As part of my Woman Crush Wednesdays I have been chatting with young women in the community that have started their own small business. AyeShanti has an amazing line of hand crafted art that she designs with love and passion. Please read more about her below:
1. When did you first know that this is what you wanted to do?
I always knew I wanted to design and craft beautiful things if it was jewelry, accessories or even paper crafts – I just love to see my hands at work. I’ve always collected vintage jewelry, stones, shells and beautiful objects from a very young age. I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a jeweler but a creator of wearable art. Growing up dancing with a Caribbean company, we had to adorn ourselves with jewels and tie our heads in traditional head wraps, so I’ve always had a connection to jewelry and beautiful fabrics, which you would find in my collections.
2. What is your motivation?
My motivation to create jewelry and paper crafts has to be that I love to tell a story. There’s something about a customer wearing a piece and being inspired by it. I always want to include a pop of color, design, culture and good energy into each piece.
3. What is your proudest moment?
My proudest moment today is the solo exhibition I had at the United Nations in New York City that ran from June 16 – 20, 2014. Through various mixed-media portraits, paper installations and handcrafted jewelry, I paid homage to the women of the Caribbean specifically from the island of Grenada.
4. What has been your biggest obstacle?
My biggest obstacle is time management and being a one-woman show with Aye’ Shanti Designs. Running a business for me is the creation of each piece, packaging, advertising and motivating yourself each day that “you can do this!” I am my own team most of the time but recently thanks to the help of my mother who sews, my husband who’s a photographer, and a lovely team of family and friends, I’m able to get things done on time.
5. What advice do you have for other young ladies, interested in doing similar crafts?
Some advice I have for young women interested in doing a similar craft is one find your passion first. Always carry a journal and sketch, design and conceptualize your ideas. Be strategic about your business plans. Make weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There’s NO room for negativity when running a business. And one more thing, I think it’s important for women to support each other in the process, thanks to a few facebook groups, instagram friends and fellow businesswomen, we keep each other motivated!