Really, she does.
For her, It began with making beaded earrings, bracelets and necklaces and then continued till it was obvious that Amsa’s creations were no longer business as usual. Gradually precious stones and other uncommon materials were replacing the popular beads she started her trade with.
‘I started making my own beads from paper and fabric. I also started teaching many how to make recyclable art, you know. Using things that are not the usual to make something wearable and worth keeping.’
‘Worth keeping’ is a phrase that probably echos in our subconsious as we scan shopping malls and market stalls, scoping out things to buy. Most of us want fashion accessories that stand out and thats what Amsa Yaro’s Yarolli brand has suceeded in doing.
The Amsa Yaro studio churns out jewelry you want to wear with your carefully selected wedding , evening cocktail and smart casual outfits. I know i along with sizaeble number of clients that raid her online store find her jewelry impressive.
I recently had a chat with Amsa and she shared some of her trade secrets. Check out the interview below:
Amina: Tell me about Yarolli. Whats it all about?
Amsa: Yarolli is about wearable art. Making art that can be used in our daily lives and can add funky and eccentric style to our look. But I realised that having just Yarolli was a bit restricting because I have interest in other mediums so without clouding Yarolli over, I am, right now, working on developing a brand that would ring true to all I want to do. That is where Amsa Yaro Studio comes in.
Amsa: This way, I can express myself as a mixed media artist another without falling out of my collective and still be true to myself. Yeah, it is like a collective because This covers my illustrations, fabric design, sewing projects, jewellery, painting, sculpture and all. I am Magpie of artsy things so yeah, things are crazy right now but they will fall in place soon. And if they don’t, it’s all part of the advent.
Amina: I like that. Personally, I have come to realise that it is very important to enjoy the ride without too much fixation on the destination. Many dont seem to realise that, see? So what inspired you to start your jewelry business?
Amsa:What inspired me was my need to have productive hands or tools. I have always had the desire of making things and bringing ideas to life so making jewellery was my gateway craft. I started making jewellery while waiting for NYSC (Nigerian Youth Service Corporation which is a compulsory year long service for graduates) and this pushed me deeper into the crafts world where I helped myself with all the info I could get my hands through the internet.
I started making my own beads from paper and fabric. I also started teaching many how to make recyclable art, you know. Using things that are not the usual to make something wearable and worth keeping. Then this grew to more than just jewellery and I allowed to myself to make and learn other crafts like crochet, printing and now, here I am, making sculptures, jewellery and other décor products from paper, fabric and anything I make an interesting art piece from. And if I can share what I make with the world, why not?
Amina:Wow.Why not indeed? They say the grave yard has the largest gathering of talents on earth. It would have been a terrible shame if yours ended there. So now that you have all this up and running do you have long term plans of-building an empire round it? I guess what im trying to say is what is your vision for Yarolli?
Amsa: My vision for both Yarolli and Amsa Yaro Studio is not just to reach the level of making products for a vast variety of customers. I want it to become an ideal. An idea that is worth cultivating in our society. Being mindful about what we use and how we can give more meaning or an extra lease on life. My vision is to become a school of thought in which art can be brought into every day life but at the same time, valued because of the stories behind them. I hope to have spot one day where anyone willing to experiment with their creative side can come and express themselves without fear.
Amina: You seem to be checking all the right boxes! I think sharing knowlege is an intergral part of success. So when you say you want á spot’for those who want to explore their creative side, im thinking,’Na wa o, is she pychic?’ because really, my next question was and still is, how would you say your product has impacted others?
Amsa: Oh wow. Impact is a big word. For me, having them happily buying it and taking them home is worth gold. I think my biggest effect is the customer actually realising that what they just paid for was made by something they would never think of but can be found all around them. Hopefully, this lets them find new ways of re-using materials and objects. Just as how a wine bottle can be used as a lamp stand or how paper can be sewn to fabric and such, limitless possibilities from things we easily discard as trash.
Amina: For the benefit of those reading this, could you tell us five things a person needs to start a jewelry business?
Amsa: Oh, it’s really easy to start. You pick out a name and register it. Done. You have a business. The not so easy part is making it more than a registered name at CAC.
- Secondly, You need to be dedicated to what you have started. You need to have passion for it. I think That’s one of the reasons why I am still on it. I started this because I love the arts. The process from start to finish gets me going. I have many failed starts oh. But that’s what business is about. It’s a risk worth fighting for and I will keep fighting the good fight.
- Get the right tools. They don’t have to be expensive. I believe that even with this crazy economy, you could find a good set of tools, beads and findings with 20,000.
- Get a good phone. Again, it doesn’t have to be expensive but ensure it has a good camera. This way, it reduces your need to find a photographer because you start up budget is small. It is also very useful for your networking and marketing as well.
- Find an angle. By that I mean, who is your target customer? What kind of customer would you want to make for? Do you want to make coral bead necklaces only? Then brides-to-be, wedding planners and bridal shops are your target audience. You want to use semi precious stones, then stylists, high end retail and gift stores are who you should look at.
Amina: Thanks so much for your time, Amsa.
Amsa:Its been a pleasure.
Just a bit more about Amsa …
Amsa is a graduate of Mass Communications from the University of Maiduguri with a post Graduate Degree in broadcast Journalism from Fanshawe College in Canada, where she now lives, creates and sells her art mostly online. To order some of the amazing pieces featured on this blog and more , like her page Amsa Yaro Studio or order from her Facebook online store.