I’ve had the pleasure of encountering and having beautiful artists in my life. This time, I got insight from a designer/model/entrepreneur colleague of mine. Bunmi is a great inspiration as well as fantastic designer and businesswoman. Read on to learn more about her and the light behind Anike Jewels:
How did you get started?
Anike Jewels started with me purchasing jewelry supplies and sending them to my mother in Nigeria (she makes jewelry also…sadly I never picked up interest while I was around her to learn from her). I began to notice some tools I could use to repair my store-bought jewelry which had broken. After making some repairs, I figured, if I can repair a necklace, I can make a whole necklace and did. This was perfect because now I can make jewelry for me exactly as I desired (in my preferred color combinations, lengths and quality materials).
What inspired you to go down the route of accessories?
Being the type of person who believes the simplest outfit can be transformed into glamorous with the proper accessories, my specific interest in jewelry was quite inherent. My mother signed me up for sewing lessons while in junior high but I didn’t have interest in it at the time. I wish I did now. (Sorry for wasting you money, Mom.)
Do you plan to expand? How?
I currently do not plan to expand as I prefer to keep the notion of personalized jewelry, knowing your designer personally hand-crafted an item specifically for you. I’m not interested in mass-producing.
In any case, you never know what the future may bring.
Who is Anike’s target market?
Anike Jewels’ target market is all races, it is the man and woman who understands and wants quality. The ones who understand it’s a far better deal to purchase a jewelry piece made with genuine materials which will hold its value and can be passed down to future generations.
What obstacles, if any, did you encounter during the production process?
The initial obstacles I encountered in the beginning phase is learning to makes sturdy pieces being that the materials being used are are genuine gemstones, they were heavy (not heavy as to cause discomfort but compared to jewelry made or plastic, resin, etc) so I had to learn through trial and error (thanks to patient and understanding friends and customers, especially a rock musician with whom I got a deal of practice with) to develop skills and discover better materials to make sure they held up, especially those for men who were not dainty with items as more women are. I later purchased books and did some more self-teaching to improve my skills.
What advice would you give aspiring designers and small business owners?
Always keep learning for ways to improve your skills/better your business. Do your best with everything..mediocrity is not acceptable because anything worth doing at all is worth doing well.
Anything you want to do, do it now because there will never be a perfect time or condition, only more time passed that you haven’t done what you wanted. Do what you can with what you have. Take advantage of now… no better time than now.
What’s next for Anike Jewels?
I’m currently enrolled in advanced jewelry making classes with the goal of acquiring better skills to enhance my designs and bring more unique designs to customers.
Thanks to Bunmi for sharing the history of Anike Jewels. Support a small, Black and female-owned business and look fly at the same time! Sounds good to me 😉
All of the jewelry featured in the post can be viewed and purchased on anikejewels.net
And catch up on the latest from Bunmi on facebook.com/AnikeJewels.net