We had the good fortune of connecting with Diamond Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diamond, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My first job I ever had was at Waffle House my freshman year in high school and I was a waitress and a hostess. My last job I ever worked for was a content marketing job I landed with this high-end corporate company last year 2020. I chose an artistic pathway mainly because I’ve always had a job and I’ve always been working for someone else ever since I was 15. I knew at a young age that working was nice and having a job is a good thing and that comes with many lessons, good and bad. I’ve also known that experience is the best teacher with any occupation you have and granted that I’ve had jobs that could have really benefited me in the long run, but it wasn’t a job that allowed me to be creative and build something from scratch and make profit off of it, in the long run. It wasn’t a job where I could create my own schedule, or plan a trip without having to worry about taking time off and possibly losing money. All the jobs I ever had was working for someone else and I didn’t want that platform for myself when I knew that one day I could easily be laid off or something crazy could happen that would allow me to lose my position. You never know really. Outside of my workplace, I’ve always been a creative woman, especially when it comes to fashion design, and sketching. I remember having sketch books on top of sketch books on top of sketch books in high school with different pieces I would make up in my mind that would look different in a sketch, and transformed into an outfit that I would probably be afraid to wear out in public. I had all these designs of outfits and accessories I created but I never really put action on them until December of last year with my earring brand Ear Gump. This brand is specifically dedicated to my younger self and all the little girls who have battled with self-doubt as well as wanting to be seen and have a seat at whatever table they aspire to be at. The table I wanted to sit at was Coco Chanel’s. I would always just sketch designs to express myself, every single day no matter what. Now at 23 years old, I am a business woman building my own table, with wooden chairs, and with fresh red roses centered on the top of that table. Although the beginning is scary, and I consider myself still a beginner because I don’t know everything about being a business woman. I am fully grateful to be able to grow at my own pace. I make a lot of mistakes during this process but I am learning new things everyday about what works and what doesn’t. All I can say is that, I am grateful and I am working for myself and for no one else. That is the artistry within it all, is that I can wake up and be my own boss, create my own schedule, and generate my own rules and regulations because I am in charge. My artistic career as a designer allows me to be free and it allows me to express who I really am. I like designing, I like making designs and seeing women around the town flaunting my designs. That is my part of my purpose I feel like. Designing and creating is my job, it is my occupation, and it is my self-expression. Choosing to be a creative is not easy! There are days, weeks even where it is heavy to just create sometimes. I call it creation-block in my mind. But given that there’s so much inspiration all around us, it doesn’t take me as long as I would think it does to be influenced to produce something new.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel as though I am set apart from others because I cater to seeing every purchase I make as an experience whether it be a custom pair of earrings I make for one person, to the packaging, to delivering a purchase to a customer personally and meeting them, or for the most part just seeing women feeling empowered and confident when they put on my earrings. My earrings are really just statement pieces because in a way I want all the women all around the world to recognize and understand their worthiness, their beauty, and purpose.
I am most proud about the journey, the ups and the downs of being an entrepreneur because a lot does come with it like having early mornings/late nights, creating balance between family and work, or simply just being inspired to create. I knew when I made the decision to become my own chief, it would come with trial and error, and I am happy when I see resilience within myself whenever I feel as though I want to give up.
I wouldn’t say I got to where I am now professionally. Everything I have created, I had to teach myself. I am just now seeing progress within the creative process of making my earrings. There’s everything that ties into making a quality piece from the weight of the clay, to the baking process, and my wire wrapping technique. I had no clue how to do any of those things, so I had to educate myself. Although I had sketches and samples of earrings, I did not know how to make earrings at all in the beginning and I did not know what styles that were going to be my actual signature piece. I’ve always just been working with polymer clay at first but then I started studying wire and incorporating wire into my pieces. Also, I would always see other people wrapping wire around crystals, and stones, and making it into like a healing piece and that influenced me to integrate wire with clay because nobody was really using polymer clay and wire together. I like using 18 gauge wire, it is the thick-sized wire that allows me to wrap and have a clean, elegant hold to the clay. It is an essential part of how I want my designs to look when the process is finished.
Til this day, there are still many challenges that I endure on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes when things get too hectic, I write. I feel as though writing gives me the most clarity when I feel defeated and as long as I write out what’s heavy on my heart, it gives me clear intentions on how to let everything that is difficult pass. I figure that every day will not be a day that I check off everything on my list of things I have to get done. There will be days that I will not be inspired to do everything on my to-do list and I feel like that is okay. I think growing a business comes with many trials, and I still believe that taking my time with each trial is what works for me, just taking my time.
There are many lessons that have given me insight on being an entrepreneur but I think the one lesson that really sticks with me is that you should learn to celebrate not only your wins but your losses as well because it shapes you into who you are truly destined to be. Change is inevitable no matter what and if you are not choosing to grow and change and bloom, then you are not progressing into your highest self. Always be open to changes and rearranges even through the toughest parts of being a creative because that’s where you’ll grow and succeed not just within yourself but within your business.
If I wanted the world to know anything about my brand, it would be that it is dedicated to anyone who wants to feel empowered and anyone who wants to just wake up one day, dress up, throw on some bomb earrings and feel like they can take over the world. I like seeing women parade in my designs, and I like seeing women feel confident as well. In a way, that motivates me to stay confident and it encourages me to create more. I believe in creating something beautiful from nothing and knowing that if you have warmth, consistency, and passion for anything, it is something we all can do in this lifetime.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were visiting for one whole week in Atlanta, the first place I would definitely take her to is Piedmont Park! I like being outside and in nature and if we go to the park, that’s a whole experience within itself. We would definitely be riding bikes through Atlanta’s beltline because it’s so nice seeing people being happy and free walking their dogs, and riding their bikes especially when the sun is out! I usually bring paint and canvases too if I want to relax under the sun. If she wants to eat, I’m a finger food type of woman so I would definitely take her to get some of my favorite foods which are burgers and tacos! My favorite burger spot would have to be Grindhouse House Killer burgers or Slutty Vegan! I’m no vegan but their burgers are tasty! If I were to go get her some tacos, I would take her to Rreal Tacos on 100 6th St because their fish tacos are to die for! Also, they have some tasty margaritas as well that I think she would love! If she wanted some soul food, I would take her to Big Daddy’s dish too on Old National Hwy, their soul food is the best soul food in Georgia and I’m not lying when I say that. Another place I would go to is Cascade. I love skating even though I don’t know how to skate backwards. It’s usually jumping on Sunday’s but I try to go where there isn’t a lot of people because skating to me is like therapy. I would also take her to Little Five Points to shop. Little Five points is on Moreland Avenue and I feel like it is the place to shop because I’m not really big on going to malls, I am definitely a thrift shopper. There are so many thrift stores as well as local independent artists vending along the streets so it’s a cool place to network and connect with people and I love it there so much because there are so many black-owned shops and vendors! My favorite storefront is The Pink Zebra and Bear & Honey Candles! There’s always something to buy and new people to meet every time I go.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s so many people that have inspired me along the way from my business life to my personal life. Within my business, I would just shoutout anyone who has purchased a pair or two of my handcrafted earrings! I am so grateful for every sell I make from each of my customers, it really does make my whole day and keeps me motivated to keep going. Within my personal life, I want to shoutout my mother because she has instilled in me from the beginning of time that being independent and not relying on anybody to make myself happy is the key to being a successful woman as well as a successful entrepreneur. Also, my brother Chester Watson has always been my inspiration from the very beginning. He’s a musician and I’ve always admired his work ethic and commitment to being a musician every single day of his life and never giving up on his love for writing and producing his own music. Last but not least, I would like to shoutout my boyfriend Opin, he’s an artist and has been an artist for 10 years and if I were in charge to pass out a “Hustler of the Year” award, he’d be the first person to get one. He has given me a new perspective about trial and error when it comes to being a creative entrepreneur and I am so grateful for every mistake, downfall, or misfortune I endure because it will all pass, and that if you are truly committed to seeing your dreams and business flourish then those mistakes are really just gifts for more room to grow.
Instagram: Ear Gump