Jamaican born jewelry designer doing big tings!

/ Thursday, November 30, 2017
credit: mateonewyork.com
Just in case you haven't already heard, there is a new boss in town. Mateo New York, founded by Montego Bay, Jamaica native Matthew Harris is making huge leaps and bounds in the fashion world. I was casually watching an episode of Wendy Williams when Memsor Kamarake brought on Matthew as a guest. As soon as I heard his accent I knew something was up. Then my assumptions were finally confirmed when he said he was in fact Jamaican. Matthew had recently become a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist and was speaking about his amazing journey to get there. Since this interview, he has experienced enormous success and last I heard, Mateo had just finished a Vogue Magazine collab with supermodel Karlie Kloss.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on

 After migrating to the U.S. at the age of 16, Matthew completed his studies and earned his B.S. in Hospitality Management from Southern New Hampshire University.  While in New York, he spent some time in the jewelry district and decided to pursue his passion to become a designer in the big city. I can only imagine how frightening and at the same time absolutely thrilling that must have been for him. After years of hard work honing his skills, Matthew opened his company, Mateo New York, in 2009.

credit: mateonewyork.com

credit: mateonewyork.com

credit: mateonewyork.com
I know many of my fellow Jamaicans can remember the summer months right before school when their mother would take them to the seamstress to get measured for their new uniform. I would always see the child of the seamstress sitting obediently by their mother's side, and if they were close enough to my age, would strike up a light-hearted conversation (I get my social skills from my grandmother). When I found out Matthew's mother was a seamstress, I immediately felt a strong sense of nostalgia and I couldn't help but wonder if he ever sat by his mother's side while she meticulously measured and constructed beautiful garments for her clients. This is clearly where he developed his love for fine detail and creativity.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on

During his interview with Memsor, Matthew mentioned his use of the Jamaican flag colors in his designs. One glance at his work will prove this to be very true. Velvety black onyx, silky green malachite, and 14k gold make appearances throughout his collection. Another huge ingredient repeatedly used in his work are pearls. And I can't help but feel they are his way of paying homage to the warm, Caribbean sea in which his island comfortably rests. His designs showcase clean, strong geometric lines and curves. At times they seem to be performing gravity-defying balancing acts in the case of his mobile designs (reminiscent of Alexander Calder's mobile art). He has even begun creating elegantly structured handbags. As soon as I saw his line of bags I knew I just had to have The Madeline bucket bag, as well as The Elizabeth. His bags reminded me of the ones you'd see the church mothers carrying with pride as they showcased their Sunday best. I believe these pieces are the embodiment of a timeless elegance that will serve any look for years to come.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on


Mateo New York has caught the attention of top-name celebrities including Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland, and Solange, and has been popping up in magazines such as Bazaar, Elle, and Vogue (just to name a few). I believe Matthew's company will continue growing and experience huge success. I know once his fellow Jamaican's catch wind of him, he'll have an overwhelming influx of support.

I end by saying in typical Jamaican patois: Big up yuself, Matthew! We proud a yuh and yuh a do big tings my yute! Now to get Usain and Davina to wear some of these pieces ;)

Love,
Ruseberry

credit: mateonewyork.com
Just in case you haven't already heard, there is a new boss in town. Mateo New York, founded by Montego Bay, Jamaica native Matthew Harris is making huge leaps and bounds in the fashion world. I was casually watching an episode of Wendy Williams when Memsor Kamarake brought on Matthew as a guest. As soon as I heard his accent I knew something was up. Then my assumptions were finally confirmed when he said he was in fact Jamaican. Matthew had recently become a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist and was speaking about his amazing journey to get there. Since this interview, he has experienced enormous success and last I heard, Mateo had just finished a Vogue Magazine collab with supermodel Karlie Kloss.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on

 After migrating to the U.S. at the age of 16, Matthew completed his studies and earned his B.S. in Hospitality Management from Southern New Hampshire University.  While in New York, he spent some time in the jewelry district and decided to pursue his passion to become a designer in the big city. I can only imagine how frightening and at the same time absolutely thrilling that must have been for him. After years of hard work honing his skills, Matthew opened his company, Mateo New York, in 2009.

