Updated: Jan 26
Hello beautiful people and welcome to the first Brand of the Week blog post!
The most exciting and rewarding aspect of working on Pop of Culture is that I get to interact with and learn the stories of so many budding entrepreneurs and creatives! I started the brand because I found myself highly interested and inspired by other people's businesses, products, and journeys through entrepreneurship. Everyone I came across seemed so passionate and had their own story that made them unique. Because of this, storytelling was something I always wanted to incorporate into the culture of Pop of Culture. There are several ways that we will tell the stories of the brands we work with, but the easiest, most popular and highly effective way to start is through blogging. The stories told will be from brands we have worked with, meaning brands that have joined our community through participation in our popup events and through sponsorships and partnerships.
With all that being said, let's get to the juice! This week I will be highlighting a beautiful, ambitious young lady that I know personally and who popped up with us at our very first event in Brooklyn. We have vended side by side at numerous markets and events in Columbus, Ohio and let me tell y'all, her brand is dope! I hope you enjoy this quick journey into the Brand of The Week.
Five years ago, Armana Embaie started her brand called Embuyé Jewelry (pronounced Em-buy-yeh) at the young age of 23. At that time, she was a full-time student at The Ohio State University, juggling the responsibilities and expectations that most college students have--classes, work, career planning, social life, and family. Furthermore, like a lot of college students, Armana was not sure what her life would be like after college. She knew that while she was in school, she was safe. Safe from having to answer too many questions from her family about her ideas and choices, and safe from the real world --even if just for a little while. During this time, she experienced a lot of anxiety and stress due to overthinking and realizing that the journey called "adulting" was just getting started.
One of her coping mechanisms and stress relievers at the time was making jewelry. Whenever she felt anxious or was going through a hard time, she would use beading jewelry as an escape. She would become fixated on creating and finishing projects with no specific design in mind, resulting in beautiful pieces that had meaning. At first, the jewelry making was strictly a hobby that she enjoyed. But after realizing that it could be more and acknowledging that she'd been playing it safe for too long, Armana decided to step out of her comfort zone and share her art with the world.
As we all know, starting and building a brand is no easy task. For Armana, her initial experience was uncomfortable. She had to learn how to sell, step out of her introverted habits, and market her brand confidently. But as with anything, consistency is key! The more she participated in shows and markets, the more comfortable she was with speaking to the general public and sharing her story. Some other challenges she was able to overcome through consistent effort is time management and the overall organization of her business model. Fast forward to 2020 and Embuyé Jewelry is growing and making an impact. Has it been a smooth journey? Absolutely not. There have been high periods, low periods, and moments of uncertainty. On top of that, she works a full-time job, travels, and maintains a social life. But has it been worth it? YES! For Armana, jewelry is a direct reflection of her personality, heritage, culture, and story. She loves jewelry that catches the eye instantly--delicate, powerful, bold, and colorful. She considers herself blessed to have a brand that doesn't require her to step out of her truth.
"Success is nothing more than living your life according to your own truth and your own terms." --Robin S. Sharma
Along the way, her biggest support system has been her friends and family. As a first-generation Eritrean-American, having her parents witness her accomplishing her goals has been an amazing experience. They believe in her dreams and for her, that is a win! But that's not the only win she has experienced. Embuyé has grown in international sales, customer acquisition, recognition, and partnerships. Even the beautiful India Arie has worn and praised her jewelry! In the next few years, Armana plans to open her own studio, launch her nonprofit, and continue to develop her craft. At the end of the day, it's all about creating from a place of love, connecting, and making an impact.
Even though no one has all the answers on how to become a successful entrepreneur, some advice Armana would like to share with aspiring and existing business owners is as follows:
1. There is income everywhere. Invest in your peace!
2. People remember your brand if they see it enough. Be consistent!
3. Stay organized.
4. Always remember your "why". That will keep your business running when you're drained, going through your slow season, procrastinating, doubting, etc. Knowing your why will keep you focused and allow you to assess your competition differently. It's never personal.
I hope you all have enjoyed learning about Armana Embaie and her brand! To support, head to her website or Instagram to shop. Feel free to shoot her an email as well. She is always down to connect and collaborate!
Thank you for reading!
Until next time,