In Nigeria, the rhythmic sync of the drums, the passion in the dance, alluring display of the native dishes, matching attires and yes of course beaded Jewelry!!! A traditional wedding is never complete without these, and it also cuts across most countries in Africa.Continue reading
Nigeria & West Africa’s No. 1 Gem & Jewelry event – the Craft Fest Jewelry Show – gets into full swing as it welcomes thousands of local and international buyers and sellers into the exhibition hall of the Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos. Continue reading
In the year 2015, Bellafricana digest started the exclusive interviews section to give you a close insight to the beautiful minds behind the brands on our platform. The first day this was launched, Bellafricana founder, Bukky Asehinde, was opportuned to interview this young, artistic and talented young lady called Itoro Okon.
Itoro is a Geologist turned jewelry designer. She has a great personality, very smart and straight to the point. She is one of the Nigerian born talents doing great things in the economy.
Q & A
- Please introduce yourself and your background.
My name is Itoro Okon and I am a jewelry Designer based in Lagos, Nigeria. I studied Geology but have a passion for crafts.
- Please tell us about your work.
I craft unique and artistic jewelry pieces with the use of semi precious stones, crystals, corals and a variety of materials. Each craft is inspired by short stories
How did Jewelry by Itoro Okon start?
It started as a hobby and slowly transitioned into a business.
- Where do your ideas for jewelry come from? Where do you find the inspiration for your jewelry designs?
I gather my inspiration from nature, culture, people and precious stones that inhabit the earth.
- Can you remember one of the first things you crafted? What makes it memorable?
It was a strand of red faux pearls and crystals. I never took a picture of it but I remember it so vividly. It’s just one thing that you never forget so soon, it’s a representation of where I started from.
- How long does it take to design and make a particular work?
It depends on the style of the pieces, but on average it takes about 15 hours.
- Can you explain a bit about your techniques to make jewellery?
I mix different techniques together to come up with very unique pieces. I love experimenting.
- What are the challenges you face in business?
Apart from the usual traffic in Lagos, light situation and poor logistics, getting reliable and trustworthy workers.
- What is your most popular item (including a photo would be great)? My most popular item is the piece called ‘sincerely, Josephine).
- What are your goals for the future, both work wise and life?
My goal is to be the number one creative jewelry brand in Nigeria.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I studied Geology but now have a passion for crafts.
- For someone who wishes to take up this kind of career, what kind of advice would you give them? Also, if you could give one piece of advice to youths who want to start their own company, what would it be?
You have to be passionate about what you are doing. It requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Have a mentor and ask questions, a lot of question. Never ever give up on a design you have in mind. Be unique and let your work speak for itself.
- And finally, I would like to give you this opportunity to share two to four images of your work and tell us a little about each.
You must agree with me that not only is Itoro Okon talented, but her beauty reflects in her work.
To reach Itoro;
Email her on : [email protected]
Look up her website at: www.itorookon.com
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Treasures by ISURA is a jewelry outfit created by Efe Fagbeja who has always been intrigued by jewelry and the way they work. [/dropcap] Efe is a bubbly creative who likes to DIY a lot. She is tenacious and perseveres (I guess you have to be when working with precious stones and fragile strings)
It is important to state that as a kid, Efe would pick shells on the beach and try to string the ones with holes in them. It is safe to say that there was absolutely no way she was going to live a life outside of making and designing accessories.
Lets meet her. Continue reading
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Bimbeads Concept Founder and CEO, Bimbo Balogun, is an exceptionally talented and focused lady. I am indeed excited to introduce her to you today. I am sure there’s a lot we all can learn from her.
When we meet such interesting individuals at Bellafricana we don’t keep how wonderful they are to ourselves alone. We generously give you an insight to how amazing they are. So come on beautiful people, let’s meet Bimbo Balogun, founder of Bimbeads … [/dropcap]
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Finding the perfect gift ideas for women is the most tedious job ever because you have to be extra careful not to buy her something that will be re-gifted or unappreciated. [/dropcap]
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Bridal Jewellery by Baiye Jewellery called “The Aya capsule collection” coming soon… The collection is launching on the 1st of May 2016. Aya means Bride/wife (In Yoruba, Nigerian Language). The collection embodies the simple idea of the white dress, it highlights the need to focus on the Bride, framing her face by adorning her ears with silver, crystals and pearls. [/dropcap]
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] The journey to becoming a Jeweler in Nigeria continued. Going to Central Saints Martins College of Arts still remains top Ten one of the best things that has ever happened to me because my real journey into goldsmithing started from there. I got introduced to different techniques that I was clueless about and this was a different ball game entirely. [/dropcap]
[dropcap custom_class=”normal”] Nigerian Jewelry by Itoro Okon’s December collection. Are you ready to be blown away? She’s beautiful and creative, check out her beautiful collections. [/dropcap]