“I started jewelry making as a business in 2017 after a friend asked me to make some cultural pieces for Black History Month. I made a few more pieces and fell in love with creating. It is called Rockin Rootz because I want people to wear things important and meaningful that give confidence or encouragement when they need it. Some of the pieces are called Truth, Live Free, Radiance, Believe, Freedom, and Promiseland. We wear jewelry close to our body and I want it to be inspiring.
My day job is a dispatcher with a trucking company and I like working with the logistics and numbers. Making jewelry after my eight-year-old son goes to bed is therapeutic and clears my mind. I love taking raw materials that look like nothing and turn them into something beautiful. Positive, happy energy goes into every piece. Selling jewelry is also an icebreaker that leads to conversations and a chance to encourage and love others. Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer, but I got older and let that go. I did a workshop with kids and told a little girl when I was her age I wanted to be a fashion designer. She said, ‘and now you get to do it what you always wanted to do.’ I had never thought of myself as a designer until a child helped me see.
I also make waist beads that come from Africa culture. The women used them as a natural tool for measuring their waist. It was also body adornment and told what tribe they are from. People now wear them for fashion or waist management. You can wear it under your clothes. As you gain weight, it rolls up. As you lose weight, it rolls down. Get away from the numbers and get you a pretty set of beads and feel sexy.
I grew up in Chicago and moved south for school at Alabama A&M to major in psychology. I moved to Mobile with my son’s dad. We aren’t together anymore, but the people here embraced me. Mobile has also rallied around small business during this time, including mine. There is compassion and support at a time where things seem chaotic.
Being away from my family in Chicago has been hard, but I didn’t want my son to grow up in Chicago. My mom had a quadruple bypass last year. I left my son with his grandparents and took unpaid leave from my job to move to Chicago and care for her for three months. I went through much of my savings, but I am thankful for that time with her. My mom is also crafty and showed me how to make wire rings. The Grateful Heart and Joyful Heart series came from that humbling time that brought me down to what is important.
I love the scripture about being rooted and grounded in love. I want to be able to keep giving back with monetary gifts, encouragement, or helping people along the way. My son beads with me and goes to the jewelry shows. I hope I am teaching him about entrepreneurship and that there are different paths to be happy and successful in life.”
(Here is the link to Rockin Rootz Website: https://www.rockinrootzdesigns.com/)