Lakia Taylor is a jewel. She’s a young, successful and black entrepreneur who turned her hobby of making jewelry into a business—proving that anything is possible as long as you dream big and work hard to achieve your goals. Lakia designs from the heart, creating feminine pieces for chic and classy women. In an industry that could use more African American representation, EGL is pleased to introduce you to a beautiful treasure, Lakia Taylor.
We recently chatted with Lakia about her start in the jewelry business, her new collection and much more!
EGL: How did you get started making jewelry?
Lakia: During Christmas season in the year of 2005, my mother bought different art materials for me to explore. Only at the age of 8-years-old, a box of beads became very handy because I was so interested in making earrings. Although I did not have any major jewelry supplies, I worked with what I had, which was beads, string and earring hooks. Spending hours trying to make a pair of earrings completely of string, I found a talent that carries on to this day.
Over the years, I continued to create handmade jewelry, becoming more of a professional jeweler. Not one time I thought about turning it into a business until I met a sweet lady at an organization. As we were cleaning, I explained to her that I was creating jewelry, and I have a ton of them. She told me to bring the jewelry the next day, and she will look at them. That next day, she bought a lot of jewelry, and I did not have any prices together because I was not expecting for her to buy anything. So I allowed her to give me an offer, and I accepted it. From that day forward, I became very interested in the business. I was only 13-years-old, and the director of the organization allowed me to sell my products. Not only was I able to sell, but people asked me to repair their old jewelry! This was very exciting to me, and a few years later, I wanted to take it a step further. This opportunity led me to name my business Kia’s Jewels, and I am the head jeweler, jeweler marketer, sales coordinator, sole owner and employee. I must say that I am a very busy person due to business traveling, taking calls and emails, creating jewelry, managing social media and managing college; therefore, I had to give up on many fun activities.
Making those sacrifices, Kia’s Jewels has been featured in boutiques and sold over 400 products. After seeing that her business was rising tremendously, she created her official website: www.kiasjewels.weebly.com.
EGL: What inspired your new collection?
Lakia: As I was preparing for the upcoming line, I brainstormed on what was trendy and since the chokers and druzies created a fashion statement, I decided to add a twist to my collection. I envisioned a collection to be classy but flashy.
EGL: I see you’re designing pieces for men now. What made you branch out?
Lakia: Over the years, I have always noticed that men are quick to purchase jewelry for their significant other, mother or daughter(s), and they have always asked me why I don’t make men’s jewelry. Honestly, I really did not have an answer to that question but seeing those men dressed up with no accessories influenced me to create a line for men to complete the perfect look. The pieces that I have put together are very simple and are easy to be dressed up for any occasion.
EGL: As a young entrepreneur, there must have been a few bumps in the road. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
Lakia: Having a passion for jewelry since the age of 8-years-old and selling jewelry as a hobby over the years (before I turned it into an official business) allowed me to experience many bumps in the road. I have dealt with many adversities including not making money at all, but through the journey, it was a challenge within myself. There were days that I wanted to give up on my dream, but I had to keep the faith. However, the biggest lesson that I have learned so far is you will have plenty of rainy days, but you have to learn and build from every lesson and continue to move forward and not look back. You always have to think about why you started and where you want to be a year from now.
EGL: What celebrity would you like to see rock your jewelry and why?
Lakia: I would love to see Rihanna rock my jewelry because her style is very diverse and she is a fashion icon. She looks stunning in everything she wears.
EGL: Christmas is coming up soon! What piece from your collection would you recommend to buy for a friend?
Lakia: For women, I would recommend the Crystal Rhinestone Choker, which is my favorite piece. For men, I would recommend the Crater Triple Bracelets, which is a perfect go-to for a casual outfit.
Checkout some of her pieces below!
Follow Lakia on social media to learn more about her jewelry and be sure to buy a piece or two. You can shop here!
Interview by: Ericka Smith, Entertainment Editor