Eboni Merriman: Founder of Lost Queens

ICYMI: Women are magical…. Especially the ones with visions who use their powers to create something positive; the ones who choose to uplift the people they come in contact with rather than put them down, and who are simply able to appreciate the existence of others. With every woman who realizes and begins to identify with how divine she is as an individual, as well as an important part of the magical woman culture, our world becomes a better place…. A more empowered environment.

Eboni Merriman, the Founder of the accessories Lost Queens, aims to be a source of empowerment through her work and so far… She’s doing a great job at it.

I want to make women feel like Queens. I want women to free themselves from the roles they believe they should play. I want women to take control of their lives, thoughts, and emotions.

Women are the greatest gifts in this Universe. We do extraordinary things and have the capacity to be absolutely anything at the appropriate times. We need to treat ourselves like the royalty we are FIRST in order for anyone else to treat us that way. I wanted Lost Queens to be the tool to start or re-start that self-discovery process.

Lost Queens is a NYC based online accessories shop that provides statement jewelry with a meaning behind it. The theme of the shop revolves around the royalty, magic and divinity that exists in the world of the modern day woman. Pieces are named after amazing women with inspirational stories such as Ertha Kitt, Angela Davis, Serena Williams, and more, providing customers with jewelry that makes them feel connected to these figures while wearing them.

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I feel like [our customer] is a confident, loving woman. A boss in her own right, whether she’s started her own business, climbing the career ladder, kicking ass in school; whatever makes her happy. She attends art shows, concerts, book readings, etc etc etc.

I think the ideal Lost Queens customer is someone that’s free to be themselves and comfortable (or getting comfortable) in their skin. They know their worth and take no shit. They give back to their community and stay aware of the hardships and beauty of those communities. Whether they’re a lowkey girl that likes a minimalist approach to style or a girl that loves to layer and make a statement, Lost Queens has products for all of those women. I’m sure to include the broad spectrum of different styles in the choices I make for merchandise.

It seems as if the start of the creation of Lost Queens came naturally to Eboni who, at 23 years old, already has a strong sense of what she wants to accomplish as a young business owner.

I am [also] the co-founder of a lifestyle publication called A Tale of Two Biddies. I’m the oldest of three, goofball, and a crazy Capricorn. I’ve got insane dreams and a rebellious nature; I’m addicted to empowering my sisters, encouraging them to love themselves, understand how magnificent they are, and creating spaces where women feel FREE.

When my friend Nik & I started Two Biddies, we became exposed to a lot of different women and one common thread we saw in all of these women was a need for us to take a moment and encourage ourselves. We need to take that time to build ourselves up while we’re wearing so many hats outside. The need for self love is so real and I had an itch to create something to fill that void and accessories made perfect sense. We shop all the time for various occasions or for no reason at all; so why not grab a piece with some love and a message behind it?

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I’ve had a love for jewelry, art, fashion, writing, etc. since I was young and it took some years of trying to fit myself in various spaces to find my lane, but self-employment has always been pulling me. After the loss of my last job, I started to sell things on eBay. That went well and the wheels started clicking; soon after, Lost Queens was born. Of course, Pharrell’s album, GIRL, had a hand in the inspiration of the name. I just really felt like I wanted girls to have pieces that made them feel like royalty. I feel like we lose that Goddess part of ourselves along the way and it’s so important to stay close to that. Lost Queens is a little reminder.

Although Lost Queens just launched this past year, Eboni can already see how much the brand has grown and she plans to keep expanding her company as time goes on.

I’m trying to take this thing all the way. I look at big corporations and I know that I can surpass that. I can put heart into business. One thing I’ve learned is that bigger institutions don’t necessarily care about people, even their customers. I care about my customers. I’ve literally had girls text me outfit options to match pieces they’ve ordered from me, emails about how their mood was in the trash but after putting some lipstick and their necklace on, they started to feel different. I live for those moments and I never want to lose them. I’m trying to recreate even more of those situations and connections, definitely.

I have a dream of vending at art shows and music festivals any and everywhere, spreading this love and light to Queens all over. I definitely want to work with more artists, esp. women. Creative directors, models, stylists, photographers, etc. We provide accessories for a number of creative projects so I definitely want to continue to do that. I’d like to establish Lost Queens as a household brand that keeps it real. It’s as unapologetic as I am. We stand for what we stand for, and we don’t stray from that. We’re expanding to more products, testing different price points, developing stronger branding and learning along the way. I’m excited that we’re all growing together. We haven’t even hit a year yet and every collection is an elevation. That’s such a blessing.

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Making the decision to run your own business can be super risky and potentially intimidating. When asked to reflect on how she began and what she would tell a younger version of herself trying to work up the courage to get started Eboni said,

Stop listening to the outside noise. Stop feeding your insecurities. Just do it and keep working. Listen to your heart/gut, because LITERALLY every time you don’t, you regret it. Fall in love with your weirdness. I wish I developed my sense of self a lot earlier than I did. My whole thing is about progressing and bringing my people with me when I do. I don’t have time for much else outside of that. Drama? Don’t feed into it. My mama calls it swatting at the gnats. It’s all basically distraction, and I have tunnel vision right now. My survival is dependent on it. I wish I would’ve been secure in my solitude when I was younger and just as aware as I am now. But I’ll probably be saying the same thing in 5 years. I’m still young. I’m still hungry. I have much to learn.

Spend some time this Sunday checking out the Lost Queens online shop (http://shop.lostqueens.com) for their current collection. Also, follow them on Twitter @LostQueens and Instagram @Lost.Queens to stay updated on future releases!

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