There's a certain energy that exudes from a creative woman with a clear vision and energy you feel as soon as you interact with her. It’s contagious and fills up the space with elements of empowerment, honesty, and confidence.
As soon as I sat down to chat with jewelry founder Kimberly Fomby Jefferson, there was an energy takeover, seeming new yet very familiar. It wasn’t but a few moments later that I recognized where I felt that feeling before; it’s the same one I experienced when I came in contact with Sucré Couture, the proactive and nostalgic jewelry brand founded by Kimberly. Over the past year alone, Sucré Couture has been featured in ESSENCE, British Vogue, and New York Magazine, to name a few.
It was my pleasure to sit down with Kimberly during one of her busiest seasons to chat with her about the why behind her brand, her key tips for successful marketing in today’s saturated world, and a few tips for others who battle with imposter syndrome. If you’re unfamiliar with this powerhouse, here’s your chance to find out more! You can also shop this amazing brand in our ElevateHer xoNecole shop here!
Kimberly Fomby Jefferson
Credit: Valley In Film
xoNecole: For our readers who aren't familiar, can you give a bit of backstory on your journey to becoming a jewelry designer?
Kimberly Fomby Jefferson: My journey to becoming a jewelry designer humbly began in 2011 with $79 worth of jewelry supplies and wholesale jewelry, a Wix website, and a camera phone to take photos in a DIY lightbox made from cardboard. Between being a mom, getting an MBA, and going to a part-time marketing job, I'd be pulling together collections, promoting on social media, and selling a few trunk shows here and there.
Year after year, I'd keep at it, meeting people who eventually became amazing friends and mentors who encouraged me to continue growing Sucré Couture in the most authentic way possible.
The more I grew and gained an appreciation for my gifts, culture, style, and upbringing, the more I evolved as a jewelry designer.
xoN: What was the motivation behind launching Sucré Couture in 2011?
KFJ: Jewelry has been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. As young as six or seven years old. My mother always told me to keep a pair of earrings on, or my grandmother and great-aunt would gift me dainty gold and white gold necklaces and rings as keepsakes. Even the men in my family, my father, and grandfather, were really keen on thick gold chains, heavy rings, watches, and nugget bracelets.
Naturally, my exposure and affinity for jewelry followed me throughout my life, including when I decided to launch the brand at the tail end of my residency in New Orleans. I was fresh out of college, expecting a child with my now husband, and wanting to do something creatively fulfilling. I also come from an entrepreneurial family. It's no surprise to many that I followed suit.
xoN: From the jewelry to the social media content to the editorial shoots, the Sucré Couture vibe exudes effortlessly across the board. In a world where marketing is key to any e-commerce success, what are the three strategies you've implemented to ensure seamless branding?
KFJ: Know your brand and whom you're creating it for. While, at the same time, remaining authentic to the brand and why you launched it. Because truthfully, the right people will fall in love with your brand anyway.
Be as organized as possible. Keep all of your assets and content in one place for your team. Make it easy for yourself or anyone to grab what they need to produce good content.
Lead with a campaign strategy that sets clear creative expectations at the very beginning and keep everyone informed on it.
Credit: Valley In Film
xoN: What does success look like to you?
KFJ: I love this question. Especially since it's come up so much for me within the last few months. Success looks like a beautiful community of heavily engaged people, a brand legacy that continues well into the future, and Sucré Couture editorial jewelry and other items that people have coveted as souvenirs of our collections for decades.
xoN: What has been your biggest challenge as a Black woman entrepreneur?
KFJ: Hmmm, my biggest challenge, and win at the same time, as a Black woman entrepreneur, has been the journey. It's no secret that Black-owned businesses, and even more so those of Black women, do not have the same access to resources as others. So I've had to get creative and roll up my sleeves to make things pop off and shine. With my knowledge bank, talents, and with the support of my team and community, Sucré Couture has managed to navigate challenges gracefully.
xoN: What has your biggest failure in this industry taught you? Please give us a brief scenario of the failure and how you found the lessons within that.
KFJ: Fortunately, through the support of a fantastic community of other entrepreneurs, friends, and family, I do not perceive anything I have encountered in the industry as failures — only lessons. A wise woman once told me, "Write off failures as professional development." As an entrepreneur, you must be willing to fall and get scraped and bruised up, only to get back up and try your best not to make the same missteps.
On this note, my biggest lesson has been checking all the facts and not skipping steps. Check your contracts and plan, plan, plan because, baby, the devil is in the details.
xoN: What is the #1 piece of advice for anyone who wants to start and launch a successful jewelry brand?
KFJ: My number one piece of advice for anyone wanting to start and launch a successful jewelry brand is to do it from the heart. Make wearable art with the same love you have for the brand. Get personal and vulnerable by how you engage with building it. Sit with it. Pick it apart. Don't be afraid to start anew and rebrand. Be genuine, and the rest will flow through your product and storytelling.
My second piece of advice is to get your feet wet in every single part of your business. From digital marketing to operations to photography to web design and development, good business owners, in general, should be able to roll their sleeves to pitch hit to keep the momentum going, if necessary.
A third piece of advice is to be coachable. Don't be afraid of constructive criticism—especially from a qualified source. If you have some good business advice that makes sense, I'll surely listen. In adjunct to this, you can't take everyone's advice either. Chew up the meat and spit out the bones. Trust your gut. You know your business better than anyone else.
Credit: Valley In Film
xoN: As someone who has been in the industry for over a decade, I'm sure you've had times when you felt stagnant, complacent, or overlooked in regard to your brand. What is the #1 piece of advice for anyone who feels like potentially giving up because they haven't reached 'success' yet?
KFJ: Girl! Keep pushing. My great Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Jean, more than a decade ago, told me that it would take a minimum of 5 years to see a business bloom into its full potential and to keep chipping away at the brand. That's a gem that I always hear in the back of my mind. I'm glad I listened. Paying it forward to whoever is reading that needs to hear the same thing.
xoN: Why was it essential for you to have an all-woman team behind Sucré Couture?
KFJ: Women naturally possess an innate sense of eros, which must be reflected within the brand. Sucré Couture is deeply rooted in a love of self and love of Black culture, and our all-women home team got that down to the core. It's been tilled and nurtured by gifted hands.
xoN: What's the future look like for Sucré Couture? Any new exciting projects our readers should know about?
KFJ: The future for Sucré Couture is about to get more experiential and profound than ever. While I can't share all the details, provocative, nostalgic, and raw art is central to the experience. And more Sucré jewelry, of course!
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Feature image by Valley In Film
Courtney is a contributing writer, based in Puerto Rico by way of Tennessee. Interested in the intersection of fashion and culture, she has an affinity for fashion, empowerment, and really good tacos. Keep up with her on Instagram (@hautecourtxo).
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy