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Jada "Afropuff" Holmes on Handbag Designer 101 Podcast every Tuesday

Updated: Dec 21, 2023





Emily Blumenthal

Host

00:00

Hi and welcome to the Handbag Designer 101 podcast with your host, Emily Blumenthal, handbag designer expert and handbag fairy godmother, where we cover everything about handbags, from making, marketing, designing and talking to handbag designers and industry experts about what it takes to make a successful handbag. Hi, jada, welcome to the Handbag Designer 101 podcast. We are so excited to have you on board. You are Jada Holmes of Afro Puff Jada Afro Puff Jada. Okay, so listen, we've been following you for a long time. You've clearly been able to make a splash with an out-of-the-box hook of handbags. I know you've done a ton of press. You've been found. People follow you. We're one of them. But I love to start at the nitty gritty, the backstory. How and the why Are you turnkeying this into things that are selling? Because now you have this gigantic platform, because you are clearly fabulous. So what's your story? Where are you from? Where are you right now?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

01:04

Oh, my man Hull actually out for Richmond, California, so I've lived here all my life, though.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

01:09

Okay, so you're from Richmond. When did you start developing this affinity for, like, whoa, handbags? But anything can be a handbag, and then we can work backwards.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

01:19

I want to say around 2020.

01:21

The pandemic did it for you huh, yes, I was like let me make TikTok. So I just started doing like comedy TikTok skits with my mom and then everybody started pointing out my clothes and I'm like that's what I'm not trying to get across to you, I'm trying to get off. Get across at the video is funny. But they started like oh, where did you get that top from, where did you get the sneakers from? And little things like that. And that's when they started noticing my person. But I wasn't making them yet. I was actually buying them Right, like buying you know novelty, like purses, all on.

01:50

Right and it got to the point where I couldn't find any more purses to match my outfit. So that's what that I literally had. Just came from the store and bought a bottle of ranch and I'm like that matches perfectly with my outfit. And that's when I'm doing a scrap on it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:02

I've adapted it, so it just went from there, were you in design prior to that Not?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

02:08

at all. I just put all this together and that's pretty much it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:11

So did you go to college for anything specific I?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

02:14

went for English, which has you know nothing to do with what I'm doing now, but, yeah, English.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:18

So did you grow up putting your outfits together and all that good stuff? Did you grow up creative? Were you one of those people where, if you spoke to your parents or your grandparents, they'd be like, oh, she was always so creative. I'm not surprised by any of this.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

02:32

Yes, yes, I always had to have my outfit down packed wherever I went. You know, even if I'm late, I have to have the outfit, you know, looking right. So I went to get a lot of Friday nap. Did that come from someone in your family? No, because nobody did really. Just like, you know, like like we're playing stuff a lot and see, I like to just stand out. So I was down, the exact opposite. So I don't know where it came from.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

02:53

What number child are you? I need to know. I'm the youngest Aha, of how many? Hmm, and what's the age gap between you and number one? Like literally 20 years.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

03:03

So there you go. Oh, they're all older, way older. So it's kind of like I'm the own child in a way, because they're all adult Right, and it was like always me and my parents by myself, because they were literally growing at me. So I can't wait later.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

03:16

And tired. Yes, so you know, I call that the Jesus of the family because you pretty much walk on water. Everything you do is amazing, everything is interesting, and you have this like born into a platform where you could do basically whatever you want and no one's going to tell you no, yes, yes, thank you. So was that really the case that you were like, hey, let me try this, hey, let me try that?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

03:40

And everyone was like, oh, that's just Jada, that's just Jada, they just already knew just go along with it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

03:46

Just like nobody had Right. No one had it in them to be like, oh, what is she doing? I was like, oh, look at Jada, that's what I'm, it's got you up. It just became normal at a certain point. So you started taking pride in how you dressed and how you looked, were handbags, anything of interest, or it was like that's cute, let me add a bag to my ensemble. And that helped tell the story.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

04:06

It was kind of like I needed to take my outfits up a notch, Like I already had the outfits together, but it's like I need to be carrying something that's going to really make me fan out, Right. And that's when I started to look at handbag and like, OK, I need accessories now. How old were you when that started? I was around 21.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:22

Oh, you were older.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

04:23

Yes, yes, yes. So handbags that start literally like until a couple years ago.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:28

So, growing a school, would you carry a backpack and a crossbody bag? That was cool. Were you one of those people?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

04:34

Oh, like you're back and you're like you're like, really, because I was homeschool, I went to alternative school actually, so I only went in like a couple of times a week and it was just to turn in my homework. So I just had my homework in my hand, I had my outfit, everything I would wear glitter everywhere. I don't know how they let me get away with that glitter. We shift everywhere in the classroom. When I was just turn my work in, we were my teacher for an hour and then literally just go home.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

04:57

So did your older siblings. Were they homeschooled? No, aha, so the landscape was set for you already. Yes, yes, that's epic, wow. So you were like an early adopter with homeschool, like while everyone else was working from home. You're like, I've been doing this for years. That's cute. Yes, yes, wow, that's cool. So you were home, so you obviously had time to think about how and what you were going to wear and what you were going to look, and you didn't have to rush to get ready. So you always had this opportunity to, like take a different angle, right? Yes, yes. So did you ever have a backpack?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

05:33

Yeah, I did have a backpack actually. Yeah, it was just literally just from Target. I started to think like the brightest one I could find, but that's about it, the pack, and I did like just this a lot. They had, like the matching backpack, lunch fail, the binder, everything to go with it. Even though I didn't eat lunch, I still have carried it just to help, you know, and I would kind of just spread it out across the table. Yeah, even though I was there for an hour, I just had to still make my statement.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

05:58

You had to make an entrance. Yes, wow, that's crazy. Oh, you still live at home. Yeah, yes, I see the environment. That's like that's not my home, that's other people's homes, because I have a feeling if it was your home, the walls would be a different color.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

06:12

Almost definitely. I found it, I mean my walls. I think it was pink at one point, then it was a neon pink. So yeah, then I just had to change it back to white to calm it down a little bit.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

06:24

But yeah, it's like only so long that you could do that, right? Yes, oh my God, that's crazy. So by the time the pandemic hit, were you done with college.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

06:32

Actually I dropped out. Why don't I want to get an idea? Because I was at UC Davis. Wow yeah, I got accepted to every college I applied to, except UC Berkeley. It would let me in for something. Whatever, you don't need them.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

06:45

You don't need them.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

06:45

So I got into Davis, so I was at Davis for a while I want to say literally a week out of like. I can't do this anymore Because I didn't have time to like embrace my creative side. I was so busy with schoolwork and I'm like I'm going to transfer out to a community college and that's what I did.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:01

So you, went from Davis to community college. Yes, that is like epic. Wow, what did your family say? Were they like oh, it's just J-DOT's. Okay, I'm sure she'll figure it out.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

07:12

Yeah, because they were at the time I was doing music. I was making music at the time I was supposed to be on this TV show I don't know called the rap gang. They called me, but everybody always thinks I'm younger than what I'm actually is. So on it, yes, but I got called and they were like so you know, just to verify my age. They were like, oh, she's actually too old for you know. But they thought I was younger. So I'm like, wow, like that literally could have been my shot. But you know, come to find out years later that was for me, and that's when I started to take more creative aspects, like with my outfit and my birthday.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:43

Were you gutted, Were you destroyed? That must have ruined you.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

07:46

You were like yeah, I thought it was over. I literally cried once she got up the phone. I was like what are I going to do now?

Emily Blumenthal

Host

07:53

Isn't that the wildest feeling Like how old were you? 22? Or something, or 19? I think I was like about 18. So you were already too old and therefore at that time, at 18, you felt like your life was done right.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

08:07

Yeah, but I did music all my life, literally like what did you do? Oh, I was a rapper. I used to do music videos, like even when my birthdays came around and you know they would ask me what I want, I'm like I need a music video, and then I would like convince my parents to hire a production crew and just spend all this money.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:24

Yeah, Let me ask you what do your older two siblings do?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

08:28

Well, my brother, he operates like he fixes computers and stuff like that. Okay, stable, stable, responsible. Okay, my oldest brother, he's a deliver package and stuff, stable, responsible, right, and my sister.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:40

She works at the Social Security, y'all. So, in conclusion, none of your siblings were gifted music videos for their birthdays.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

08:48

No, you know, it was just a cake dinner and you might get a gift, might not, but that's how it went.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

