Accented Glory's visionary Tonya Cross (TC) had an opportunity to chat with Kimberly Watson (KW) of Kimmie Jean. During the conversation she shares about her entrepreneurial journey and gives advice on launching an online boutique. Read below to learn more!
TC: Please introduce yourself and tell us who you are.
KW: My name is Kimberly Watson. I am a wife and mom of two and I own a childcare center and an online boutique. Fashion is my first true love! It took a lot of planning before I launched Kimmie Jean boutique. Now my focus is getting the word out about my boutique and becoming known.
TC: Thanks Kimberly for agreeing to share with our audience! So, tell us more about your boutique Kimmie Jean and how it came to be?
KW: My philosophy behind Kimmie Jean comes from the fact that everyone has been into a store and felt rejected somehow. Whether from race or sex, to the store just didn’t have your style, to items being too expensive or cheap. I wanted to create a space that everyone could shop at.
TC: Yes, I'm sure we have all had at least one of those experiences while shopping. Now, what advice would you give to a fellow entrepreneur who's interested in launching an online boutique?
KW: My advice for fellow entrepreneurs is like Nike “Just Do It”. I had the business plan for my boutique done in 2014 and didn’t actually launch until November 2019 because of fear. Now I look back at the time wasted. Also, don’t expect friends and family to be your first customers. They may support you, but if you expect it you’ll have your feelings hurt.
TC: Great advice and tips! What do you foresee for your brand in the next five years?
KW: In five years I hope to have my brand known and maybe expand to a store front.
TC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our audience?
KW: Entrepreneurship is a lot of work, but don’t be scared to work towards your dreams. Invest in you and yours!
TC: Thank you so much for sharing with us! Where can our audience find out more about your business and services?
KW: You can find more information on my boutique's website at www.shopkimmiejean.com! We're also on social media at https://www.facebook.com/shopkimmiejean and https://www.instagram.com/shopkimmiejean. Thank you for an opportunity to share!
Tonya Cross - Accessory Designer
Are you an entrepreneur?
What advice would you offer someone who's launching a business?
Accented Glory’s “Love Duo” with Akwati Style is back just in time for Spring! We partnered with Angel Jordan; an amazing fellow black designer for the collab. In the duo, our Cowrie Tassel Hoop Earrings are paired with an off the shoulder white shirt. Matching Ankara fabric directly from Nigeria was used to create the set.
Accented Glory’s Cowrie Tassel Hoop Earrings are all that and then some! The African print center and cowrie shell tassel gives it an Afrocentric vibe that exemplifies our brand energy. They are light weight, so no worries of stretching your earlobes. The hoops are also lead and nickel free and are available in both gold and silver color.
What makes this earring design even more fabulous is that we also have customized matching headbands. These sets are available in our Etsy Shop’s bundle section. The headband designs are satin lined to protect natural hair from drying out and breakage. In addition, all of our headband designs are adjustable. What does that mean for you? No more headband headaches; you control the tension. Our bundle pairings are great gift sets for some self love or to bestow upon someone else.
So, what are you waiting for? Express your African heritage with Accented Glory’s Cowrie Tassel Hoop Earrings. No look is complete without great accessories!
Click Akwati Style to order Love Duo from their website.
Click Etsy Shop to purchase one of our Cowrie Tassel Hoop Earring and Headband Bundles.
Cierra - AKA Accessory Diva
Accented Glory’s visionary Tonya Cross shares what make her hair accessory and Afrocentric jewelry designs unique! Shop with Accented Glory on Etsy and Amazon for your hair accessory and jewelry needs. We have an array of one of a kind designs. No look is complete without great accessories!
Cierra - AKA Accessory Diva
Accented Glory has launched a new earring design! Our Cowrie Tassel Hoop Earrings are all that and then some. What makes this design unique is that it can be customized to match fabric of our African Print Headband designs. This beautiful design is the sassy cousin of our Cowrie Shell Tassel Earrings that were featured on Essence!
They are light weight, so no worries of stretching your earlobes. The hoops are lead and nickel free and measures 1.2 inches in width. They’re also available in both gold and silver color. No look is complete without great accessories!
They can be worn with either a causal or dressy look. The African print center and cowrie shell tassel gives it an Afrocentric vibe that exemplifies Accented Glory’s brand energy! Our bundle pairings are great gift sets for some self love or to bestow upon someone else. Click on bundle photo below to be directed to our Etsy Shop and make your purchase!
Cierra AKA Accessory Diva
This blog post contains affiliate links. Click here for Accented Glory's Affiliate's Disclosure.
Burrr… It’s that time of year again! Winter weather is upon us. Wearing hats is a choice for many naturals to keep their heads warm. Also, a part of winterizing our natural tresses includes protecting and covering our hair from cooler weather while outside. For those of us who are hat wearers, we often find ourselves in a dilemma during this season. Most hats aren’t natural hair friendly. Naturals struggle with keeping their heads warm without causing damage to their hair.
