Interview with Yarminiah

Q:  It is wonderful to see young successful business woman. How did you get your start in creating your jewelry line?
A: Thank you. I have dedicated seven years of my life to the fine arts. In that time I have studied/collaborated with artists of all mediums, but did not delve into jewelry making until a year and a half ago. P U R P O S E began at the end of last summer, a time in my life when I was eager to keep my work moving in new directions.  It all began one morning when I felt particularly unmotivated, staring at a gigantic pack of matchsticks sitting in my room. I don't recall how the vision came to me but I found myself some glue and began creating earrings out of matchsticks. After a week I'd perfected the design and couldn't stop making them. I showed my sister, Yaminah, and she was incredibly inspired. The concept of making jewelry out of ordinary materials was born and we couldn't be more excited. We had begun a new chapter of creativity. Yaminah and I spent weeks hunting for new materials and began creating different unique designs. Then we began a blog. Deciding a name for our jewelry line was a no brainer- we had found a sense of purpose and hoped to share it. We sold our pieces at a local festivals and area selling in Spain and soon the Canary Islands! We are deeply invested in keeping P U R P O S E growing as a company and as a source of artistic inspiration. It has taken on a life of its own and created a new space for enriching collaborations! 

Q: You are currently studying in Barcelona Spain. How is your experience there?   What was your motivation for studying abroad?  And what is the culture like in Spain?
A: I am in college studying fine art in Spain.  My experience in Barcelona cannot be described in one word. The architecture is breathtaking, and the open markets make your mouth water with their vibrant colors and fresh fruit. All the apartments have balconies with flowerpots and laundry drying on a string; its very picturesque. This city has granted me my first taste of flamenco dance. lI have been able to learn & converse with locals and others studying abroad. In addition to taking all my classes in Spanish, I have also learned a bit of Catalan, a dialect specific to Barcelona. I have been able to experience who I am as an artist outside of the United States while collaborating with other artist here as well. As for my decision and motivation to study abroad, my family is from Honduras and Puerto Rico and after having visited both countries several times, I developed an appetite to explore. I've learned that Spaniard way of life is much more relaxed than in the United States. The Spaniards rely on a basic schedule that allows time for
relaxation and work. Many work in the morning, have coffee break at around 11, siesta/lunch from 2-4pm,resume work at 5pm, and a late dinner at around 10-11pm. This took some time to get used to but it is such an efficient way to spread your time out-something I am not used to living in New York. Also many here are family oriented. Almost every Catalan I know goes back home every weekend to spend time and have dinner at home with their families. One interesting fact is that there are numerous  Spanish youth who wear their hair locked here. I have seen youth with hairstyles that are a mixture of a shaved head, curly bangs and long locs all on one head!

Q: What is your hair story?  Have you always had natural hair? Or did you experience a need to change at some point in your life?
A:   I have pretty much been natural my whole life. I've only had one perm and one texturizer in the 20 years I've been alive. My older sister has been a mother to my hair. I have adapted practically everything she has learned throughout her hair journey, except she now has loc's. When I was younger, she administered avocado, mayonnaise, and egg yolk treatments every weekend. All of that formed my hair journey. It was after I moved to Miami during high school that I began wearing my hair out in an afro. It was my high school friends that encouraged me to take a risk and let my hair be what it wanted. After Miami I moved to New York for college and saw so many other naturals which helped me further develop  confidence and I began trying new styles. I even dyed my hair a rusty blonde! Up until my move to Barcelona, I took New York's palette of style for granted. In Spain, it is a different type of stare that I get on the streets, one that shocked and made me uncomfortable at first. I have only recently begun wearing my hair out as I had to ease into being comfortable with the stares. Natural hair and personal style shouldn't be so shocking.

Q: Have you experience in any negativity or had any experiences because of your natural hair?
A:  Of course there are always strangers on the street who have something to say under their breath as soon as I pass by, even in the US. Some of my extended family members simply don't understand why I won't just get a relaxer, but with the negativity also comes admiration. Many appreciate the confidence required to rock such a bold hairstyle.

Q: What are three products you can't live without for nurturing/styling your hair?
A:  Honestly, I don't style my hair much. But when I do - olive oil for moisture, spearmint essential oil to tame dandruff. I find that Alaffia’s Every Day Shea Moisturizing Shampoo (its free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and sodium lauryl sulfate) and  a big toothed comb are an absolute must.

Q: What would you say to someone who's thinking about embracing their natural hair, but scared about being rejected in various parts of their lives?
A: At the end of the day, it is you and your hair. You have to face your fears to not only challenge your character but also to develop a sense of who you are! People cannot make those decisions for you. If you  are ready to embrace your natural self, then you must surround yourself with people who can accept you and encourage you.
Q: How can we keep up with you and your journey i.e. blog, twitter, facebook, fotki, tumblr, personal or professional website? (Optional)
A:  P U R P O S E jewelry blog