Sunday, September 30, 2012

Layers: That time of year again!

Multi-Strand Chain Necklace $34.99

Oh how I LOVE the fall. The leaves are turning bright, beautiful shades of orange & red. Apples are just awaiting to be munched & crunched with their juicy ripeness. The waft of cinnamon & fall spices is permeating our senses. And yes - that cool crisp air is silently sweeping into our midst.

I love how that cool, crisp air brings me out of the casual flip-flop, t-shirt, lazy daze (yes, I meant daze, not days) state of mind and into a more deliberate expression of style. As I trade in my short sleeves for long ones I also begin to embellish. Out comes the jewelry.

Silly or serious - funky or conservative - tribal or floral - whatever my mood, I can reflect it in my choice of garb. Today's fit? LAYERED! 

I have so many different styles of jewelry in my etsy store. Probably one for every single mood I have ever been in. If you know me very well you completely get what this statement reveals. I have A LOT of variety in  jewelry lines.   

I hope you will take a few minutes and check it out! 

Baraka (Blessings),

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

TOGETHER: a Labor of Love

Pamoja 3 Strand Necklace
(Together in Swahili)

TOGETHER.  Depending upon our life experiences this word has the potential to stir up many different thoughts, emotions & beliefs. 

The meaning of this word for me has sojourned the distance from here to Africa...half way around the planet. Along the dusty path of this journey this word "together" has not just changed but has become of far greater worth to me. It is deeply planted into my heart. It has become a huge part of what our family stands for.  

Let me tell you, show you, a bit about the journey.

TOGETHER our family began traveling to Africa.
yr: 2007

We began to discover the very essence of ...

Soon the word TOGETHER in it's rawest form
spanned the globe.
(my daughter Maddy in 2008)

5 years later, 5 journeys later, and TOGETHER has grown roots even deeper into our hearts then we could have imagined. Together now represents:

LOVE   Compassion      FAITH    Hope
     STRENGTH      Family

This year, while we were in Arusha, Tanzania, one of our dear friends shared her beautiful handmade jewelry with us. She carefully handcrafted every single bead with precision. This in itself is a labor of love. It takes a substantial amount of time to create one single bead - let alone the amount it takes to have enough made for one necklace. 

You would think with the amount of hours she has spent meticulously laboring to create each bead  she would want a sound return on her investment. She made... she should profit - right? That would be the way here in the States. Yet this precious woman breaks the sales revenue down into percentages for different people she does life TOGETHER with: a Children Home (orphans), HIV Support Group, Maasai Women. She stops herself from just handing out money like band aids by getting everyone that benefits  to contribute something... TOGETHER all are invested. It is BRILLIANT!!! It is beautiful. It is a wonderful example of doing life TOGETHER.

Jacinta - white head wrap, purple top.

Here is this beautiful woman working side by side with the Maasai. This was taken 4-5 years ago. She has been consistently working with the Maasai to help empower the women by teaching them trades and providing opportunities for them to sell their goods.  She is constantly creating more & more TOGETHER. One minute with this precious lady and you can feel instantly you are now walking TOGETHER through life with her from that moment on. 

Can you see it? Just within this post there are SO MANY levels of TOGETHER! It doesn't end here either. It continues. We all make a decision individually to be a part of TOGETHER. I hope you seek out your TOGETHER and truly value it deep within. EMBRACE it.

I have many of the items that have been made by the Maasai women and other women in Arusha, Tanzania in my etsy store. If you would like to help support them TOGETHER with me you can purchase one of their pieces. They are B E A U T I F U L ! 

                  Baraka (Blessings),

Friday, September 14, 2012


Well last week Imani Design was approached, through one of our online sales venues, to provide a product line sheet to an online magazine based out of NY. This was indeed encouraging as we were sought out vs. seeking opportunity. The only small (okay GINORMOUS) challenge was we had just returned from Africa and I was befriended by a not so welcome flu bug of some sort. 

Being the main designer for Imani - (not to mention my co-designer Maddy is living in Africa right now) - this left a bit of a void in "hit the road running" action. Well no worries - I figured - we had a bit of time to get the ball rolling again. Oh.... did I mention upon our return my head was spinning with fresh ideas and designs for our tribal designs, yet I was trapped unable to move, bound by lack of energy? 

Well - in the mental fog of this illness I was harboring I received a follow up email from the fashion editor... it went something like this. " Deadline is this Thursday night as our board will be reviewing it Friday morning to decide what we will be purchasing". She was most apologetic for the quick deadline. You see.... she had been completely occupied  as she was wrapped up in NYFW. ( I'll give you a moment  to google that if you need to.)........................................waiting.....................................................

YES! New York Fashion Week. What? Just coming back from Africa to New York Fashion Week? Has my fever taken me to a state of ...OUT of my mind? No... this is reality. This is our world. From one extreme to another all happening simultaneously. Somehow I am not shocked, or terrified. I simply do what I can, with what I have and trust God will do what He wants done. I will just try to do my part in it. 

Somehow through the course of the last 5 days I was able to pump out some designs, hopefully a few of those inspired. The line sheet was completed on time...right down to the wire. In the midst of this I was able to function as a teacher to my kids (I homeschool), managed to somewhat have dinners on the table along with a halfway clean kitchen when my husband arrived home. All in all this was a challenge I feel I can grade with an A+. I kept balance in my home when I would typically have gone into a complete frenzy trying to please people...well the people I wanted to impress in the moment. Those that I could hear the loudest applause from... which would have come in the sound of a jewelry order. I feel as if I am finally arriving to a place where I can be a blessing to others and a blessing to my family at the same time. This has not been an easy lesson for me to learn, but boy does it feel great to be in this moment. 

I should find out soon if they want to purchase any of my designs. I don't believe I will be discouraged if they don't - I am certain I will be very encouraged if they do. In all honesty I am just really blessed they asked. It has truly helped me to identify that God makes things happen. We can plan away, exhausting ourselves in an effort to accomplish our own desires -or- we can simply sit back and enjoy the ride letting God take the lead. 

I for one am ready for the ride!