During last weekend’s The She Is’ New Year Do You Event, I met this young, lovely lady who, at first, may be shy and reserved, but once you get her talking about her jewelry line Naz Virago (amazing name, right?!) the love and passion she has for it oozes right out of her. Meet Yasin!
My name is Yasin Sugufara and I’m 19 years old.I am currently in beauty school studying to become an esthetician and I currently run my own jewelry boutique. I was born and raised in Detroit and I love being from this city. My passions are writing, creating makeup looks, and making people feel good about themselves everyday. Fun fact: In my spare time I like to watch anime and play with bubble wrap.
fashion meets God: Tell us about Naz Virago including the background story of its awesome name!
Yasin Sugufara: It all started out of depression to be quite honest. I felt alone, inadequate, and that I didn’t have value to my life. I was betrayed and used and just felt unloved. A few months into my depression, I started my freshman year of college. I met some of the most inspiring, weirdest people ever who were just..free. They had no care to be like everyone and embraced their uniqueness. I began going to different events and really changed my mindset as a whole. I began thinking outside the box and growing comfortable with being myself and loving myself for who I was.
I realized that this isn’t an easy task for us these days. There is so many expectations of what we are ‘suppose’ to be and we are often ridiculed for not being these things. We are told we are weak and we need a man to depend on. Coming from the child who watched her single mother grind endlessly for years because there was no one man enough to stay…that isn’t always an option these days. So as a woman in a generation that won’t defend and protect you, but instead neglect and kill your value..what was I to do? I decided to build something from the ground up as a way to inspire and protect not only my generation, but also future generations to come. It was at that point that I decided to turn a hobby into a business.
Finding a name was really hard. I was putting off an essay I was suppose to be finishing and started scrolling through pinterest. I stumbled across a board with a bunch of unique words that people don’t normally use and found two words. Naz which means, “the pride that comes from knowing that you are loved no matter what you do” and Virago which means “a strong, brave, or warlike woman; a woman who demonstrates exemplary and heroic qualities.” Naturally when I put them together I thought “wow, that sounds kind of weird.” But then I thought of how original it was and decided to keep it.
fmG: Where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
YS: All of my pieces are pretty much bohemian style inspired, so when I see beautiful stones, crystals, and other charms I imagine how I could put them together and what I could name them. I never make two of the same things; all of my necklaces are one of a kind. When I pick things I think of whether I’m making it for my edgy girls or my dainty girls, or maybe my girls who are a little in between. Maybe I’ll make one for a girl like me who loves anime. None of my jewelry is one size fits all.
fmG: How long does it take you to create your jewelry?
YS: It varies honestly on how complicated the piece is. If it’s a necklace it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. If I’m making a ring it takes way longer because I have to make sure the placement is perfect to actually be wearable. I also take about a week or two to actually wear the product and check the wear of it, the durability, and check for any sign of irritation. I would never post something for sale if I feel like it’s uncomfortable or needs improvement. Offering a quality product is key.
fmG: From your “Our Story” section, it’s obvious you believe in the bigger picture. It’s not just running an accessory business but, as you say, it’s starting a movement. What do you want your pieces to stand for?
YS: I want my pieces to stand for individuality, love, peace within yourself, acceptance of your flaws, inspiring creativity, strength that empowers you in your weakest moments. When you feel depressed, alone, afraid..I want people to look down at this beautiful, handmade creation around your neck and remember that it was made especially for you. It was designed with love just as God made you therefore you are strong, you are not alone, and you don’t have to be afraid.
fmG: I LOVE the last sentence of that section, too! “This is the voice that says whatever you desire, you can make it happen with faith in yourself and faith in your Creator.” How has God and your relationship with Him influenced your creativity and business?
YS: My relationship with God has been the boat that has kept this afloat. In my doubt He spoke to me and gave me confidence that I was made for a higher purpose. I was not meant for the norms. I was meant to break barriers and inspire. As long as I have my faith and I follow Him, He will lead me and my business to higher places.
fmG: Where do you see Naz Virago in the near future?
YS: I see Naz Virago not only being a leading jewelry brand, but I also see it becoming a lifestyle. I want to put on fundraisers, fashion shows, tour around the world… just using it as a voice to reach as many people as possible and spread love and unity throughout the world. I also want to use it as a tool to help others start their own businesses and be a part of something bigger than just the normal 9 to 5 job.
Thank you, Yasin! Looking forward to all that God has in store for you and Naz Virago!
“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”
– Proverbs 22:1