If you didn’t know already, I am in school for Digital Cinematography, and now that your face looks puzzled I’ll say Filmmaking. I’ve completed my AS and will be wrapping up my BS in Spring of 2020. When I began school I felt so motivated and accomplished. I finally had something that I wanted to do, knew I was meant to do, and was taking the necessary steps to do it. I was doing what so many don’t do in their life, I was pursuing my passion. I took some time off from school after baby #3 and made the decision this year to jump right back in and continue going after my dreams. I was so thrilled to begin again and take my education and career to the next level. Soon after my classes began, and I’m talking real soon, that passion and fire I had, flickered out.
Film has always made my eyes sparkle. Working in front of and behind the camera is just built in my DNA, and yet, there I was getting ready to put the final touches on a school project and my heart was not in it. I sat on the edge of my bed and asked myself, “Is this what I want to do? Do I really want this anymore? God, am I meant to do this?” I questioned everything. I sat there consumed and confused, not feeling so sure about my future and the journey I signed up for. I kept telling myself that I couldn’t quit no matter how I felt, that even if I didn’t want to do it anymore, I could not quit, not being so close, I could not quit.
I even tried to look at old school projects I created that always helped encourage me and spark a big flame in me, but while watching I felt no connection. I just became indifferent noticing that I once was so passionate and sure about film. I then did what I know to do when I have questions, I prayed. I prayed daily asking God what I should do and if film was a part of His will for my life. Two things I do not like doing that goes hand in hand: wasting time, and messing up. Now look, I know we all make mistakes, but dude I do not like making mistakes when it comes to life decisions. I’m like, God, I wanna get it right the first time.
I continued to seek God and hoped for some form of an answer. I was hoping for a loud voice to just say, “Shervyse, do this….” That would have been wild and cool, but it did not happen. You see about a year ago God had given me clear instructions on what He has called me to do, and every since that moment I questioned all my future plans. I thought what he called me to do, was ALL I was meant to do. I became excited and confused at the same time, but God is not the author of confusion. So I became stuck. Constantly asking God for more, more information, more details, more instructions, because again, I do not like to waste time or mess up.
So what happened next? Come close, I’ll tell you…..
I was watching television one night and this show was advertised and I just shook my head and said, “There has got to be better”. Clear as day I heard If you won’t, then who will? I just started to cry, cause y’all know I’m an excellent crier! God began to minister to me and tell me that I was meant to do my dreams and that He placed them there. Yes, I’m still meant to do my calling, and also, my passion because He gets the glory in both; and I get to use the gifts He placed in me. God shared with me that I was never meant to do just one thing, that I wasn’t made like that, and that I always had huge dreams that included so many different avenues, but they all always were about helping his people. He told me that He trusts me, and I’m just filling with tears again.
Guys so many times I feel unworthy and so small and I think how can I, and how will I, and God constantly tells me and sends people to tell me that I will. In my moments of weakness I look at my own strength and forget that it is through Christ that I can do ALL things. God took time out of His day to speak life into lil ol’ me. He knows my every desire and when our will matches His will, all doubts are cancelled out!
In this season I gotta put my blinders on and stay focused. I’m looking to the hills where my help comes from, my help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth! Y’all better get ready because this flickering flame has been stabilized and I’m ready to set some things ablaze.
We all have heard the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”. As I’ve gotten older and allowed myself to freely dream big, I realized something, the dreams I’m pursuing now, I could have pursued in my youth. You don’t have to wait until you’re 18, 21, or 30 to step out and pursue your passions. Nia Phillips, CEO of Ni’Abri Beauty is living proof of that. She is a 16 year old entrepreneur! What were we doing at 16? What were we doing yesterday?! Nia is showing youth and adults to not just dream, but make those dreams become your new reality.
Nia shared with me the important role her mother played in her pursuing being an entrepreneur. As a parent it was so refreshing to know that the lessons we try to teach our kids, they are listening. The influence we have on our children is one of great importance. We have to daily speak life into them and encourage them to be all that God has for them to be.
“My mother always taught my sister and I that there are many roads that lead to success. She taught us that we have options in life and being an entrepreneur was an option…”
Nia was able to take heed to the lessons her mother taught her and now holds the title of CEO of her own beauty company. I recently completed a leadership course that dealt with the need for more women to be in leadership positions. I am so glad to see a young woman learning early, that she can!
The Ni’Abri Beauty company aims to help women enhance their natural beauty. I just have to share with you what is on the website:
Ni'Abri Beauty believes that beauty products should compliment your natural beauty. Beauty starts within and cosmetics is only an addition to enhance your inner natural glow.
