While absentmindedly scrolling through my Instagram feed I came across Lost Queens. The vibrant color palettes and chunky metal work mad me an instant fan. I decided to do some research on Lost Queens, on their website the emphasize the importance of feminine identity and and recognizing the power that all women possess. I got the chance to chat with the founder of Lost Queens Eboni. In this interview we talk about empowerment, the media’s portrayal of women, and much much more. Enjoy!
When I hear ‘Lost Queens’, I imagine beautiful & virtuous young women who are unaware of their power and expansiveness. These women may live tumultuous lives, but they ultimately end up on top. What does the idea ‘Lost Queens’ mean to you?
Exactly that. I feel like somewhere along the line, this message that being a woman made you less than and I wanted to combat that in the best way I knew how. Being a Lost Queen is not about fitting into any kind of mold that people may lay out for women. It’s about being true to yourself and honoring the divine feminine spirit in whatever you do.
I noticed that many of the products you sell are named after famous women; Nina Simone, Kerry Washington, Phyllis Hyman. What made these women, and all the other women, important enough for you to name your jewelry after?
These are women I feel inspired by on any given moment. These are women I carry with me in everything I do. As a black woman, I feel like it’s important to say their names and acknowledge the work they do. A lot of people would like to skim over us, so it’s my duty to uplift them. In the past, pieces have been named after domestic violence victims, which I felt were a play into the title of the brand Lost Queens; an ode to women that we’ve lost due to violence and fear.
Why is it important for women to empower each other and what techniques do you use to empower your fellow sisters?
It’s so important for us to empower one another because no one else will do it. We’re our own worst critics so any opportunity you have as a woman to look at your sister and give her a boost, I feel you should take that. You never know what the next person is going through. I make sure I reach out to women and let them know how beautiful and extraordinary they are, stress the importance of self-care, and give out resources for those in need. Also, in all of the packages we send out a poem is inserted on a postcard to uplift women.
What advice do you have for other women who are struggling to find the power within themselves?
Fuck fear. That is what’s holding you back from living your best life and being the woman you’ve always wanted to be. I know it isn’t easy to quiet the outside noise, the people telling you negative things or the cycles of abuse we tend to inflict on ourselves; but you have to have a moment where you say enough is enough and find that light inside of yourself and hold onto it for dear life. Only you can change your life and if you don’t take the time to find the God inside yourself, no one will ever acknowledge you in that light.
In what ways do you think man can help to empower women?
Give her the space to be who she is. Support her through life’s many changes and don’t damage her growth with harsh criticisms or remarks. Listen to the issues she goes through as a woman and talk to other men about them in a constructive way.
How do you feel about the media’s role in defining womanhood?
A lot of it is very harmful. That’s why I, along with my friends, wanted to create various alternative spaces where women see real examples of womanhood.
When and why did you begin making jewelry?
My love for accessories started back when I was a kid. I used to cut out magazine clippings all the time. My mother actually started an accessory boutique for me when I was 16. I came back to it this past year after trying a bunch of different things that didn’t work and starting a lifestyle blog with my friend Nik Adams that really sparked this desire to create something that uplifted other women.
From where do you draw your inspiration when it comes to creating your pieces.
When I work with a specific person or vendor (we’ve worked with Indian artisans in the past and other individuals), I really go into it saying, “Will this make you take a second look in the mirror? How does this make me feel? Will I want to put on some lipstick and take a bunch of selfies? Does it catch in the light and cast a glow on my skin making me take notice of how radiant I am?” Things like that are on the forefront of my mind when I’m choosing things for the shop.
What is your favorite piece on the line?
Things sell out so fast, its hard to keep up! I’ve always loved the Kassandra Perkins body chain; I wear it over and under my clothes. We debuted it about two collections ago but it’s been such a big seller that it’s a staple in the shop. The Mariah Carey handchain, Quvenzhane Wallis, and Lupita Nyong’o are also big favorites for me.
What is your astrological sign and are you true to its traits?
Capricorn sun and Aries rising. Absoluteeeeely.