My name is Imani Bilal. I’m 28 years old, from DC by way of MD by way of NYC. I move around a bit!
What do you do?
I’m a creator. I prefer the term “creator” because I believe we deposit pieces of ourselves into the things we create. Creations come from a place of soul and spirit and therefore become “alive” with whatever we put into them. I design and create accessories for Venus Visuals, an out of the box accessory line founded by my sister (Muslimah Bilal) and I in January of 2009.
What dreams are you working toward?
I’m working towards expanding Venus Visuals into an entire movement that encourages, supports, and teaches young ladies how to be creative, independent thinking, business minded women. I am also working towards increasing our national and international presence. We recently received our first set of contracts with boutiques and department stores in Japan. This is a dream come true, and served as validation that all things are possible. I would like to continue to expand globally, to eventually open my own boutique, and to be inspired by and inspire as many people as possible on the way!
What motivates you to succeed?
People who say I won’t or can’t! Haha! Seriously though…negative people definitely motivate me and I end up pushing myself even harder. The stories of people who are successfully living their dreams after struggling with so many different types of adversity inspire and motivate me to continue on when things get rough. There are so many people who are watching, pushing, and encouraging me. There are so many people who asked how to start with jewelry making, or have asked how they too can start their own business. All these things/people motivate me and I work hard not to let anyone down. I want my success to be a collective celebration. I eat, we eat. That’s what it’s all about!
What has been your biggest obstacle?
I am a mother, wife, college student, and the list goes on. It can be a lot to juggle. There are days I feel like giving up, there are times I get discouraged, but I always re-center and refocus myself. My biggest obstacle is being patient with ME, and allowing myself to go through the rough points…as they are natural bumps we will all encounter one way or another on our respective journeys.
What advice would you give other women?
Be absolutely fearless. Be absolutely confident. Be absolutely humble. Love hard. Work hard…and be kind.
Great advice Imani. Check out Imani’s accessories at Venusvisuals.com and leave her some love in the comments!