Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaliyah Niara.
Hi Aaliyah, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I officially started my company three years ago when I was working for my previous job. I always had a love for design, development, and animation – even as a child. With my previous job, I would create all of the business cards, and other marketing/stationery items. During the time, I was working two jobs to take care of my two sons (Jaylen and Tye) I would work as a office manager Monday-Friday, and clean bathrooms on the weekends.
After a while, as I continued to create designs at work, I realized that I could do this as my own business venture. This could be the job that I work on weekends until I am able to work for my own company full-time. Since I have always had a passion for helping to brand for company’s, each day I would design business cards for everyone at work, or flyers, and many other design projects. Once I started to take it more seriously with taking design courses online and some courses with online college; I proposed a business venture for a design business as an idea for a few partners I was working with. Sadly, it was brushed over. Which is ok. Instead of giving up, I didn’t let that stop me. So I took a leap of faith and started small. I would take little jobs here and there until I built a clientele substantial enough to walk away from my job and work for myself full-time. An that’s pretty much that gist of it! An now here I am, gratefully being able to say that I have designed for over 100 businesses.
With being in the branding and design industry, I understand the importance of how much branding can make a difference for the growth and expansion for any company. Wherever you go, whether its the supermarket or the mall, you will see branding. There’s so many different elements to what makes a company, but it starts with branding and a business plan. This is what I love helping my clients with. Whether it’s a small or larger business, I make it my top priority to showcase how important their company is to me.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has not only been bumpy, it has been quite the yellow brick road journey if I might say. Being a single mother, to two young boys (Jaylen, 11 years old, and Tye, 5 years old) living in Baltimore City with a salary that couldn’t afford daycare (which is why I had to get a second job) I didn’t have as much time to network or start my company with ease. I had many doors closed on me. I didn’t have certain essential things that are needed to invest in my company. Although, I can say even though this journey has been far from a “walk in the park” I am grateful for all of the paramount lessons I have learned throughout this time. I am stronger because of it, I am also wiser because of it.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am known for graphic design, some digital art and branding. What sets me apart from others is who I am, and my story. It also doesn’t help that I have a “secret recipe” approach to how I brand for my clients. My work ethic in itself shows how anyone who works with me will have someone who truly cares and wants to help. As they say “teamwork makes the dream work.”
Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
I absolutely love podcasts, and books. Some of favorites are; Gary Vee’s Podcast, “The Gary Vee Audio Experience.” I recommend reading “The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham. I also like “The Brand Gap” by Simon Sinek, “Abundance Now” by Lisa Nichols, “Year of Yes” by Shonda Rhimes, “Start Where You Are” by Chris Gardner, and so many other books.
I am also very inspired by Sylvia Harris (who was the first black woman graphic designer), Rihanna, Beyonce, Issa Rae, Gabrielle Union, Michelle Obama, Dana James Mwangi, Michele Washington and many businesswomen and men.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: glamhausdesigns.com
- Instagram: @glamhausdesigns and @leahniara