BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Pargo to talk about her growing jewelry company, Three Beats, and her nanny-less life.
BlackEnterprise.com: How did you come up with the name Three Beats for your jewelry company?
Malaysia Pargo: The name “Three Beats” comes from my kids. My three children are the three beats of my heart. All of the pieces are fun, but high-quality, high-end luxury designs. The robot with the moving arms is my favorite piece. Reminds me of my sons.
What prompted you to take on this line of work?
I wanted my daughter to see what a woman can do. Yes it’s fine to be a stay-at-home mom, but you don’t have to just be stuck in one realm. So my daughter is the main reason. But when my son was about four, he came and said to me, “Daddy goes to work everyday. Where’s your job at?” I told him that “Mommy’s job is taking care of you,” but he wasn’t really feeling that. It was at that point that I really thought about the need to show my kids all the facets of a woman beyond just mom, even though that is a very admirable and challenging role in itself.
How did you make the transition from kid jewelry to adult pieces?
Most of the ladies really liked my pieces and asked when I would make something for grownups. I wanted to do it right, you know. You don’t want to cheapen your brand. So, we’re about 80% done with the adult line of jewelry. It should be available in time for Valentine’s Day 2013.
You partnered with well-known jeweler Jason Arasheben. How did that relationship start?
Jason has been a very good friend of my family for a few years now. He’s friends with my husband Jannero. It started out with me just making things for my family. Jason would be around and would ask my opinion on some of his work; and one day he half-jokingly said I should design for myself. So, I decided to take it seriously.
What is your actual role with Three Beats? Are you just the face or do you have a hand in the designs?
My role is that I design. I’ll be cleaning up or something and a design idea will just pop into my head. I’m not the best artist, so I’ll do my best with a sketch and description. I put thought into stone placement, white gold versus yellow gold and things like that. Then I get on the phone with the graphic designer and we work it out until it’s just right. Eventually we cast it, tweak the model and get it going.
I saw on various blogs that you designed a men’s wedding band that imprints “Married” on the finger even after it is taken off. Is that really a ring you designed or was that just online chatter?
That really is my work! Sometimes I forget I’m a public figure. I’ll just be on Instagram sharing stuff and not remembering that blogs pick up on these things. It started with me upgrading Jannero’s ring to black diamonds. We tried out the new imprint method and it worked and it looked good, so I just shared it without thinking. That will be part of the new line though.
How has being on Basketball Wives LA helped you with business?
It helps me a whole lot. It’s pretty much a free commercial. I thank VH1 and the Basketball Wives series for this opportunity. It’s good that people get to watch me grow up and evolve as a person. It’s good for the public to fall in love with that personality or whatever is presented on television. That then gives you the chance to become a trusted person for other things.
Some reality stars like Nene Leakes have parlayed reality television into scripted acting roles. How do you see yourself using your Basketball Wives visibility to further your brand?
I am interested in acting. I’m taking acting classes and voice over lessons. I’d loved to do cartoons. I used to be extremely shy. But what is there to be scared of? The fear is success. So now I feel like I’m able to speak up.
How do you find time to film, take care of your family, run a business and have alone time?
Being a mom is my main priority and producers of the show have been very understanding of that. I get up at 7 am to make breakfast and get my oldest ready for school. If I’m filming that day, my mom will come over (I don’t have a nanny) to watch the twins. I do what I need to do throughout the day, sometimes driving back for lunch to check on things and make sure all the kids are in bed by 8:30, so that’s either my alone time if Jannero is on the road or that’s our time together.
When people see you on Basketball Wives LA, what do you want them to see you as?
I want them to walk away thinking that Malaysia is a God-fearing, wonderful mother, great friend and humble spirit that’s easy to talk to. Oh and fashion forward. In this town, you have to be fashion forward too. Let’s not forget that.