Four years ago I started my own small business Aoede’s Hands
It has been an interesting roller-coaster, full of challenges and lessons for me.
Firstly, It was never planned.
I have always loved accessorizing unbranded, very simple clothes with fabulous accessories, such as belts, shoes and bags. I also really loved earrings and necklaces, but the very pretty ones always were too pricy, and unfortunately I didn’t have the means to spend my money on those I really liked. #agirlgotbillstopay
The previous year, a friend of mine, Hiroko, made jewelry for one of her classes project, and gifted me a pair of earrings, which I loved (and still have). Until then, it never occurred to me that I could actually make it myself. So, after some research, mainly at the library, reading arts and craft books, I migrated to YouTube tutorials and blogs. I really liked fabric as a medium because I had been sewing since I was a child, and was very comfortable with it. I went down Fashion district and explored the millions of fabric stores. I finally found this African owner who carried beautiful wax (African fabric) and was willing to sell by the yard.
Let me tell you there were lots of trials and errors! However, I kept working on the product until I was satisfied finish. When I was happy with one piece, I proudly rock my pieces; then something amazing happened: I was constantly complimented by strangers about them, and even stopped. This lady asked me how much I was selling them. I was shocked! She wanted to pay me!!!
That was perfect, since I was a struggling student and I could use some extra cash to pay for classes and other expenses.
Since then, I have been creating and selling my accessories all over the world, opened an Etsy boutique, participated to many events and street fairs. This allowed me to meet and collaborate with lots of very interesting people and grow as an individual. I also had a lot of supports from my beautiful friends in all areas, from helping me build my website, to organizing photoshoots, purchasing fabric on their trip to Africa, writing articles in French, English, Japanese, etc… tagging and promoting my jewelry!
One of the highlights of Aoede’s Hands was when Tatiana Ward aka BeatFaceHoney made this amazing video.
I am so grateful of all the opportunities that were given to me and I hope the future will soon bring Aoede’s Hands to another level, now that I can dedicate more time for expansion and promotion!
❤ Thank you to all ❤
©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2014