Darla Anderson, artisan jewelry maker, teacher and owner of Rhomila’s Treasure Chest (RTC) knows the benefits of positive affirmations and self love. She shares her insights on the key to happiness, what the future holds for her business and how we can approach life this year.
By LaMar Anderson | February 18, 2021 | 6:00am
Please tell us your name and the name of your business.
My name is Darla Anderson the business name is Rhomila’s Treasure Chest (RTC)
What do you specialize in or offer as products or services?
What I do is customized crystal-wrapped jewelry. I just recently added wood I cover in different fabrics that can also be customized. A majority of the time – when I am at an event like this – [Leimert Park-Sundays] – I, actually, make the jewelry on the spot and people seem to like that. So that caused me to add on to the name of my business. The other part of it that I have when I get my rebranding [materials] is RTC Custom Enchantments.
How long have you been in business?
Less than a year, so this is very new for me. I’ve been doing wire-wrapped jewelry for about two years, but it took me about a year to actually do something with it.
What was your inspiration for getting into jewelry making and specifically your style of jewelry making?
The inspiration was that it was time for me to tap back into my creativity. I went to a roll and wrap class. I took one class, I enjoyed it, I bought some stuff, and that next month I stayed up every night making jewelry. And I was always into the crystals and was like – hey, let’s see where it goes.
You mentioned the inspiration for jewelry making and tapping into your creativity. Where did the inspiration come from starting your own business? Was entrepreneurship something you knew growing up?
No, it wasn’t something I grew up with. Personally, I really don’t want to have to work for anybody else, and I’ve always done something on the side, whether Uber, Lyft, Doordash, Instacart; things of that nature. So I was like -it time for me to do something for myself. I typically start stuff but don’t finish it, so that’s why it took a year to make it [RTC] a business because I wanted to make sure that it was something I really wanted to do. So a year late, yup, it’s something I want to do because I am still doing it. And I actually took the step of coming out to vend at events and things of that nature.
How long have you been coming out to Leimert Park?
It’s my first time here. I drove here from Vegas. I just moved to Vegas in October  from the Bay Area. My first time won’t be the last.
How did you hear about Leimert Park?
I heard about it at another event I was vending at. The gentleman I am here with now was a vendor at another event. I said I was from California, and he asked if I had heard of Leimert and was like – nope, I sure haven’t – and he was like – well, I am going if you want to come with me. I couldn’t go the first time he came out here. So word of mouth.
How has the Leimert Park experience been for you?
We left at six o’clock in the morning to get here. It’s been a good experience. I like the fact that there are a good amount of people that are here to support the different vendors, and I like the vibe around here. Like I said, I will be back. I think it’s worth the four-hour drive.
Tell us a little bit about the materials your using and the types of jewelry creations you are making.
I use different sizes of copper [wire] and crystals to make earrings. I make hair clips too, I also make rings, I’ll do pendants and necklaces, and that’s it.
I see you have the Chakra Bible. How much of your creativity is infused with your knowledge of the chakras and different aspects of the book?
What I do sometimes if I am working with a customer and they have questions, they may bring up the chakras, or they may bring up certain things they want to work on; I have another book that is the Crystal Bible, so if they are dealing with anxiety or depression. I ask them what it is they want to focus on or feel they need to work on. I’ll go to the Crystal Bible and read the properties and affirmations for that to help them confirm if the stone they are drawn to is the one they need to be using or not. I lot of the time, it is spot on. So I use this [Chakra Bible] for myself because I am still learning about the Chakras and then use it as a reference point so that, you know, I am not just making up stuff. I am a teacher, so being accurate in the information I share is important.
So yes, a lot of the time, people who are interested in crystals are familiar with chakras and familiar with the different properties of the crystals.
How can we get in contact with Darla and support Rhomila’s Treasure Chest?
I have a business page on Instagram, which is @Rhomilas_Treasure_Chest that’s where I have most of the things I create. I haven’t created a Facebook [business page] yet, but it’s coming.
What can we expect from Darla and Rhomila’s Treasure Chest in the future?
You can expect a website and T-shirts and tote bags. I feel as Black women a lot of times we have to have words that affirm ourselves, so on the bag, it has different words: Black queen magic, loyal, strong, fierce, blessed, loving, magical, fearless, proud so that when you look at it, you can remind yourself I am confident. I have a t-shirt out; I am really big on healing, so on the front, it says -ignoring isn’t healing. It’s a shattered heart, and on the back, it says -do the work- and it’s a heart that is mended. I have another one that says -forgiveness is the key to all happiness.
There seems to be a self-care theme throughout all your products. Where does that come from, or what’s the impetus for this?
I believe the key to love is self-love to heal. A lot of healing needs to be done. Whether in our own community period, and it all starts with self-love, and that was a journey that I went on. I know what it did for me. There’s a lot of healing that needs to be done, and that’s where it comes from. When we start loving ourselves, we can start loving one another, our brothers and sisters.
As a teacher, it seems like your beliefs and healing messages are a continuation of your trade and craft. Right?
Yes, it is. A lot of this [jewelry-making] came naturally. I did one class. It was very therapeutic for me; I was always around crystals or had friends who were into crystals and started reading about the different properties. I had a rose quartz already and noticed how I felt when I had it on and when I didn’t. And said – you know what, let me embrace it all. I do plan on doing workshops for kids to teach them about the crystals, the properties.
A lot of the earrings that are here, I made face masks for my aunt, and I kept the scraps and basically recycled them. I took the material, wrapped some hoop earrings I ordered online and used the old material to create something new. The wood piece is something that a kid could do and then graduate to doing a wire-wrap if they want to. So yeah, we are very creative people, and it’s time to tap into that; the younger you start, the better. I didn’t start till the late thirties.
What would be one piece of advice you can give us for the new year and how we approach life with all that’s happened in the last year ?
Put you first. Love yourself as much as you love others because that is one of the things I had to do. I wanted to feel the love that I gave to other people, so I had to give that love back to myself. So with everything that has been going on, it’s really time to put you first; your needs, your priorities, your healing, your peace of mind; put that first and get that at all cost.
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