Jewelry Designer Areeayl Goodwin
Areeayl Yoseefaw Goodwin was born April 9th 1990 in Philadelphia, PA. Areeayl is a Howard University Theatre Arts student in the Class of 2012. Since childhood, Areeayl had a love for fashion and fashion design. Areeayl started designing jewelry her sophomore year at the Creative and Performing Arts High School of Philadelphia.
Areeayl launched her jewelry line, Beads Byaree, her junior year at Howard University. Beads Byaree was a spontaneous venture to create bold funky pieces of jewelry she has only seen in her imagination. As she kept getting these designs out of her head and into stores and on bodies it began to turn many heads and gain notoriety.
Beads Byaree has sold internationally in London, Israel, South Africa and Canada. Areeayl has designed for Reggie Ray, Costume Designer for Lydia R. Diamond’s “Stick Fly” on Broadway directed by Kenny Leon. Some of her celebrity supporters and customers include Kim Coles, Frenchie Davis, Aisha Hinds, Queen Godis, GoGo Morrow, Kamahl Naiqui and Clinton Roane. Beads Byaree jewelry has also been in the Washingtonian with ”It’s Vintage Darling Boutique”.
In Spring of 2011, Areeayl began her first benefit line, “Love for the Congo”. 100% of the proceeds from this line of jewelry goes to help the women survivors of rape and war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. All the proceeds travel through www.womenforwomen.org.
Areeayl is a humanitarian at heart and is an Alumni of Operation Crossroads Africa. She has spent two months in between semesters at Howard teaching children at the C.E.W.E.F.I.A (Central and Western Fishmongers Improvement Association) school in Elmina, Ghana. She fell in love with the people and spirit of Ghana. She continues to give back to her adopted village of Bronyibima in Cape Coast, Ghana by collecting clothing items and school materials to the children, women and men.
About Beads Byaree
Beads Byaree is a collection of whimsical and imaginative jewelry handcrafted by Areeayl Yoseefaw Goodwin. Since it’s creation in the fall of 2010, Beads Byaree has sold to customers internationally: London, S. Africa, Isreal, Canada and the USA. Beads Byaree can be bought online as well as in stores “Sankofa” and “It’s Vintage Darling” in DC. The collection has been featured in the WASHINGTONIAN (magazine) and The HillTop (newspaper).
Beads Byaree has an initiative “Love for the Congo”. This is a line of jewelry where 100% of the proceeds go to women of the Congo who are victims of rape and war. Since the launch of “Love for the Congo” in the Spring of 2011, we have raised over $500.00 for the cause.
Celebrity Stylist, Spry lee Scott, has used Beads Byaree jewelry for a shoot with French Davis. Beads Byaree owners and supporters include Kim Coles (entertainer), Aisha Hinds (actress), Queen Godis (MC), Ndambi (singer), Kamahl Naiqui (actor) and Clinton Roane (actor).
What led to the creation of your fashion business? Where does your love of the Congo originate?
"Beads Byaree was created to get many jewelry/fashion ideas that have been in my head out and into the world. The pieces were all inspired through my imagination and never have been sketched out. It grew popular among my friends, then spread to my school (Howard university) and once it hit the internet, it became worldwide.
After reading “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage, I couldn’t believe that I was unaware of the pain women were enduring in the Congo and that I never saw it in the news. It hurt me that people are suffering so much in their everyday life and a majority of people on the other side of the world haven’t even heard about it.I became compelled to learn their stories and tell them. "
Are there any sources of inspiration/ influences that seem to be a common thread throughout your work?
"Yes, I love Adinkra symbols, Khemetic symbols and symbolism in general. I make my own funky symbols/ unique shapes that have been inspired through the music I listen to. Music is also a huge inspiration since my jewelry is created on whim, I am directly influenced by whatever I am feeling/ listening to. If I am listening to Erykah Badu while making an earring, it will look totally different than the earrings I created while listening to Kanye West. "
What role does/can fashion play in inspiring people and bringing about social change?
"Fashion is a symbol for who you are and what you think. You can make bold statements without saying a word. If you wear certain pieces that spark a conversation, you’re influencing/opening the minds of those around you. "
How do you plan to grow your business and strengthen your advocacy?
"I plan for Beads Byaree to expand in more stores around the world and on the internet. As we connect with more people through the love of fashion, we will spread the story about what is going on in the Congo and how everyone can help. Unfortunately, there are many unheard stories of suffering and injustice in the world. Together, we can all make such a big difference in the lives of many people, the first step is obtaining the knowledge of what’s going on. "