credit: mateonewyork.com

credit: mateonewyork.com

credit: mateonewyork.com
I know many of my fellow Jamaicans can remember the summer months right before school when their mother would take them to the seamstress to get measured for their new uniform. I would always see the child of the seamstress sitting obediently by their mother's side, and if they were close enough to my age, would strike up a light-hearted conversation (I get my social skills from my grandmother). When I found out Matthew's mother was a seamstress, I immediately felt a strong sense of nostalgia and I couldn't help but wonder if he ever sat by his mother's side while she meticulously measured and constructed beautiful garments for her clients. This is clearly where he developed his love for fine detail and creativity.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on

During his interview with Memsor, Matthew mentioned his use of the Jamaican flag colors in his designs. One glance at his work will prove this to be very true. Velvety black onyx, silky green malachite, and 14k gold make appearances throughout his collection. Another huge ingredient repeatedly used in his work are pearls. And I can't help but feel they are his way of paying homage to the warm, Caribbean sea in which his island comfortably rests. His designs showcase clean, strong geometric lines and curves. At times they seem to be performing gravity-defying balancing acts in the case of his mobile designs (reminiscent of Alexander Calder's mobile art). He has even begun creating elegantly structured handbags. As soon as I saw his line of bags I knew I just had to have The Madeline bucket bag, as well as The Elizabeth. His bags reminded me of the ones you'd see the church mothers carrying with pride as they showcased their Sunday best. I believe these pieces are the embodiment of a timeless elegance that will serve any look for years to come.

A post shared by Mateo (@mateonewyork) on


Mateo New York has caught the attention of top-name celebrities including Zendaya, Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland, and Solange, and has been popping up in magazines such as Bazaar, Elle, and Vogue (just to name a few). I believe Matthew's company will continue growing and experience huge success. I know once his fellow Jamaican's catch wind of him, he'll have an overwhelming influx of support.

I end by saying in typical Jamaican patois: Big up yuself, Matthew! We proud a yuh and yuh a do big tings my yute! Now to get Usain and Davina to wear some of these pieces ;)

Love,
Ruseberry

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Are those wedding bells I hear? Why yes, they are. And not just any kind of wedding bells, these are the royal kind. A successful actress, philanthropist, divorcee, and biracial California girl Meghan Markle is engaged to Prince Harry. Queue applause.

So, I've secretly been girl crushing on Meghan since I first caught wind of her popular tv show, Suits. I loved everything about her on that show from her gorgeous, flowing chocolate locks to her impossibly, perfectly fitted outfits. She had a warm elegance to her that was classic and timeless. she was able to be sharp and smart without losing her sweetness and charm. Who wouldn't love someone like that? And then let's not forget the most important thing of all... she was a biracial woman. This means a lot to me as I myself am Biracial as well (black mom, white dad) and just felt such a strong connection to her. She never once made anything she did about her ethnicity or the way she looked. She was hard working, sharp with whit and strikingly beautifully manicured all over. It was a special occasion for me when a new episode came out. My husband didn't quite understand my obsession but still respected it. Slowly I began doing more research outside of her hit show and started learning who she really was. Again, I was completely filled with awe and admiration. She was a speaker for women's rights around the world and had traveled to many less privileged countries to help with their education and water crises. When I think of a well-rounded woman she is the first to come to mind.


Her successful but now closed lifestyle blog, The Tig, was filled with images and suggestions of beautiful places to travel and dine, wise words of comfort and inspiration, beauty and fitness tips, and interviews with some top-level women (Serena Williams anyone?). Her Instagram boasted breathtaking vacation photos, cameos with her celebrity friends, and just effortlessly chic scenarios from her everyday life lounging around at home with her two dogs or taking a stroll to buy a bouquet of her favorite flowers, peonies. She is truly the epitome of a modern day, trend-setting, go-getter woman. And although she is in her late 30's, while I'm in my 20's, I could totally relate and draw inspiration from the life she so fully lived.

A post shared by Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) on

When I got the news of her engagement I was not shocked in the least. Which guy wouldn't want to marry miss Markle? I was very happy with the news and although I knew this meant the end of her acting career I saw it as the beginning of a new adventure for her. Her face, her every move, fashion choices, and acquaintances would be plastered all over the world. A biracial woman, who very fully accepted her dualality was now part of the ever so sacred, seemlingly impermeable royal family. I love everything about this union. And just like the rest of the world, I'll be watching from the sidelines, gaining inspiration from this fascinating woman and secretly hoping to one day see her curly hair ;).

