An outfit is not complete without accessories. Every woman (even man) knows nothing pulls together that little black dress like a pair of pearls with matching earrings. Eboni Merriman is a Black Queen that has dedicated her life to completing a womans’ outfit and self-esteem with her jewelry brand, Lost Queens. She believes that, “Women are the most magical creatures alive and we should adorn ourselves accordingly”, and that her pieces will help you reclaim your inner Goddess. I modeled for her brand last summer in Brooklyn when she released her “Garden of Eden” collection and it was a wonderful experience to be apart of. Lost Queens has been featured in Ebony Magazine, Coloures, Black Girl Nerds and Rah Ali of Love and Hip-Hop: New York was recently seen wearing the “Maya” necklace and “RihRih” coin bracelet on her Instagram. Two things I love most about her brand is the fact she names the jewelry after iconic and historical black women throughout history and 10% of her proceeds go back to women in the community. Eboni is now on her latest set of jewels and they are all inspired from none other than Beyoncé’s “Formation” video. From the moment I came across Lost Queens on Instagram early last year I was hooked and I finally have gotten the chance to know more about Eboni and her brand. We touch on her progression from her 2014 start, pushing thru an inner struggle to quit her dream, why she chose the “Formation” theme, giving back to young girls and more.
ToD: When did you start Lost Queens and what emotions do you remember feeling the day you decided to start the business?
EM: I created Lost Queens in August of 2014. I remember feeling obsessed. When I started to type up ideas on my friend Tiffany’s computer, it was like a spark that went off and it’s been carrying me ever since.
ToD: What were some of your first pieces? How has your inventory progressed from the first collection?
EM: Some of our first pieces were the Eartha, Maya, Angela, RihRih, a since-discontinued thigh chain, arm chain and the Yoncé bodychain. We definitely offer more variety now. We have a range of pieces from statement to dainty for all different Queens.
ToD: How do you go about choosing what you will be selling?
EM: It’s a really organic process that involves me just choosing things I feel will make my supporters feel good about themselves. What will make them take a second look at themselves in the mirror? What will have them throwing on some lipstick and taking a few selfies, basking in their radiance? This latest collection was all about elements of the “Formation” video. I studied different stills from the video and pulled pieces I felt represented it overall.
ToD: How were your sales from the first release and how did you promote your brand to drive sales?
EM: Sales were pretty decent when we first started; I had a really good support system that would share my website with everyone. We really hit the pavement hard online with just using social media to bring people over to our site. Also, I feel that the visuals are very important for driving sales so I tend to put my focus there; producing the best photo story I can so the message and spirit of the product is felt. Word of mouth is definitely your biggest ally-use it wisely.
ToD: Were there any times when you felt like giving up on your brand and what inspired you to push thru this moment?
EM: I just experienced my first difficult holiday season where I felt unprepared and under-qualified to handle my business. I wanted to walk away from the table. I have a bad habit of second guessing myself and limiting my abilities but really, it’s my supporters that keep me going. I’m in too deep to go back. Divine connections, open doors, words of encouragement and feedback are like little reminders from the universe that I’m on the right path. Everything always comes together.
ToD: For your latest lookbook, you paid homage to Beyoncé’s “Formation” video and performance. Did you have any other ideas before the video dropped?
EM: Yeah I have a ton of photo shoot ideas in the vault. They all got pushed back when MOTHA dropped of course. Before I even saw the video, my tribe was hitting me on Instagram and Twitter like, “SO WE NEED THESE LOOKS!”
ToD: You always use diverse models in your lookbooks, how do you choose your models?
EM: I really just want to have representation for girls that look like me, my friends and family. I feel that Black women don’t get enough opportunities to be put first and seen as the focal, so I want to create those moments.
ToD: If you could style one celebrity’s jewelry, who would it be?
ToD: Did any accessory looks from NYFW catch your eye? What do you think will be the “it” jewelry for Spring?
EM: There’s a few trends that I love like natural wood elements with gold, cocktail rings, floras and lots of glitz. Chokers are big too!
ToD: What are some ways you would like to give back to young queens in your community? If you are already doing so, what are you doing?
EM: I have a 17 year old sister so I know the importance of catching them early, instilling values of truly loving and being themselves. I want to create a support system of big sisters that guide young girls on putting themselves first and follow their dreams, whatever those may be. I have plans to put some things together this summer with my sister, shes’s amazing, so hopefully we get some time before she’s off to college.
Eboni wants to leave everyone with these last words: Trust your process. Trust yourself. Trust God.
Check out the latest collection from Lost Queens here. You can receive 15% off and free shipping with your purchase by using code “LQDazziDazz” at checkout.