We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Cummings and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
Staying consistent when no one’s watching. It may sound so cliche at this point, but honestly staying true to your own concept and brand voice is imperative. Your audience/customers are out there looking for you too, so you have to keep at it and when the time is right you’ll find each other! While remaining consistent, the best thing to do is immerse yourself in positivity because there will be days where you will not be as motivated and not want to post on social media, follow up with so and so, etc. This is where motivational books, podcast, staying creative with the things you love that feeds your energy keeps you grounded and motivated for the next move.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It’s funny because my whole life I swore I would work my way into in marketing/branding for Nike lol. It’s divine because even as a child I knew I wanted to mix art & business. I’ve always excelled in anything to do with art and eventually took Graphic Design/Advertising Art/Photography in High school. From there I realized how much I loved marketing & branding and decided to pursue and education in the creative field. I enrolled in Savannah College of Art & Design, and majored in Fashion Merchandising/Management with a minor in entrepreneurship. Since college was superrr expensive, I took a break almost each year saving up enough money the whole year just to attend. I started college in 2010 and just finished Spring 2020 quarter haha, have I graduated yet? No! In the midst of trying to finish college I’ve worked maybe 7 different jobs mostly as a customer service agent for different corporate companies. I love being a problem solver and being able to ease a customer’s concern, its so satisfying to me. With corporate jobs come the “cubicle talk” and with down time you really get to know those around you. Everyone was on a journey, whether it was inside or outside of the company. I’ve watched colleagues close to me get belittled, ridiculed and placed in a box by management. It made me think twice if there was a such thing as “the perfect job”. I questioned myself “Is this what you’re putting your life on hold for”? To finally graduate college, make it to your dream career to then realize you’re unhappy within it? I believe my creativity led me to becoming an entrepreneur. Years ago while out shopping at a local artisan African shop I fell in love with some of the fabric prints. I asked if I could have some scrap fabric to make earrings and ever since then creating a jewelry line has been something I wanted to do. Throughout the years the idea would leave and come back in waves and last year I finally made that dream a reality and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m from Buffalo, NY and needless to say it get’s cold here! Right now since it’s fall I would love to visit a couple of the many vineyards here and spend a day or two wine tasting, and finishing the night in a nice cozy but super cute cabin taking in the beautiful lush mountains and view. Next I would love to hike and take in more views around letchworth state park and finish with a hot air balloon ride over the park at sunset. Moving inward to Buffalo, next I would love to stop at canalside to go ice skating and finish with some good vegan food at Sunrise Vegan Eats! Next travel up to Niagara falls for the view and end the night with a helicopter tour overlooking the falls as well!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d love to give all honor and credit to my mother & God. Truly through the ups and downs I have always leaned to them for strength, encouragement and after all, I’ve named the company after my mother. She represents all the love, adoration and empowerment I find in women, the first bond of sisterhood.

Website: www.leliamae.com
Instagram: leliaxmaejewelry
Twitter: lelia_mae
Facebook: leliamaejewelry

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