Tobi Butler is the wife of Ronald D. Butler II and the proud mother of three beautiful children. She grew up in San Diego California and moved frequently due to her parent’s military careers. After working several years in the insurance industry, she decided to pursue her passion for creating jewelry. In 2010 she launched A.K.A.K. Jewelry, proudly named after her children: Andrew, Kenedi and Khloi. “I started creating jewelry to satisfy my desire to be unique and different”, says Tobi, when asked how she became interested in jewelry design. Tobi goes on to explain what inspired her tag line: Express Your Individual. “In a world full of conformity and rules, I believe that we should embrace what makes each of us unique, thus my tag line was born.” Tobi enjoys running and photography in her spare time.
Q. What is the best thing about being a mom to three beautiful kids?
Being a mom is hands down the most difficult job any woman could have. The best part of being a mom is that I gave birth to 3 little comedians. No matter how difficult my day may be, I can always count on a laugh from one of my silly kiddos. Humor truly is the best medicine.
Q. What is AKAK Designs?
A.K.A.K. jewelry is my fourth baby! I started my jewelry line in 2010. I’ve been designing and creating jewelry since I was 16. My creativity has always been an outlet for self expression. Each of my jewelry pieces is a heartfelt design, hand crafted using quality semi-precious stones.
Q. Who inspired you the most growing up?
My parents are and have always been my greatest inspiration. Specifically my dad, who grew up on a farm with 11 other siblings. Despite his very modest up- bringing, he decided as a young child to pursue flying. He was the first African American to become a member of the Blue Angels, a Naval flight demonstration team. He went on to become the first African American to lead that same team. This was proof that if you have a dream, even though you may not know how to accomplish it, when you keep going by faith, God will do the rest!
Q. When did you discover your love for creating jewelry?
I’ve always had a love for creating things. I sold hand made hair bows in the sixth grade, then friendship bracelets, and even home made snacks. My love for creating jewelry initially came from my mom. She took a few classes and I would hang around being her shadow and caught on to a few techniques. As a teenager I made jewelry to be unique and stand out. My designs became very popular and that’s when I realized this could become more than just a hobby!
Q. Where can we purchase your line?
My jewelry pieces are available on my website, www.akakjewelry.com. It’s also available on my Etsy site AK2 Jewelry.
Q. Are you working on any other projects right now?
I’m currently working on a men’s collection. I’m excited to be working with some different materials such as leather and rustic metals. The collection is set to be released in early fall.
Q. What advice do you have for other Sporty Mommas that may be thinking of starting something new?
The best advice I could give is to put God first. Secondly, don’t be afraid to fail. Sometimes failure can motivate you to try harder; thus the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again”. And last but not least, ask for help when you need it, no one is an expert in every subject.