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Q&A With Accessories Jewelry Winner Abeja Designs

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by FashioNXT


The FashioNXT Accessories Competition was launched in 2016, with the purpose of building up the local rising accessories industry. This year the program selected five talented jewelry designers, and three handbag designers to participate for the chance in winning the title of 2016 Accessories Jewelry/Handbag Winner. Each designer was judged by a high profile panel on fashion forwardness, innovation/originally, function as well as digital appearance. After reviewing the talented work of this year’s competition contestants Tiffani Wetherbee of Abeja Design, was selected as 2016 Accessories-Jewelry Winner. FashioNXT is looking forward to being part of sharing Tiffani's story through a wind of questions. 

FashioNXT: Congratulations on winning the 1st FashioNXT Accessories Competition.  What aspects did you like the most about the Competition?

Tiffani W: Thank you so much. I was happily surprised to receive this award for a few reasons. First, I didn't participate in actually showing my pieces this year as I had a scheduling conflict, and secondly, I was aware of the quality my fellow designers. What I liked about the competition was that although I wasn't able to participate in the show, I was still allowed to submit my pieces for consideration. 

FashioNXT: Now let’s talk about your design. How would you describe your ideal client? 

Tiffani W: I would say my design inspiration really comes from a mix of studying trends and picturing what I would want to wear. My ideal client is a fashion forward woman, worldly, confident, and someone who appreciates quality and design.

FashioNXT: What would you say helped you the most to transform into the Winner?

Tiffani W: I think that being on trend and creating quality pieces helped a lot. I take great care in making sure the small details of my pieces are carefully crafted. I also believe that my pieces are unique. There are a lot of jewelry designers out there.. and I see a lot of designers kind of doing the same thing.. For me, when I balance trend with an edge it's the best combination. 

FashioNXT: As part of the prize you are awarded a booth for 2017, what are your plans for your booth?

Tiffani W: Well, the first year I showed I created a boutique feel, with natural stone, gray hues, and slate as my base to highlight my jewelry. For this year's upcoming show I'm considering a more modern, sleek approach. I suppose it will depend on my designs, but that's kind of what I have in my head.

FashioNXT: If the opportunity appeared, which celebrity would you pick to wear your accessories?

Tiffani W: I follow a lot of great women of style, bloggers, stylists, and models. All sorts of people, not just celebrities, have become huge influences in fashion. Currently my biggest girl crushes have to be Caroline Vreeland, Shea Marie, and of course if Gigi Hadid or Kendall Jenner wore a piece of mine I'd be over the moon. I spent a large part of my life living and working in Nigeria too, so I have some friends there who are incredible designers and stylists who I'd love to create for. Folake Folarin of Tiffany Amber and Chalya Shagaya to name two. 

FashioNXT: How would you describe your typical designs for a client?

Tiffani W: When I design I really try to create pieces that are unique but timeless. It's kind of a balance. I don't want to design pieces that look like your run of the mill necklace with a pendant, but at the same time I don't want to create pieces that are so over the top they work for a photo shoot but not for real life. 

FashioNXT: Are there any new goals that you are imaging in your career?

Tiffani W: I am currently trying to "woo" a collaboration with a friend in Nigeria. I'm crossing my fingers. I'm also working on a few ideas to jump into the cannabis market. My husband owns retail stores in Washington state and there is a niche for women in this market.. I'm thinking wearable containers.. pendants that double as holders.. but done in a way that's sophisticated and fashion forward. It's a new frontier on all accounts and since Washington and Oregon are leaders in this industry, the  opportunities are endless.

FashioNXT: Would you like to share anything else that you want readers to know about you?

Tiffani W: I didn't start out in the design field. I'm an educator by trade, but have always been a creative, a dreamer, traveler, and a believer that art, design, and music are essential to human connection. I would encourage anyone who loves to express themselves through the arts to just jump in and give it your all. We grow so much through the process and we make the world a better place when we focus on creating beautiful things! 

Shop Abeja Designs at: http://abejadesign.com/

Applications for the 2017 Accessories Competition are available now; it is a great opportunity for brand exposure and growing your business.  Apply here if you’re interested: 


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