You are your greatest creation -🖤 By Arial Elliott
ConGradulations Queen: A JOB - Just. Over. Broke.
In the African American community; parents often tell their children to "Get a good education so you can get a good job." Good jobs are cool, but what if I can go above and beyond and provide the jobs? From a young age, I knew that employer was on the goal, not employee.
Now, I did understand that I would have to be an employee first, THEN an employer. I wasn't privileged enough to skip certain steps or fall into boats loads of money so plan B it was. I knew I had to work twice or three times as hard being that the odds are already stacked against me from birth. I'm African American and I'm a woman.
Everyday I had to remind myself that I am my greatest creation.
I've always had the mindset that I need more than one "hustle" to live comfortably, JOB (just over broke). I've been working since my 16th birthday. After high school, I went to community college while working 1-2 jobs at the same time. The work ethic was always there. Fast forward 10 years and those seeds I planted are starting to bloom.
The end of summer 2016, a friend of mine was selling dad hats. I liked the hat but I wanted my name on it. He was unable to create a personalized hat for me. About a month later I decided to try making custom hats on my own, just for me. I made a few, then one of my really close friends told me I should sell them, another (hustle). He purchased my first hats. He then told his friends, who then wanted to purchase too! October of 2016, Innovative Designs By: A was created (IDA). The vision for my brand was custom, different from anything u see, personalize, NOT mass production. IDA is an extension of me, a constant reminder that I am my greatest creation.
While attending Mercy college as a senior, IDA grew before my eyes. Everyone wanted one of my creations! The feeling was truly priceless. One fond moment I have was when I had delivered a hat to a little girl. She was super excited and when she pulled the hat out of the bag, she started crying. This brought tears to my eyes instantly. I would of never thought I would have such an impact to generate tears! I was absolutely blown away! Another reminder to stay humble and work hard.
This truly inspired me to keep pushing, keep grinding. The pressure was so intense with school, work and my brand, often I just wanted to hide under a rock. I would have to miss family events and outings just to handle business. But I already knew I would have to work twice or three times as hard, the goal is employer not employee.
I am my greatest creation.
In April I was invited to participate in a local pop up shop. This is where locals come together and create an atmosphere for other locals to purchase their product, to network and gain exposure. I was ecstatic about the opportunity and then came the pressure. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong but in the end it was worth every second. Success is never a straight path. It looks more like a toddlers scribble!
Today I stand before you with an associates and bachelors degree in business administration. In one year I will have my masters degree. My parents told me to get an education so you can get a good job. I got an education so I can provide good jobs.
Employer, not employee.
I am my greatest creation. You are your greatest creation. 🖤