6

Why shop small?

When I first started making jewelry, I did so out of necessity. I was buying $4 earrings and $5 necklaces that would pop, tarnish and have to be re-purposed. One day I had an allergic reaction to a pair of earrings I bought and was grumbling to myself about what a waste of money they were. It hit me then that I had no power in that transaction, that I had no one to complain to, no one to hold responsible. The store policy made sure: ‘NO RETURNS, EXCHANGES OR REFUNDS’. They knew they weren’t selling quality and they didn’t want to hear from me once i found out, either.

A short time later when I began making jewelry to sell, I thought about that experience…And similar ones: Leggings that start to rip after the first wash, that cute party dress which begins to unravel when you tug at that one thread. 

As a consumer, I was sick of it. There was no pride in the work, no pride in what the store owners were selling and marketing- just cheaply made products marked up 200% more than what they cost and so much more than they were worth.  After re-buying the same hoop earrings, re-buying the same black leggings over and over, I realized the cost of buying cheap was quite high.  

When I started my business, I told myself I would operate like I was my customer. I still do. I think to myself, “if I paid $25 for something, what would I want it to come packaged like? how long would I want it to last? How would I want the store owner to treat me?” and that’s how I make my decisions. I take pride in my work, in what my jewelry looks like, what the packaging looks like, how they still look after three years. I take pride in how my customers feel wearing my jewelry and how they feel about the entire transaction. 

I love that they know who made their product, where it comes from. In the off chance that something goes wrong, they know exactly who to talk to. I love that. 

And I’m not alone in that. I buy small. There is a sense of responsibility these small business owners have to their customer’s that makes me feel cared for. I’m not just another transaction, I am a valued customer. It’s a great feeling.  I feel edified knowing my purchase will be of quality and that I’m supporting another small business own. 

That is why I shop small. 

2

The Sankofa collection

The Keera necklace

What doesn’t this necklace have? I love a good cluster necklace and this one is made out of everything nice.  Leather, howlite, mosaic turquoise and Mauritanian kiffa beads- my favorite materials. 

And is it me, or does this particular mosaic stone look like Africa?? 

*The 28” cord is genuine black leather

 Available here: www.absynia.com

3

The young lady who bought the Belkis necklace. She loves it very much and was happy to share it with me.

The combination of her tattoos and neck piercing with the tribal look of the necklace is so perfect, I can’t even explain it. It was like it was made for her!

The Belkis was a one of a kind but if you love it, check out The Ilana available at www.absynia.etsy.com (pictured last) 

4

The Africana collection up close

Africana- n. (used with a pl. verb) Materials, such as books, documents, or art objects, relating to the history or culture of African peoples. (www.thefreedictionary.com)

I created this collection based on descriptions I’d read about African jewelry, before the introduction of European glass beads. I loved the idea of women and men in ropes and ropes of wood beads and made my own interpretation. My favorite without a doubt it is the Nzinga necklace series. Each one is unique but they all add a look of complete…regality. That isn’t a word. I had to make it up because that’s how serious this necklace is- it  NEEDS it’s own word. 

I talked about my influences before, when I first introduced the Nzinga bracelets Since then, I’ve continued to add to the Africana collection, it is still my favorite.

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