The mind behind the fast rising brand
You may not know Andira Sample by name, but if you pay close attention to some of your favorite musicians and influencers, chances are you’ve seen her work. The New York bred jewelry designer has found a way to side step past traditional gatekeepers in the industry, and watched her brand “Height And Light” evolve into a cultural powerhouse. The jewelry line has proven to be young and hip enough for acts like Lil Uzi and Kodie Shane, while still catching the eye of icons such as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill. We caught up with Sample to hear her vision, and left extremely inspired. Enjoy!
1. Where are you from and how did you get into jewelry making?
I’m born and raised in Long Island but I’ve moved around a lot from Queens to North Carolina and now Brooklyn. Making jewels pretty much came to me thru sketching. I started mixing ancient symbolism into sketches and realized it could expand into something real cool and tangible.
2. What was the thought process going into founding Height and Light?
It wasn’t much of a thought process because I had no previous history in designing jewelry. I was heavily into dancing through out middle and high school. Actually all my friends were. We started an all girls group called FCC (flyclassychicks lol) and we would throw little teen parties to make cash and have dance battles and stuff. So I always thought I’d do more in dancing. When I got to college I just realized I was pretty much lost and doing the standard thing to do like major in business. I left school after a year to help my mother financially after she moved to North Carolina with my sister. While living there I had time to do some self evaluation and it just came to me.
3. What do you believes separates it from the rest?
I pull from two places with my designs. I’m influenced by my ancestors and the master teachers before me but I’m also heavily influenced by the streets. My mother raised me on hip hop culture and the style connected with it. I found my own personal spirituality later in life so I merge both worlds. That’s how you get pieces like my Heaven on earth Giza Ring. It sheds light on our connection to the Stars in the Orion’s belt but it’s also exaggerated in size because it’s some hip hop shit. Or my belt chain series that’s dedicated to my childhood and guys that started the mix of the rockstar rap wallet chain look like Harlem rapper Jim Jones. I try not to stay in one lane with my direction but instead merge and create something new and fresh.
4. How did you breakthrough to be in a position where you can collaborate with celebrities and influencers?
Once I started speaking up and just saying what I want. Overthinking things will you drive you crazy! We are all human made in the same image. Also when you focus on positive energy and keep pushing yourself to stay uplifted the universe will alter your surroundings and bring light into it. I’m around influencers everyday. At this point in my life all my friends are influencers and “celebrities” to me if you want to use that term. We all just want to better ourselves and help each other.
5. Is there any celeb who you were most excited about wearing your jewelry? Any cool stories about these big names?
Erykah Badu. Shes light Forreal. She pretty much inspired all my first pieces. Her jewelry game has always been insane and connecting on a spiritual level. She was the first female I seen as a kid wearing ankhs and head wraps. Growing up I didn’t know what she spoke about in her songs so it made me want to research and find out. I was blessed and nervous as fuck but I got to present my pieces to her after a show. She did a Q&A after her performance and it was just an honor to be in that space.
6. What’s the biggest obstacle you face as a young entrepreneur?
Right now I don’t feel any blocks or anything that could slow my progression. You just constantly have to go back to the drawing board with your self and your work. Keep learning and being open to new direction and things align how they should. It’s not easy tho it’s a lot of risk taking and a lot of believing.
7. What should we expect from Height and Light going forward? Where do you plan to take it next?
I’ll say more expanding. More exploring. Some creative pop ups and some cool collaborations. Height & Light to the world!
8. What creatives do you believe are worthy of us covering next?
I’m blessed to be surronded by super talented people daily! You’d probably have to interview all my friends! But off the top of my head Sonya White (Iam.eccentric Clothing Brand) Pharaoh Da God (Rapper), Brooklyn White (Artist, Writer), Jessi Jaq (Stylist). I’ve seen them work so hard and create so many amazing things that it keeps me inspired.
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