“Where strength is beauty, and beauty is strength…” is the magical quote that greets you when you enter the Nzingah Designs website. Nzingah is the designer behind the brand and she is also a teacher, a visual artist, and a spoken word performer. She was born from Haitian parents in Florida and began her journey as an artist as soon as she could read. Nzingah says that her work as a jewelry designer is an extension of her work as a visual artist. Let’s find out more about her and her brand.
1. What is your brand’s production process?
Most of the time, my production process begins with a sketch. I play with ideas in my sketchbook then I move forward to the creation process. There are also times my production begins with a specific bead or stone. The bead/stone is the central idea and everything is built around it. A lot of my work is done with a metal clay tool that I have a certification to teach others how to use. When creating pieces with this tool, it may involve carving, molding, rolling, blending, drilling, drying, sanding, and firing (this takes between 30 minutes to 9 hours; I then finish it with burnishing and applying a patina). The completed pieces are then put together or paired with stones or glass. All of the work involved is solely done by me.
2. What makes your brand luxurious?
My brand is luxurious for several reasons. First and foremost, all of our pieces are one of kind or part of a limited edition. Moreover, all the pieces are handmade, and I as the designer am directly involved in all aspects of the production process. I am also very specific about the beads I acquire. A lot of my suppliers are individuals who travel to places like the Philippines, Thailand, or West Africa to collect their beads. My African supplier is very well versed in the history behind the beads. For example, most recently I purchased antique boule beads from 18th century Nigeria.
3. Where are you from? How has this influenced your designs?
I am of Haitian descent and my culture plays a significant role in the creation and designing process. Haiti is filled with raw beauty, bright colors, and a rich heritage of movement and sound – inspired by a deep history derived from our West African origins. I live, breath, and simply am this Haitian energy, so everything that I create will bear a piece of that influence.
Purchase Nzingah Designs accessories here: www.NzingahDesigns.com
Follow Nzingah Designs on Twitter @: SankofasChild
Follow Nzingah Designs on Instagram: @SankofasChild
Nzingah Designs Facebook: www.FaceBook.com/BeautyIsStrength
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