If you recognize this catchy tune from Pharrell ...
then you're already familiar with most of the intentional magic that went into the launch of Eboni Merriman's e-commerce boutique, Lost Queens.
But, since rebranding what began as a spontaneous meeting of passion and necessity, Eboni's baby, Lost Queens, has grown to a self-sustaining nationally-recognized brand.
I've been curious about (and admittedly hardcore stanning for) the Lost Queens Instagram account for awhile now. I've watched as it's grown by thousands of followers, boasting black girl fave ambassadors like Jamilah Lemieux, Nina Amour and Pinned x Stitched's Meron B. But when the new collection launched, inspired by Beyoncé's "Formation," I knew I absolutely needed to have a sit down with Eboni.
But it's 2016 and we're working women on different coasts. So we did what any two long lost girlfriends who had never met would do ... we hopped on the phone.
I won't make you endure the details of the many moments I fell in love with her raw and present energy. But, I will say, baby girl showed up ... in full authenticity.
Five minutes into our convo, Eboni had already offered me her full self, her full spirit, and revealed herself in a form that's rare for many. I'm talking revealing everything from how she couldn't keep a job before pursuing her dream, to her relocating about 15 times since moving back to NY from VA in 2011, to the balancing of depression and being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder in 2015. Did I forget to mention that Eboni is only 24 years old?
Catch the best from my chat with Eboni below.
And shop the new Lost Queens collection with 15% OFF when you enter "LQCARRIEK" at checkout.
On how Lost Queens became a thing ...
I was sitting at home with a friend, typing ideas on a computer - [Eboni and another friend, Nik Adams had previously begun a blog for creative women that would be a spring board for Lost Queens]. I felt like I was just going in circles … and that Pharrell song came on and took me. I felt it and went with it. I had already been experimenting, selling things on Ebay. So Lost Queens was a way to spread my love for women and pretty things.
On creating ...
I can’t pretend like I'm this business woman that has it all together. I didn't have business experience coming into this. I’m just myself, what I go through is what is reflected in the collections.
On trusting herself ...
I do second guess myself a lot. It’s something I’m working on. But, Lost Queens was something I needed. It gave me a chance to say to myself and other women, "It’s ok to be beautiful, be yourself, be different."
On the Lost Queens collections ...
The jewelry is secondary to the girl. It's complementary. Lost Queens is all about that moment when they pull out the phone to take a selfie because they're like "Oh, I look poppin’ today.” Or, "Oh, my hair is poppin', so let me put this headband on."
On what she's learned from her brand fans and followers ...
Everything, really. Black women are the most vocal. So I take their feedback seriously ... I take the advice and fix the problem. And put the growth back in the business.
It's hard to want to end this with anything more than a "Thank you." So, sincerely, Eboni. Thank you. For being and doing you.