It all started with one goal for Joni Clark owner of African Garnet!
Clark said she started making jewelry because she wanted pieces that are good quality, unique, and affordable, now she’s providing just that to Indy and the world!
She buys items from local thrift stores and flea markets to repurpose/upcycle them and sells them online and at local vendor events. She also has a goal to start selling more in-person soon. Here’s more from her:
I am Joni D. Clark, PhD, M.Div., born and raised in Indiana, the descendent of ancestors that loved to shop and dress up, especially on Sunday! I remember shopping trips to LS Ayres downtown and Glendale and to William H. Block & Co.
I would spend hours going through jewelry boxes and learning the difference between costume jewelry and “the good stuff.” I was groomed to know the difference between fox, minks, and rabbit fur (animal cruelty was not a topic of conversation back then).
Most of my female ancestors served in some form of domestic capacity professionally so my early fashion sense was heavily influenced by White people and the good sistahs at the church. As a teenager in the seventies, I discovered Essence magazine, Soul Train, and Black pride! Words like identity development, womanist, intersectionality weren’t in my vocabulary but I was on my way.
As I grew older I learned about a continent called Africa and my connection to it beyond the slave narratives. My sense of identity deepened faster than my bank account, but I still liked looking good and not looking like everybody else. To my surprise, when I started making my own jewelry, not only did I get compliments, but I received offers for my work, sometimes I literally sold what I was wearing! That’s how African Garnet came into being; the name is a combination of my birthstone and heritage.
I currently have an Etsy Shop, and I’m on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I am also in the process of setting up a shop in the SHE. Marketplace.
I still love hanging out with older aunts and cousins listening to stories and getting goodie bags from their closets. My paternal aunt just gave me 3 LS Ayres jewelry boxes in mint condition!
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