Miami blogger Aja Butler-Burns of 2DopeBitches.com is expanding her fashion career these days in the Magic City with her very own jewelry and accessory line. We got to chat her up and talk baubles, events, style and what’s in her horizon next.
Tell me when & why you launched AccessoriesByAja?
I launched Accessories By Aja, or ABA earlier this year officially. I’d been toying with jewelry ideas for a while (studied it in school also), and I felt like I was losing touch with my art (I graduated from the Art Institute in 2010 but I’ve been working on other projects besides jewelry)
How are your accessories unique in Miami compared to other designers?
Everything I make is completely hand-made, and I try to make things that I want but can’t easily find on a normal shopping trip. Also, I use a lot of untreated, organic materials and not much bright color. Also I’m super picky!
What inspires your creations?
I take cues from architecture, Ancient Egypt, and shapes I find in nature. I love taking something in it’s natural raw form like Pyrite and constructing something modern around it. I’m also inspired by past decades, even the 90’s as cliché as that may sound.
Are you a native Miamian and currently what area of the city do
you reside in?
I’m originally from Maryland, and have grown up in Connecticut as well, but I’ve been in Miami since 2007, so I feel like this is home. I came here for college and stayed because honestly I hate snow and the weather here is perfect. Miami grew on me.
Where can readers buy your jewelry and other accessories?
They can go to my Etsy shop- Esty.com/shop/AccessoriesByAja. Also if they follow me on instagram or twitter @AjalikeAsia, I’m always posting new things as I make them.
Aside from creating accessories, you also create events and run
the popular website 2dopebitches? Tell me about your website. Why did
you launch and why do you think it’s become such a go to site in
My friend/business partner Norma Moreno and I started 2DopeBitches.com first as a platform to show the things/places/artists we like. We have grown it into an event planning business as well as providing Marketing/Promoting, Styling, Consulting and more. We are just two girls with a whole lot to bring to the table. I think people appreciate our fresh perspective and our varied tastes- Norma and I are similar yet very different, so we bring different aspects to the site.
Going back to fashion, tell me about your personal Miami style?
My personal style is weird! I mean, I tend to tone down the things I want to wear to normal places, but I try not to- sometimes I know I’ll get weird stares and I just accept it. I LOVE vintage shopping, thrifting is like second nature to me. I’m the pickiest person I’ve ever met when it comes to shoes. It’s SO HOT in Miami, so I usually will wear either a loose T-shirt or a crop top and high-waist denim shorts when I’m running errands. Along with my ankle cuffs- I wear those basically every day.
What’s your style motto?
Do whatever you want! If you want to wear a 1940’s head piece to a party, why not? I’ve been talking about Grey hair for years and people said I was crazy- now Rihanna gets Grey hair and everyone loves it. So, just do whatever you want, some people will like it, and some won’t, or they won’t until it’s “cool.” Don’t be scared to be first.
What’s in store for your future?
So much! I am very blessed to have befriended Norma, because together we bring some pretty great ideas to life. We have a lot more in store. I am also super focused on growing my jewelry design and branching off into shoes when the time is right. I’m so all over the map though, I’d like to be an archeologist! Maybe when I’m old and rich.