Local artist designerTimber Heard, a local business owner, set her sights on the stars and achieved her goal. However she is now asking for community support in order to take her next major step.
Heard designs handbags as well as jewelry pieces and can create custom ordersFor customers through her business Talitha Kumi Jewelry & Handbags. Due to Paris Fashion Week preparations, the website has not been updated.
The artist draws inspiration from Nigerian culture, especially Igbo culture, and their custom-made designs for her work. But her greatest influence is the Bible. Mark 5:41 is the story of Jesus raising Talitha Kumi, a little girl, from the dead by saying to him. “Get up.”Heard was so inspired by the story that she named her company Talitha Kumi. She uses that story and the lessons from the Bible to guide everything she does.
Heard recently completed her first year in ‘The Arts Incubator,’I was granted a grant by the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council and applied for the Paris Fashion Week program just because. The program was open for new, talented independent designers from all over the world. showThe industry that PFW believes are the best brands “Ones To Watch.”
The PFW designerThe panel reviews hundreds of applications and selects the best designers to present Flying Solo during Paris Fashion Week.
“I didn’t think I was going to get it,”Heard it. “I make things by hand.”
Heard was surprised to find out that she was one of 70 brands/designers selected from thousands of applicants.
“I was more than astounded,”She spoke. “I thought it was a scam at first. I researched it, I talked to the headquarters, talked to the founder of Flying Solo and it checked out.”
She said that she is a solo-preneur and finds the opportunity both exciting and daunting.
“I’m not Gucci, I’m not Louis Vuitton and this is Paris,”Heard it. “This is where Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Hermes live so I think it’s been really cool. I didn’t think this was going to lead anywhere.”
Through this opportunity could get Heard’s designs featured in Flying Solo’s boutique in New York, 12 of her pieces featured in Paris Fashion Week, and expand her business to bigger and better things.
This amazing opportunity comes at a price. The accelerator program will require supplies, photography, marketing materials, and travel fare to Paris for the showcase, lodging, and other expenses. Heard has already started A GoFundMe pageTo raise donations. The first $1,300 was donated by a family member. However, she needs the support of the community to raise $8,000 to $10,000.
Heard stated that she has never been outside the country, which is causing anxiety. However, she is holding onto her faith to get through it.
“I’m really asking for prayers about this whole thing,”Heard. “There’s still some things I’m a little worried about, but I know God said ‘Don’t fret.’ I really want to help people with this brand and it’s about spreading the gospel of Christ and helping people come up.”
Heard stated that God is helping her to continue the growth of her business and personal life. She is making progress despite some setbacks.
“I’ve said things online I am not proud of and I’ve done things I am not particularly proud about because neither was done with the correct heart posture,”She spoke. “But I also understand that true grace is undeserved.”
She has lived with bi-polar disorder and homelessness herself, and she knows that there is more she wants. However, she is willing to follow Jesus’ lead. Her brand is all about service community. Heard donates 10% of her income to the Community Church of Oxford, and advocates for mental and homelessness.
“There is so much systemic mess in Mississippi, in the South and in the world, but Joe Stinchcomb said, ‘If Mississippi changes, the world changes,’”Heard. “If I could be a small part of that, that would be dope. But even if I’m not, I can help spark that in somebody else.”
To learn more about Timber Heard’s fashion business Talitha Kumi Jewels, visit www.talithakumijewels.com.
Visit her GoFundMe to help Heard raise funds for the Paris Fashion Week Accelerator Program. Talitha Kumi Fundraiser.