We had the good fortune of connecting with Kady-Ann Blake and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kady-Ann, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve always been the child that couldn’t choose one thing and hated taking orders from anyone other than my Parents. Whether it be music & dance, fashion, beauty, writing and even nature—I loved it all and I did it all. I imagined myself being a master of all things and showcasing it for my living. As I got older, I tried the more traditional route, with the end goal of scoring a high paying salary being a lawyer or accountant. I found myself unhappy and would turn to things I enjoyed in my childhood to get relief. That’s when it clicked—”I am ART”. Art holds no bounds, it’s expansive with no limits, and you report to yourself. I knew if I tried to do anything to fit into what society deemed as success, I wouldn’t reach my destiny. I realized the child I was is still who I am and all of what I loved is still what I love today. I’m meant to do it all without confining myself to a box and I definitely won’t thrive choosing just one thing. Yes, I may have to start one venture and allow it to grow before I start a next but, as long as I am going after all the things my heart desires and expressing my craft then, I’m happy.
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.
One of my many passions that I’ve turned into a business is servicing women to feel and look their best. I currently am the magic behind “The Gem Way” which is a lash technician business. Being immersed into many things has allowed me to not make my lash business mundane but, everything that I stand for. I can say that I recreated not just any regular lash business but, a home for lashes, luxury, and love. Keeping my vision and focus upon myself by putting on my blinders has allowed me to not follow the next best thing or what everyone else is doing. This is what allows me to set myself apart from others because nothing that I do can be recreated. It’s real and it’s authentic. When you stay true to yourself, you’ll never have to worry about competition or rivalry because I only want to be a better me.
I began lashing way back when I was around 15, 16 by doing my own lashes. I would then go on to doing my friends and even some family members. I always seen beauty as a passion but, I’d never know that it would manifest into me doing lashes professionally. It wasn’t until someone said to me that I do really good lashes and should take it seriously. That’s when I began to research and dive deeper into how to run a business and be a lash tech. I eventually decided to go for it and at the age of 20, I took my first lash class. I soon started my own business March 2021. I stopped in June 2021 because no one was supporting me and I felt like I was putting in hard work in return for nothing. I felt like a failure and was crushed.
I tried again in July 2021 but, I just felt like I was in a relationship and didn’t know myself so, I made another heartbreaking decision to stop.
I had to dive deep into myself and learn some lessons that at times you just don’t want to accept. I knew I couldn’t give up on something I knew I wanted. I felt so set aside but, I soon seen I was set apart. I realized I can’t wait for support from others. I had to support myself and know that God and the Universe had my back 1000%. I was so scared to start my business again and to do it in the way which sat right with me. I knew it was all or nothing. It was either I jumped over the fence and ran into the field or stay straddling the fence and still be on the other side just wishing. Faith without works (and risks) is dead. “Scared money don’t make no money” and I was willing to go broke for my baby to thrive (which I did). So, I went for it and didn’t look back. I started once more in Oct 2021 and I can say I’m the happiest I’ve ever been because I didn’t turn my back on myself. The power of patience and grit is what got me started again. I was and still am willing to fall 1,000 times if I have to for something I believe but best believe, I’ll get up 1,0001.
Now, I can say I’m in it through whatever and anything & I’m excited on where my business and art will be at a year from now.
You have to be in the right mind frame.
You have to be resilient.
You have to believe in yourself or no else will.
You have to understand the power you withhold and KNOW you already have
everything you want. It’s not far from you—It’s yours.
And most importantly FAITH. You can’t expect an overnight gratification nor can you see what others are receiving and feel like you’re way back behind everyone. It’s you and you alone so scratch the concept of a race or competition. Your time will come when it’s YOUR TIME. Be patience and put your 1010%—it’ll all be worth it I promise.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Here in NYC, there are so many things to do! First we’d have to check out insomnia cookies in Harlem because, baby, their cookies are everything! Ocean Prime and Jue Lan in the city are best for their food and drinks. At Jue Lan, I’d have to recommend getting the fried rice and a Dusse Colada. Don’t forget to catch some pictures there too by their graffiti wall. At Ocean Prime, if you’re a wine person, you will definitely have to ask your waiter to let you do a wine taste testing. Also, their sushi and lamb are everything.
For night life, for some nice vibes and hookah, Babylon in the city is nice. For a upbeat, fun vibes, Kimoto in Brooklyn is your all in one spot for great hookah, music, food, and drinks, The staff there is amazing!
Oh and Frames is so much fun. They have bowling, games, and so much more. If you’re with a group they also have packages.
Lastly, if you can drive, drive to Six Flags and have a ball! Rollercoaster, funnel cake, and winning bears will seal the deal.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give thanks to my Mother, Father, Sam Sam, Kai, Kayla, Kiana, and Darien but, most importantly, my Lord almighty and amazing Universe. They’ve seen me at my worst, my best, and they’ve always pushed me beyond my limits. Thank you to anyone who I have met that noticed the greatness in me that I just couldn’t see myself. Thank you for all those who have patronized my business since I began. I’m grateful for all the no’s and everyone who said I couldn’t. Every person and experience along my journey has given me wisdom and has made me blossom into everything I’m meant to be and do. I also have to add, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho has done wonders for my mind.
Oh—let’s not forget therapy! A healing/healed mind can do things they’ve never imagined.
Instagram: @itsthegemway | Business @__kayy.luxe | Personal
Facebook: The Gem Way