‘Acending plumes of angels descending onto the throne of life,
With a deck of cards they place their bets and cast our fortunes into the fire,
The smell of incense burning fills the air with smoked spices,
With a forefinger we are lulled to sleep, under the watchful eye of our guardian angel,
As the sunrise fades into dusk, the bitter sweet sentiment of day is gone,
As the angels watch over us asleep no more’
Meet Amira Battle
Creator of Amonaie.Designs Amira Battle is a handmade jewellery crafter who personalizes her self-penned label to accomodate the personal preferences of each clients desires. Whether that be colour, shape or pattern Amira wants each handcrafted item to reflect the clients best interests. Amira finds inspiration in her spiritual affinity with God and sees him as her role model and sole defining benefactor of her successful jewellery line. When Amira discovered faith she realized her sole passion was to create in the image of spirituality and thus Amonaie Designs was born.
Ana– Your debut label was founded in 2013 during your first year of university. What inspired you to create your own jewellery brand and how has it evolved from its beginnings in your bedroom in Manchester?
Amira Battle-I started to create jewelry in the summer before first year began. I can’t really identify where the inspiration came from however my family and friends were very supportive of the idea of turning it into a business. I started to develop an entrepreneurial mind in my late teens and I’ve always had an affinity for creative projects. The business made sense and I truly believe it is one of the things that I have been called to do in life. Prior to starting my business I didn’t know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. It wasn’t until I found God that these aspects started to be revealed to me. When I tell you I had no idea of where I was going, I am not exaggerating. There were many a time that I cried in frustration for not having any direction. Now I wake up confidently knowing that there is a plan already laid out for me and my business. My jewelry has evolved so much since first year and I attribute this to my own personal growth and maturity. I would say my style was all over the place, without a defined focus and this very much described my personal life as well. As I became closer to God and understanding myself, my jewelry became a lot more refined and expressive. My jewelry is still full of patterns and life but now with an air of sophistication that only comes with time. However, some of my favorite designs are from the early days so I deem them A. Monaie essentials. Other than the change in style, A. Monaie is still located in a bedroom in Manchester haha. I do have wishes to have a studio in the future but for now, my room suits me just fine. I created a space where I can just be myself and be creative without fear of judgement. Every time you come in my room there is something to see. I like to make every space my own.
A– All entrepreneurs have an ethos or a mission statement that describes the intentions and the aims of the commerce brand. What is your ethos and how does it inform the decisions you make about Amonaie Designs?
AB-A. Monaie Designs aims accompany you on your lifestyle journey by providing timeless pieces that express, embrace, and empower. Pieces in terms of jewelry, accessories, home decor. We want to help people make every space their own. For me, it is not just about jewelry, but the journey. A. Monaie Designs representants faith, value, fearlessness, strength, and maturity. Because I want to help people on their personal journeys, I will be starting a YouTube channel to really interact with people. I try to make all of my business decisions around our mission of inspiring and helping people along their journey.
A-One of the key themes that Amonaie Designs explores is religious identity. How does faith inspire you to make a change?
AB-One of our key values is faith! I truly believe without God I wouldn’t have any of this so I try to honor Him in everything that I do. In all decisions I think and pray about God’s vision for my brand. I’m consistently developing this outlook so that I am able to serve and help people on their own journeys. Recently, my business has undergone a lot of changes and external pressures that if I did not have faith, I would have been devastated. When things happen, I use it as learning experience and try to see God’s hand in it. When I’m making a change, I make it boldly because I know God has my back
A-It is becoming increasingly rare to find self-made entrepenurs and in an age where technology manufactures all parts of our lives how do you resist the lure of mechanizing your jewellery range?
AB-There is definitely a lure to getting a manufacturer but then A. Monaie Designs would not be A. Monaie Designs. A big part of my business is the passion that goes into it. It is the late nights and early mornings in my room that I spend handcrafting each piece for the lovely person who will wear it. A. Monaie Designs jewelry is full of soul and personality. I think having something made specifically with you in mind is powerful. This is not to say that I am completely against manufacturing though, in the future I may consider mass-producing some pieces while still making exclusive pieces.
A– Jewellery is an integral part of our dress and cultural customs something that Amonaie Designs clearly aspires to. How does Amonaie designs appeal to a target audience outside of the black community and how does it identify with a wider target audience?
