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Opera star debuts jewelry line, ‘It’s a DIVA thang’

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Since November 2015, international opera star and Grammy-nominated vocalist Angela Brown has been known for more than singing and vibrant performances. She became known as an entrepreneur when she launched her jewelry line, “It’s a DIVA thang.”

On March 14 from 6-9 p.m., Brown will make an appearance at Profyle Boutique in Ironworks at Keystone, where she will introduce her line to the community.

The Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper spoke with Brown to learn more about her entrepreneur lifestyle and the concept behind It’s a DIVA thang.

Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper: How did you develop the idea to create your own jewelry line?

Brown: I travel so much (and found) once I got where I was going, my pieces of jewelry, whether inexpensive or expensive, found themselves broken. I was either stuck wearing the broken jewelry or not wearing anything at all. I thought there has got to be a way to have flashier pieces and even your everyday pieces without needing to baby them. My jewelry line is a fun, collective line that is fabric wrapped.

How would you describe your pieces?

The foundation of my jewelry is either metal or acrylic, and I include beautiful, iridescent, sparkly fabrics, or even the bold, colorful fabrics. I want these pieces to complement your outfit but also set you apart from others. I have earring hoops and bracelets in all sizes. It’s all about the width of your hand; it has nothing to do with size, but women often struggle getting bracelets on.

I have to ask. Where did the name It’s a DIVA thang come from?

(Laughs) I also do handcrafted items such as knitted and crochet items, and that’s what I originally began calling those items, but the jewelry line has been on my mind for about five years. There are certain things you have to have a bold, diva mindset to wear, and that’s what my pieces are. It’s a DIVA thang is a part of who I am. I don’t go around calling myself a diva, but I sure think it in my head. (laughs)

I imagine your scheduled performances keep your days very busy. How do you find time to purchase fabrics and create the items?

I tend to shop and collect swatches of fabric as I go. I don’t buy bulks of fabric and mass-produce; I buy small quantities of fabric at a time, so once it’s sold, it’s sold. A lot of my African fabrics came from Paris, by way of Africa (laughs), New York, Indianapolis or online. I make time to craft and create these pieces. If “a DIVA thang” blows up, I do have a manufacturer (laughs), but it’s got to blow up first. I don’t want the jewelry to just sit around my house.

Considering many of your fabrics come from outside the U.S., is this something you took into account when creating prices for the jewelry?

Yes, I priced my items for the time it takes to create them, where the fabric comes from and the fact that I am Angela Brown (laughs).

I also run sales all of the time, so anybody can wear this jewelry. I think the items are medium-priced, not too expensive and not cheap.

Obviously people know you for your classic voice, but they now know you as an entrepreneur. Is this something you’re OK with?

I have no problem with people looking at me as an entrepreneur. I want to be that person that can do it all. You have Jay-Z and Beyonce, and they have or had clothing lines or multiple ventures at one time. Queen Latifah has Cover Girl, so why can’t you have Angela Brown with It’s a DIVA thang? It’s about being entrepreneurial in this world.

For more information, visit its-a-diva-thang.myshopify.com or Facebook.com/itsaDIVAthang.

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