We had the good fortune of connecting with Bilgah Moka-Moliki and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bilgah, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Most people would say that success is marked by the amount of money you have, the number of locations your brand is in or in today’s world, the number of social followers you’ve accumulated; but with the current positioning of the brands I’ve created, hands down the most important factor would be the Lord. He gave me the vision, gives me the strength to continue pursuing my purpose, and reminds me that it’s ok to not be the fastest to get to “point b”, but to arrive with grace, humility, and integrity. My family is also a major factor(s), They’re always supportive of my dreams and they inspire me to push harder, but keep me grounded.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have been a licensed Master Cosmetologist for the past 10 years, and people know me more for my bridal work but are surprised to learn that I also have a B.S degree in Apparel/Textile Design and Marketing from Kansas State University. Designing is my passion…but I take pride in the talent I’m cultivating right now. I am a creative entrepreneur, and the founder, and editor-in-chief of blaQbar: a digital indie magazine dedicated to spotlighting the stories of Black women in the beauty industry. It launched in August 2020 and so far has been an interesting but amazing process. It takes a lot of work to curate a magazine, especially with how particular I can be, but as a child of God, I strive for excellence. I’m really proud of not only the way it looks but the truths that are being shared; as a Black woman in the beauty industry, I have faced many challenges and I knew if I felt that way, there were others. I searched for any outlet where I could relate to others’ struggles while feeling inspired and couldn’t find one, so I created it. Sometimes, I’ll send a DM or email an individual whose work I love to see if they’d be interested in submitting their story, and the message may or may not get seen or responded to and that can be a bit disheartening. Submissions for Edition 3 are currently open and even though I don’t have a lot of submissions, it’s ok, it will still be published on the set date. Honestly, I internally struggled for some time with the thought of releasing my vision. I was worried about how it would be received and if anyone would resonate favorably with an exclusively Black publication without trying to label me as something, but I said “oh, who cares” and went for it. I got to where I am today by pushing aside my own doubts and wanting to have other talented Black women proudly stand on their pedestal and share their stories…this is not about being trendy or simply “living in the moment”, I chase legacies…blaQbar is one of mine and I’m really excited where it’s going.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Sadly, I haven’t explored too much of the city. I’m an extroverted introvert who loves being with people, but do not mind staying at home. From what I have seen, the tourist side would take them to of course see the Aquarium and somewhere like niche like Five Points or Ponce City Market…but to experience the diverse and natural beauty of the city and surrounding areas places like Lake Lanier and the Blue Ridge Mountains are great…and some beautiful vinyards up north. I love to cook so we’d most likely go to the farmer’s market (depending on when they’re coming) and make something at home, and from there we can try several of the amazing restaurants I know are here.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my father, thank you for showing me that people’s perception of you doesn’t determine who you are or where you’ll end up. To my mother, you’ve always taught me how to be a strong woman who commands respect, to do so gracefully, and to keep my eyes focused on the Lord. To my sister, you’ve shown me how to never lose my voice. To never be ashamed to be the “odd-one-out”, and to never apologize for stay true to who I am. To my brother, thank you for pushing my creativity beyond what I can see and for being my hustle partner. To my friends and long-time clients…thank you for your trust, support, crazy conversations, and for your loyalty.

Website: www.bilgahmoka.com and www.blaqbaredit.com

Instagram: @bilgahmoka and @blaqbaredit

Linkedin: Bilgah Moka-Moliki

Image Credits
Manny Moka / Hannah Marilyn Photography / Danielle Durbin / McSween Photography

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