Fly Female Entrepreneurs: Royal Jelly Harlem
What’s better than a dope mother daughter duo? Not one single thing. The beauty of the mother daughter dynamic is magical. Add creativity, talent and passion to the mix and the combination is unstoppable. It warms my heart to introduce the beauties behind Royal Jelly Harlem, Maya Gorgoni and her gorgeous and super sweet mom, Teta.
Royal Jelly Harlem is an African-inspired clothing and home decorating line launched in 2011. After many trips to West and South Africa, Maya was inspired by the culture and artistry so she decided to bring the inspiration to life through an innovative lifestyle brand. Read on as Maya shares the Royal Jelly Harlem story with In Her Shoes!
In Her Shoes: Tell us about what you do! How did you get into designing?
Maya: Designing and creating Royal Jelly Harlem with my partner and mother came organically. I started out in 2011 just making custom pieces for myself with fabrics I brought back from Nigeria. As a fashionista and lover of all things original, especially vintage silhouettes, the response was great and before I knew it, an order was placed while on vacation on Harbour Island, Bahamas.
In Her Shoes: What’s the story behind your brand’s name?
Maya: Growing up my nickname was ‘Bee’ after the cartoon, ‘Maya the Bee’. I always knew my logo would be a Royal Bee and wanted a fun and catchy name to represent my new inspiration and neighborhood.
In Her Shoes: Tell us about the aesthetic of Royal Jelly in just a few words.
Maya: We think of our designs as simple yet bold, effortless and confident, sophisticated beauty that is wearable art!
In Her Shoes: What are your favorite aspects of your career?
Maya: My favorite aspect of my career is the freedom – the freedom to create and the gift and satisfaction of watching our creations bring happiness to others is most fulfilling.
In Her Shoes: Describe your daily uniform or the pieces that reflect your style the most.
Maya: Well currently at 8 1/2 months pregnant, it’s mainly about staying cool and stylish through the summer. I wear a lot of fitted dresses that accentuate the bump, a red or orange lip and usually a curly, messy bun!
In Her Shoes: New York City is such an amazing city for creatives to live in. What’s your favorite local distraction from work?
Maya: As a native New Yorker, born and raised, I enjoy all of the energy of the city. I also feel blessed that I still don’t consider what I do as “work”. When I want to escape visually, I enjoy visiting The Met and Botanic Gardens in the Bronx.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Maya’s shoes?
Maya: A day in my shoes is always unpredictable but exciting! I’m still learning daily and RJH keeps me on my toes even after nearly five years in business.
In Her Shoes: Who are some of your celeb clients? Who is on your celeb client wish list and why?
Maya: Well as for the celebrities and artists, I don’t really like to name drop but I keep all of these updates on my IG account so
follow me @royaljellynyc!
In Her Shoes: What’s next for Royal Jelly Harlem?
Maya: We working to maintain our momentum through the holiday and resort seasons and also focusing on the perfect timing of the official launch of Jelly Bees, our baby and toddler line!
To learn more about Royal Jelly Harlem visit www.royaljellyharlem.com.