When Ayo Skeete was 10 years old, she had a make-your-own-jewelry birthday party. When she was in middle school, she made her own jewelry and sold it. In college, she began making pieces she loved and sold them in her very own Etsy shop, Ayo Femi Jewelry.
At 25, the Phoenix native has used her knowledge of branding her past jewelry business to launch a new creative studio, Two Pence.
Her inspiration archives have also informed Skeete's personal style. She loves bloggers like Pennyweight, and rocks a simple, clean style in her day-to-day wardrobe.
Skeete sold her jewelry for the past four years, but now she just does it for fun.
"I went to school for design studies at Arizona State University. I liked it, and after doing my jewelry for so long and doing all of the branding and packaging myself, I figured out I liked making graphics more than making jewelry."
Thus, Skeete and a friend launched Two Pence, which focuses on styling and branding. The pair had been doing freelance design work separately for the last few years before they decided to combine forces.
"Lately we've been doing a lot of photo shoots for weddings," says Skeete. "I'm currently working on the website for Phoenix Flea, and would love to do more branding for bloggers and businesses."
Skeete hopes to grow her business by connecting with more creative people around the city. "When you create a good network, you know everyone can work together to create more awesome things.
"This is what I really like doing. I want to do it all the time."
What are you wearing? My skirt is from Urban Outfitters, I'm not sure where my T-shirt is from, most of my rings and bracelets are from Madewell, but I made one of them myself.
Where do you usually shop? I shop at Free People, Madewell, Urban Outfitters, and also find some really cute stuff from Target.
What's the last item of clothing you bought? I bought a really great dress at Madewell yesterday.
Name five items every woman should have in her closet. 1) An easy-to-throw-on dress 2) Great jeans 3) Really pretty blouse 4) Good, simple jewelry 5) A cute pair of flats
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What's a trend you can't stand? First of all, I don't like flip-flops. Sandals with a back to them are cute, but not flip-flops. I'm also not a fan of some of the ways I've seen people doing collared shirts with colorful necklaces paired on top. It really depends on how you do it, because it could be cute, but I'm thinking of one specific necklace I always see done wrong.
Give us a childhood memory of you and clothes. When I was little, I always wanted to mismatch my socks. I wanted two different colors. I never liked when they were matching.
What is your one piece of fashion advice for Phoenix? I think Phoenix dresses fine, and if you come to Tempe, I think everyone dresses really cute. My advice would just be to care about what you're wearing.