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Life at Parachute

Say Hello to Pamela Adewoyin James of Lola Ade, Our Home for Dreams Grant Recipient

Woman modeling gold jewelry
Written By
Parachute Team
Photographs By
COURTESY of Lola Ade
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Lola Ade (pronounced "Law-lah Add-A") is a Los Angeles based jewelry line that embodies the vision of its Nigerian-American founder, who has been crafting jewelry since 2010. Specializing in minimalistic fashion and fine jewelry, Lola curates and makes pieces that exude timeless elegance. Committed to sustainability, Lola Ade utilizes recycled metals and responsibly sourced conflict-free gemstones in crafting each of their fine jewelry pieces. 

We’re excited to announce that Lola Ade will be the latest Home for Dreams grant recipient. 

Home for Dreams is an initiative Parachute launched in the fall of 2020 to support Black-owned, product-centric businesses with capital, advisory meetings and brand amplification. The six-month program includes mentorship from our Founder, Ariel Kaye, access to the entire Parachute team, coverage across marketing channels, and a $25k grant to invest in the recipient’s business. 

We interviewed our latest grant recipient, Pamela Adewoyin James, about the inspiration behind her beautiful brand and how she feels about joining the program! 

What is the inspiration behind Lola Ade?:The shop name comes from my West African heritage. Lola Ade (pronounced "Law-lah (like lullaby) Add-A") is a Nigerian name from the Yoruba language. Lola translates to "Wealthy" and Ade means "Crown." The two words are a combination of names given to me by family: my maternal grandmother named me "Lola" and I inherited "Ade" as part of my last name from my paternal lineage. The cultural pride my family has instilled in me to humbly wear my head held high and display my "crown" is the same type of love and dedication I apply to aspects of my business: authentic and original with splashes of cultural pride. Also, the women I saw when I lived in Lagos, Nigeria as a child are still a huge inspiration behind my brand to this day. From the way the sun would shine on their chocolatey smooth skin, to their short tightly coiled natural hair—I love including that kind of representation in my brand. They often always had some type of gold jewelry on, no matter their socio-economic background. So functional, wearable gold pieces are often on my mind.

When did you realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?:When I first started making my own jewelry, people would often inquire about the pieces I made and were surprised to hear that I made them by hand. Early on, I never really thought about launching a jewelry line, because I’m a lawyer by trade. I just made pieces for fun. However, as more and more people started expressing interest, I started looking more into it. At the time, I did not see any Black-owned jewelry lines in the mainstream media that were carrying beautiful fashion and fine jewelry pieces infused with culture and displayed on diverse models. So, I officially launched my own website in September of 2016.  

Headshot of Lola Ade founder

What is your background in jewelry?:I’m a self-taught jewelry designer. I often joke that Google and YouTube are my cofounders, because I learned so much from them. The internet has a wealth of information and you can pretty much learn anything from scratch with time. After 14 years of making jewelry, and thousands of orders to customers in 16 countries, I’d say I’ve figured a few things out. 

How did you learn about Home for Dreams?:A fellow mompreneur friend of mine sent me the link to apply. It sounded like an amazing opportunity. I’m glad I applied, because I believe a lot of Parachute’s mission and vision is aligned with the goals I have for Lola Ade.

What are you most looking forward to during your time in the mentorship program?:Guidance! The word “scaling” is thrown around so frequently regarding small businesses, but we rarely know how to do it. Sometimes I would wish I could ask someone a specific question. This program is exciting to me, because I get the opportunity to get the advice of industry experts about the specific needs of growing and scaling my business. It’s an opportunity to bounce ideas around and get feedback on things like how to go from making custom solid gold and diamond pieces to fully flushed systems and processes.  With the program, I plan to take Lola Ade to the next level and expand in the fine jewelry space.