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Hello, my name is Akilah Harris and I am the CEO & Designer of my brand Embellished Jewelry. I am a proud mother of 2 from Phoenix, AZ. I've always had a passion for the fashion and art industry. I began as being a self-taught graphic designer who went to the Art Institute of Phoenix but didn't finish because I felt like I wanted more. I felt like I needed something that felt more embraced or inspiring. I found my niche in November of 2015, after the encouragement of family and friends I decided to start my own jewellery business, Embellished Jewelry. The reason why I chose the name “Embellished” is because it represents something extra, whether it be more details or added glam. Embellished has done many collaborations with top stylists, photographers, designers, and more. We have also been featured with Phoenix Fashion Week's Spring Into Style Runway Trend Show with the Best In Show Winners Brandon Hunt (2016) and Ashley Paige (2017), Brave Wings Fashion Show, Raw Artists, and more which is elevating our success. Our jewellery is made for the woman who is fierce, bold, and strong. The woman who is willing to take edgy to another level. She can make anything more attractive.
SHE’S THE DEFINITION OF EMBELLISHED. “BE, SEEN, BE BOLD.”
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Akilah. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
Along with designing jewellery I really enjoy styling my shoots as well. So I guess I'm a designer and stylist. Ha!
Akilah, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
I am definitely am passionate about making women feel beautiful and pierce through my designs. I started designing jewellery at a young age at 10 years old. My mom would buy me kits whereas I used them to make charm bracelets. I just did it as a hobby and back on Thanksgiving of 2015, my cousin and I were sitting on the couch and I told her how I wanted to start my own jewellery business. We sat there came up with a list of names and from there Embellished was born.
Who is your inspiration in life Akilah? How do you keep inspired?
My kids Kelsey and Kaden are my forever inspiration. I know I have to work hard because of them, and I will strive to create inspiration for themselves through me when they see I'm doing what I love.
We all make mistakes Akilah, we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Designer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
The best way I can describe the situations I've encountered as a designer is being more outspoken about my ideas and passion.
Akilah, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Every customer of mines is important, I treat them like friends. I always make sure I listen to what they need and also following up to keep them engaged.
Please tell us Akilah, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
I honestly will say I continue to have strategic priorities as a designer, but one example I will give is doing runway shows with designers or definitely on my own.
Akilah, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
When I was working with Phoenix Fashion Week, I was advised as a presenting sponsor my jewellery didn't guarantee to be on the runway. Well, I took it upon myself to create a lookbook of my own and present it to the top stylist and advised him how my work will collaborate amazing with his designs. He ended up using a piece on every model which lead for us to win the show!
Akilah please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest accomplishment was being a presenting sponsor for Phoenix Fashion Week and collaborating with one of there top stylists. My jewellery was featured on the show and My logo was presented during the showcase. We ended up being the best in show winners which created a lot of buzzes and opened up a lot of doors for me in the high fashion industry.
Akilah, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I did my first very own runway show with rawartists.org in 2016. I styled over 15 models and made over 40 pieces of jewellery to showcase. It was definitely a lot of hard work, but I was proud I made a platform for jewellery to stand out on its own on the runway.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?
Definitely, keep working and striving to be the very best you! Don't ever give up your obstacles set you up for success. Just go for it, why wait? Everything that you want to do has been done before, but you have the ability to make it yours and be your own success story.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, I would love to do more editorial work, I think that's one thing I haven't added to my resume. I'm open to working with photographers, fashion designers, etc. Let's put our creative minds together and create greatness!
Now for the best part Akilah! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
First 4 photos:
Model: Shannon Phillips - @Im.sovereign
Designer: Akilah Harris - @EmbellishedJewelry EmbellishedJewelry.com
Photographer: Sebastien Verstraete -@Imagesbyseb Imagesbyseb.com
Stylist: Lamark Cole - @Lambo808 @SomethingUniqueProductions
Clothing/Location of Shoot: @Stylebyshazia stylebyshazia.com
Cover and Similar Other Photos:
Models: Lindsey Fujan- @Lindseyfujan Laya Smith - @Laya.Vaughn Jenae Muhammad @Trippynae Stephanie Sujey - @Stephaniesujey
MUA: Candy @_candymichelle_ Samantha @samanthalopezbeauty
Stylist: Alianna - @aliannaric Candance -@candiecarter
Hair: Trey @Balancedstylist
Photographer: @Imagesbyseb Imagesbyseb.com
Designer: Akilah Harris - @EmbellishedJewelry
**If you need particular details regarding which photos please notify me if needed.**