It’s a hot and sunny day in Lower Manhattan and after many many failed attempts to connect, Sade Mims and I have finally found a chance to sit down and chat.
If someone were to look up the word “multitasker” in the dictionary I’m pretty sure there would be a picture of Sade next to it. This jewelry designer/graphic designer/vintage retailer/event curator is truly doing it all.
As I sit down with Sade, I get an inside look into her creative process, her love for her community and what she does for fun.
Saturday School: I read that you went to the Art Institute of New York City, what did you study there?
Sade Mims: Fashion Merchandising and Marketing, What’s funny is when I first enrolled I had a really strong interest in design. Then I realized it was more work than I imagined and I didn’t really have a passion for it so I switched my major because I was already doing Edas Jewels so Marketing made more sense.
SS: Speaking of, how do you pronounce the jewelry line?
SM: It’s pronounced “ee-daz” jewels.
SS: Got it, just wanted to clarify [laughs], so out of all of the pieces you’ve designed which one is your favorite?
SM: I would say the newest collection. It’s funny because I don’t really wear my jewelry that much. I wear maybe my rings, but not my earrings.
SS: How did you come up with the aesthetic for Edas Jewels? It seems very well thought out and consistent throughout the brand.
SM: I feel like it always varies. I never follow the seasonal rules. Which can be a hinderance, but I have to be true to myself. I can’t force my creative flow. Overall, the aesthetic is always the same.
SS: So I was creeping on you on Instagram and I noticed Edas Jewels isn’t your only project. You literally do everything [laughs], give me the list of everything you’re working on right now.
SM: I really do so much. So there’s Brown Fox, the blog that I have with my sister. We would always get stopped by people asking about our hair, skin and clothes so we thought it would be cool if we started a platform to share that.
Then there’s Sum Village, it’s a collective featuring me, my twin sister Sam and our friend Raven. We grew up together and before living in NYC we used to throw events at my house in Jersey. My mother was like the cool mom and she would let us use the whole house for themed parties. As we got older we all moved to Sumpter St. in Bed-Stuy and that’s how “Sum Village” started. Now we throw our Love Train party which is a dance/R&B party.
SS: I need to go to the next party I keep missing them.
SM: It’s every second Thursday of the month at Casablanca’s! But then there’s Edas Jewels, the jewelry company I started seven years ago.
I started Edas Vintage because I’m that friend who has a shit ton of clothing that I’m constantly giving away to my friends. 95% of my clothes are vintage or second hand so I was like oh shit I should start my own vintage shop. People really like my style, my friends like what I pick out so why not?
I also recently started a marketing agency where I go into small black-owned businesses that need some help and offer my services. Whether that’s social media, graphics, etc.
SS: Well okay! You’re really doing it [laughs]. Do you have a favorite project out of all of them?
SM: I would have to say my favorite is graphic design. I love the jewelry but when I’m making graphics my mind just starts to go crazy.
SS: How long have you lived in the city?
SM: I’ve lived here for five years.
SS: So living here for that long, what has been one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
SM: I feel like after two years in I started to become slightly jaded. Like I started to brush off the people who would ask for money on the subway and that was weird for me. I’m now trying to not be that person. I’m trying to at least show a little more attention to things like that. Like things that are the “norm” for New Yorkers but to be more attentive and present. This city can really switch you around. It has changed me in a lot of positive ways but also a lot of negative ways so I would say stay true to yourself always.
Also it’s very cliquey in New York, so I would say don’t fall into that shit or you might block your blessing.
SS: Very true! Speaking of cliques, I always feel like it’s a constant battle between Harlem and Brooklyn, since that’s where most black people in the city live. I’ve often heard “Brooklyn is for the creatives” do you agree with that?
SM: I would say Brooklyn is for the black creatives. I think Harlem is too but I think Harlem is as more business focused. From a business perspective they get it right, even down to the design. Where in Brooklyn not so much but I do feel most creative here.
SS: Yeah same, I go to church in Harlem so I’m always up there but I know when I want to get something done for Saturday School I want to go back home or sit at Trade Union Cafe. It’s just a different energy. How has living in Bed-Stuy influenced your art?
SM: It’s made me more conscious of community. It feels like home and it made me realize that I’m not creating art for myself, I’m creating art for the people around me.
SS: I agree with that, it definitely feels like you’re serving a bigger purpose.
SM: It allows you to take off this “it’s all about me” veil and realize it’s really not.
SS: Even when I’m sitting in my room in Bed-Stuy and hear 4:44 playing on the street, it makes me think even someone as big as Jay-Z is doing it for the community. Granted, he’s making millions of dollars off of it, but it still trickles down to the bodega owner who is playing the song. It always gives me chills, especially as a black person you’re really doing it for everyone else.
SM: It’s really beautiful with so many layers. Just inspiring people under us and creating a platform for other people to be put on. Everything I do has to be invested into that.
SS: We kind of talked about this earlier, but I know as young people we sometimes think we can’t survive without the corporate job, what advice would you give to someone who is trying to step out and work for themselves?
SM: I just had faith. For me it was about realizing that time was going to keep on going and then doing the work and just setting up the infrastructure for the business.
SS: Awesome, so when you’re not doing all of your “things”, what do you do for leisure? If you even have free time?
SM: I’m either with my boyfriend, I really like spending time with him [laughs] or laughing with my friends. We joke so much! I think those are the two things I really like to do, just hanging around the people I love.
SS: Final question, what advice would you give high school you?
SM: That’s a great question, I would say to be patient with myself. The reason I do so much is because I’m not patient with myself. If I have too much leisure time I feel like I’m not doing enough so I would say to just be patient.