08:54

Wow, you know, it's so funny you hear these interviews where they talk about siblings and saying how could we be so different? Because we grew up in the same home, but it's like technically it's a whole different life, because where your parents are, what's going on with your home, socio-economically, relationship-wise, like it's a totally different life. Right, yeah, like you're related to them, but that's wild. And obviously you had the balls and the confidence to put yourself out there, because even going back to your feed and how you pose and the looks on your face, it's like you can't fake that confidence. I mean, I'm sure on the inside you're kind of like ah, ah, but then you know you're like, hey, wow, that's amazing. So, okay, you drop out, you go from you see, davis to community college, where most people will go the other way. Yeah, and what were you doing at the community?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

09:44

college. Well, actually at Davis, I was trying to become an ophthalmologist, so I was in that field, responsible, right, yes. Then I went to English, because I love English. That's the main thing I worked on in high school, because my teacher was an English major, so she, we didn't even care about math, it was just all about English stuff. But wow, that's what I did at community college and I did that. I'm almost done with getting my degree, but I had to put it on pause because my person started to take over and I couldn't handle the classes and the person. So I'm like I'm going to have to put this on pause for a minute, but I'm going to pick it up at some point, get that degree.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

10:16

So yeah, it's not going to anywhere, right? Okay, so you put it on pause. A pandemic happens. It's so funny because everybody, technically, was stuck at home, but for you it was just a regular day, so you were able to look at this from a totally different landscape, right, the optics of everybody else's situation was totally different from yours. You're acting so professional right now. Relax, it's us.

10:44

Oh, this is a conversation. This is such a conversation, you know, like, look, this podcast was started to inspire handbag designers to show people you know, with handbags it's the lowest barrier to entry to start out of any angle of fashion. Right, Like for hats, you need to understand how to work with buck room. It's a totally different material. There's so much math involved with shoes, I mean, that in itself is mathematics, unless you're going to do a gladiator and a parallel. It's all different sizes. Like, handbags are the least judgmental item of fashion and also the most profitable. So for someone to go into handbags when they were an aspiring rapper, slash English major like that's inspiration.

11:27

So the reason why I reached out was to obviously have an opportunity for you to tell your story. But also, like, damn, like this is special. You couldn't finish school, something that you were able to transfer from a high profile school to a community college, and then it's like you moved all of your dreams and evolution to something that you kind of stumbled on right. Yes, that's nuts. So the pandemic starts. Everybody's going nuts. You're like it's just an ordinary day, whatever. Like how in the why and what. Like where did this all come from? Because I know you've spoken about this before. But talk, talk like freely here.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

12:03

Well, yeah, just mainly from TikTok, because I couldn't get a buzz going on Instagram. So that's when I moved to TikTok, because you know, tiktok is the kind of be carefree, and you know Instagram, I feel like you have to be a little crappy in somewhat. You know, button up, I'm like that's not me. So that's when I went to TikTok and then you started it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:20

Did you figure out TikTok really fast? Because you know, at least with TikTok, even at that stage, like you need production value, you need angles, you need a unique selling point. Were you comfortable, did you think? Yet it took a while for you to find your voice on that.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

12:33

Well, I was off and on because I started TikTok in January of 2020. Oh wow, and I stayed off and I got back on after my birthday, so like in the May, right. And then I came, persistent and like in about a month. That's when I really just started taking it all.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

12:48

And what was the origin? Like were you building a strategy? Were you writing this down? Were you like, okay, I did this this date, I did this on that date. Were you looking at it from that? Or were you like, yeah, I'm just going to figure it out as I go along?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

13:00

Figure it out. It's like going long. I didn't even have my content down pack, like it was just all over the place, like anything that I would see on a for you page. I'm like I need to partake in that because that's going viral right now to try to gain some traction to my page. So right, that's what I do.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

13:14

Wow. So it started off with just outfits and you needed bags. Was this? Were you buying things for your TikToks at this point, or were you just like yes, I like every time I had a TikTok plant.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

13:27

But once I started gaining followers, I'm like, okay, I'm going to take this series, because at first I was just like you know, playing around Right, right. Well, my first viral video was a video me literally throw rice in there, right, and I had like painted the rice to have like the Warriors logo because I'm a huge warrior friend. Right, Right, right. And I threw it in the air and it was like the logo and all that. So that went viral. Everybody ate me up because obviously, like they didn't really like the Warriors. So yeah, and so I got eight up for that. And then that's when I started going to like the pranks on my mom. She had the new pranks on me just back and forth, right. And then the outfits it was like where did you get that from? And I'm like, oh, I got it from here. Right, right, right, let me move in that direction with the clothing.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

