We had the good fortune of connecting with Imani Baylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Imani, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Besides deciding to work for myself, the most important decision I have made that contributed to my success is living in the Bay Area permanently after graduating college. I went through so many life changing experiences that shaped who I am today. I don’t think I would have pursued a lot of the things I have done if I made the decision to move back home or somewhere else. When I first moved here during my freshman year of college it felt like home immediately. I felt that I can truly be myself, explore different opportunities, and take advantage of every moment. I worked various jobs and got involved in anything to build my network. I made connections in school, campus events and parties, and especially through work. I get my hustle mentality from my mom and living in the Bay Area you have to have many sources of income to survive. Therefore, I had many jobs which led to my network expanding. I discovered that I had many talents and it was all about narrowing them down and seeing which would make me money. Then, I figured out they can all make me money if I found a creative way to turn my passions into a paycheck. Years later, I have now found my passion for curriculum design, owner of an online boutique and craft business, as well as a founder of a media website. All in which probably wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t make the life changing decision to stay in the Bay Area. I did the groundwork to put myself out there and really bust my tail to create my brand and it is all paying off.
What should our readers know about your business?
I own 3 businesses: Eccentric Vibes a clothing boutique, The I.M.A.N.I. Project providing educational consultations, and Queen Media Collective a media website staffed with writers that are women of color. What I want the world to know about my brand is that I am always putting on for my people of color. My boutique is all about loving and accepting your culture. There was a time when black folks didn’t find it appealing to be black. Now we are in this great awakening and people are proud of who they are and where they come from. My boutique pays homeage to black fashion and style because we are the epicenter of anything culturally. The I.M.A.N.I. Project came about when I was working in schools and there were so many white teachers who didn’t know how to teach inner city youth. I was tired of being the one who didn’t have a teaching credential coming to the rescue of these teachers making salaries to deal with the “bad students.” I created a program and curriculum based on what I thought children of color needed to feel accepted, smart, and joyful when it came to education. Lastly, Queen Media Collective is a platform my business partner and I wanted to give a voice and share our stories our way. During these unprecedented times, it is more important for us to tell our narratives our way. Plus, we provide media services for entrepreneurs and creatives giving them a platform to share their craft with the world. What all 3 businesses have in common is that I am constantly trying to uplift my people in the most positive way with fashion, education, and promotion. No one can ever say I haven’t did anything for my community. My brand speaks for itself.
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?
Monday: Rent a boat at Lake Chabot Tuesday: Wine Tasting in Livermore Wednesday: Horseback riding in Half Moon Bay Thursday: Cruise down the coast to Carmel By the Sea Friday: Karaoke at Round 1 Saturday: Hayward Farmer’s Market and walk at the Hayward Shoreline Sunday: Laney Flea Market I don’t eat out much so we would go to Costco and create an entire menu to cook up.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout my family for always supporting my wild ideas. I don’t make any moves until I consult with my them. They push me creatively and is the main reason for all of my success.
Photos By Roberto Zavala – Capture The Bay Photography
Nominate someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.