Most hats are created with materials and fabrics that are designed for warmth. This usually means the fabric is coarse with a closed knit weave to keep the cold out and the warm in. Many hats are created with fabrics like wool or tweed. Unfortunately, these coarse fabrics can cause friction with textured natural hair which can lead to hair breakage.
If you’re not so lucky to have a lined hat with a softer fabric, no worries! I Got You. I have created a YouTube Tutorial to solve your natural hair hat woes. In the tutorial, I share how to line your hats with a satin bonnet. Keep in mind, this is not a pass on properly moisturizing your hair. For team “Throw A Hat On It”, I still recommend that you moisturize your hair before wearing a hat and/or styling with any type of hair accessory. Check out my YouTube Tutorial on how to line a hat below!
You can also shop for Accented Glory’s natural hair friendly accessory and Afrocentric jewelry designs on Etsy and Amazon.
Hair Accessory Expert | Accessory Designer | Natural Hair Enthusiast
What other tips would you offer to guard your natural hair from winter weather?
Do you need a bonnet for your hat? Click on picture to check out bonnets on Amazon.
Accented Glory Fam, do you have that favorite winter hat that you're unsure about wearing because you're afraid the fabric may cause some damage to your natural hair? Or you're cautious when wearing it, but is tired of having to remember to put on a satin cap first? Well, NO MORE WORRIES...I Got You!
Check out my NEW video tutorial below on how to make your hat natural hair friendly! You can find more tips/advice on styling with and purchasing hair accessories in my styling e-guide that's available on Etsy. Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/AccentedGlory to purchase and download my e-guide!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Hi Accented Glory Fam! This hair accessory style is created using an Inspirit Arts Expandable Headband. We recently added the headband design to Accented Glory's online store! The Ankh Earrings and Embrace Greatness Lady Tee that I'm wearing can also be purchased from our store at www.accentedglory.com.
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Accented Glory's visionary had the pleasure of connecting with high end fashion designer Avnah Long, back in 2013. Our sister organization The Vine Events featured her for a "Black History In The Making" article. Our visionary and Avnah are from the same home town in North Carolina! Avnah now resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she launched her crochet swimwear and clothing line brand AVNAH Collection.
Her designs have been worn by various celebrities, such as Kelly Rowland and Cynthia Bailey. She has also been a featured designer during New York Fashion Week (NYFW)! We're thankful that she granted us an interview where she shares about her experience as a natural in fashion. Check out her interview below!
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
I began my career in fashion as a crochet designer creating swimwear and clothing pieces, but I was inspired to expand my fashion line actually from my great grandmother Ida Davis that use to sew herself. I use to watch her as a child sew little thing around the house. Starting as a crochet designer was good for me, but it took a long time to make certain pieces as my visions grew. So, I started teaching myself how to sew. As I began designing pieces by using a sewing machine, it opened up a whole world for me as a designer. I was able to put pieces together faster than it would take me to crochet by hand and I was able to incorporate structure, play with fabrics and use other elements that allowed me to create a line that was diverse.
Being a featured designer during NYFW is an amazing accomplishment! What impact has it had on your career?
Being a featured designer during NYFW is always an awesome experience in itself, because the platform is so great. I was able to present my collection on a platform where many people in the audience is of some influence in the fashion industry. I meet a lot of people who connected me with textile suppliers, buyers, and gave me great feedback on the line in general. All of that is important when you're building a brand.
Share with us about your natural hair journey. What kind of experience has it been?
My natural hair journey started in 2003, when I decided to do my big chop. It was also around the same time that I opened my first salon in Atlanta. Many people don't know that I am a Master Cosmetologist and hair was my first passion. As my hair grew out some, I went through the twa (teeny weeny afro) phase until I could maintain my twist outs. Then I decided to loc my hair. I had locs for five year and I've big chopped three times since then. Now I'm just letting it grow out. I shampoo and sometimes co-wash, I use a shea butter mixture and I keep it braided up for protective styling. If I do wear it out, it's usually pulled back into a puff or I'm wearing it out in an afro.
With celebrities like Taraji P Henson embracing their natural hair, do you think it'll have an influence on the fashion world? Will we see more naturals on the runway?
I think a lot of celebrities and people in general are finally starting to embrace their hair. I am seeing more people on the runways wearing their natural hair and I actually tell many of my models not to straighten their hair for my shows. For the longest time people thought you had to have straight hair to look presentable, tamed, or well put together. Now we are loving and embracing the hair we were born with. Our hair is beautiful! There are so many textures and to have healthy hair that is thick, soft, curly, and can be styled beautifully is more important to a lot of people than being over processed with chemicals.
What's next for AVNAH Collection?
I have so many projects that I am working on including an accessories line. The accessory line includes neck pieces and I'm currently creating the beauty bangles. I'm also revamping the online store to make it easier for customers to purchase. I'm just having fun creatively right now. Whatever God puts in my spirit to create is what I'm working on. It's so much better for me right now to do it this way. I'm just in a really good spot right now with my brand and I'm excited to share the accessory line with my customers.
Avnah Long of AVNAH Collection
Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a millennial who's currently navigating adulthood. Click Not One Of Your Little Friends to check out her podcast!