In 2021, a girl from the East side of Saginaw, MI went to Stuart Weitzman’s Headquarters in New York. For those unfamiliar, Stuart Weitzman is a multibillion-dollar footwear company. She curated a collection inspired by and for Black women. This girl is Ja’Maiya Ryan.
Ja’Maiya is a 2019 high school graduate and currently, she is a Senior at The College for Creative Studies, majoring in Fashion Accessories Design. She graduates this May. Ja’Maiya is a creative designer with experience in footwear and apparel design, graphic design, media marketing, etc. She is most passionate about handcrafting leather goods and accessories.
Black woman in America.
Her eye for detail and creative mind has put her in spaces to be an instrumental voice for black women. Part of her work has included intensive research and providing insight on our culture and what it means to be a Black woman in America. Corporate America specifically. The stereotypes they face, and the hardships they go through.
I read somewhere that Ja’Maiya said, “I’ve been an Artist since birth, I’ve been designing since I was 10. Drawing shoes in Mr.Colbert’s class at Heavenrich.” Now, Ja’Maiya is striving to inspire others in her community and wants to be a continuous representation for Black women pursuing their passion in the arts. Today, tomorrow, and even after that, her goal is to open the door, and keep it open.
"If there is no room for you at the table, make your own table.."
To all the black girls/kids that love fashion, especially in Saginaw, this is what following your dreams looks like. If there is no room for you at the table, make your own table and design it your own way.
This May, Ja’Maiya will be releasing her own line of handbags. She has been developing this brand since 2022. You can visit www.theryan.co for more information and to support this young entrepreneur. The next luxury accessories designer is from Saginaw.