Monday, 03 September 2012 18:22 Written by  Iya Bakare

As a Chicago-native and a writer, I engulf myself in all things artistic, fashionable and fabulous in this city. I may be biased, but there is so much talent here! From writers to fashionistas to accessory designers, my career blessed me with the opportunity to not only see the work of these individuals, but purchase their art, spread the word about it through my craft and actually get to know these people.

I just shared on Facebook and tweeted about a relatively new project on ChiTown Fashionista Nikia Jefferson’s blog (stay tuned for more about this fabulous young lady). I won’t give away what her blog is all about…just check it out!

Over the past few years (since I started writing professionally), I’ve discovered the less conservative side in my fashion in one area with the assistance of a handful of accessory designers I’ve grown to admire, respect and love. I adorn my wardrobe with their wearable masterpieces of art from women 25-65 years old. They make it all – African shelled necklaces, beaded pieces with precious stones from all over the world, handcrafted DRAPE earrings and leather accessories. In various shapes and materials, these young ladies spend hours every day using their talents to create these stunning pieces. Some pursue this as a full-time career, while others work other professions in conjunction with their accessory businesses.

It gives me great joy to wear these one-of-a-kind pieces from these ladies. In every handcrafted piece, I feel they share a piece of themselves as they create their art with love. I connect to them like I aspire to connect to others through my writing. I seek to create art as my thoughts flow to my fingertips as they stroke the keys on my laptop, much like how the designers’ hands create their work with each stitched, threaded or beaded piece.

It’s so important to support the arts. It takes money, time and so much energy to create. These ladies are more than artists, they’re businesswomen and entrepreneurs.

I just want to say Nikia, Sandra Aya, Lilian, Ashley and Kelley – you all inspire me, through your beautiful work (which is not in vain) and your loving spirits.


Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare

Iya Bakare, GMO's managing editor, earned both her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in print journalism. She earned her B.A. from Delta State University with a minor in English and graduated with a M.A. degree from Columbia College Chicago. In her spare time, the Chicago native continues to freelance and ponder ways to both inform and improve her community one story at a time.

She can be contacted at Iya@glossmagazineonline.com
Follow her on Twitter: @ibakare

Website: www.iyabakare.com