Who are you? Your Age? From?
My name is Yumnah Najah, I’m 18 years old and from Harlem, New York.
What do you do?
I’m an artist and owner of a hand painted jewelry line, Yumnah Najah Designs. I launched the line when I was 17 in November of 2010 and so far it has grown to include earrings, necklaces and rings.
What dreams are you working toward?
I’m working towards building Yumnah Najah Designs into a brand that encourages women to be creative and free when it comes to their style. I hope that my line will continue to represent confidence and individuality. I think it is so important that women feel comfortable in who they are internally, and for that to radiate outward into their physical appearance. I want whoever is wearing my jewelry not to be afraid to get noticed.
What motivates you to succeed?
The thought that there are so many people who have told me that they are inspired by my line and that I am going after my dreams at a young age. I don’t want to succeed just for me, I want to be able to make everyone who has helped, encouraged and supported me proud.
I also do a lot of work with teenagers in urban areas helping them utilize their creativity by starting small businesses. I hope that as my line continues to grow I can set an example of a successful business for everyone I work with and at some point be able to employ people in the community.
What has been your biggest obstacle?
No matter what field you’re in or what you’re doing, it can always be a challenge to stay encouraged and motivated on a consistent basis. I have my days when I’m so excited about the line and some days when I might feel confused about what next steps to take. In those moments, I just have to be patient with myself and stay focused on the goal ahead.
What advice would you give other young women?
It’s never too early or too late to go after your dreams! Sometimes we get convinced that success is only for a “certain group” of people, when in reality, we all deserve to be successful and the chance to live our lives to its ful potential. Don’t get tricked into believing that you’re not worthy of living the life that you dream of in your head– Just be willing to work hard to get the things you deserve.
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