How I Did It: Celebrity Jewelry Designer Aklia Chinn’s Custom-Made Success

Using a love for travel and unique craftwork, she turned passion into profit
by Janell Hazelwood Posted: October 19, 2011

Aklia Chinn is a jewelry designer who is a vet in the business, with more than 15 years catering to celebrity clients including Blair Underwood, Lisa Bonet, James Pickens and Lawrence Fishburne. Developing a hobby into a lifetime career, Chinn’s pieces have been worn in films including Spike Lee’s Crooklyn and TV shows including Living Single and A Different World, and featured in several national publications. Today, she still caters to a celebrity and every day professional clientele, with pieces custom-made with exotic materials she gathers from her international travels. caught up with Chinn on how she’s been able to remain viable in the accessories industry, why she continues to pursue her passion in a saturated market and how other up-and-comers can remain competitive. How did you get started in the accessories industry?

Aklia Chinn: It was a hobby that blossomed into a lifetime career. As a very young girl, I had a major obsession with baubles, brooches and beads, and a dear friend of my mother’s used to let me explore through her vast collection of small treasures whenever we visited her. That obsession blossomed into a penchant for crafts, and I learned to macrame, crochet, solder metals,and laminate…

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