14:09

And then it branched off to Turkey, Did you like? Did brands reach out to you immediately to start working with you?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

14:15

No, I don't think I got any brand deals to like two years ago. Maybe Right Was right up.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

14:20

No, no, it took a while. Was that hard to navigate? Or it was like hey, sure, yes, like when did you realize that you as a personality had value, that you were able to dictate and ask for things and tie all that in to who you were as a brand?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

14:36

I want to say really like a year ago yeah, I'd say a year ago because I really didn't want to take any like clothing items or anything that didn't align with my brand, Right? So, like I only took sponsorships and stuff like that that I actually buy with my own money, Right, I couldn't align because I want to seem, you know, be authentic to mom. You know I don't want to, you know, be like wearing this and I would actually wear it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

14:58

So Right, right, right, right, yeah, it makes sense, and that's something tricky to navigate. Right Like yes, all sudden you get attention and everyone's like hey, hey. And you're like yes, yes, yes, wait, wait, this isn't authentic, and authenticity, people can sniff it out. When you're not Right, yeah. So you start off with a ranch handbag of some description. Right, yes, yeah, talk to me about that. Like, okay, now I've got a ranch bag. What Like how? What was the thought? You saw the colors, what was the brand of the ranch, by the way, hidden Valley, by the way.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

15:31

Yeah, that's what it was Hidden Valley. Yet have they reached out to you yet? Actually, they used my photo and posted on their website, so that was exciting, right.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

15:40

Yes, right, so you got a Hidden Valley ranch bag of some description. Then what?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

15:46

Then I went to making cereal versus Right, because I was obsessed with cereal at the time. You're over cereal, yeah, I'm past cereal now, but yeah, I was obsessed. I don't know. I have like these moments where I'm obsessed over a certain thing. First it was ranch, now it's. You know, then it was cereal, so right, that's when I made a cereal purse and I matched that with my ducks and I took a photo with that. And I was actually afraid to take a photo, like with cereal purse, yeah, because I didn't know what people were thinking, and then I just said, let me do it.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

16:15

Right, right, because then you're like, what's the point if I'm not going to just do it?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

16:18

Yeah, I'm like I took all this time and making it, so I might just go along with it. I have the outfit, I have the shoes. Let's just take the photo and put it out there and see what it does.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

16:27

So how did you make the cereal bag?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

16:30

Actually I took real cereal. The majority wouldn't agree on it, but, yeah, I will rain your actual. This is like the latest one.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

16:38

Take it back a little. Ok, perfect. So how did you make it?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

16:41

I took a bowl and I put like a resin in it, dyed it white and then threw a cereal in there and molded. Did you know how to add it to the prep? Did you know how to do that before? No, I literally had to go to YouTube on how to do all that.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

16:55

So that's insane. Has anyone tried to buy it off you?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

17:00

Why did I have to sew the puff on the pass? Cause I had, like I literally made a hundred of these. Yeah, so I did sell something fast. Yes, how come you stopped? Um, maybe can't overwhelm me, cause it was like I'm still making the cereal bowl perches. I'm like I need to move on. I have to move on and make something different, like I'm tired of cereal right now. So that's when I was just saying I quit, I'm going to do something else. I have to keep it moving, I love to change.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

17:22

Okay, so then, what happened after the cereal?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

17:24

After the cereal. I think I started doing electronics and that's when I grabbed my father's TV while he was at work and I took a photo with that Cause someone had sent me these shorts. I think they were penny proud. I would say Right, and I'm like penny proud is like a television show, like what's better than having a TV as a first Right. So that's when I went from there.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

17:45

So have you noticed, like was it a weird thing to realize that people are paying more attention to the bags than the outfit? Yeah, did that kind of freak you out a little bit? Like here I am pushing me as a brand and people want to see the what could do bags I'm making.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

17:59

Yes, Cause I'm like, okay, really, once I did the TV, I'm like where do you go from doing a TV? Like what do you do next? Right? So I was a little afraid, like I don't know what I'm going to do next. I'm like I'm going to have to really think about this. When do I do a car? Do I do a house? Like what, thinking of, like what's bigger than the TV? I'm like I don't always have to go bigger, as long as it's just better, right.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

18:19

I'm so intrigued. Did you create a strategy like a bag strategy, of saying, okay, did this, did that? Now what? Because the TV is very different than a cereal bag, right?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

