Artist’s Name: Daneia GraceAnn Jones
Name of Brand: Let’s Brace It!
Artform: Handmade beaded jewelry: waist-beads, gemstone bracelets, anklets and more
Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do?
I’m currently studying Naturopathic Medicine. I’m interested in Women’s Health, and I’m fascinated by women’s sexuality and health. I realized my interest in women’s health, empowerment and confidence the more I learned about our anatomy and the more ‘woke’ I became to the strength, resilience, and struggles that are unique to us.
Presently, along the line of my interest, I design and create beautiful, meaningful strands of waist-beads. Waist-beads are an excellent tool to help women to love their bodies more, find themselves, embrace their sexuality and femininity and study their bodies (as it relates to weight and women related issues); all of which benefit a women’s self-esteem and confidence.
I believe being ‘woman’ is such a blessing and should be celebrated in every way possible. What better way to do so than to make, provide and wear gorgeous pieces that will crown the abdomen and/or uterus?
What is your educational background?
I attended The Ardenne High School in Kingston, Jamaica. Then, I studied Biology Pre-med at Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana and I’m presently in my second year at The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Canada.
Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?
Many! Both young and old, and mostly women. But that’s okay, after all, they are MY dreams.
How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?
My grandma would always tell me, “A man (woman) is a fool to what he doesn’t know”. I think this outlook and approach has helped me to manage my thoughts and reactions whenever negative gestures and comments are made about my creations, especially waist-beads and anklets.
The concept of waist-beads is pretty new to many in the western world; the rich history and culture are unknown, or maybe not believed, causing many to create their own thoughts of them. I have also grown to appreciate the fact that we are all entitled to our own opinions.
I am also slowly beginning to appreciate the gift of “ignoring negativity” of all forms.
How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?
I set goals. [I plan out the various] designs and photoshoots I will get done in a year and do my best to stick to them. I also aim to constantly improve and perfect my creations, so I make time to ask my clients about quality and use their feedback to better the products.
What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your art form has the power to benefit society?
The artist is responsible for making people happy. We give individuals the opportunity and creations to express themselves as they like. We help society to find peace within itself.
Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?
Waist-beads!! I believe it is a beautiful way for women to crown what’s most sacred to them, what makes them ‘woman’. They are also a very special adornment that reminds us that we are fierce, sexy, powerful, fearless and deserving of beautiful things.. at any size and age. The way [the beads] cheer us on as they hit each other when we work out gives us motivation to … reach our body goals.
The way they remind black women of our rich and diverse culture and roots gives confidence and power to our black race. How can this not be the best thing for a woman to wear?
What is some advice that you would give to anyone who is trying to walk the same path as you?
- Be true to who you are and what you love.
- Be sure to know that there are many things that you can only learn from experience and from being in the moment; appreciate them the good and the bad.
- As best as possible, try to prepare yourself to be your own cheerleader; there may be times when you are the only one who believes in you… and that’s okay, just be sure to never let yourself down, for your own sake.
- If you believe in it, do it, invest in it.
- Be grateful for the little things.
- Treat every client like a king/queen if they spend $1 or $1,000, they should all be treated the same.
- Force yourself to always do what’s of greater priority.
- Have fun!
“The artist is responsible for making people happy. We give individuals the opportunity and creations to express themselves as they like. We help society to find peace within itself.“
~ Daneia Jones