Beads Byaree founder talks about her love of fashion

In the fast-paced fashion industry, Howard University senior Areeayl Goodwin moves even faster. She designs jewelry so spontaneously that it’s hard to know what to expect next.


Celia Benvenutti dances in red and green body paint during the Beads Byaree’s 2nd annual fashion show. (Bree Gant)

Goodwin, 22, recently sat down with TheRootDC and discussed her love of fashion and how she got her start.

What led you to create Beads Byaree? Has it been a dream of yours to run your own fashion line?

When I was in high school, I studied acting, but I would always dream of being a fashion designer. I sketched as much as I could in rehearsals. When it came to choosing colleges, it was between Moore College of Art & Design or Howard University to major in acting. I chose acting and took a break from design. Starting Beads Byaree was like my beginnings in actually making jewelry — very spontaneous.

Beads Byaree is unique because it combines fashion with social awareness. Was that the idea in mind when Beads Byaree was first established or did that come about later?

The last thing I thought I'd do was manage a business. I always thought of myself as "just" an artist. So no, any of what Beads Byaree has become today was not originally planned. It just happened. Because I am socially aware, my company is socially aware. Just like my jewelry is wild and created on a whim, because I am free and I do almost everything on impulse.

 What inspired the name Beads Byaree?

I was going to call it “Wire” because that’s what I mostly use, even more than beads. One of my friends recommended the name "Beads." So one night after a photo shoot, I created a Facebook business page for the company. I tried to name it “Beads” and add “By Aree,”so my friends knew who it was. However, Facebook wouldn’t approve my middle name of "by,” so I combined “By”and “Aree” and it worked.

What was it like to coordinate your second fashion show?

It was a roller coaster of emotions, feelings and concepts that were conceived in the presence of love. It’s "No Ordinary Love" because it isn’t romantic love, but we included love of self, love of your source energy as well. I wanted it to be high energy and fierce. We actually didn’t have a script for the fashion show. We wanted our models to convey the concept of each scene.

 What’s in the future for Beads Byaree and Areeayl Goodwin?

Moving up, moving forward, and picking up speed. Right now I'm drafting contracts for my team of believers. We have had so many opportunities come our way, and we can only imagine the amount of doors we can knock down and walk through after graduation. I will be able to concentrate solely on Beads Byaree after May.

Any encouraging advice to up-and-coming designers trying to be where you are?

Be yourself! Speak and design from your perspective. There is going to be someone who connects with your pieces and because you'll be at your heightened passion — because it's raw and real and from you. Everyone else will feel your energy and fall in love. Don't change you.

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