We had the good fortune of connecting with Sahaar Lyles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sahaar, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I came up with the idea for Nubian Impulse over summer break from college. I remember walking into the local CVS – and in the entire rack of magazines there was not ONE just for people of color. To me it revealed a lot, about the area I lived in, its disconnect to its neighbors and more importantly, the lack of representation overall. I pictured all the little black girls that probably frequent that store and subconsciously take notes from that rack.
I started off (and still am) as a neo-soul, hip hop artist, and the lack of venues / platforms promoting black art was one of the main factors in why I started the business. I had no idea where it was gonna develop but I knew I needed to start somewhere.
I merged my passion for art, music, fashion, and culture into one place – and I knew If I existed with these thoughts and feelings about media and publication, my target audience was out there feeling the same way. It really wasn’t a matter of if I could, it was a matter of how and when. The support has continued to grow throughout the years and I hope to keep sharing black stories and art in our community and the diaspora at large.
Nubian Impulse is an online publication (and boutique) that celebrates black and brown people in art, fashion, music, media, and more!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m proud of the growth of Nubian Impulse and from me as a person. A lot of transitions happened in the 5 year span of finding my ‘secret sauce’. I got married and became a mom, I lost a baby during the first trimester, then we went on to have our rainbow babies. I lost my father and my favorite uncle, and through all the ups and downs, I remained prayed up. I always pulled on my elders, my community and loved ones for guidance. I am proud of myself for never giving up on my goals and using those moments as weight-lifts.
My brand is for the creative melanin queen, the goddess awakening to her power, the black artist-business-owner, my brand is a story of what overcoming your challenges looks like, seeing a need and creating something new, and not letting temporary set backs distract you from your divine mission. I’ve learned that its not important when you arrive, but the knowledge and wisdom you carry with you along the way.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would probably take my bestie to Savoy (black owned club/lounge) or Level Up Studios – a creative dance/art studio and venue space. We could grab tacos and watch some of the amazing local talent from pittsburgh
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wanna dedicate my shoutout to Chi Ilochi, she has always been a beautiful spirit. She’s the embodiment of Nubian Queen energy. I also want to shoutout Level Up Studios, the African American Music Institute and 1Hood Media for creating spaces in which artists / creatives can develop their talent and unique voice.
Instagram: www.instagram.com/nubianimpulse (@nubianimpulse)