We had the good fortune of connecting with Imani Watts and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Imani, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote that I live by everyday is, “Everything happens for a reason”. This quote has always held a special place in my heart since I was a young girl. I once thought that there was a such thing as coincidences or serendipity. But as I grew older, I found that to be untrue. I am a firm believer in God, and I know that his timing is never wrong. Knowing this, I was then able to understand that nothing in my life happens without intention, whether it be good or bad, there is always a lesson to be learned. This has ultimately pushed me to live everyday to its fullest extent and without regrets, because I never know when it will be my last. What I love most about this quote is knowing that my life is already planned out, and all I have to do is be myself authentically, and everything else around me will fall into place. I am constantly reminded that I am on the right path.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When thinking about how I define myself, I always find it extremely difficult. I hate to place myself into a box or category because I know that I am not that simple. I am a complex being in so many ways. The best way to define myself and my art is, undefinable. I always say that I am a creative chameleon. I find myself constantly changing, adapting, and evolving into a better version of myself, and that is what makes me different. I am a dancer, choreographer, entrepreneur, but more importantly, a creative. I live to create, and that expands to all areas of my life. I love to start businesses that benefit the Black community, and above all, I love to create opportunities for others. I knew this about myself once I understood the privilege that I carry. Throughout my life, I have had so much access to opportunities, and I strive to create those same if not more opportunities for those around me. Nothing in life comes easy, and that is something that I learned and fell in love with. I fell in love with handwork, and the reward of it. I have over come so many challenges in going into my career, because of who I am. I am a Black woman, and there is nothing easy about that. I overcame every challenge I was faced with by trusting in God’s plan for my life. Along the way, I have learned that as a Black woman, you have to work twice as hard to be half as good. It is the sad reality, but I do not sit in that reality and let it hinder me anymore than it should. I fell in love with entrepreneurship because I want to change that narrative, and create spaces for those who look like me, rather than try my entire life to fit into a space where I was never and will never be welcomed. I want the world to know that nothing I do is for personal gain, everything I do is for those before me and after me.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
As a recent graduate of Spelman College class of 2020, I can say that I still do not feel like I explored the city of Atlanta enough. I have been here for about four and a half years, but Los Angeles is home. Growing up in Los Angeles California, the possibilities are endless! As a creative myself, I love the arts whether it be performing or visual. Some of my favorite spots in LA are Downtown and Fairfax/Melrose. In DTLA there are so many places to explore, whether it be restaurants, museums, or just the city itself. On Fairfax and Melrose, the streets are filled with different fashionable stores, and an overall carefree environment. The best part of LA is how large and diverse it is. There are so many places to visit, and everyday I find new places to explore.

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 give a special shoutout to God because nothing in my life would be possible without him. Secondly, I would like to shoutout the most amazing parents that I have, for their endless support in all of my endeavors. They have provided me with the knowledge and opportunities that I would not have received anywhere else. I am a product of them, and I am extremely grateful. Lastly, I would like to shoutout my alma mater, Spelman College. Spelman has helped mold and shape me into the woman that I was meant to be, and I am forever indebted.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/imanibelen/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/imaniw9
Other: http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-imani-watts-choreographer-dancer/ http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-imani-watts-imani-apparel-west-end/