Her business began with Scrabble pieces and random buttons. In the front of her store sits the very Scrabble board from which she used the pieces to start her own unique jewelry line; the rest is history.
Onyx Seven is a local entrepreneur and store owner of LIYF Clothing and Accessories. LIYF originally started off as ‘Locs in Ya Face’, which later became LIYF when Onyx and a friend realized “LIYF” could be pronounced as “life.”
Onyx then went on to create the idea of 360 degrees of LIYF. A full circle completes life, which is the basis of what LIYF is all about. The store’s motto is “Entrepreneurs bringing LIYF to the city.” Onyx wants her store to be a place where local businesses and entrepreneurs can unite and work with each other.
“We have to unite to sustain life,” she said. Through uniting she hopes entrepreneurs and artists can give back to the community and help each other grow in their own artistic and business endeavors.
LIYF Clothing and Accessories is anything but typical. The store is located at 2870 University Blvd. W Suite 203, and although it may be small, it’s a welcoming environment full of life. Every wall bares some form of artistic expression; from a vibrant blue ankh mural to a twisted underwater fantasy fairy tale. Every item in the store is handmade, up cycled or created by a local artist or entrepreneur. Everything in the store is for sale; including unique hand painted furniture.
When you enter into the store, it’s like taking a trip back in time; popular tunes from past decades like the 80s are on heavy rotation along with classic VHS movies playing throughout the day.
“I wanted to bring back the innocence of life before the digital age,” said Onyx. She has an entire room in the store where vintage vinyl records line the walls from top to bottom. This music room is dedicated to her dad who passed away in 2009.
When her father died, she kept his vinyl records collection. He had an extensive collection ranging from Sheila E to New Edition, Stevie Wonder and Tina Marie. Those records now line the walls where her father’s legacy of music still lives on today. “It was one of the first rooms I worked on and finished,” she said.
LIYF is the home to several local talents. Some of its sellers include: Pheonix, who has painted one of the murals that graces the wall, along with a hand painted earring collection; Karmen Mims of “Crowned” who crochets hats, beanies and other custom orders; Goose Game Clothing by Skinny and NuLeaf Products are available for sale along with Decyology by Mary Tucker. This list is only a small portion of the talents on display at LIYF Clothing and Accessories and Onyx hopes that her store will continue to be home to many more local talents.
“I want to create a place where artists and entrepreneurs can come and not be criticized about the uniqueness of their talent,” said Onyx. Rarely does she turn someone away who wants to sell in her store.
She has intentionally created LIYF Clothing and Accessories to be an environment reflective of her own personality. It’s very creative, laid back and relaxed environment. She hopes this helps welcome more people to experience what LIYF has to offer. Onyx hopes LIYF is able to bring out the best in people who visit.
“Inside everyone is their authentic self,” she said. LIYF is a brand open to everyone.
Onyx recently celebrated the grand opening of LIFY Clothing and Accessories on September 6th. The grand opening welcomed local artist and entrepreneurs to come and set up tents to network with other artists and entrepreneurs and sale their products.
Ultimately Onyx hopes to see LIYF Clothing and Accessories expand to a warehouse. A larger space would give her more room for vendors and bigger project ideas such as art galleries.
Since LIYF Clothing and Accessories has been open, Onyx has gotten positive feedback from the community.
“I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve gotten from others,” she said.
Every Sunday LIYF hosts a Paint Day for children and their families. Please see their Facebook page for more details on how you can participate and even donate material and supplies needed for this community event.