Ashantia's Shade

Today is the 1 year anniversary of Shades and it felt like the right time to open up about myself and my motivations for the brand. I am thankful for all the support you have give Shades this far and hope to only grow from here.

What does "Stand in Your Shade" mean to you?

It means being unapologetic about who you are and the space you take up in this world. It's about finding joy and love in the face of adversity and using your ambition to achieve success.

Who inspires you and why?

This may be a vain answer but lately I am inspired by myself. I spent a long time being my own worst critic and now I can look back at the decisions I've made, good and bad, and find lessons in them. I'm inspired by my dedication to being "better." I want to be a better friend, a better family member, a better woman. Now I know that the mistakes that come with growth are okay. I was put on this earth to learn, not to be perfect.

Shades focuses on love, success, ambition, and joy. What do you need more of and what are you thriving in?

I'm thriving in ambition but I need more joy. Lately I feel like I am in auto pilot. I can go through a whole day and barely remember what I did. I'm working on being more intentional with my time and finding the small joys in every day.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten or your favorite quote?

"You are your best thing" Toni Morrison

I love the quote because because often we look to outside forces to define our worth. It's not that job, that degree, that bag or your partner. It's YOU. You are your best thing.

How does your identity/background impact the work that you do?

I started Shades as a platform to uplift Black women. In the beginning I posted a lot more about issues that impact us and my day to day experiences. This is important because we need a safe space to share our stories. With my fulltime job and school I've gotten away from this but I hope to continue writing soon. I know how isolating it can be as the only Black woman in spaces. I want women to come to the Shades website and feel seen.

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