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© 2019 by Leading with Lee Magazine

DaVonna May

The Hawaiian-born, New Jersey raised, lawyer - turned entrepreneur created BDPD in 2012 for one reason - TO PROVIDE EVERY WOMAN A LUXURY EXPERIENCE! Bella Donna Prima Donna is an international, award- winning brand known for its timeless elegance and romantic essence. Each piece excites the imagination and appeals to your alter ego of luxury and fantasy – a feeling that can only be described as Extraordinary!

 

We had an amazing time interviewing this beauty. Enjoy DaVonna's exclusive interview with us!

1. What were you doing prior to Bella Donna Prima Donna?


I was 24 years old in my last year of law school when I received the vision to start BDPD. I was on track to becoming a phenomenal attorney, or so everyone thought. I had already worked in some of the most prestigious legal positions from New Jersey to Texas. I had made history as the first in my family to graduate college let alone law school. I am told that I was the youngest graduate in my law class.


However, mentally, spiritually and emotionally I was the most confused I had ever been.


I always had the gift of vision - I could see potential in things others saw as worthless, and I could see the perils in what others called true success. During my legal journey, I saw the dark side of the system. I saw how men were lovers of money and self, not of righteousness or justice. I saw how this career sucked the gifts and intellect and to serve a league machine. There was no freedom, no individuality. I was only 24 years old when I graduated, and was not willing to make that sacrifice. The pressure in making that decision left me broke and broken. The only hope I saw was in creating a business that would empower other women to live their truth and to simply to provide a product that made them feel beautiful. At my darkest moment BDPD was born.


2. Do you have any degrees?


Law Degree (2010) Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University


3. What inspired you to start the BDPD Accessory House?


It was a vision from God. I was in my last year of law school, just about to graduate, and had a sudden epiphany - being an attorney was not my calling. God showed me that there was more to my story than practicing law. I found myself finishing my homework early so I could create business plans and jewelry designs. While my peers researched legal cases, I was I researching how to start a jewelry business. When I graduated, I told everyone that I was going in another direction; I was going to start an accessories business. They called me crazy for walking away from a promising career as an attorney; but I had a bigger vision for my life. I developed the mindset that I could create the life I wanted instead of the life everyone told me I should have. I had such a great fear of settling and not utilizing my greatest potential. Living unfulfilled and unhappy was worse than any sacrifice I could imagine. I knew that if I didn't take the chance to trust the vision God gave me, I would never know who I really was, or how far I could go. So, I put it all on the line; as soon as I graduated law school, I traded the courtroom for a design studio. 7 years later, the same people who called me crazy now ask how I did it! So glad I didn't give up.


4. What's your favorite design?


My favorite designs are the unique creations my clients request! They always push me to levels of creativity that I would not achieve on my own! My clients’ visions inspire me and push me to create
jewelry i never knew I could!

5. Who is your dream client?


My dream clients are the women who have amazing gifts and are on the brink of self discovery. This who need a small reminder of her excellence in order to change her life forever. Women who are the
innovators of our generation. The women making history. These are my dream clients because as they succeed, so do I. I will always be part of history because of their victories. A victory for one is a victory
for all!


6. What do you hope to achieve through your business?


Our clients represent all walks of life. One thing they have in common, however, is that they’ve experienced some major barrier on their road to self-discovery. Instead of becoming victims to circumstances, they sought to discover who they truly are and lead extraordinary lives! We call our clients POWER WOMEN because they TURNED THEIR PAIN INTO POWER! WE ARE UNITED BECAUSE WE OVERCAME! When we style a client, it gives her a safe place to tell her story, and us the chance to speak life into her dreams! Our jewelry can define a mood, a lifestyle a cultural or political statement. We are a symbol that the life she desires can be created. As a result, there is a reawakening of purpose, and a new woman is born! BDPD is the servant to help women begin operating from a place of love, self-respect, community-focus, faith-based, unity, confidence and power. We affect mothers who will then teach their daughters and sons how to operate in excellence and empowerment. We are still evolving and I am so excited to see what God has in store!


7. Do you make your jewelry?


Yes, I started the business by taking broken, forgotten pieces of jewelry and reconstructed them into one of a kind creations. As a stylist, I became a buyer of unique jewelry from all around the country.
Whether our pieces are hand made or commercially sourced, we keep our pieces unique and exclusive.


8. What's your personal style?


I have been know to look different all the time. Whether I am rocking my afro or long natural curls, I will always be sophisticated, sassy and classy! I love wearing all black to meetings as a statement of power
and focus.


9. What's your best business advice?


I want you to believe in the vision God gave you. Hold on to it with all your strength because it will take everything you have. Fight through the doubts, because your gifts are not for you, they are meant to change the world. Do not count on the world to support you initially, but remember, if God believes in you that is all the courage you need. God will not let you down or lead you astray. You have everything you need at this present moment to be successful. Be intentional with your decision to follow your gifts. Learn to make sacrifices and surround yourself with people who truly believe in you. Most of all ENJOY THE JOURNEY! It’s not just about making money, it’s about leaving a legacy, a blueprint for those to follow, a game plan, a pathway. It's about changing life!

10. Who do you aspire to be in the future?


I will become a global mogul - owning several Accessory Houses domestically and internationally - selling luxury accessories, hosting fashion events, jewelry parties and more! My Accessory Houses will provide employment and entrepreneur opportunities to our global community. BDPD will become a direct sales opportunity with teams of
dedicated fashionistas who will travel the country selling our accessories and most importantly spreading our vision of WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT one accessory at a time!


11. If you weren't a jewelry designer, what would be your dream job?


I would still have created some type of business! Whether it was real estate, purchasing communities, or travelling the world hosting empowerment conferences, educating women how to open successful businesses - I would still be on track to become a global mogul!


12. Who is your fashion guru?


I am inspired by cultural diversity! Indian women wearing their traditional garb to African tribal jewelry.These different cultures are the originators of trends. The indigenous people are my fashion gurus and
biggest inspiration!


13. Thoughts on Black Love.


Loving yourself first is black love! I am black love! You are black love! We are the chosen people and we should work to rebuild the value, foundation and integrity of the black community.


14. Thoughts on Black Girl Magic. 


The essence of BGM is honoring the Lord and living unapologetically in your gifts. You a power unparalleled when you tap into your purpose. All things are available to you when you exercise faith.
When you are obedient to the calling on your life you become magical!

15. Who's your favorite YouTuber?


I love Maya Angelou, Nicole Roberts, Shanel Cooper and Oprah because they give great tips on living
your best life and reconstructing your pattern of thinking to live a truly fulfilled life!


16. Natural or Chemically processed hair?


NATURAL BABY!


17. Where can we contact you?


BellaDonnaPrimaDonna Accessory House
Website: www.bdpdxoxo.com
Facebook: BellaDonnaPrimaDonna
IG: TheDonnasxoxo
Twitter: BellaDPrimaD
Email: shopbdpd@gmail.com

Interview by: Bianca Gray (@lovealways_bibi)