AB– A. Monaie Designs is very much inspired by culture, specifically African prints and the Black American experience. We stand for the faith, uniqueness, fearlessness, and beauty that is ingrained in our culture. Other cultures identify with these values as well which attracts them to us.
A– Since it was invented in 1979 and launched in 1994 e-commerce retail has gone from strength to strength leaving many high street brands to go into administration. In light of these statistics would you ever consider going into high-street retail and if not why?
AB-The game of retail is definitely a dangerous one but I may venture into it in the future. I love to meet my customers and see their reactions to my pieces. There is something about seeing our jewelry face to face that is lost when viewing it online. I value the person to person experience and if I were to have my own boutique on the high street, that would an amazing experience. I would consider having my products sold in a store already established on the high street. This would allow me more flexibility than committing to one retail space. Popup shops let you meet and engage with the public without the high outlays of a full on store.
A– All creators have an image of a woman/man , celebrity or fantasy figure that would suit the aesthetic of their personal brand. Is there an ideal woman or man you would like to wear your brand and if so who?
AB-I have a few ideal celebrities that I would love to see in A. Monaie Designs. Janelle Monae has such a unique personality. There is a style and grace about her that I really love. I feel like she really embraces who she is and she isn’t afraid to share that with the world. I feel the same way about Solange, their style is just so effortless! I’d love to see them in my jewelry haha.
A-2015 has been a prosperous year for the growth of Amonaie Designs. What has triggered the sudden popularity of your brand and how has social media influenced sales of your products?
AB-2015 has been amazing! I think the popularity has come from me getting out there and introducing A. Monaie to people. I attend a lot events as a vendor and I do a lot of networking which has helped me to build relationships and create buzz! Social media definitely helps in raising awareness but the primary driver of my business is through face-to-face contact via the events that I attend. I have been all over the UK this year which has allowed me to connect with a variety of people. Social media helps me to maintain those connections!
A– Speaking of social media, brands are increasingly targeting digital influencers to market their products. On average how many bloggers do you contact to promote Amonaie Designs and how does it increase your marketing revenue?
AB-Every once and awhile I will approach about a few influencers to raise awareness for the brand. I also like to work with people who aren’t necessarily influencers but embody the spirit of A. Monaie. I prefer to work with a small and close-knit team so I like to build relationships with influencers. Every once and awhile I will come across someone that I absolutely have to have on my marketing team because they really resonate with what we are aiming to do at A. Monaie.
A-The New Year is fast approaching and with a new year comes big changes. What goals have you got set for 2016?
AB-For 2016 I aim to launch a YouTube channel, sell at a market in London, and launch two new product ranges. I’m still developing my business goals to be honest. There are a lot of projects that I want to launch so I’m spending the next few days in hibernation to figure out where to go next. Even though I started my business in 2013, 2015 is the year that is really started to develop and grow so I need to adjust my goals to reflect that!
A-Many lucrative businesses have a five year plan detailing goals and stats that they want achieved by the end of their term. What is included in your five year plan?
AB-My vision for A. Monaie Designs is to accompany people all around the world on their journeys with unique yet sophisticated pieces. By 2020 I would like to have a partner and a stable team of people helping to craft A. Monaie Designs into a global platform. Over the next five years I aim to launch new types of accessories in addition to the jewelry range. I’m super excited for all of the new things we are launching next year! I plan to have A. Monaie Designs in stores by 2020 as well. Because a key aspect of A. Monaie Designs is to inspire others to reach their potential, I will be speaking at workshops and conferences! I’m very passionate about environmental sustainability so one of my main objectives is making A. Monaie Designs environmentally friendly!
Amira is a young designer with a passion for crafting jewellery that transcends traditional boundaries and challenges the limitations of the jewellery industry. Amira’s spiritual ethos is endearing and reflects upon the warmth that radiates from each hand crafted piece.
Follow Amira on Instagram HERE
Follow Amira on Twitter HERE
Buy Amira’s Designs HERE
Photography- Jumanna Khanom
Top- New Look
Heeled Sandals- Zara
Necklace- Custom made by Amira Battle
Sunglasses- Quay Australia My Girl