Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Malvern, a community in Scarborough. Loved it there. Awesome mix of cultures and peoples. The Malvern community kept me down to earth and gave me the most space to learn and grow unique.
What brought you to Toronto?
I’ve always lived in the GTA, although right now I actually live within the downtown Toronto borders (Keele & Dundas Junction area). I left the ‘Vern a few years ago, set myself up downtown, and started working/living the city life. Love it! Although I do see myself living in and exploring other cities, Toronto will always be with me.
What do you do for a living?
For a living, I eat and breathe and sleep the good. I pray, I work, I laugh, I balance… For a living, I make jewelry and drink tea and watch the news. I also collect vintage and do jewelry/art/clothing events. My most recent collaboration with Ify Ekoh is called SANKOFA. I work hard for a living on many things but always with the intention to spread the good vibes.
How did you get started?
I got started in making jewellery in the Winter of 2012 as a means of figuring out myself… I knew I was creative and I tried my hand at a few things. Jewellery allowed me to create things that could be worn and yet appreciated and respected as an actual art piece. Jewelry is my art form. It started as an experiment to see what I could do, and with the support of my friends and family and strangers too, it has bloomed into something I am so grateful for. I am Zen because of my jewelry line. It gives me peace and power. In turn, I use that power to purposefully and uniquely create each piece. I think people feel that when they see it and connect with it when they wear it.
What’s your favourite thing about your neighbourhood?
The park and all the good restaurants.
What’s the last treasure you found?
The last treasure I found is a person. Sometimes people come into your life with those nuggets of knowledge and peace of mind that are more valuable than any material thing. Those are the types of treasures you really gotta thank the universe for.
If you were going to eat your last meal in Toronto, where and what would you eat?
If my last meal in Toronto was at a restaurant, I would probably eat at Banu the Iranian restaurant on Queen. I went there for my good friend Golshan’s birthday and all the food is orgasmic. If I could have something homemade, I would have my mom’s oxtail with split peas and rice and corn on the cob with carrot coleslaw. That’s my shiiiiiiit!
If you could have a sleepover with anyone who has ever existed, who would it be?
Perhaps I’d choose Grace Jones. She’s fierce and fun and Woman and confident. I’d want all of that to rub off on me.
If your life was a TV show, what would be the theme song?
Everyday I listen to Le’Star by Shafiq Husayn. I don’t know what it is about this song. It’s like a prayer. It says, “Things will work out fine, it’s all in due time, trust in the divine, just relax your mind.” I need that reminder every morning. I feel like a show about my life would be hilarious and drama filled but the end message would always be to remain positive, have faith, enjoy life, and be good to yourself first.
What does Toronto need that it doesn’t have now?
Toronto needs 24 hour TTC. And more artist-run spaces. More affordable housing. Toronto doesn’t need any more funding cuts to social and art programs that sustain community and connect artists with youth ready to be inspired. Torontonians need to smile at each other more– we all breathing the same air. Toronto is a lovely city, positive vibes is all I try to put out, and I always want more positive vibes from others.