18:28

Yes, I tried to like do something that people and everything that I'll do, right Cause when I did the TV they thought, oh, she's going to do a face straight, and which I did. I'm sorry she's going to do this Like she's on a electronic. So that's when I found the like, even with the cereal and the right, everybody thought I was going to do food. I'm like no right, do a TV, I'm going to switch it up Right. Then after the TV, I went back to pool. I did a back and chip, then after the chip I did a toilet, Then after the toilet I did a fish tank. So then I've been a fish tank, I did a grill. So I try to always keep people you know guessing.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

18:59

Did any of these brands that you featured, other than Hidden Valley, follow up with you? Not any that I could think of right now. Oh, a Ruffles, Ruffles. You know, Lays did a collaboration with Balenciaga. Did you see that? Yes, I did. Yes. Were you like that was from me?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

19:14

Yes, a little bit, but I'm like Jada, where's your, where's? My Where's was first. Yeah, I'm like it's Lays. You had Ruffles and I'm like did Ruffles?

Emily Blumenthal

Host

19:23

what did Ruffles ask from?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

19:24

you Could they post my picture as well. That's what they had, and I also did beef jerky jack links Right, they reached out to me and they sent me a package because I turned their jerky packages into slides, so yeah, so question Did you ever think to make these bags functional, or it was more about a statement piece? At first it was a statement piece and then, once I started getting backlash on, can you even use that? Can you even use that? That's what I-.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

19:54

Isn't that nuts? Like, come on, like, why do you have all that free time?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

19:59

Clearly you're intrigued, you know, and that's what I ran and I added a little pouch. Well, they call it a pouch. They ate me up again for this. So back to the stereo and it was like, oh, can you even put anything in it? That's when I have, like, the video on my TikTok of me turning it around and unzipping it and they're like you didn't have that on your at first because we didn't see that, and they were right. Well, you know, I'm like you know.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

20:20

I'd punch you. But the angle of that is always like, yeah, I didn't, now I do, so join the party. Like what's your problem? It's so fascinating because all of this clearly was accidental right, and with the designers with whom I work, we do a lot of talking about where's your customer, price, product promotion and placement and right in the center is customer. So you know you have a giant following, you have eyes on you. Are you looking at this more like strategically, like I have more of an opportunity with my outfits or handbags, or what could I do with this in terms of trunqueing this and to me not having to scramble, to coming up with outfits every day, to like let me just make this into something that people can actually buy.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

21:04

Yeah, I struggle with that part a lot and that's where I kind of like, reverted to like, more of like, seeing it as art rather than like somebody carrying a TV on their shoulder, because it's really unrealistic, right, because I get a lot of like who wants to carry a toilet and I was like who wants to carry a toilet? Like the toilet was super heavy, like the toilet put me in the hospital. I had to go to the emergency room. Yes, it cracked my chest right in here because I'm picking it up the wrong way, I'm not.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

21:31

yeah, the toilet put you in the hospital. Yes, the toilet tried to end me. I mean literally and physically.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

21:39

Yes, yes, so I've never gone to toilet again. That was way too heavy.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

21:44

I mean, let me tell you to be the person and say, like the toilet ended me. The toilet is the death of me. It's funny because usually it's what goes in the toilet and this was outside the toilet that nearly destroyed you. Yes, yes, wow. So do you have like a strategy queued up in terms of what would be next for you? Like in terms of like. Okay, I clearly can't do things because I know on some of the poses, your foot is up and I'm like well, she's got to do that to offset it, because she's going to like crumble, otherwise I'm breaking half over the damn toilet. Yes, so do you have a strategy in terms of like how? And you know which products have received the best or the most response and therefore we can do something interesting with it? We would have to be now like the bag.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

22:29

Well, I want to say they're boxes, but you know, as bags that create, like the oatmeal, the plan B, at least, that's lightweight Round, more so, on that now, like actually making items and turning it like you know, it's like 3D. Yeah, bring it to life. I'm on that now.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

22:44

So yeah, the plan B one. I found fascinating what inspired you to do that, because, without making a statement, it's making a statement because people have so many issues you know. Talk to me about that.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

