We had the good fortune of connecting with Dajanay DTonyo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dajanay, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand and my personal success is my relationship with God. I know it has become a trendy thing to say God is my CEO, but it reigns true for me and my business. I am nothing without Him! As a creative, I am constantly pouring into my clients and making sure that I am always operating in integrity, love, and excellence. If I don’t spend time with God and make sure that I am my best self, I am not able to be effective in my business. My relationship with God has grown tremendously especially during a time where I first started my healing journey from childhood trauma amongst other things. I had to begin healing from things like rejection and abandonment. Especially as a business owner, the same way money magnifies who you really are, running a business will do the same. Some people who decide to start businesses and have no sense of identity will end up replicating someone’s else’s brand which usually results in failure. It is vital that I stay connected to God, the creator, because through Him my identity is secure. Once I am confident with who I am, success is inevitable!
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?
Whew! Okay, so I started my business when I got fired from my job in 2018. I didn’t know what I was going to do but I knew working another 9 to 5 was not the answer. But then reality set in and I realized I had bills, so I put in over 300 job applications. I went on dozens of interviews and I would always make it to the last round of interviews and never get the job. God then reminded me that this was what I prayed for. From there, I started my business. I didn’t wait until it was perfect, I just used what I had–an iPad and a broken laptop that I had to plug up to my TV in order for it to work. But I didn’t let that stand in the way of me becoming an entrepreneur. Fast forward to 2021, I am in year 3 of my business and still haven’t worked a job since 2018. What sets my business apart from others is my audacity to be authentic in my business. A lot of people try to create a facade especially when it comes to having a brand but what my clients love most about my brand is how relatable I am. Someone may try and replicate my brand aesthetic or my designs but they could never replicate my personality. I also genuinely care about my clients and don’t look at them as a dollar sign or a number; their success is my success. Lastly, I incorporate my faith in my business which I know it is very risky because everyone doesn’t believe in the same thing. However, I believe that apart of my purpose is being a light and there is a tribe that is specifically created for me and my business. I am most proud that I am the first person in my family to become a full-time entrepreneur and I am paving the way for generations to come! I got where I am today with a lot of prayer lol taking big leaps of faith, not being afraid of the word “no”, and keeping in the back of my mind my “why”. My “why” is to create generational wealth for my family and also to add to the increase and sustainability of minority women owned businesses. The reason I create is so much bigger than me. Was it easy? No but everyday, I get to wake up and have the freedom to choose how I want to spend my day. Having that type of freedom is worth the sacrifices, long nights, and countless hours staring at my laptop. I overcome challenges by changing my perspective; challenges and hardships are just an opportunity to learn. Without failure, you will never learn how to succeed and how to pivot when things seem impossible. I’m sure 2020 has taught us all a thing or two about that. I’ve learned to give myself grace when I don’t achieve EVERY goal I set out to accomplish, the ability to adjust to any situation, how to think quick on my feet and handle conflict, and the power of resting. We live in a world where everything is about hustling and grinding but resting is just as important. My purpose is to empower and liberate women from their own limitations so they can live a life a purpose, fulfillment, and God-given power. Through my business, I am able to help women across the world fulfill their purpose while I fulfill mine!
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?
Sunday-Definitely brunch @ Milk & Honey Cafe, Founding Farmers, or FirstWatch Spend the week visiting sites downtown, go to Navy Yard and have a picnic on the water and grab some ice cream, and eat at some local restaurants like Oohs and Aahs, Bus Boys & Poets, etc. Saturday-Go to a nice restaurant that plays Jazz with great food
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to shoutout my little sister Jazmine Berrien! She was the one who encouraged me to start my business and gave me the push I needed. I never believed that my work was good enough for anyone to pay for it, let alone start a business. But she saw greatness in me when I didn’t see it in myself. Thanks Jazmine 🙂