Love,
Ruseberry




I believe what Davina understood was not for others to accept the natural beauty of traditional black features but for the black population as a whole to accept and learn to love and celebrate themselves. 

Davina Bennett. That name means more than a beauty pageant winner. I believe at this very moment Miss Bennett is still trying to come to terms with the enormity of her achievements. I remember when I got the news Miss Jamaica had made it to the top 3 in the running to win Miss Universe 2017. I admittedly had not been paying much attention to the competition until I saw her picture. There she was, a true representation of what it means to be a beautiful, black woman. Her hair defied gravity. Her skin, smoothly deep brown, glowed with life and luster. A proud, beautiful, (and in my opinion the most well-spoken on that stage) Jamaican woman was competing in an overwhelmingly Eurocentric beauty pageant and could very well win the crown. I was so overwhelmed with emotion. I immediately sent my Jamaican-born mother a picture. She sent me this in response, "I like the fact that she wears her hair naturally... she is a natural beauty indeed.. The world is going to get used to black, beautiful women embracing themselves and not trying to be something they're not."

I couldn't have said it better, mom. I don't doubt for a second Davina did not face backlash for wearing her hair in it's natural state. I quickly skimmed through a couple of her posts on Instagram and the comments under them contained support as well as disapproval of her natural hair. It was disheartening to see it as some people genuinely wanted her to win but felt her hair not being straightened would ruin her chances. But, she kept getting through, and then something magical happened. The doubters began to accept the fact that she was indeed beautiful just as she was. She didn't need to lighten her skin, change her features, or straighten her hair. They began to realize that afro beauty was in fact beautiful. I'm not sure if she knew the weight of symbolism she carried by her probably everyday state of being. With the natural hair movement growing rapidly, this was probably the one major step the world needed to see in order to prove, as my mother said, that black women were indeed embracing themselves as they naturally were.

Growing up in Jamaica, I went to school and formed friendships with hundreds of girls that looked just like Davina. She is what an average Jamaican woman looks like and I say that with the highest praise. Jamaican women are beautiful, full of pride for their culture, have glowing personalities, and probably the whitest teeth you'll ever see (I'm not kidding). But I couldn't help but notice the fascination many of my classmates had with long, loose curls and brownin' skin. I always found it so confusing because I could clearly see many of them were far more beautiful than the very women they idolized. But things are improving and black women are embracing their beauty. I believe we are getting very close to a point where beauty will be judged based on just what it is and not based on some preconceived notion of what someone tells you is beautiful. So the next time you see a woman with her natural coils and curls, make it a point to let her know how beautiful she looks and how much you love her hair.

Love,
Ruseberry






One of the worst things you can do is compare your life to someone else's. Comparison can suck the joy from your life and the money from your wallet. This is now even easier to experience thanks to reality tv, Instagram, blogs, and celebrity news coverage. We spend hours looking at the lives of everyone else and in turn, we pick apart our own, wondering why we aren't that successful or why we don't we have more money. The list could go on and on. And in the end, you'll never feel like you are ever enough.

"...learn to condition your brain to not view someone's success as a reflection of your own failure."

This is probably the most self-destructive behavior in which you can indulge. This not only drains your motivation but it can also lead to emotional spending, drinking, eating, etc. All of which leads to unhappy conclusions. Being exposed to constant updates of how successful everyone else is can lead to feelings of inadequacy if they are not processed properly. You have to learn to condition your brain to not view someone's success as a reflection of your own failure.

Comparison is a natural human reaction and a habit that we will probably never be able to break. Here are some suggestions I think can help with this common and most times destructive response:

1. Stay in your lane - I truly believe there is room enough for everyone's passion in life. The universe made room for you to exist and that's reason enough to prove your value. Never feel like you can't do something because you don't look, sounds, or have the same things as others. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

2. Everyone has demons - just because someone appears to have the perfect life doesn't mean they do. Most times the ones who appear unscathed are the most tortured souls. My grandmother always told me to never wish for someone's life as you don't know what they did (or are still doing) to get it.

