GlamTribale At Karen Riggs' Tribal Home Sept 6-9 in Philadelphia

My life has been a blitz since we introduced GlamTribal in Lancaster on July 22. ‘Getting it right’ is almost over and I am so pleased at the transformation the collection has experienced in the past six weeks.

There is no more important and emotion-ridden place for me to debut the recreated GlamTribale concept than at Karen Riggs’ Philadelphia African art gallery Tribal Home. 

GlamTribale Hours @ Tribal Home

Visit us there at our opening party Thursday September 6 from  5-8pm.  This Friday night is First Friday in Phladelphia and I will be there from 5-9pm. The GlamTribale jewelry will be showcased until Sunday, where I will be in the gallery from 3-6pm talking about the meaning and relevancy of GlamTribale and my personal journey to this moment of creating a jewelry collection that represents everything I stand for.

Tribal Home’s normal hours are Tues-Sat 11-7 and Sunday 12-5. The gallery is located at 56 North 3rd St, Philadelphia 19106; phone 215-592-4215. You can view and purchase the jewelry anytime during Karen’s regular hours from Sept 6-9.

Creative Director to Designer

This is a very personal journey for me because while I have often been the creative director or creative vision behind brands like Victoria’s Secret or my clients’ lingerie brands, I have never taken over the responsibility for actually stringing the beads or scotch taping together the actual pieces of anything.

With tremendous support from our small but mighty team, I’ve discovered personal talents that I’ve never claimed previously. Registering as a craftsman (that’s the label) in the state of Pennsylvania, and entering my name as artist on our recent application to the Baltimore Crafts Show in February 2013 is a new experience for me.

The past six weeks, taking full control of every piece of jewelry has been my mission and we all believe that the results are worthy of the name GlamTribale and the kind of new business our entire team seeks to create: great design with noble purpose and pleased clients.

Two Smart Sensuality Women

Karen Riggs founded Tribal Home 24 years ago. In addition to getting tears in my eyes upon meeting her and experiencing the atmosphere in her shop, I have a very strong feeling that my destiny has taken me to her and our future collaborations.

I recently recounted for Anne of Carversville friends my long psychic association with African art. I spend no time trying to understand it but long ago accepted my emotional affinity to Africa. For me, the continent is not only the source and soul of humanity and early civilizations, but the home to strong women who were queens.

As a young woman Karen saw herself as a queen, growing up in the kind of home I always sought to live in. Surrounded by culture, art and dynamic conversation, Karen’s values and sense of self were inspired by her uncle’s artistry, friends, artifacts and conversation. You could say that Karen has lead a very holistic life — one that I am only now embracing first with Anne of Carversville and now GlamTribale.

I have high hopes for my new collaboration with Karen Riggs and believe that this week’s GlamTribale is only the beginning of a relationship in which 1+1 probably +3. Those are the best relationships in life, collaborations that create the most benefit for the two parties involved and society at large.

Sanitary Pads for African Girls

Karen has been looking for an important project in Africa. When I explained my own commitment to providing sanitary pads to African girls who often drop out of school with the onset of menstruation, she had the same lightbulb moment I experienced when a Facebook friend in Australia brought this need to my attention.

10% of all revenues from GlamTribale jewelry sold at Tribal Home will support this ongoing project. 10% of all current GlamTribale revenues are split between our sanitary pads for African girls project and Planned Parenthood PA.

My work with Zuwena has been particularly rich because she is also committed to embracing African culture in her home and daily life. I joked that I designed the Nordstrom version of the necklace, and when Zuwena saw it, she went into creative overdrive.

Each day my own jewelry-designing skills advance. Trained as an art major, Zuwena constantly observes that I’m twisting beads and ropes almost unconsciously into ancient techniques practiced by women for thousands of years. I’ve never read or even looked at a book on how to make jewelry or beading techniques and don’t really want to right now. It’s more interesting to see what unfolds from my own soul and spirit — and the Carl Jung’s collective unconscious that I believe in.

I look forward to meeting new friends in Philadelphia this weekend. We have two more events including a pop-up store coming soon.

Throwing Off Dated Old Labels

Now that the GlamTribale design process is under control, I will blog more often about this exciting and unexpected journey on which I’ve landed.

It’s a long way from being moved out of art class in seventh grade, into a pilot project math class. My teacher Mrs. Charnesky’s words haunted me for years: “Anne, you are such a math whiz, you will love this new Princeton project. Besides, you’re just not creative.”

Her words haunted me for decades, as I built unique shops on the East Coast and a 10-year career at Victoria’s Secret. Mrs. Charnesky’s words were my dirty little secret, as if my lack of talent would some day be discovered by the rest of the world.

You’ll read more about Karen Riggs and Tribal Home in the coming days. For now, I just want to surface from the beads jars, saying ‘hi’ and please come see me at Tribal Home, Thursday evening Sept 7 through Sunday the 10th. ~ Anne



New from the GlamTribale collection:

Related Reading:

Anilez Silva ‘Africa’ by Daniel Bracci Delves Into Women’s Collective Unconscious

I talk about my unique experiences in the presence of African art and in particular the Dapper Museum in Paris. On three different occasions, there was a power failure when I entered the original Dapper.

Angelina Jolie & Alicia Keys Help Me Say ‘Flip It: I’m A Lipstick-Wearing Activist’

One of the earliest essays, I write about my longterm friend Paul — who is no longer my friend. Accepting the reality that Paul, an African American man, would always judge me as less than authentic as a white woman, also blonde, was one of my toughest lessons to accept in life. 

The day he wrote that he liked the colors at Anne of Carversville, and not its spirit or writing or excellence, was the day I knew I would never fly into my own authenticity if I waited for his approval and acceptance of me as a white woman with a good heart and honorable intentions.