#WCW: Sparkle and Shine with CEO Ify Onwaulu
Hey There Beautiful Inc. is honored to begin our #WCW segment spotlighting extraordinary women who are nominated by her peers. Today we feature Ify Onwaulu, CEO of Madison Gems, jewelry retailer, accessories designer, jewelry e-stylist, wedding & bridal jewelry specialist and top-rated jewelry blogger. Ify runs an online fashion jewelry boutique catering to stylish fashionistas. Her social platforms are the source of daily fashion tips, wisdom and style. When she is not wearing her CEO hat she can often be seen in New York City sporting the latest trends, making a toast or rapping the lyrics to an old school Wu-Tang song with a gorgeous British accent. During her spare time, she moonlights as the Co-Founder of We Feed NYC. We Feed NYC is an undertaking motivated by feeding the homeless in the New York City area, with substance, but not limited to provisions, empowerment, and encouragement while providing enrichment throughout the year in an effort to nurture a sense of dependability. In 2016, We Feed NYC fed and clothed over 2,500 families. Ify is the quintessential definition of the word opulence. She has an eye for making her clients feels extreme luxuriousness.
Here is our interview with Queen Ify Onwaulu:
What is your full name, nickname, origin or meaning and pronunciation?
My name is Ify Onwualu pronounced If-ee On-wah-loo.
It is an Igbo name that originates from Nigeria, West Africa and it means “There’s no gift like a child.”
Where are you from?
I’m half Nigerian and Jamaican. My Father is Nigerian and my Mother is Jamaican. I was born in Nigerian and raised in Jamaica W.I. in my formative years.
What do you do?
I’m the Founder & CEO of Madison Gems. A high-quality, luxurious fashion jewelry and accessories company, that helps people celebrate their unique style and enriches their lives by elevating their wardrobes, one accessory at a time. I’m also jewelry blogger and a jewelry e–Stylist.
Why are you in this field?
I’m in the accessories industry because my passion is helping people look and feel good about themselves. There’s something special about wearing a piece of jewelry or an accessory that turns into a conversation piece i.e. a showstopper. Furthermore, wearing accessories is a non-verbal unique representation of a person’s personality and their sense of style. What’s more, I get to partake in the process of showcasing my clients’ unique elegance and flair. As well, I get to teach the World tips and tricks of wearing and handling their jewelry and the history of gems via blogging.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated by the satisfaction of my clients. Most especially, the looks on their faces, the joy in their voices via telephone or their choice of words when they’ve written a review, after they acquire the perfect piece or I’ve styled them to perfection. I have many loyal clients and the fact that they put their trust and confidence into my company, my products and myself time and time again, gives me the drive to outdo my personal expectations. Challenging myself daily is paramount to my success, which is inevitable, and it will afford me a comfortable life for my family and I.
What is your daily routine like?
My daily routine is prayer, meditation and commanding my day. I speak aloud what my day will be like i.e. my day will be joyful, peaceful, productive, filled with love from family and friends, etc. Then I check emails, make phone calls, and fulfill orders. As well, I take online business training courses; I read daily periodicals on jewelry and accessories, study marketing trends, SEO, HTML, meet with clients, if I have appointments that particular day and most especially, spend quality time with my family.
What has been your biggest life lesson?
My biggest life lesson has been to remain positive and grateful in every aspect of life, no matter the circumstances.
What does the word beautiful mean to you?
The word beautiful means something that is pleasing, exciting and attractive, that catches your breath and makes your heart smile. It is something that makes you overjoyed without having a concrete explanation why. You just know that something beautiful feels and looks good.
How do you empower yourself and women daily?
I empower myself daily with prayer, reading the bible, meditation, reading empowerment books, listening to motivational podcasts, reciting affirmations and making it a point of duty to always be joyful and live in love. I make sure to exhibit those feelings through my words, smile, demeanor and my appearance. I empower women daily by publicly sharing my affirmations, personal quotes, and my zeal for life on my social media mediums as well as via text and/or phone call and pretty much everywhere I go. Sharing things about life’s blessings and about my growth and development are a testament of gratitude and oftentimes that testimony is a blessing to someone else.
Who is your role model, mentor?
