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!


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!

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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.


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.





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


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.


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!



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.




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!


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


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


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.


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.


This was such an exciting collaboration ❤


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


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

Eye See You

Let me start off by saying Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. This is my first post of 2017. I hope your year has started off with a BANG! My year surely has! I’m truly excited about all that is in store.

I would like to chat a little about gratitude. Being thankful and grateful is an amazing feeling. It’s a really big part of who I am! There is not a day that goes by where I do not give THANKS!

Today, I want to share a moment in particular. One evening while responding to comments on a post I shared on Instagram, someone wrote, “I most definitely have to draw you very soon.”  I responded by saying, “I would be honored.” He then responded by saying, “The Honor would be all mine. Stay Tuned!”

Imagine waking up to a tagged image of yourself two weeks later!


My mouth fell open and I said, “Oh my God!” quite a few times! This image is phenomenal! It was beyond me! The artisit nailed my bold features, one of my favorite hair cuts, earrings I once made by hand, my fingers and even the folds in my neck. The detail was mind blowing. What really had me was the artist used two different images to create this! When I realized that, I just kept saying WOW!


The above photos I have posted on my Instagram account is what he used as inspiration to create this phenomenal piece he titled “Eye See You.” Talk about amazing Talent!!!!!

After being in Awe for about half an hour, I immediately messaged him to thank him and tell him how much I loved it. I reposted it and the response from many was positively overwhelming. What truly made me happy is that many have connected with him.

A 40 x 28 size Canvas Print of “Eye See You” now hangs in my Apartment


Photographer | Matey Ghoslow

The artist name is Tim Baxter. I’ve yet to meet him in person. We finally had the opportunity to speak last week. I used that opportunity to interview Tim briefly.

Meet the Artist


When did you start drawing?

I started drawing in Kindergarten/first grade. Then, it was my brother & cousin who both inspired me to start drawing.

What’s your style of choice?

I like to use color pencils,  paint,  and I like drawing on my Ipad. It’s very convenient. I’ve been using it for the past year. I can change brushes, erase, and make changes. It’s like drawing on paper. I used a program called Procreate on my Ipad to draw your image.

The Process Click here to see the process Tim used on his Ipad In a program called Procreate to digitally draw the amazing image he created of me.

Why did you choose those images to draw of me?

You have a unique look. I used two different images because I didn’t want what I was creating to be an exact copy of anything. I wanted to create a unique pose, but also incorporate your images.

What’s your profession?

I am a Data Anaylst for a transportation company for the past 10 years. For the past 2 years, I’ve been pushing to put my art out. I’ve always wanted to work more behind the scenes. In the past I’ve done a book and album cover. It’s now that I would like to share my Art a lot more.

Where are you from? Where do you reside?

I’m born & raised in Brooklyn. I still reside in Brooklyn.

What school did you go to? What did you major in?

I went to Morgan State and majored in Business Administration & Computer Programming

Which are your favorite artists?

Ernest Barnes, Double Yoo and Damien Dunn

Are there any current projects that you’re working on?

I’m currently fininshing up a comic book that I started in 2003-2004. I have yet to publish it. I’ve always been into comics. I still have comics from when I was a boy. I have a series of characters that I would like to update. I also like to sculpt. I would like to sculpt images similar to my drawings; sculptures of females and of man and woman.

Tim Baxter in his own words

I’ve been drawing since 5 or 6 years old and my artwork has always been very important to me whether it’s for sale or just for me. There has always been a burning desire to either draw what I see, create characters or create something I’ve seen in my mind. My goal is not to be the best artist in NY or the world but to genuinely and honestly be the best me, the best Tim Baxter I can be. My hope is to leave this earth, when that time comes, knowing that I left behind a body of work this will continue to inspire, encourage, provoke and uplift. An artist whether visual, conceptual or performance, he or she should not be judged on the first or last piece they’ve done but their entire body of work, as a whole.

It was great conversing with Tim. He’s calm, funny and passionate about his work. You can view more of his work on his website

Timz Artwork

I have LOVE for anything ART related. I believe in supporting artists  of any kind. I will finally get to meet Tim on February 19th at the UZURI ART Exhibit, an event curated by Like Minded People NYC. If you are in NY and can stop by, please do. I look forward to seeing and meeting as many of you as possible.