Blog

NOT Your Average DIY

My SIP & DESIGN series are NOT Your Average DIY jewelry classes!
My classes are instructional and A LOT of fun! We mix learning a new craft with education, healthy dialogue, wine & sweet treats.
My most recent class held on March 16th was the very first class I started with; “Let’s Get Waisted”; a waist beading class. In this session, all attendees were taught the history of African Waist Beads & learned how to make their very own.
Every woman who attends our “Let’s Get Waisted” jewelry class has a different customized experience because their waist beads are custom fit to their waist.
Waist Beads are worn as a celebration of womanhood, status, sexuality, femininity, fertility, healing, spirituality, protection, wealth and also used for body shaping. Beads are also great indicators in weight gain. They will fall lower on your waist if you lose weight, and become tighter or higher on your waist if you gain weight. We talk about weight gain & weight loss targets and teach you how to use your beads to aid you in your goals.
Our waist beads are made with (but not limited to) a variety of premium glass, seed and hex cut beads. Each are unique in color and in variation.
Instructing these classes have been an amazing experience thus far. We surely have grown from our very first class conducted in January of this year. It’s been a few months of intense & enjoyable growth.
Femininity is the ultimate form of sophistication.
Being Creative is not a hobby! It’s a way of Life.
In these jewelry classes, new memories are created.
We did something new in this particular class. It turned into a birthday party as well. Two of the beautiful women who attended were celebrating their special day, so we decided to surprise them. The energy in the room was absolutely perfect. It was an amazing way to close out our class.
Everyone also had the opportunity to try Noosa Yoghurt, who sponsored this “Let’s Get Waisted” jewelry class.

In our next SIP & DESIGN, we’ll be teaching how to make an Ankara Bib Necklace. Click on our events tab for our schedule of events.

Ankara Bib

Visit our Facebook Page to view all photos from this jewelry class

 

Photography & Videography | @dadouchic

 

What’s in your cup?

I don’t know about you, but I’ll tell you what’s in mine! TEA, TEA & more TEA!

I love me some tea! Call me the tea connoisseur, lol. I’ll have a cup of tea over coffee ANYDAY! I’ll drink it cold or hot!

IMG_8802

I moved back to Harlem about two and a half years ago. You should have seen me. I was like a kid in a candy store. Harlem has changed so much since I left in 2005. One of my favorite discoveries is the tea shop, Serengeti! OMGgeeeeee! If you haven’t been here, you haven’t experienced life. The variety of teas are absolutely phenomenal! The ambiance and energy is also quite pleasing. The customer service is also impeccable!

IMG_8819 copy

I just recently had a collaboration for Design By U Essentials with Fashion and Lifestyle blogger Rebecca Quainoo. She asked if I had any suggestions on where we should connect. I was more than happy to suggest Serengeti! Rebecca fell in love with this spot, as I knew she would. It was such an amazing space for us to connect, exchange ideas, chat about what’s next for us both and to talk about one of our many favorite things “Jewelry!” whilst sipping on TEA. We had two of my favorites, the Lemongrass, Ginger & Turmeric and Cherry Pear infused teas. Have a cup and I promise you; you’ll be going back for more.

IMG_9038

You truly get a feel of being in Africa when visiting Serengeti. In addition to the variety of teas that they have, you will see a display of amazing art work and artifacts. Having Ghanaian roots, I so appreciate this! Seeing the stool reminds me of Ghana each and every time I’m here.

rebecca-quainoo-serengeti-05-e1518481222426-768x1024

IMG_8806

IMG_8809

IMG_8808

There’s also delectable sweet treats that will go well with your TEA.

IMG_8803

If you’re in NYC, particularly, Harlem. . .I highly recommend Serengeti Tea & Spices. You’d really enjoy this space and of course the TEA. How fitting it is to write this amazing piece during Black History Month.

IMG_8804

Collaboration with | Rebecca Quainoo

Photography | @dadouchic

Jewelry provided by | Design By U Essentials

Adorned Collaboration

One of the best feelings is knowing that you are appreciated! When my sister girl Rebecca Quainoo called and said let’s collaborate, I was truly humbled and excited all at the same time! I loveeeeeeee to align myself with individuals that are passionate about what they have to offer in life. Not only am I a big fan of Rebecca and her style, she is one of my best costumers. She’s the proud owner of many Design By U pieces. So to receive a call from her saying, “I would like to do a piece that highlights you and your creativity!” I of course said ABSOLUTELY, ⬅ this is one of my favorite words by the way, lol!

