My name is Betenas Abebayehu or Betty (emphasis on the “tts” because that’s the way Africans say it. I’m an Ethio-Canadian young woman who’s a curator, creative director, an upcoming and still learning makeup artists as well as a spoken word poet.
1. What is your business & why that field / service/ product?
ArtforHerSole YEG is a collective I started as a collaboration of art fashion and solidarity with Black Femmes and creating a safe space for coloured femmes. However I decided to encompass the entirety of the artistic community by rebranding and presenting the collective as more of a platform showcasing the work of Black Femme creatives while also again presenting a safe space for other coloured femmes. Why not present a platform for all artistic coloured women you may ask? Well I feel as if the Black Woman’s struggle and pain identifies a bit differently and no one really discusses the inter-minority discrimination we face alongside dealing with the system on it’s own. Our storytelling maybe similar but it is unique and has its own different roots.
2. What inspired you to start your own business?
Starting my own business as a Black Femme in this society as well as in the art world allows room for teaching in my own way while also meshing with other artistic collectives who share some similarities. That way independence is established and my voice/story is not distorted by another’s vision. Don’t get me wrong I welcome all perspectives but the respect of my own vision is present when I have something to call my own where I can establish and control, authenticity, autonomy and transparency within my brand. Alongside that I feel like growing up I didn’t have many black women to look up to especially as someone who had always had a knack for social justice and art. I hope this platform can be a learning experience for the viewers and a means of inspiration to do what you are capable and love doing to the best of your abilities.
3. Do you have a go to quote / motto?
My motto is actually a quote from a dear friend of mine: “look into your inner child to reach success”.
Art Credit: @indahbynatalie
4. What’s a personal goal of yours to accomplish?
I do wish to one day be in front of thousands of young melanin women where I can share my story and if I can’t reach to all of their hearts and ears I hope to at least change the life of one black girl who can recognize my work and tell herself “I can be like her”
5. Do you have a professional goal or set of goals for your business?
I am currently looking at building a website where I showcase the many melanin/coloured women I have interviewed and build I guess a sort of HUB for artistic/creative femmes who can in turn give advice to those who want to do the things they’re doing. Also it doesn’t stop there I hope to collaborate with the many different artistic collectives locally and eventually nationally and internationally to build this HUGE webbed network space. I’ve been currently working on side creative projects here and there and seeing how they mesh well with my collective.
6. Why do you love being an entrepreneur?
I think being an entrepreneur is in itself art. You are a creative with your ideals and projects and in your own way painting your story in your communities, audiences, relationships. It’s quite beautiful
7. Did you ever have a time where you wanted to give up? How did you overcome that feeling?
I tell you everyday is a battlefield of conversation with my own self. Every single day it’s a battle with my own self doubt and moments of downplaying my capabilities. It is never ending until I guess I stop breathing. I always feel like I could be doing more that I’m not doing enough and it’s so hard. My personal life sometimes conflicts with my creative mind and being an emotional and intuitive personal it’s just a struggle juggling it all and managing to stay sane. I’ve had breakdown..heck I still do lol but I always see other people making it and tell myself tomorrow will be better, tomorrow is a new beginning and as cliche as it sounds I’m here today telling this to you because of that mini pep talk.
8. What’s your best boss babe moment?
I think my first Boss Babe moment was when I planned this artistic photoshoot for a whole three months and there was so many moments of frustration and panic putting this together. Because I created the shoot as floral themed the weather also had to be on my side. My friend Kelsey (also my photographer) was also a great help in this so shoutout to you girl. The day of my birthday (May 4th) was when it happened and let me tell you before the shoot it was a gong show. I was planning a birthday dinner and making sure my friends (models) got their makeup and props done on time and made sure my two friends who were helping with hair and makeup (shoutout to Ejiro and Thomas) got started on the girls I wasn’t working on and at the same time restaurants were a bother and some of the girls did not show for x y z reasons. then it happened. Everyone was prepped and ready and I started directing the shoot. I felt I was alive in that moment and that was where I need to be and well Lordt was it ever a success. Let me tell you being a creative director is not easy at all but damn I pulled through and still managed to book a bomb ass restaurant for the evening (shoutout to Joeys).
9. What platform do you find most success / interaction from? (IE. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook).
I feel Instagram is the way to go. Instagram is a growing platform and people are just now stepping away from Snapchat (Facebook has been history) and I think it’s a great and creative way to get your work out there
10. Work-life Balance: What you do you do to destress? What is your must-have moment of the day?
Lord listen sistas SLEEEEP is your best friend, your lover, your husband, and your family. Don’t be playing with that sleep. There’s nothing more that calms me than getting my full 8 hours not even music (although it does come as a close second).
11. What are you looking to learn from other YEGBOSSBABES in the community?
Other YEGBOSSBABES I want to hear more about you and your journey to where you are. And OF COURSE let’s sip some tea and collaborate. Let’s help each other and let’s build up that girl power.
Interested in being featured? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org