Accessories are a huge part of any outfit. Any great fashionista knows that the right or wrong piece added to your ensemble can take you to new heights or land you a spot on the worst dressed list, the ladies at HeadBanger Accessories know what it takes to go hard and leave a lasting impression. We had a chance to sit with Shayla Jamerson, Creative Director of HeadBanger Accessories to learn about the story, the dream and what makes HB so special. These creative souls simply made dew with what they had and dreamed bigger all in the name of being different. And so far its paying off with a big bang!
How did the Head Banger team meet? What are all of your names and roles?
“Headbanger started in 2008 , we were friends first working for a event planning company that through events around the Bayarea. We clicked very quickly , and realized we all had a true passion for fashion and accessories. After hanging out for a few years Tiffany and I came together and was trying to think of a creative way we could make some money. We came up with the idea that we should make jewelery. We went to a local craft store and grabbed all these raw materials, but had no idea what direction we were going in. We met up with Tasha at her house , threw all these materials on the bed and said ” We about to start a accessory company , so lets go ” lol She looked at us like ” huh” and was like ” Cool , I’m down”, 4 years later we are still going strong with the same momentum we had when we started. Our first name we came up with was HEADJOB Accessories, but uhmmmm yeah that didn’t fly to well with a lot of people…lol wasn’t that marketable and was taking out of context every time we passed out our business cards, so we changed our name fast. Far as our titles in roles in the company we all have special task and roles that we take on. I (Shayla Jamerson) am the Creative Director, I am responsible for going over the designs for the new lines, styling of the shoots, makeup hair, fashion shows and everything creative for the brand, we all hand make our jewelry, but we go through a ‘yay’ or ‘nay” process. Tiffany Stapleton is our Marketing Director , she is in charge of our branding , handling all aspects of putting us out there, she also designed and maintains our website. Then there is Tasha Dial she is our Chief Financial Officer, she handles everything that has to do with our finances. She makes sure that we are spending wisely and correctly and keeping us afloat. She is definitely a beast when it comes to that. We all know our roles, we do them well and we never let business interfere with personal. Till this day we are closer than ever…best friends.”
What is the driving force behind your brand, why was it created?
“Headbanger Accessories started because we felt there was a lack in creativity when it came to accessories in the BayArea. We all love one-of-a-kind pieces and could never find anything out here that stood out to us. We found ourselves always finding things outside of the Bay…. We were missing that our here. We all loved really big funky earrings and felt there was a need and once we started we realize there was a demand. Now that we are out here, we see the trend of hand making earrings everywhere. Thing about us is we are not a trend we are whats permanent.”
What was the biggest obstacle that the HB team had to overcome?
“The biggest obstacle that we have had to overcome is getting people to understand our product and respect us as artist. We understand that Headbanger is not for every consumer, but for that consumer who wants to make fashion statement soon as she walks into a room. Our pieces take between 2-7 hours to hand make and for that reason we consider ourselves high end and our prices reflect it. We take pride in our craftsmanship and want people to understand that we are hand beading , painting , sculpting these pieces so that they can have a unique piece. We are blessed at the plateau that we have reached so far, but right now the demand is crazy which we are blessed about , but we are going to need manufacturing very very soon. Also another obstacle we have had to face is having individuals copying our designs and styles. Four years in and it still gets to us that people can not be unique and come up with their own artwork. We take it as a form of flattery , but its also gets to us because we work so hard to make sure that what you get from us you have never seen before. So we have been working on not letting it bother us and just come harder every time each of our new lines drop.”
Being that all Head Banger Accessories are hand made, where does the team find they’re most creative in?
“Honestly we all hand make different designs. Tasha is the queen of beading and doing crazy shapes with our original design called the “Busit Baby” , Tiffany is amazing at the “Bombadas” , the ones that Emily from ” Love and Hip Hop New York” wore. This is a very popular style. I (Shayla) am creative in the “Pocketbooks” and creating necklaces, rings, and our new bracelets coming out. We are all very talented and its a true blessing to find 3 creative chicks that are able to rock together and form such a amazing movement.”
Who is a Head Banger Chick?
“The Headbanger chick is YOU, The Headbanger chick is me, The Headbanger chick is the chick who will never follow trends or be part of the norm. She is expressive, she is classy ,she is a BOSS, she is a BANGER, she is a woman that is comfortable in her skin and who she is. The Headbanger Chick is White, Black, Asian , Hispanic, Middle eastern and very confident. She is that lawyer or doctor by day and the fashionista by night. She is the artist, she is the musician. The best thing about a Headbanger is she will never be put inside of a box, she is on the outside box watching everyone try to be around her because she BANGS!”
How does it feel to be featured in major publications such as Essence magazine and have so many celebrities where your designs?
“To be featured in publications such as Essence and Black Woman Style Report has been a blessing. Especially growing up reading magazines like Essence and looking up to the celebrities inside and being amazed by the fashions it was a true honor. To be recognized felt like all of our work was paying off . We were in shock and was thrilled at just the thought that millions subscribe to this magazine and would see our designs. When we see celebrities in our product we are taken back, its a feeling of being proud of what you do and seeing that people are proud of us as well. We are humble and give all our credit and blessings to God.”Who was the first celebrity to where your designs and how did that come about?
“The first “celebrities” to wear our product was a group by the name of ‘Electrik Red”. They fit the personality of our brand perfectly. The way it came about is we did and still do a lot of guerrilla marketing. I(Shayla) actually reached out to them via twitter and they responded. We met up with them for a performance in the city and it was pretty much cake from there. They are the sweetest most genuine girls ever and still today we keep in contact with them. The biggest celebrity to wear our earrings was Chaka Khan…. we almost died when we seen her in our earrings, now that feeling we can not explain. A true legend in HB’S…..WOW!
How big of a part does education play in the Head Banger dream?
“Education is veryyyyyy important aspect in Headbanger. We can not express it enough out here that using your mind is the most powerful tool you can have. Take advantage of getting educated and doing what you love…We are all true believers in that.”
Any words for those reaching for a dream?
“We just want to say never give up. The road can get tough, but true and consistent dedication is what will pay off. Having a support team is very important, surround yourself with people who are just as motivated as you so therefore you all can encourage each other and push for what you want. We live once and why not do what you love…WE ARE!”
We’d like to thank Shayla Jamerson, Tasha Dial, Tiffany Stapleton and the entire HeadBanger family for taking the time out to share their story and share some inspiration with us. To shop HeadBanger Accessories check out their site.