IMG_8897

IMG_8893

Collaborating = EMPOWERMENT

Other than my love for my family; what excites me is natural hair, jewelry & sisterhood. When Rebecca reached out, I said let’s do brunch. Our brunch date turned into so much more than we expected. It was empowering! We spoke about jewelry, what’s next for Rebecca Quinaoo, Tima Samad, Design By U Essentials and a lot more about the power of joining forces. One of the most valuable resources that we all have is each other. One thing I’ve learned is without collaboration, our growth is limited. Alone, we can do very little; but together, we can achieve so much. Do not be afraid to collaborate with others. Of course, collaborate with those that you can learn from. For me, when collaborating, energy and alignment are key components and factors.

IMG_8905

IMG_8959

Sisterhood

I absolutely adore Rebecca. We actually feel the same way about each other, lol! Not only is she supportive and genuinely applauds me, she has an amazing personality and an impeccable eye for style! We learned a lot more about and from each other on this brunch date. It doesn’t hurt that we’re also both Scorpios. . .so we definitely get each other. We dug deep and spoke not only on personal and business matters, but about what happens when you’re feeling stuck and we also spoke about GROWTH. This is why I feel sisterhood is important. Having that sister to talk to about what’s going on in your world can make such a difference. It is especially helpful when the other has experienced what you feel you cannot conquer! Healthy sisterhood relationships matters! This goes for you brother’s who are reading this as well; having healthy and genuine brotherhood. . . MATTERS!

IMG_8853

You will see Rebecca wearing a few of her favorite pieces on Design By U Essentials.

IMG_8845

Rebecca is wearing “R U B Y” from our Lush Collection.

IMG_8843.jpg

Rebecca is wearing “S P A R R O W” from our Rings & Thangs Collection & “B A M B O O” our signature wood bracelets .

Jewelry is ART! Jewelry is LOVE!

My love for jewelry started when I was very young. My mother also has amazing style and taste. She’s far from ordinary! I would watch her pair bold pieces with the most simple outfits and just say WOW! You look like a Queen! I went to Catholic school from 1st grade to high school; where jewelry past post earrings and a thin tennis bracelet was forbidden. So I really started to express myself (in terms of jewelry) in my early college years. It was around this time that my love for art and different art forms aided in tapping into my creativity at a higher level. When I realized I could make my own, my love for jewelry took on a totally different meaning. I wanted to share my sense of style, my creativity, my art; paired with amazing custom jewelry; with EVERYONE.

IMG_8828

Everything is in the details. There is nothing like the right piece of jewelry and accessories that make your outfit “POP!”  This is what I will continue to showcase from Design By U. No matter what you are wearing, you will be able to find that piece or those pieces that will bring your entire look together.

IMG_8830

This was such an exciting collaboration ❤

IMG_8924

I am wearing “M A U V E” from our Lush Collection

IMG_9044

I am wearing “L O O P E D” from our Plated Collection

 

 

Collaboration with | Rebecca Quainoo

Photography & Videography | @dadouchic

Jewelry provided by | Design By U Essentials

Straw Set Curls

I achieved these curls by doing a Straw Set. Follow these few steps.

PhotoGrid_1514261833079.jpg

1. Prepped all my products. I moisturized with Girl and Hair leave in conditioner. It’s very hydrating.

2. ALWAYS #Detangle your hair. I prefer using a Detangle Brush. I tried a new one today by Txture Pro I ❤ it & highly recommend it

PhotoGrid_1514261750220.jpg

3. Section your hair in the direction you want your twists to fall

PhotoGrid_1514261517888.jpg

4. Straw Set: Direction is important. I have about 4 small sections. I twisted my hair on the straws in an upwards motion (coming forward). I used #ecostyler Black Castor & Flaxseed Gel

