While strolling down Main Street in St. Helena two summers ago, I was mesmerized by a necklace displayed in a jewelry store window. It had a "commanding presence" that appeared to be African-inspired.
During this time, I was also transitioning from relaxed to natural hair. I was also working on modifying my fashion style to maintain a professional corporate look while embracing my new teeny weeny afro, which I had affectionately named "do whatcha gonna do," as it simply had a mind of its own -- until I learned which hair products it preferred vs. outright rejected.
As I worked on enhancing my new natural (and professional) look, it was important for me to message two themes – confident and bold - so I focused on integrating accessories that demonstrated them as well. I also wanted to project touches of grace and softness.
This necklace - truly wearable art! - was designed with Ox bone that highlighted its boldness but its cream and silver color hues also showed a softness and echoed grace.
As I rushed into the jewelry store to try on the necklace, I inquired about the designer. Sam, the owner of the jewelry store, told me her name was Masha Archer. He had other pieces of her jewelry in the store and I tried on each one. Each uniquely designed piece projected confidence and boldness and celebrated ethnicity. I was pleased to learn Masha lived in the Bay Area and was eager to meet her to learn more about the inspiration behind her work. Plus, I had just started my personal collection by purchasing that necklace - my first Masha Archer one-of-a kind piece.
My experience meeting Masha was similar to seeing her wearable art for the first time. She is a commanding, but soft, presence and is passionate about her work. As we spent time together, what resonated to me about Masha included her attention to detail, how she cared to respond and acknowledge every point shared during our conversation, and how her exposure to the diversity and uniqueness of our many cultures inspire her to message the beauty, boldness, confidence and grace in each of us through her pieces.
My collection has now grown to three and I'm eyeing number four.
Thank you, Masha, for sharing yourself with us, and I'm thrilled that your pieces are now available through Inspired Luxe.
Yvette Hollingsworth Clark