My role model is Oprah Winfrey. Despite all the adversities she faced, growing up in poverty, etc., she’s one of the World’s most affluent, wealthy and powerful women. She’s amazing to me because of her efforts to always encourage others to maintain positive thinking, perform good deeds and live gratefully. Also, she uses her resources and her celebrity status to enact positive change in communities Worldwide. As well, she fosters literacy through her book club and she’s also built schools in Africa.
Best advice someone has given you.
The best advice someone ever gave me was “Celebrate every accomplishment big or small.”
What is the most unique thing about you and why? Details please!
The most unique thing about me is my signature style. My signature style is a compilation of how I dress, how I accessorize, my warm demeanor, my genuine high energy, my enthusiasm, my fun loving spirit, my winning personality, my intoxicating smile, the sophisticated essence of my presence, my knack for luxuriating my surroundings and my way with words.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would tell my younger self that my gut, my instinct or that little voice is almost always right.
If you could invent one app or have a “Shark Tank” idea, what would it be and why?
Ahhhh! You will have to wait like the rest of the World to find out this one. It has to be licensed, copyrighted and trademarked before my big reveal.
Health tips, self-care or tricks?
Breakfast is a must, eat in moderation, eat lots of veggies, eat less red meat, eliminate fatty foods, eat fat free deserts, drink your weight in water daily, take vitamins daily, get an adequate amount of sleep and drink herbal teas to soothe your nerves.
Favorite Movie & Song
I’m a little diverse when it comes to movies and songs. I have many favorites and they’re based on the genre.
Comedy: Coming To America.
Romance: Love Jones
Action: The James Bond/007 collection
Suspense: The Usual Suspects
Drama: Love & Basketball
I have a lot of favorite songs but my all time favorite is “Giving you the best that I’ve got” by Anita Baker
What are your book recommendations?
1. Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands
2. The Little Dictionary of Fashion
3. How to Win Friends and Influence People
4. The Secret
5. Fabulosity: What it is and How to Get it
6. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
7. How to Dress for Success
8. How Successful People Think
9. Ask and it is Given
10. The Master Key System
The most scandalous thing that has happened to you? We want all the details!
The most scandalous thing that ever happened to me was screaming out loud on a plane in front of hundreds of people, because it looked like we were about to have a water landing.
What mantra or quote do you live by and why?
I’m destined to be great. However, I’m inspired to be more. Hence, I’m chasing the quintessential embodiment of the American dream — — Money, Power and Respect. –Ify Onwualu
Where have you traveled? Any dope stories to share?
Nigeria, USA, England, Canada, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Thomas, Aruba, Curacao, Antigua, Puerto Rico, Tortola, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Panama, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Mexico, Bahamas and St.Kitts.
My dope story is that I’ve lived in 4 countries so far in my lifetime.
Any dope Fashion Tips?
1. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or have a 9 to 5, always dress for success. Dress for the position you want, not the position you have. Even if you’re already a CEO, dress like you’re aiming to become the CEO of a Multinational Corporation.
2. Accessories are the focal point of any ensemble. Wearing jewelry can really elevate your look instantly.
3. Always have a pair of crystal stud earrings in your jewelry collection. Whether fake or real, big or small, as they will go with any color, fabric, or style of cocktail dress or an everyday denim and tee ensemble. It’s the #1 go-to piece of jewelry.
4. No matter what size you are, wearing well-fitted undergarments or shapewear, significantly enhances your silhouette.
5. Always embrace your shape. Once you know which silhouettes flatter you, stick to those styles.
6. Choose your best body part and show it off. So if its cleavage, don’t show your legs and if it’s your legs, stay covered on top.
7. You don’t always have to match the color of your clothing with your accessories or shoes. Contrasting colors, shapes and patterns, make great clothing combinations and it saves you money because you don’t have to shop for new clothing often in order to create new looks.
8. A lady should always carry a purse.
9. Go from day to night easily, by snapping crystal clip-on earrings onto your flats for an instant evening shoe.
10. Don’t leave the house until you like what you see — — remember every angle matters. How you see yourself, determines how you carry yourself and that translates how people will perceive you.
How can our beauties reach you?
Know an extraordinary woman who is inspiring?
Know a woman that is at the top of her game in life?
Nominate her as our #WCW by emailing us today at email@example.com telling us what makes her so special.
She could appear on our next #WCW series!