I thought it was so powerful that there was a company that teaches women you are already beautiful, we are here to simply highlight that beauty that shines from within you. As a teen I felt the pressure to look a certain way, but I was stubborn. While everyone was concerned about long straight hair and their weaves I cut my hair off and rocked afro puffs. I know so many young girls feel even more pressure “to be”. With the rise in social media and so many falling prey to their peers rating them (some kids have been bullied by others saying how good looking they are on a scale of 1-10). The media tells girls you have to look this way, dress like this, and speak like that in order to fit in, in order to grow a following, and for people to like you. Hogwash! Nia shared with me that she too felt society’s pressures.
“..Around 7th and 8th grade, I never felt beautiful. I constantly looked and talked down about myself”.
Nia stated that she doesn’t want others to go through life feeling the way she did. Her desire to help spread the message of self-love and confidence is what her brand represents, and I am here for it. As much as I loved being different and not letting others dictate how I looked, I still had those moments in life just like Nia. I think many women and men can relate. Nia then shared a lesson she learned with me, that little does she know, was just what 29 year old me needed to remember that day.
“……Trying to be like someone else is meaningless. Now I only want to be like myself and appreciate my unique traits”.
Y’all, this is coming from a 16 year old. Imagine if at 16, we all learned that lesson. There are so many people including myself, that fall into that comparison trap. It’s a fight to come out and stay out, but we must. God designed you to be just as you are, and before you start worrying about worth, and do you matter, you must know that you matter to God 1st! Peoples opinion of you change with the weather, but God constantly believes you are the flyest of them all. I always say, one day you just gotta know you’re dope!
Stepping out and starting a company is no easy task. Sometimes our own fears can get in our way, or even the naysayers can cause us to allow doubt in. Nia shared with me that when her company began although she had the support of her family, her peers were not all on board.
“Some of my so-called friends have belittled and doubted me simply because they think having a business is a dumb idea. They feel I should just get a job like everyone else. Jobs are great, but I have a bigger vision for myself”.
You better speak that lil sis! You cannot expect small minded people to understand big ideas. In the Black community it is so important for us to have bigger visions for ourselves as Nia does. We have to teach our children to not just get a job, but to create jobs. Teach them working for a great company is awesome, but man, owning your own is amazing. Let’s stop living for securing today, and look to create generational wealth. I want my children’s children to benefit from the decisions my husband and myself make today.
Nia says she always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Being a beauty brand owner wasn’t even on her list though. She had a conversation one day with her mother about selling lip gloss and the company evolved from there. After you read this article and share it of course; sit down and start conversations that provoke ideas, stir up gifts, and cause dreams to arise. I asked Nia what she would say to youth that question starting a business at such a young age.
“I would tell them that there is no need to wait. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be on the road to creating the path toward fulfilling your dreams…….Waiting in my opinion, would be one of the worst things you could do. Time waits for no one. The idea you have today, may be taken tomorrow by someone else. Do it now”.
Ms. Nia dropping gems left and right on us! She shared with me something so profound about why it is such a great idea for youth to be business owners. She stated that while you are young, you are full of passion, energy and creative ideas; and you do not yet have adult concerns weighing on you. Its reminds me of the Lord telling us to have child-like faith. Youth simply believe, and just like a baby learning to walk, they never give up. As parents we have to be their big supporters. Nia shared words of wisdom for parents as well.
“Do your best to support your child. As crazy as the idea may sound, don’t belittle an idea and say it's not possible. Anything is possible. A simple idea can end making your child millions. Be supportive”.
Nia began to share with me the that there are victorious moments in business and tough moments. She shared how wonderful it was when she had hit her 100th order and how tough it can be to manage time between school and running the business. She has been given the grace to operate at a great pace and has been learning the important lesson of time management. Nia has big plans for her company and I am so excited to watch it continue to grow and impact lives around the world. To not just have a great product, but to have a company that serves a great purpose is truly beautiful. Ni’Abri Beauty will become a household name and will be sold in stores everywhere. It will not just be sold nationwide, but will become a global brand, Nia declared, and I agree!
Nia’s company talks about shining within and she is living it out daily. Remember the name Nia Phillips, and support the company Ni’Abri Beauty. Nia is not just a CEO, she is also a math loving teen artist, who enjoys vegan sushi! Y’all can see why she’s my people, right?!
Here’s what I want you to do. Head over to her site and get your shopping on! Ni’Abri Beauty is not only known for their great lip gloss, but their bomb mink lashes as well. Nia told me the most popular glosses are Influencer and Modest. The top selling lashes are Havana.
Nia also has a blog on the site, so be sure to check out more of her gems of knowledge she drops all the time over there and company updates.
Thank you Ms. Nia Phillips for being brave enough to step out on faith, and bold enough to change the way the world views cosmetics. You shed so much light and are glowing proof of what it means to make dreams become a reality. What is in store for you is great things. It was an honor to interview such a game changer! Keep being beautiful you. Much Love.
Ni’Abri Beauty Website:
Ni’Abri Beauty Instagram:
Ni’Abri Beauty Facebook: