Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiyanna Dower.
Hi Kiyanna, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I started my business the same year my heart got broken. My father, my first love, passed away on February 22, 2017 of heart failure. I was extremely disappointed and felt gutted. I needed something to help me get through my broken heart. My friend had introduced me to the business a few months prior to my dad’s death but I wasn’t ready. But she was consistent and I said yes. Besides, I’ve always wanted to have a business and I was fascinated with jewelry. It’s funny how when you’re in a broken place, something comes along to help you get through your issues. I joined Paparazzi Accessories April 10, 2017. My negative energy immediately turned around. I had something special to help get me through my pain and it was $5 jewelry. I was so excited! I was like a kid in a candy store. My energy shifted and I began to heal.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. There were promises that weren’t kept and I expected to be like the other members of my team. Some of my members’ growth in the business was instant. Mines …. not so much. I got very disappointed because I felt stuck. My business wasn’t growing at the pace I thought it should. Oh yes, I was putting in the work but it just wasn’t my time. There was a point where I stopped working. I didn’t feel as though it was for me. But, I had a good group of strong women in my corner. They saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself. They got together! My team encouraged me and spoke life into me again. I’m so grateful for them. They didn’t leave me! It’s amazing to see how much you’re really loved. Right after my “intervention”, my business began to grow. I am in my 5th year in the business and I am seeing the fruits of my labor. My team has grown and my sales have gone up. I’m very grateful.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My business is named after my father, Johnny. It’s called Johnny Girl’s Jewelry. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram selling my products. I am now doing TikTok videos to help promote my business. It’s so much fun. I also do vendor events around the Southern California area as well as my neighborhood Farmers Market. I have a great opportunity to be a vendor at Mt. Rubidoux Seventh Day Church, in Riverside, CA, on July 16 at 7:30pm. Come on out. There will be good food and music. I hope to see you there.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
I do more than just selling jewelry. When it was allowed, I would sell jewelry and cook at the same time during my live videos on Facebook. That set me apart from the other consultants. It was so much fun. I still do a few cooking videos here and there but I don’t share the jewelry while I’m cooking. I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager. I would watch my family members cook; dad, mom, aunts, and my grandmother’s. My family is from Selma, Alabama so I was exposed to southern cooking at a very young age. Spending vacations in the summer and holidays were filled with good food and laughter. I don’t think my family knew I was watching and listening to them while they were cooking. I remember my Nana making tea cakes in the kitchen sitting down rolling out the dough gently and forming them into nice sized circles. I asked if I could have her recipe, she said, “Stir it up real good.” Needless to say she took that recipe to her grave. My other Grandma(Minnie) told me the same thing about her sweet potato pies. I love those two strong black women, Alice Irby(my mother’s mom) and Minnie Dower(my father’s mother). They were so special to the family. Their legacy lives on in me.
One More Thing …
I am musically talented but not musically trained. As well as my father who was a self-taught lead guitarist and lead singer. I come from a family who is heavily gifted in music. As I child my mother would play songs by Tutu and the Truthettes, along with Bebe and Cece Winans. These two different genres of gospel music (quartet, flat-footed, stomping music to contemporary gospel music) influenced my musical style. I am a powerhouse! My dad used to say, tell a story while you’re singing and allow the audience to experience your world. They need to feel what you feel. Every word and musical note is important. As I continue my journey in life, my prayer is that I can make a difference in someone’s life through my singing, cooking, or $5 jewelry. Don’t you ever give up and allow yourself or anyone to stop you from living your dreams out loud. KEEP MOVING!!!
- Website: www.johnnygirlsjewelry.com
- Instagram: @kiyanna.sheree
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/kiyannad1
- Youtube: https://youtube.com/user/niacpt82
Marshaun Sparks Owner and founder of His Image My Angle Photography for the 1st headshot first 2 photos