During a trip to Arizona in 2014, Cynthia Simmons became mesmerized with Native American art. She was moved by the way in which they expressed their heritage through their craft, especially with jewelry.
Soon, she felt compelled to do the same and began making pieces that “pay homage to my people,” she says.
The former social services worker had a new mission—and business. With her made-to-order beaded jewelry, Simmons seeks “to heal, uplift, and inspire.” And her West African heritage is a huge influence on her aesthetic.
Although her parents were born in Georgia, DNA test results revealed that they’re both 95 percent or more West African.
Simmons describes her jewelry as Wearable Art that incorporates items such as healing stones, cowrie shells, silver, copper, Caribbean seeds and African trade beads, many that she and her friends have collected on trips around the globe.
Some feature Adinkra symbols, which originated with the Asante people of Ghana and carry cultural and proverbial significance.
Belle's Nefertiti Jewelry Collection
The name of her line, Belle’s Nefertiti Collection, came to her as she was gazing upon herself while wearing her first creation. She thought of Nefertiti and later learned that the name means “a beautiful woman has come.”
As for Belle, it’s both her mother and daughter’s middle name.
One of the World’s most enduring symbols, the circle, is the inspiration for her Nefertiti Jewelry Collection.
The circle represents harmony, completeness, and continuity- it is the wheel of life that holds our world together. The Nefertiti Jewelry has a compelling quality-combining the colorful striking beauty and power of semi-precious healing stones and Adinkra symbols.
In 2016, she expanded to African inspired clothes made of Ankara print fabrics. Face masks are a recent—and bestselling—addition to Belle’s Tribal Fusion Collection. “Customers tell me they’re proud to wear African prints to show solidarity with African culture and the Black Lives Matter movement,” Simmons says. While her art has evolved, “the theme hasn’t changed. My look is rooted in Africa.
Kofi, our Ghana connection
Tribal Fusion was born from the desire to create a tribe and bring different cultures together.
Simmons showcases sustainable works of art and products from all over the world.
Tribal Fusion was created to pair with Belle's Nefertiti Jewelry Collections.
Treat Yourself. Order Now.
Considering the peace she's found through this practice, Simmons began hosting Scared Beading workshops at The Lord's Place in West Palm Beach and Mothers Against Murderers as solace for those who've lost loved ones to gun violence.
From the very first session she knew that Sacred Beading was a healing art. It was important to create a safe space without judgement during their time together.
Today, Sacred Beading has taken her around the world, hosting private events!
Currently Cynthia works with the City of West Palm Beach, Mothers Against Murderers Inc, Palm Beach County School District, Healthier Neighbors Riviera Beach, Dare To Be A Girl Inc, Community Caring Center of Boynton Beach and many other organizations.
Cynthia Simmons is a member of the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Cultural Council and National Coalition of 100 Black Women, West Palm Beach Chapter.
Belle's Nefertiti Jewelry line is sold at the Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach Cultural Council and the Riviera Beach Tikimarket.
If you have any questions, please message Cynthia below and she will reply as soon as possible.