Profile: Myisha Croom-Turner
Business: Brace Yourself Boutique
Location: Ontario, California
Last week I had the pleasure of coming in contact with a very talented jewelry designer named Myisha Croom-Turner. This Savvy Sistah is the owner of Brace Yourself Boutique where she sells her handcrafted untraditional bohemian style jewelry. She said she was inspired to start her own collection in 2000 because “I could never find what I was looking for, so I decided to start designing my own jewelry”. After selling her handcrafted jewelry for years to family and friends she took a leap of faith into the marketplace in May 2007 to start selling her creations to the masses.
Questions & Accesories with Myisha
What did you do before you started designing your jewelry collection?
How did it prepare you for what you are doing now?
Prior to starting my jewelry design business, I was a Corrections Officer for Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 11 years. My job as an Officer really didn’t prepare me for what I’m doing today…Lol! However, working in such a negative and depressing environment for so long did force me to acknowledge my passion for jewelry design. I absolutely knew that I could not work in that field for another 11 years because it was draining me in every way you can imagine. In 2009 I finally stopped denying my need to pursue Brace Yourself and Sip n’ Shop full time and I resigned from my corrections position, and I haven’t looked back.
That’s a great question! I think the most beneficial thing I’ve learned is to be authentic, and not compare yourself or your work to others. Just like there is a market for someone else’s creations, there is also a market for yours. Don’t compromise your style or yourself to fit in with what seems to be the “IN” thing. Remain true to yourself, continue to seek tools to grow and reach out to others who have had success in your similar field.
In five years I see Brace Yourself Boutique jewelry in major stores and boutiques throughout the world. Sip n’ Shop has progressed nicely, and I envision it taking place in cities throughout the United States in the next five years.
I believe it’s important for women of color to leave legacies just as our ancestors did. We need to put our stamp on this world and show that we are just as (if not more) innovative, and intelligent as anyone else who chooses to start a business. It was important for me because it is seen as “risky behavior” for a woman to go out on a limb and start a business, and I wanted to show others, especially women of color that it can be done! I’ve received so many shocking reactions from women of color saying “Oh my goodness, you quit your 9 to 5!”, only to have them contact me later and tell me that they admire my courage, and that they always wanted to start a business of their own.
Myisha is a very talented jewelry designer, and she’s opening up avenues to help other women in business, that’s why she’s my Savvy Sistah of the Week!
Jewelry from top to bottom: Starburst $24.00, Heritage Bracelet $22.00, Afrimation Bracelet $15.00