22:55

I literally made that bag, like the day before I took photos with it, I was watching a lot of video. It was a lyric and it was like I'll spend that 500 forever trap you, and I'm like that's a little too far. Let's go to the plan B route, like we don't want to do all that, like you know. Like bring it down a little bit though, right, right, you know. Did they reach out to you after that? No, julie actually reached out to me. They have like a warning after bill, right, so that's what I'm working with now and I made a bag for them. So it's not a real functional bag though. No, no, it's literally just like a three box, let's put it yet like that.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:30

Right, right, right. Okay, that's so cool, so they reached out to you after.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

23:35

Yeah, they seen my plan B video and it was like, oh, we just love that so much. We're upcoming brand. We will love like a partner with you and you create one for us, so yeah, that's how I came about.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

23:44

You know there must be some sort of poetic justice to that. Did you get a lot of pushback from anybody who was pro anything or anti anything after that?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

23:52

Yeah, so a couple of people came out, you know, after me my mom. She really didn't want me to do it because she was like you're going to get capsule and I'm like, well, I really don't have anything to lose at this point and I have to take risks, you know. So I did just take a risk.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

24:04

Yeah, that's nuts. And it's so interesting because you know generationally your mom would never do it Right and older generation would be like why would you put yourself out there for judgment, for criticism, for a potential mark on who you are as a brand? Right, you were, you were being your own best publicist on a daily basis and you have recognized that your unique selling point, your USP of your brand, is risk taking. Right, getting people talking, but something like that. It's divisive. So, you know, because people have issues and that's a whole other conversation. But to stand proud with that, to me that was really special. Like that spoke to me a lot in terms of Gen Z and I hate when people make these blanket statements about oh, gen Z, this, the Gen Z's, fluid Gen Z's, that like.

24:52

I think Gen Z is a lot more fearless and I think a lot more unapologetic and I think, even from a branding perspective, that's what it should be, because if you look at like right, you're trying to buy a pair of jeans, how many cuts are there? Right, it's not a skinny jean anymore, it's not a high waisted jean, it's not a pencil. You know you could literally buy any kind of denim and technically it's all on brand, it's all on trend. So if everything is theoretically on trend and even people who dress and go out of their way to look apart, that's technically noise within the market. So you need to do these things to stand out. You need to do these things that are going to get people talking, right, yeah, and I'm sure that was like you probably said to your mom, or at least we're thinking about it like no, this is my brand, I get people talking.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

25:38

Yeah, she was terrified of me doing that and she was like you want to mess up everything that you worked so hard for. I'm like Mom, just let me, you know, just take the photo for me you know.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

25:48

So your mom is your camera person, yes, your video person, mm-hmm. That's awesome. So how do you book it with her? Do you have like a calendar with her? Do you have like a calendar with her where you're like, okay, I'm booking you for this time slot?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

26:03

No, we just go with the flow. I say, mom, do you want to picture this weekend? Can you take my photo? You know, I don't even have to ask anyone like, mom, we're doing a photo shoot this weekend. Or should come to me and be like, okay, when are you going to take photos? You know you haven't took one in a while. Like you need some photos out there. I'm like Mom, I have to think of something that's going to come to me because I don't believe actually, like searching, like what am I going to do next? I just let it like give the book into my mind. Basically.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

26:24

Right, right, right, right, and of all of the outfits and bags you've done, which one was your favorite, like brought you the most joy?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

26:31

if you were going to reflect, it would have to get a toilet one. I don't know. I like that one, even though what it did to me was terrible. But you know I'd be down a little bit. I took my time on it, yeah. So, yeah, do you remember the brand of the toilet? I don't. I just literally went to Home Depot, the website, ordered the toilet, drove home to you, put it in the trunk and that was just about it. I went from there. Wow, so what did you do with the toilet?

26:54

Um, it's actually in my garage that it broke into pieces because while I was doing, a photo shoot of me was chasing me yeah, well, actually me and my mom was carrying it. So it was already broken. We have stairs. It fell down the stairs all the way to the photo shoot. So we're just arguing. We're like you let go, you let go. And they're like okay, that tracks, that totally tracks. Yeah. Then we got my brother he please come up with us with this toilet in a car got it in a car, drove to the location, got it out a BK. I ran because it was already off set, because it already had broke. A piece of it broke off in the bottom. That's why in pictures I'm kind of like propping it up for my leg because if I don't want to tip over, oh my God, that ended up happening. It tipped over. So, yeah, it's like in pieces now. So it's just sitting in the garage in pieces.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

27:37

Oh my God, that is amazing. That is hilarious. I'm obsessed. That's so funny. So, in conclusion, the toilet's just out there. Yeah, it's just pizza everywhere in the garage. Can you keep it as like a bench chair?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