PhotoGrid_1514261605575.jpg

5. Unravel; separate your curls

PhotoGrid_1514261912952.jpg

6. I Lightly teased my roots & curls with my fingers; again, in an upwards motion. I didn’t separate them much.

PhotoGrid_1514265148726.jpg

7. I Styled my curls in a Mohawk. I wanted my curls to look a lil old, not too fresh…so I did my straw set whilst my hair was dry. First time in a while with these curls. I love the end result. Switching up from time to time is good 😉

My side’s were shaved ✂✂✂ by Master Barber Kevin Kidd

 

Custom Made

When you feel good, you look good! Be sure to Customize your life! After all, it is YOUR LIFE and you are Custom Made 💛

In regards to my style, I really love Custom Made pieces. I have a closet full of dresses and skirts you will not see on another person. Custom made makes your look classic, unique and different! In addition to standing out in the crowd, you support another’s dream and passion.

PhotoGrid_1494948813084

Fashion is what you buy. Style is what you do with it! Fashion is ART and you are the canvas; so forget the rules! If you like it WEAR IT! Make sure it’s Hot though, lol 😉😆

PhotoGrid_1494949383853

Don’t be afraid to wear horizontal stripes! They’re always going to be a Big Fashion Statement! I had this skirt made about 5 years ago and this is my second time wearing it since! The key is HOW. . .what you pair it with and styling it for your body type.

PhotoGrid_1494948867874

💛 Loving & Living Life 💛

PhotoGrid_1494948590088

Location | Bronx, NY

Photographer | Matey Ghoslow Photography

Maxi Skirt  |Nsaa House of Designs

Top | Rainbow Shops

Earrings| Design By U Essentials

 

Nothing like a flowing Maxi Dress

No matter what people think of you, keep singing your own song! Many may not know this but music is my sanity. I cannot go a day without singing or listening to music. I was having a moment in this shot 🎤🎵🎶🎵

Now about this dress 😁

I have quite a few favorite style looks. Maxi dresses & skirts are definitely on my list! Can you believe I bought this amazing Maxi dress for $20? Yes, you saw that price correctly!

It was on sale at Mandee’s in NYC. I purchased this dress a few months ago. This particular color may not be available, but they do have many great colors & patterns in stock now.

 The material and the way this dress flows is beyond words. I received many compliments while wearing this Beauty.

Because this dress speaks for itself, I decided to minimize my accessories and went with a Bold Metal Choker. I don’t have earrings on because I forgot to put them on 😩🙈

 

Location | Bronx, NY

Photographer | Matey Ghoslow Photography

Maxi Dress |Mandee

Necklace| Design By U Essentials

Camo is my Happy Color

I absolutely LOVEEEEEEEE anything Camouflage! You will see me with this Camo jacket no less than 3 times a week once Spring rolls around 😁

I enjoy pairing Camouflage with Black, Brown’s and Neutral Tones.

This is one of my to go looks; a white tee or tank with a pair of ripped boyfriend jeans, booties, Camo & bold ethnic accessories! I’m wearing Ethnic inspired necklace ‘Symmetry’ & my wrists are adorned with ‘Bamboo’, wood bracelets (which I wear 99.9% of the time). . .from Design By U Essentials!

Don’t be afraid to enhance your look with jewelry and bags.

I follow NO trends! I wear what I love; I dress how I feel!

This bag is one of my absolute favorites! It was a gift from my Dad 3 years ago. We were together when he bought it in Wa, which is in the Upper West Region in Ghana. It is also where Dad’s side of the family is from. As soon as I saw it, my eyes LIT up. So he bought it for me. I love to support local artisans! Happy we had the opportunity to support an artisan in Ghana.

In addition to Camo & more Camo, I absolutely love ART and color. It makes me Happy!

The Amazing graffiti art in these photos is by Brazilian artist, Panmela Castro. You will find this phenomenal mural on the walls outside of Andrew Freeman Home on the Grand Concourse in Bronx, NY. Visit if you can. There is nothing like seeing it in person.

Location | Andrew Freedman Home

Photographer | Matey Ghoslow Photography

Camo Jacket |Forever 21

White Tank |H & M

Boyfriend Jeans | H & M

Shoes | Cape Robbin

Jewelry |Design By U Essentials

Bag | Gift from Dad

Mural | Panmela Castro