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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CEO OF PROVERBZ31 JEWELLERY: JACKIE ADOFOJoanne Oguntimehin interviews the fearless and fabulous Founder of a Proverbz 31 a pioneering Jewellry range with a mission to overcome issues of poverty, human trafficking and economic injustices around the world,
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys it gives me great pleasure to introduce the empowered, ambitious and inspiring CEO of Proverbz31 Jewellery - Jackie Adofo. Her unique combination of couture, contemporary designs and a mission to end human trafficking is what makes us sure that Jackie is 'about to blow' - she is certainly one to watch out for.
Read on to find out what happened when I grilled this talented and forward thinking designer, activist and woman of Christ.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
Can you give us a beginners guide to what Proverbz31 jewellery is?
Proverbz31 jewellery is more than just a retail brand. It is an economic empowerment program. The sole vision behind Proverbz31 jewellery is to be recognised as a big brand and to build a network of clients so that once we are established, I and a team of craftsmen will go abroad and teach poverty-stricken people and survivors of human trafficking how to make jewellery so that they can have enough money to live and support their families and communities. We hope to sell their jewellery oversees for them. Once their products are sold, we then send all the proceeds back to the individuals.
What is the importance of the scripture Proverbz 31 to you personally?
The Bible scripture Proverbs 31 defines the kind of godly woman I strive to become. She is a Godfearing, respectful, nurturing woman who uses her time to serve God and the poor. I named my jewellery 'Proverbz31' because it reflects my desire to serve the Most High and to help generate an income for the poor and rescue people from slavery and poverty.
And how do you think your designs embody your this?
It is difficult to create jewellery which embodied this scripture and cause. However, I taught myself how to use 'every day' materials like chains, beads, lace trimmings and so forth so that it would be easier for impoverish women and children to learn how to take accessible materials and transform them into creative pieces. My jewellery is versatile, ranging from simple and sophisticated to retro and statement pieces.
After taking part in Miss Ghana UK Pageant and researching about the prevalence of modern day slavery all over the world, I had a deep urge to want to use the little talent and gift I have to help others out of misfortunate circumstances. I said to myself that jewellery-making could be used as a human trafficking prevention scheme. Women and children become victims of traffickers because they have no jobs and need to support their families so they are easily deceived and lured by false promises of a better life and career. If I can offer them "proper" work, it would reduce the rise of modern day slavery.
Talk us through a typical day in the life of the CEO of Proverbz 31 jewellery
I would describe my typical day as pretty simple. I wake up and I say "Good morning Holy Spirit". Then I thank God for allowing me to see a new day. I pray and depending on whether I am working elsewhere or doing voluntary work, I spend some time contacting suppliers and customers regarding their orders, making jewellery to meet people's needs and taking time out to meditate on the Word.
What 3 words would you use to describe a Proverbz 31 woman?
I would describe the Proverbs 31 woman as God-fearing, compassionate and hardworking.
Name and explain the most important 3 characteristics that a young designer must have in order to succeed in such a competitive industry
In order to succeed in this industry, young designers need to have passion for the products or service they are offering. This industry is very competitive. If you don't have passion or a clear purpose for your brand or business, you will end up quitting too easily when things do not work out the way you expected it to.
I believe you need to be prayerful especially if you believe in God. It's the Most High who opens doors that no man can shut and brings about favour and promotion in all our lives. Without Him, I wouldn't be where I am today and I know He still has more surprises already prepared for me. You should continue to have hope and faith in God that He will make you a success.
Lastly, you need to be diligent no matter how stagnant things are. Perseverance is the key to success. In order to succeed, you must be focused and keep moving forward towards your goal even when it looks like other designers are doing much better than you are. Do not despise the day of small beginnings because the end of a thing is better than the beginning.
FIRE, DESIRE, INSPIRE
What is your favourite piece to date?
I am love with my new Proverbz31 Native beaded choker necklaces. I just love colourful and unique statement pieces.
Has your Ghanaian roots inspired any of your designs? What else do you use as inspiration for your designs?
Funny enough, my Ghanaian heritage did not inspire me when designing my jewellery at the start. I am now currently working on making wooden and acrylic jewellery into Ghanaian symbols such as the Gye Nyame and Duafe sign. I get my inspiration from everyday objects that I come across daily. As soon as something catches my eyes, I immediately incorporate it into my designs and create a lovely piece.
What advice would you give to a young designer who wants to make it big?
In order to make it big, you need the 5 P's.
When you are greeted with setbacks, please do not be discouraged and throw in the towel. Delay isn't denial. Everything will not work out as how you expect it to, in a rapid pace or in a certain way you want it to but if you learn to encourage yourself, stay positive throughout and keep on believing in your designs you will be an overcomer. Have your vision before your eyes always and stay determined, and you will surely reap the fruits of your hard work.
I see big things for Proverbz 31 jewellery; you have a unique concept, a great cause, amazing couture designs and a real vision - Where do you see Proverbz 31 jewellery in the near future?
Godwilling, I see Proverbz31 Jewellery developed into a worldwide platform for the destitute, afflicted, poor and survivors of modern day slavery to be able to sell their jewellery and clothing to clients in the UK and global. I would like to open boutiques all over the world as well as distribute jewellery in Selfridges and high end stores.
Proverbz31 will be exhibiting at Making it BiG in Fashion an interactive networking event find out more here
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