Local silversmith shares positivity through jewelry, clothing designs at Reading Terminal Market

Tamala Edwards Image
Friday, February 19, 2021
Local silversmith shares positivity through jewelry, clothing designs
A local silversmith has been sharing her creativity with the City of Brotherly Love since the late 1980s.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For the last 25 years, Charita Powell has showcased her jewelry at her longtime store, Amazulu, located in the Reading Terminal Market at 11th and Arch Streets.

Powell has come up with her own jewelry designs, such as her version of the Fulani hoop.

A self-taught silversmith, Powell says she started selling jewelry as a street vendor on Penn's campus in 1987. She then had a shop downtown before landing here at the market.

"I came up with my own collection, called Amazulu Collections, and it reflects all my journeys," she said. "I incorporate a lot of my ancestry with symbols from Ghana, North Africa."

She has pieces with the symbolic Sankofa Bird.

"She's looking back at her ancestors as she's moving forward," explained Powell. "I love storytelling. My customers, they might not even know what the meaning is, but they can feel the energy from some of the designs."

About 8 years ago, Powell expanded her artistry, designing a clothing line called Urban Karma Wear.

"Urban Karma Wear consists of my hats, my coats, my t-shirts," she said. "'Your vibe attracts your tribe,' that's one of our best sellers."

To stay true to the line's name, positive messages and quotes adorn the t-shirts. Powell says she felt like if some of these quotes spoke to her, then they'd speak to other people - and they did.

She says she also carries other local artisans at Amazulu to make some of their dreams come true as entrepreneurs.

"I want that to be part of my legacy," she said.

Powell partnered with artist, Tanya Dixon, on a headwrap line called Crown Beauty Head Couture. They created about ten different styles, including the tube turban.

"We wanted to design a piece that would be easy and still beautiful," she said.

She also carries a collection of masks that match the same fabrics as the headwraps so you can coordinate your look.

Powell says she is thankful for all the support from customers and from the other merchants at the market.

"I just feel extremely blessed," she said.

For more information:

Amazulu Collections on Facebook

Charita Powell on Instagram

Urban Karma Wear

Urban Karma Wear on Facebook

Reading Terminal Market