low route on a lot of other things will end up costing you a whole more than you thought you saved.  Think it won’t? Check out this list of products it’s better to just spend the extra cash on.

Jewelry Designer Jade Gedeon Talks About Capitalizing on Unexpected Opportunities

August 30th, 2012 - By Makula Dunbar
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Image: Jade Gedeon

Just like the inspirations behind Jade Gedeon’s handmade We Dream in Colour jewelry line, getting the business in gear came together on a whim. What started out as school project quickly blossomed into an accessories operation that at times became too much to handle. Graduating from Pratt Institute in 2004, Gedeon’s studies in industrial design turned out to be more beneficial than expected.

“I made some horrible stuff,” Gedeon said searching to remember the first piece of jewelry she ever created. “I used a lot of recycled weird material and Shrinky Dink plastic kits; they were these huge sheets that you could put in the oven and they would shrink down three-fourths the size. I did lots of illustrations on plastic. [My first pieces of jewelry] were almost like wearing drawings.”

Business Beginnings

After finding her niche in natural, rustic styles, Gedeon soon began making jewelry — earrings, bracelets and necklaces for herself then perfecting pieces for friends and family. Teaming up with her roommate who designed jewelry using clay and glass, Gedeon officially launched a joint website in 2002.

“She was really the driving factor in turning it into a business. She said, ‘Let’s put up a website and try to push [our lines] a little bit more,’” said Gedeon.

“It’s grown in a very organic way. Until recently I had never looked for press or stories. Things have just come to me in a manageable form and I took it from there,” she continues.

Summer Essentials: Jewelry Designer Shauna Neely Shares Her 5 Must-Haves

August 2nd, 2012 - By Sakita Holley
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Shauna Neely

Shauna Neely is the founder of Shauna Neely Jewelry, an accessories line that caters to everyday fashionistas and a growing list of celebrity clientele that include Chris and Adrienne Bosh, the Williams sisters, Alicia Keys, Beyonce and more. A proud owner of one of Neely’s pieces once called her an “alchemist” because of her ability to mold raw material into works of art.

When she’s not designing her one-of-a-kind jewelry, Shauna can be found running across town to a meeting, brokering new partnership deals in New York’s diamond district, dining with friends and/or doting on her lovely daughter.

And with such a hectic schedule, it’s no surprise that Shauna likes to keep her beauty and fashion routine simple and chic with a steady rotation of staple items and products that will never go out of style.

Here, Shauna Neely lists her top five summer essentials: 

Q&A: Taja Lindley on Being The “Original Hustler” For Colored Girls

June 4th, 2012 - By Blair Bedford
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MEET Taja Lindley, the founder of the organization, Colored Girls Hustle. At 27 years old, Lindley is not just the founder of her own organization, but a well-rounded Brooklyn-bred African-American female who practices as a visual artist, performer, full-spectrum doula and as a reproductive justice activist. Combining her many passions and talents into one, Lindley uses Colored Girls Hustle as her own ultimate “hustle,” emphasizing talent and the arts to celebrate the beauty and art of women of color.

MN: You just recently co-hosted an event, along with HelloBeautiful, where you launched your inaugural handmade accessories line, Luminary Sol, for Colored Girls Hustle. What brought on this collaboration?

TL: Kelly Thomas, the founder of HelloBeautiful, is a good friend and fellow entrepreneurial artist who I respect and adore. We decided to support one another and publicize our venture through a collaborative event called the “Beautiful Hustle” Sip and See Extravaganza. The event featured a fashion show, trunk sale, and live percussion, and a dance party followed. It was a success! So many of our friends and supporters came out to buy products, network and brought positive energy and feedback to share with us. The launch event was so much fun and we decided to host monthly “Beautiful Hustle” parties this summer.

MN: Tell us more about your organization, Colored Girls Hustle, and what type of service you focus on.

TL: Colored Girls Hustle is my hustle: it’s a space where I share my art and creativity to honor, celebrate and adorn the bodies and lives of women and girls, especially in communities of color. I focus on three main expressive elements:

Adornment: a daily meditation, adornment is a practice of decorating and praising our bodies. Colored Girls Hustle produces handmade accessories to inspire women and girls to admire and revere themselves.

Workshops: in groups large and small, Colored Girls Hustle facilitates creative arts workshops and trainings for youth and adults that cover topics of body exploration, health and wellness, and self-image. Colored Girls Hustle also offers Self-Love Parties: intimate, sex-positive gatherings where participants work on a creative project that will celebrate/honor/adorn their bodies and affirm their sexual expression.

One-on-One Creative Exploration Sessions: Colored Girls Hustle works with women and girls one-on-one to explore their own creative arts practice. Engaging in these sessions help women and girls discover their artistic interests and talents, or can help them navigate healing and transformation.