3. You're losing focus - when you spend time focusing on what other's have you lose focus on what you could have. Spend time trying to figure out what you like to do and what you are good at doing. Also, keep in mind that no one was born an expert. Usually, you have to find something that interests you and with repetition, you eventually become an expert.

4. Comparison isn't all that bad - keep in mind guys that comparison can actually be a good thing... when used constructively. Let's say you see a number of people with your dream life. I would suggest doing some research on these individuals to figure out the steps they took to achieve their success. This is a far better use of your time since you are actively (or even subconsciously) re-wiring your brain to put these changes into effect.

We are all guilty of comparison and it's not something you can or should avoid. In a sense, comparison allows you to constantly perform self-assessments. This can be a good thing if viewed objectively. The trick is to become as emotionally intelligent as you can in order to constructively evaluate why you feel the need to compare yourself to others. Is it a sign that you are living on auto-pilot? Or a lack of accomplishments? Whatever it may be, I encourage you to be as rational as possible when comparing your life to others. I truly believe everyone is resourceful enough to become the version of themselves they desire.

"Close your eyes and imagine the best version of you possible. That's who you really are. Let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it." - C. Assaad

Love,
Ruseberry










There is nothing glamorous about having a budget. You'll have to start saying no and most likely develop a shopping list and meal plan. This takes a lot of structure and can be exhausting. But in the long run, you'll end up keeping money in the bank for when you really need it.

In my mind, there are two ways to get rich. Either you provide a service (entertainment, technology, etc) that makes it big or you save and invest for retirement. The latter is what I'll talk about in this article. It's usually seen as the safe, get-rich-slowly plan but if done right, it is the most full-proof. The downside to getting rich slowly is that you tend to live a more conservative life and you won't be able to enjoy your money until close to retirement.

Now don't get me wrong guys, I'd love to live it up like the celebs. And I'm not telling you to give up on those dreams. What I'm trying to say is to have a fall-back. Always have a backup plan in case your dreams take a little longer to flourish. Work hard at your day job while using it to support your goals. But also try to put a little of that money into a savings account, a retirement account, etc. Just a little something, something for an important expense. I'm in no way a financial expert. If I were, I'd probably be a millionaire by now. I'm also not the best when it comes to money management. But what I am is someone who is trying and who understands the struggle of reaching financial freedom.

By nature, I'm a spender. And as such, I find it hard to see money just sitting there doing nothing. I start thinking of all the things I could buy. The clothes, food, makeup, hair products! I'm sure you guys can relate. But I've slowly developed the discipline to go through a series of questions before every purchase. Do I really need this? Was this a planned purchase or am I just emotional? Do I have something similar? What will I remove to make space for this item? How many hours of work do these items cost and are they worth it? These questions help me decide if this is a planned expense or an impromptu one. Based on my answer I can tell if I'm making a financially intelligent decision.

Let's say you get paid bi-weekly. What I'd suggest is to split your bills between checks. Figure out when each bill is due and pay them with the check that comes in around that time. Figure out how much you make after taxes, total up your bills, and subtract them from your income. The money left over is how much you have for food, gas for your car, and savings. You'll have to adjust your numbers accordingly and the longer you do this the more money you'll be able to move around to build up your savings account.

I do realize I'm coming from the viewpoint of someone who has the extra money to put towards a savings account. I understand majority of us don't have that luxury. Most people are overworked and tired. I totally get it. I know what it's like to have 3 jobs and in school full time. I know what it's like to not know if you'll make rent this month or where you're next meal will come from. Trust me I've been there and I can honestly say that things wont change unless you find a way to learn new skills that will increase your pay. You'll have to sacrifice sleep and having fun to do this but if you don't the situation wont improve.

I tend to be an optimist. Probably more than I need to be. But I believe there is always a way out of any situation. You just have to tell yourself that failure is not an option and give it 100% of your effort. If you do that and always focus on the good things (no matter how small) I can assure you things will start working out.

Love,
Ruseberry


Budget for financial freedom

by on Monday, October 24, 2016
There is nothing glamorous about having a budget. You'll have to start saying no and most likely develop a shopping list and meal pla...