There are few people in the design community who represent happiness, color and fun the way does. Her upbeat attitude, confidence and fearless embrace of sparkle and shine have made her one of my favorite women in business to follow online. So for today’s Black History Month spotlight, I’m focusing on Amina and her smile-inducing work at . Read on after the jump to learn more about Amina and her work — and catch an excerpt of her interview from In the Company of Women! xo, grace
Photography by for
I first discovered Amina’s work in 2015 when Garrett did a home tour with Amina, her husband Salvatore and their two pups. I soaked up every colorful, shine-covered detail and immediately started following Amina online where I got to learn more about her and her work. In addition to ‘s collection of festive piñatas, banners and decorations, Amina sells a range of inspiring self-confidence-building designs like her JBYFS (Just be your f*cking self) shirts. Those were the pieces that touched me the most, especially after learning about Amina’s battle with a life threatening eating disorder and depression. Amina explains,
“I spent many years as a spectator; always on the outside watching, trying to figure out a way to fit in. That desire to be a part of something was so strong, that I was willing to do anything (Including erase myself completely), if I thought that it would help me get ‘inside.’ Fortunately, those days are SO over! After embarking on a long journey of self-discovery (which included years of therapy), I finally found the courage to love myself, and with that came so much of what I had been chasing for what seemed like my entire life. Self-acceptance is difficult and I sometimes still struggle, but it is the only true path to freedom that I know.”
I could not agree more, and I so admire her journey and the way she’s boldly shared it with others through her work and communication online. So today I’m celebrating her work and strong voice and sharing an excerpt from Amina’s interview in — I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. xo, grace
What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting off? (Or a piece you’re glad you ignored?)
I really didn’t get any business advice when I was starting out. But many people told me to go back to school which I totally ignored. To be totally honest, most people merely saw a 27-year-old unemployed college dropout making crafts, but not necessarily a potential business. I’m glad I followed my own instincts.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
My favorite thing about our studio is the amazing natural light and of all of the windows. When all of the windows are open, it often feels like we’re floating through the sky. It’s pretty dreamy.
What does success mean (or look like) to you?
Success for me means loving and accepting myself and using my creativity to have a positive effect on the world around me.
What quotation or saying inspires you and motivates you to be yourself and do what you love?
“You alone are enough, you have nothing to prove to anybody” – Maya Angelou
Saying that to myself frees me of the burden of trying to create for other people.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?
I think I would have taken myself seriously a lot sooner. I didn’t really have any business experience before this and when I started selling my designs and orders started to quickly roll in, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought it was just okay to wing it and figure things out as I go. I’ve learned that even a little bit of preparation and research goes a long way in life and especially in business.
What is the characteristic about yourself you’re proudest of?
That I allow myself to be vulnerable. That alone has helped me to live a life that I never dreamed was possible.