Vixen Chat: Sheanan Bond + Cherise TrahanMiller Of Adha Zelma

The creators of aesthetically breathtaking jewelry line Adha Zelma are two peas in a nature-appreciating pod. Sheanan Bond and Cherise TrahanMiller recently caught my attention with their stunning “5” collection, and as always, sharing the beauty of art with my fellow Vixens is a must. These women have used their inner peace, creativity and passion to actualize the Earth-inspired pieces placed in spreads of your favorite mags, including Elle and Vogue. VIBE Vixen had to get in touch with these boss ladies! They dished about their childhood memories in fashion, their inspiration for their most sensual accessories and the woman Adha Zelma ultimately represents. -Niki McGloster

VIBE VIXEN: Tell me how you ladies started Adha Zelma.
SHEANAN: Well it started up because I had been asked to do a show. I couldn’t do it by myself, so Cherise, who I’ve known for years, agreed to help me out. The night after the show, in half seriousness, we said, ‘Well why don’t we just go into business together?’ And that’s how our partnership came about.

Where did the name come from?
: Adha is my mother’s mother, and Zelma is my father’s mother. Recognizing our ancestors is very important to both Cherise and I.

Where did that first initial love for fashion and jewelry stem from?
: I grew up in a family full of fashionistas. I grew up in Texas and women there are so adorning. At a very young age, my grandmother would play dress up with me using her jewelry. That was when my love affair with fashion sort of began. We used her jewelry; we put on perfume and put on the hats. She really taught me the importance of adornment and detail which I feel is really the magic behind jewelry.
: My mom was a buyer, very much into fashion. Not unlike Cherise, I used to play dress up in my mother and father’s clothes. The love affair with jewelry came about because my mom had this great jewelry box filled with expensive and not-so-expensive stuff. When she started getting rid of a lot of her custom jewelry, she’d give it to me instead of throwing it away. Even at a younger age, I figured out dolls were boring, so I’d deconstruct my dolls and make jewelry out of them.

[Laughs] Describe the process of when the two of you merge those loves of fashion and jewelry together.
: It starts with a specific concept in mind, a specific goal, a specific period of time. We’ll be inspired by a piece, meaning an actual stone or a color palette, [and] we work from there.
: Often times, I don’t sketch. Like Cherise said, it will be an inspiration of a color, song, pattern or mood. We had a collection called Rio, where one of the pieces was literally designed around a raindrop that I saw when I was in Brazil. Really, the inspiration is taken from anywhere.