My Mom's Perspective on Me and the Collective

Several months ago, we got my partner to share his perspective on the Devi Arts Collective, this month I got my editor to put together a short list of questions, in a similar vein, to ask my mom.

I was surprised by her answers. For me, this Collective has evolved from a simple love of jewelry design, to a strong need and desire to support women through the creative process. To create ethically made jewelry using raw materials made from ethical co-operatives of women around the world.

The first piece of jewelry I ever made was with my mom. It’s a memory that is very precious to me, and I was surprised and touched to learn that it’s also one that she values and remembers so vividly. Even when my career choice has concerned her, my mom had always been supportive. I feel so grateful to have a mother who is present, and so invested in my life and success. 

Here is our interview with my mom, Fanaye Mengesha:

1. Bayoush has shared that her first experiences with making jewelry came from you, when you taught her how to do a peyote stitch. What from that memory sticks out for you?

The memory and experience of working together with my little girl and teaching her the peyote stitch using different color beads was and still is very precious. Watching her concentrate on learning the peyote stitch using beads at the same time pushing her long braids our of the way was fun. She was a quick study and on that first day she was able to make a cute bracelet for herself. I wish I had a picture of it.

2. What's it been like, watching Bayoush embrace entrepreneurship and build a business?

When Bayoush decided to make a living by making jewelry, I thought, what a waste of a B.Sc. degree!! I was also worried about how she is going to be able to survive doing that. Of course she still had her jobs at the time, but as a mother I worried about whether she was going to be successful in this venture. She started out small and worked very hard.  Soon, she started growing fast. I was surprised by her passion, dedication and commitment at such a young age.  Over the years she has turned into this beautiful, vivacious, successful young lady and at the same time very business-savvy.

3. Is there a piece of advice you'd like to share with her? Or something you'd like her to know as she continues to grow the Collective?

Bayoush does not need my advice to continue in her success because she has already mastered her business. I would like to believe that I have already instilled the value of hard work in her at a young age. She has been for the most part financially independent since she was legally of age to able to work. I am very blessed and proud to be her mother. She never ceases to amaze me.

4. What is one of your favourite pieces that Bayoush has designed?

Bayoush has presented me with several pieces of her jewelry over the years. I have worn all of them with pride. There is not one particular design that is my favourite. To try and pick one favourite piece is as hard as trying to pick your favourite child because they are all loved for their own merit. All her pieces are made with a lot of love and dedication put into them. 

In conclusion, I would like to say that she is one of my shining stars and I love her very much.