Are your calendars marked? The long-awaited Papaya Box is dropping October 18th, and it’s filled with exclusive items created and curated by @thebirdspapaya herself.
In every way, the Papaya Box is reflective of our longtime friendship with Sarah Nicole Landry. Not only does it contain some of Sarah’s favs and her dream Knix product, but it also includes amazingly beautiful hand-picked products from small Black-owned businesses.
We’re so excited to introduce these brands to you, and can’t wait to continue supporting them. First up is TISH Jewelry by Lateisha Brown, who custom made (all by hand!) Rose Quartz earrings for the first ever Papaya Box. Read to learn more about Lateisha’s creative process, why she recently quit her full-time job, and what’s next for TISH Jewelry. Meet Lateisha.
Hi Lateisha! Tell us about yourself!
Hi, I’m Lateisha and I am the jewelry designer and owner of TISH jewelry. I currently live in Calgary but am originally from Hamilton, Ontario. I moved to Alberta in 2015 for a job opportunity, and a year later TISH jewelry was born. I am the oldest of 3 girls, and the name TISH is a nickname given to me by my sisters.
How did you get into crafting jewellery?
I have always been the crafty type making friendship bracelets for friends and family. It wasn’t until I moved to Calgary, away from my family where I started to take jewelry making seriously.
It originally started as a creative outlet – where I would make jewelry for myself to wear to the office, and then people started encouraging me to sell my pieces! It grew from there and I spent countless hours attending markets as well as workshops and networking events to build my brand.
What’s your process like?
It all starts with research. I research fashion and colour trends for the upcoming season. Next is the design part – which involves the most amount of time for sure. I sketch out designs that I think would work well with the pieces I already offer and then from there I work with my suppliers to find the perfect components to bring my designs to life. Once supplies start arriving, I design and make every piece in my home studio. I also do all of the photography for my website and social media channels. All in all, it’s a process that takes months before the pieces are available online for purchase.
Walk us through how you made the pieces for the Papaya Box!
This was my first time making the same piece with this large of a quantity. When it came to the piece in the box, I know that Sarah has and loves the Quartz Crystal Hoop Earrings, and because of her support— I know a lot of her followers have purchased the earrings and love them too! So I suggested making a Rose Quartz option, one which I have never offered for purchase and something a little pink, because we know Sarah loves her pink!
I have an incredible support system behind me— my husband and I worked countless hours making the earrings (yes – he helped me make them). I also enlisted the help of my closest friends who spent hours helping. All of the earrings were made in my home – we actually set up a workstation in our second bedroom to keep everything together in one place.
Do you have a favourite piece you’ve ever designed?
My favourite piece that I have are definitely my tassel earrings – both the short and long option. I have had them in my collection for the longest, and they continue to be a bestseller. The thing I like about them the most is that they can jazz up any outfit – from sweats to a cocktail dress – they add the perfect pop of colour to make a statement.
What are your biggest inspirations at the moment?
I am inspired by the group of women that surround me in this small business community. Because of the support that I have received over time, I continue to push myself to create unique pieces of jewelry to be enjoyed by all women!
What are you the proudest of? What empowers you?
My proudest moment thus far is that I just recently made the transition and quit my full-time day job and now work full time in my business! I am empowered and very driven by seeing my business grow. If you would have told me 5 years ago that I would be working for myself, I’d give you the strangest look. I wouldn't believe you!