Back in 2015, Devenie Robbins was working as a nurse practitioner at a drug and alcohol addiction facility in Tampa, Florida. While interacting with women at the darkest moments of their addiction broke Robbins’s heart, she says she found hope witnessing the transformative process of her patients’ journey to sobriety.
Robbins, who has always loved jewelry, began to make pieces to instill joy and an aspiration for a better tomorrow in her patients.
“I would gift jewelry with inspirational words to the patients,” she says, “and it meant so much to them because they were not in contact with their family due to policies. Seeing their progress and seeing them go on to do things later in life, put a fire in me to start this particular business.”
After a year of working at the facility and crafting her pieces on the side, Robbins launched Very Last Detail, a personalized accessories brand, and in 2017 she decided to move the company to Houston. While the transition to the Bayou City was tough, Robbins says she was able to find opportunities and resources as she met an array of individuals and gained support from the medical community, jewelry business, and the black and brown community for her brand.
Very Last Detail focuses on making pieces that promote self love and positivity. The new Mantra Collection, which launched this past April, does just that. Inspired by Robbins’ move to Houston, where she began her spiritual journey with mentor Kay Richae, as well as her practice of self-acclamation, the line includes necklaces displaying words like “Goddess,” “Ambitious,” and “Self Love.” Whether you want an excuse to dress up in the comfort of your home, or maybe you want to step outside and bask in the summer heat, this collection—with pieces starting at $108—will add flair to your summer look with necklaces that will brighten up your day.
We chatted with Robbins about company impact, Black Lives Matter, her favorites from the Mantra Collection, and more.
When people get ready, jewelry is usually the finishing touch to an outfit, but you also say it represents the multitude of layers of being a woman. Can you explain that?
We are so multifaceted and it's the details. It's the things that make us tick, the things that we love, it’s the makeup of a woman. Just understanding there are so many layers to a woman, down to the very last detail of a woman.
Why is it important for you to show your support to the Black Lives Matter movement?
I am also a black woman, I have black siblings, I have black parents, and the women who support my brand are black and brown women. It is a critical time for me to spread love and stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and support black businesses. I want people to understand when we say black lives matter, it is not saying all lives don't matter. It just means we are looking for inclusion. We are looking to get the same opportunities and the same safety that a lot of people get to receive without asking.
Can you share with us a customer interaction that resonates with you to this day?
There is one woman who ordered a necklace with her and her significant other's name on it to celebrate an anniversary. A few days later she frantically emailed and called us to cancel her order. Usually when people ask to cancel their order, I ask “Why do you want to cancel?” just out of curiosity, and she broke down on her phone because she broke up with her significant other and she was heartbroken. It touched me so much, and we talked for an hour. I love connecting with customers and clients, it’s my favorite part of the business. I surprised her by sending her a necklace with the word “worthy” on it for free. She was so thankful and called me back to tell me how much it meant to her and how it helped her get through her storm. Not to say wearing a necklace with the word “worthy” will solve all your problems, but it sure does help to be reminded from time to time you are worthy.
Can you tell us how your spiritual journey inspired your Mantra Collection?
I would recite these acclamations to myself because I came here with no job, completely independent, and I was an entrepreneur. I have talked to and encountered many women who have their personal struggles. Usually when you see a woman who is coming out the other side of whatever she’s facing, it is because of some sort of faith that she has within herself. I wanted to create something to remind women you can always resort to acclamations. That's how I came up with the Mantra Collection, because it symbolizes the acclamations that got me through and also a lot of other women.
You’ve said one of your favorite pieces is the Self Love Pavé custom necklace. Why?
With self love, there have been times where my love for myself was questionable. I feel like all women go through phases. Some may say “I don’t feel like myself” or “You’re looking to have a different experience in life.” I went through that especially around my move to Houston. So when creating this particular piece, it was inspired by one of my acclamations, “I may not feel goodwill today, but I still love myself.” I just want everyone, but particularly women, to wholeheartedly love themselves because it is so important. That is how I’ve come so far in life and achieved the things that I’ve had, and built my confidence, despite my flaws.