If you have the distinguished honor to run into Lashaia Artis, you are certainly in for a treat. She adorns a style all her own from the very tip of her jeweled hair to her feet. Eclectic is about as close to properly describing her. Crossing paths with her in SoHo to talk jewelry almost seemed practical as her distinct fashion sense stood out from the so-called “fashionables” of lower Manhattan.
Finally nestling in a spot for the interview, Artis jumped right in and spoke details with A.R.T.S.Y Magazine. This young woman has literally swum in plenty of different art pools. From painting to glass blowing to textiles to fashion design, her laundry list of experience hasn’t been forgotten as it all has a place in her jewelry designs.
The Pittsburgh-native attended Parsons the New School for Design which opened her eyes to the realm of the fashion world that she was not interested in. “As far as fashion and being creative, I quickly realized it is all about business. I would get up and present my clothing and every week they would [say] ‘Who is wearing that?’” She explained. “The students would admire my creativity but the teachers were thinking more practically in New York City; it’s more little black dress, understated, chic clothing. So I was like, ok I have to leave the country now.”
Luckily, Artis remained in New York and found her own light bulb after a crazy breakup with an ex-boyfriend. It was through her healing process that she realized she has total control over life.
“I came up with REIGNAPIIM – All Powers In Me – and what started as a healing situation was literally like a light bulb in my head, like, oh fuck, all powers are in me and I have the power to steer the way I want things to go and just do what the fuck I want to do” she said.
After this accidental eureka moment, Artis began to attract the right people and falling into particular situations that pushed her towards her eventual design of jewelry. Meeting her current boyfriend of a year and a half, she was exposed to meditation, dreaming and crystals.
Meditation helped to slightly calm her energetic spirit and her research of dreams allowed her to tap into a deeper sense of self she was unaware of before. The crystals gave her the energy and inspiration to craft intricate necklaces with the crystals at the forefront.
“I saw wrapped crystal necklaces online and I wanted to try it because I wanted to wear it since I always keep crystals in my bag,” Artis explained. “The ones I saw online are regularly wrapped without the beading so I had some beads left over from a bracelet that had broke and I had some extra wire left and I added them and thought it looked like a wand. After that one necklace, I said this is dope, this looks like a wand and it all made sense with everything that was in my head. I decided that I could actually make more of these and I could actually sell them.”
Since that first set, Artis continued her high that she receives from the crystals by crafting more and blending in texture and color by utilizing different types of beads and adding shapes within her wire work. Each design features a particular crystal that has its own story. There are crystals to ground you, another for protection and when promoting her wands, Lashaia is sure that the consumer is aware.
Look out for Artis’ upcoming All Black Everything winter collection and purchase your own wand here http://apiimwands.bigcartel.com
By Alley Olivier
Photography by JEWISH Child Photography