We had the good fortune of connecting with Love Atiya and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Love, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own business wasn’t a new concept to me thanks to my mother and grandmother, who owned their own jewelry company named Imani Jewelry. My mother allow me to sell paper fans at the age of four, to her clients at her annual customer appreciation bbq in our backyard. By the age of 13, I was able to “retire” from my business Power Girl, where I sold decorative household items such as picture frames, candles, paintings etc. You name it? I created it. Finally, around the age of 22 I was OFFICIALLY fed up with working for “the man.” I hated working in unorganized environments, I hated the lack of free time I had and it was truly taking a toll on my overall mental health and self worth. There were several “Aha” moments that drove me to create my own businesses. One motivation came from all of the bad experiences that i’d had as a model. I created my photography company The Lens Goddess because I was tired of being harassed on set, not receiving my photos, the list was endless. Instead of quitting, I just became my own photographer. One day, I was working as a brand ambassador for a hair care company and a lot of people only bought products from me because 1. They thought I made the product or 2. They just wanted to support ME. Plus, I too was in need of hair care products that worked for MY KIND OF HAIR. I came from four generations of amazing sales women and realized there was a power within me that I hadn’t yet tapped into. That’s when Ethereal by Love Atiya was born. Ethereal by Love Atiya is cruelty free, vegan, all in one hair growth oil created to promote sustainability, self love and self care. Not only did I NEED my own products for my own self care routine but I also needed the joy of knowing that I was helping people around the world, love themselves a little more.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One thing that sets me apart and one of my favorite things about all of my businesses (The Lens Goddess, Ethereal By Love Atiya, Love Atiya Productions.) is that they ALL revolve around self love, self care or self confidence in one way or another! I am such a “If it doesn’t exist, I’ll create it” kind of person. Although it’s not an easy journey, it has definitely gotten easier because the outcome, which is personal liberation, is so worth it! I moved to Atlanta in 2016 to pursue my acting career but two years in, I felt like I hadn’t gotten as far as I thought I should’ve. I couldn’t get an agent, which meant I couldn’t book the roles I truly wanted to and I was sick and tired of having unprofessional experiences on set and being marginalized as a background actress, so I created my own production company. With the help of my mom and friend Dej on the camera, I shot, directed and starred in Pure The Series, an 85% true story based on my love life. I had one too many horrific experiences working as a model for other photographers; so I created The Lens Goddess Photography. I made it MY MISSION to make sure that every last one of my clients left their photoshoot feeling 100% better about themselves than when they began. I got tired of having to use 12 different products from 12 different brands to KIND OF get the look that I wanted for my hair, so I created Ethereal by Love Atiya and have had the BEST hair days THUS FAR. I also never realized how hard it was to find vegan AND cruelty free haircare. I always say “If your product isn’t cruelty free, it means there was some cruelty involved.” I am an animal activist before anything, so it makes me so happy to know that I am helping the world live a more compassionate lifestyle. One of my other highlights is when my clients update me on how their skin has healed after using my Ethereal Rhassoul and Turmeric Clay Mask or how their edges have grown back thanks to my Ethereal Hair Growth Oil. My clients are like family and I just want to see them win and love themselves infinitely.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If a friend were in town i’d definitely hit up every vegan restaurant and nature preserve we could! First we’d go to cafe sunflower for brunch, then slutty vegan for lunch and end the night off with Plant Based Pizzeria and maybe even get a smoothie from Wadada! The next day we’d go shopping at the Imani Jewelry studio in Smyrna and end the day off walking a nature trail in cascade nature preserve.
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’d definitely like to give a shoutout to my mother, Traci Lilly. I’ve learned almost everything I know about business thanks to her. I was homeschooled from the the 1st grade to the 12th grade. While my peers were learning about algebra, I was taking what was the equivalent of a junior year college business course. Not only did I learn my amazing entrepreneurial skills and my BOMB customer service styles from her, I was also taught how important self love is. My mom was DETERMINED to help me love my natural, kinky, 4C hair and I can honestly say, thanks to my Ethereal By Love Atiya products and thanks to her positive affirmations, this is the MOST CONFIDENT I have EVER been when it comes to my natural hair.
Other: Acting Instagram: @thefaceofloveatiya Photography Instagram: @thelensgoddess Hair Care Instagram: @etherealbyloveatiya
Photographer: The Lens Goddess
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