27:54

I do have the bottom part, but it's like all that. So, yeah, I tried to glue it back together, but I just have to buy a new one and just make it all over again, but it was so heavy. Yeah, I think about it, recreating it, I don't know.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

28:07

Oh my God, that's amazing. So what's next for you? How are you feeling? I mean, you got a lot of attention and this is what you do full time now that's it right? Yes, just this Isn't that crazy. Yes, very. Are the handbags still the core of your outfit? Are you still like that's at this point, like I see in your signature and everything, like that's more of who you are Like? Are you Afro Puff Jada, the brand kind of thing in terms of like partnerships and so forth?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

28:35

Yeah, kind of kind of so. And now I'm like also use my feet because I don't wear shoes. So I kind of like try to do a lot of things, you know, with my feet, so I don't buy shoes anymore. So I literally just, you know, like when I did the battery first, wrapped the iPhone charger around my ankles and in between my toes. So I'm kind of just like I just go out with the flow at this point.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

28:55

Right right, right right. That's amazing, wow. Well, I can't wait to see what you do next. Are you excited about the future? Are you thinking about it? Are you planning on moving out?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

29:06

Yes, yeah, I plan to, because I want to start like getting. I have a YouTube channel, but I want to get back into that. I want to do like live screens, you know, kind of like go online, make items and stuff, you know, and you're ready to create a process. And yeah, I still have a lot of more items that I want to turn into. At first, it's just all about transporting how I'm getting here. It's like huge, but yeah, so I have like a lot of stuff. It's just like I have to figure out a way to transport these things.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

29:31

Right, right, right right. That's crazy. So your mom's your assistant Is she on the books? Yes, she's on the. Yes, oh my God, that's amazing. So when do you think you're going to start? Do you have plans, like strategies planned out, like, okay, for this week I'm going to do this and this week I'm going to do that? Are you still like just going with the flow?

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

29:49

Oh, I have strategies, as the now, because I kind of don't post as much as I used to post because like now it's across, just like I'm trying to turn like literally entire kitchen into a part of stuff, like I'm going to process them, I have to like rent a truck and all that. I might even buy one, so I won't have to go through that, so I can just have it right here. So when I want to, you know, do it like a bigger item, I can just do it. I don't have to like go through a process for that, just so I can get it done quickly.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

30:11

You know it's crazy because there was an article in the Atlantic saying that, in terms of trends, that everybody blanket statement everybody is buying bags that are reused, right, high end bags, and then buying those bags, and that's their statement. So the construct of a novelty bag is gone because everybody just still wants a label, and that's why, you know, luxury has such value and is making a comeback. Blah, blah, blah, blah. But I always stand firm yes, that's the case. But there are more people making novelty products and things that bring joy, bring excitement, get people talking. That's what we want, that's what we're looking for, that's what we need post pandemic. So I think you accidentally fill the box and I think you should absolutely own this and run with it. As long as you have this, I think you've got gigantic opportunities coming for you. Well, that doesn't sound right Coming your way. So, jada, do you have anything else you want to share? Let us know. How can we follow you, how can we find you? What's next? Let us know, just know, coming with more persons, Definitely.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

31:22

I know everybody said I already did everything, but it's still a lot I have to do. And you can follow me Well, Apple, Facebook, Jada on online socials Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube. Okay, and you have a website.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

31:36

No, I don't have a website at the moment. No, okay, so if anybody buys anything, it will go through those platforms.

Jada "Afropuff" Holmes

Guest

31:42

Yes, yes, okay, yes, my Instagram DM or my.

Emily Blumenthal

Host

31:45

Facebook private message Fantastic, Jada. Thank you so very much. I hope you enjoyed this. We are so excited. Yeah, this was exciting. Thank you for having me Wonderful. Listen. People like you are why we do these things, and it's people like you that keep people inspired and keep people going and knowing that, hey, anything's possible if you do it the right way and you recognize you have an audience and you keep them wanting more. So well, don't include us to you, and can't wait to see more of what you do. So, oh, thanks you so much, of course. So thank you for being part of the Handbag Designer 101 podcast. Let's keep in touch and have a great day. Okay, youtube, thank you. Thanks for listening. Don't forget to rate and review and follow us on every single platform at Handbag Designer. Thanks so much. See you next time.

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