This blog not only includes an introduction, but a story about the journey of how Lizzie Three Design became a brand that provides a space for beauty, self-care, and self-love for people of color. And how life always leads you right where you need to be.
Hi, I’m Lakeia Hardnett
A Kansas City, Missouri native, now residing in Mesa, Arizona. I am married to my best friend, Michael and we share three children between us, Isaiah, Nia, and Michael Jr. Some of the things I enjoy most are yoga, reading, live comedy, live music, poetry readings, dancing, taking walks in nature, having deep conversations about life, and experiencing delicious foods as a plant-based foodie.
After thirteen years of being a hairstylist I recently took a leap of faith into retirement. Some of the best moments of my life were spent standing behind the chair and I met some really amazing people along the way. But in life everything has a season. I now find it a privilege to be able to pour my all into Lizzie Three Design as owner/operator where I’m still able to walk in my calling, but with a twist. Let me explain.
The Road to Beauty and Brains
At the age of nine I finally got my ears pierced and that’s when I fell in love with jewelry. As a kid I would set time aside to clean all of my earring posts with peroxide or alcohol, and then polish the earrings with clear fingernail polish to keep them from tarnishing. I know y’all remember those days, ladies! Looking back, I’ve always been one to keep up with my appearance by not only wearing pretty jewelry, but by also taking interest and doing my own hair. Of course, my Barbie dolls were always my first "clients", and once I reached high school, I started to do some of my friend’s hair too.
There were many passing thoughts of attending college to become a psychologist after high school, and today for the life of me I can’t remember why at that time I was so interested in that field, but the thought was definitely there. I’d guess it’s what we call destiny.
Being one that really didn’t like school and wasn’t that great at it, I graduated high school and went straight to work. I had many jobs in areas such as childcare, customer service, security, Corrections, retail, sales, and the joys of being a stay-at-home mom for the greater part of my children’s childhood. But I eventually decided on a career as a Licensed Cosmetologist because I knew for sure that I’d be good at that, and it wouldn’t take years of schooling. I also taught Cosmetology for several years as well. The funny thing is that some people say their hairdresser is their therapist. So, there I was, indeed a “psychologist” with only 1500 hours' worth of schooling, but only certified to do hair! Life is pretty funny.
What Inspired Lizzie Three Design?
During the years of 2015 through 2017 I went through a major transition in life. Divorce, heartbreak, health concerns, difficulties in raising a teenager, financial issues, and thank goodness the tail-end of making a lot of not so smart choices for my life. I can now say that I’m grateful for it all because it led me on a journey of self-discovery.
Moments of isolation and digging deep to learn more and more about myself, life, and the world around me. I’d like to say this was my “cocoon stage”. During this time, I felt a pull to find a new hobby. The first thing that came to mind was to make jewelry, but I talked myself out of that idea because I thought it’d be too tedious, so I decided to canvas paint instead. And turns out I was actually really good at it! I even sold a couple of my paintings.
Coming Full Circle
Fast forward to the year of 2020, I needed an accessory for an oil diffuser that my husband had purchased for me and I couldn’t find anything that I liked online. Being that we were all sitting at home I had nothing but time, so I ran out to the nearest craft store and picked up the supplies to make an accessory myself. Some string, beads, and a tassel. And to my surprise I did a really good job. I sent pictures of it to family and friends and got compliments of how well I’d done.
This little bitty accessory brought jewelry making back to mind, so back to the craft store I went! I sat down at my dining room table with the supplies that I had purchased and jewelry making tools that had been gifted to me by my sister and started creating. With no real idea what I was doing, I created from instincts and the help of online videos. And just like with my paintings, I was really good at it and my creations were selling faster than I could keep up (thanks to the hustle in my brother). And that honestly scared me, so I stopped production and stepped away. But that’s when the conception of Lizzie Three Design happened.
As time passed the gift to create was haunting me. I had many sleepless nights, and it wouldn’t let me rest because I had walked away from something that I was called to do. So, two years later I surrendered and got the ball rolling to officially start my online handmade jewelry business.
Many moments during the process I wanted to throw in the towel, but I kept pushing forward because giving up was not an option. I felt the presence of my ancestors even at times that I didn’t call out to them. They have definitely helped me along the way. While trying to figure out the name of my jewelry business my late maternal grandmother’s name came to mind, Elizabeth. And also, being that my mother and my daughter’s middle names are Elizabeth…Lizzie Three Design, became the name. Boom!! And shout out to my oldest son for the concept of the logo.
Next, the idea came to me to identify each jewelry piece by I Am Affirmations, because I not only wanted to provide a space for beauty, but also induce positive self-talk and self-love to anyone that came across or patronized my business. Because after all, I really do want the best for people, and I want people to see the best and greatness within themselves. That’s the “psychology” part shining through, yet again.
Why A Brand for People of Color?
My response is, why not a brand for people of color? I wanted to do something for my people. I have a heart for people and their well-being, and it is my desire that we all not only survive but thrive! Melanated people are up against a lot and there are not only forces coming from the outside, but from inside of our homes and even in our own minds. There is generational trauma flowing through our veins and a healing is needed in order for us to move forward collectively as the powerful beings that we have been created to be. The power still resides within, we just need to tap in.
I’m a firm believer that healing has to start with self. Once we heal ourselves, we can heal our homes and our communities, because it only takes one spark to start a fire. So, I’m taking this opportunity to shine the light that I have within because my people need it. Like, yesterday!
Now That We’re Here
I’d like to thank you so much for taking the time to read my first blog! I hope it has inspired you in some way. Please feel free to share it with whoever you’d like. And I’d like to invite you to become a part of the Lizzie Three Design family by subscribing to our Email List if you’d like to receive notification of our Monthly Blog Posts which will continue to bring messages to uplift and inspire. And also email notifications which will include exclusive promotions, new product announcements, and discount codes. Once you have subscribed, be sure to respond to the Confirmation email to seal the deal. Thanks again for being here.
Love and Light, Lakeia.