Vogue It-girl Malyia McNaughton and CEO of Made by Malyia took time out to sit down with Your Style Blueprint and give us the 411 on what's going on with her business ,making her mother proud and transitioning from a typical 9-5 to becoming the ultimate Girl Boss. Oh! She also debuted her collection at NYFW!Talk about a girl who's on the move.
YSB: What does your business represent?
Malyia: My business represents my creativity and self expression through jewelry and fashion. It is the concept that you can pursue something you love and with the support of others you can design the life you want for yourself. The slogan “Jewelry made with you in mind” is definitely a statement I live and breathe. I design and hand craft every piece with my customer in mind. Their belief in my brand is the reason I am able to design jewelry I love.
YSB :How has the entrepreneur blossomed within you this year?
Malyia: I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and growing up I was apart of The Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). An organization that provides programs to encourage entrepreneurship for teens. This last year made it crystal clear that this was the route I should pursue. The universe brought me several great opportunities that allowed the brand to expand quickly. I was still balancing my 9-to-5 while I was being featured by Essence, Huffington Post and Vogue.com. I began to feel the business was suffering due to my inability to fully commit my time. That is when I decided to step out on faith and become an entrepreneur full-time. Making that decision was so empowering and allowed me to identify areas I could grow the brand and start new business ventures.
YSB: What are some things you do to spark your inspiration during dull moments of creativity?
Malyia: When I feel uninspired I know it is because I’m not balanced. I’m exhausted or stressed, so I'll go to the gym, meditate and pray. I visit museums and art exhibits because I know how much time it takes to commit to turning an idea into a tangible product. Most people go to an art exhibit and see the finished work, when I go I appreciate the time and passion from an artist.
YSB: When did you discover that you weren't like everyone else?
Malyia: I knew I was different when I always questioned the status quo. I was never disrespectful to authority I just never accepted things for how they were. “As a visionary we are tormented by vision. It is painful to be a visionary because a visionary sees what shall be and wakes up to deal with what is.” That is my favorite quote by T.D. Jakes. My childhood was less than perfect but I never let it affect my academics because I always saw a life much different than the one that existed. I excelled and was confident the life I envisioned would someday be a reality. That vision is becoming a reality and I know it is because I believed it to be possible even before I knew how it would happen.
YSB: Do you think it's important to be understood?
Malyia: No, your only concern should be remaining authentic. Staying true to who you are is more important than being understood. If I waited until everyone caught on I wouldn’t be where I am today. When I started my business although I was supported there were several people who didn’t see my vision and that is ok.
YSB: If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Malyia: I would love the opportunity to work with Oprah. Another passion of mine is providing resources to underpriviledged young children through programs that promote self-esteem and education. I would love to use my brand as a platform to work with her to make it an nationwide initiative.
YSB: What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Malyia: My mom being proud of me for following my passion and dreams. Her stamp of approval means more to me than any other award or achievement I could ever receive.
YSB: Describe the woman/man who wears Made by Malyia.
Malyia: They are fearlessly navigating through life and enjoy standing out from the crowd. They are influential with a free-spirited alter ego and self-expressive style.
Shop my favorite pieces from the Made by Malyia Collection here