working girl: areeayl goodwin, jewelry designer

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– As told to Tamara Pridgett

“Handmade Fun, Whimsical and Imaginative” is how 24 year old Areeayl Goodwin describes her jewelry line, Beads Byaree, which houses everything from large geometric animal and continent-inspired earrings to slinky belly and bra chains. The launch of the line happened serendipitously but has proven to be a perfect creative outlet for the young designer.

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Name: Areeayl Yoseefaw Goodwin

Age: 24

Location: Bedstuy, New York

Profession: Designer and Founder of Beads Byaree

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work

How did you get started?

One day, [during] my junior year in college I began creating jewelry while listening to Kanye West’s latest album. After I gave the jewelry to my friends almost everyone on our campus (Howard University) was asking for pieces to purchase. The business happened by accident.

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What’s an average day like?

I always try to start my day off with yoga, meditation, water and tea. It’s important to me to start my day off calmly before I get into the whirlwind of answering emails, creating/shipping orders and planning for my next promotional ventures. I’ve also picked up a job teaching Zumba & yoga to keep creativity flowing and to have a physical outlet.

Why do you do it?

I love creating things physically that I only have seen in my head. None of my pieces are ever sketched; they’re really a child of my brain with no input of logic/planning. I love it. It’s wild.

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Ups and downs you sometimes face on the job:

At first it was hard for me to replicate pieces. Not “hard” as in it couldn’t be done, but hard as in I didn’t want to do it. I loved the freedom of the craft and in each piece being one of a kind. Eventually, I realized that even my replications are one of a kind because they are all made free hand.

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Your greatest achievement so far?

Raising money for a women’s shelter in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I used 100% of my sales [from] my “Love for the Congo” line to donate to the shelter through WomenforWomen.org. I have been very concerned and attached to the well being of the women and children who were victims of rape and war in the Congo ever since I read the play RUINED by Lynn Nottage in 2010.

What might be next for you?

I guess it would be cliché to say, “Only God knows” but that’s how I feel. I have plans, but I’d rather just work and see what happens :).

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hair

What are your top go-to hair tips?

  • Bantu Knots
  • Two Strand Twists
  • Puff-Puff (ponytail) and
  • wild Marley Twists. I’ve had locks most of my life, so most of my natural styles replicate them i.e. twists.

Fun Fact:  I’ve studied Theatre Arts-Acting for 8 years; 4 years at CAPA High in Philly and 4 years at Howard University. I am a thespian. I believe that is why Beads Byaree jewelry is so dramatic.

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