We had the good fortune of connecting with Adaobi Mozie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adaobi, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I think Nigerians have a very innate entrepreneurial spirit at heart so I’ve always had the mindset of being my own boss. Both of my parents have been self employed business owners my whole life so the idea of clocking in or having someone else controlling my time and level of income had never been in my sphere of thinking. It was always just a matter of which skills I can hone in to become lucrative enough to sustain my lifestyle and goals. I became fully conscious of wanting to start my own business around the age of 13-14 when I became more confident in my artistic abilities and understood the power I had to create the life I wanted for myself. But I had that stereotypical African parental pressure to become a doctor or lawyer and find a stable career that I can work in till I retire. But there were no real professions presented to me that felt could encompass my ideas and talent. So even though I was encouraged to take a more traditional route, it was just never an option for me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The best part about my career is that I am carving my own lane for myself. Growing up, I genuinely didn’t know what I was going to do as an adult. I just didn’t seem to fit into any of society’s boxes. Representation for black women wasn’t like it was today. There were no shows, movies, YouTube channels, or content creators that I could identify with and connect to. I didn’t know any black or African female artists or chefs nor did I know that being an energy healer could be a profession either. Now, things have definitely improved for the better. But not having a blueprint meant that I’ve never felt like a failure. As long as I show up for myslelf as myself I trust that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to. The moment I detached myself from the predetermined trajectory that I couldn’t completely fit into, my mind refocused on the limitless opportunities that have continued to become available to me. Now, I am not confined to one professional expression and I am able to flow freely from artist, to chef, to energy healer, community organizer and everything in between at the same time. I set my own limits, create my own boundaries, and make as much money as I want. Now I know why I couldn’t see a clear future for myself in the past. Its because I have the luxury and privilege of constructing my ideal life and career.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love that LA has an endless amount of things to to, foods to eat, and places to go. On Sundays I love going to Leimert Park to check out the vendors and small business. There is such an abundance of creativity and black beauty. From the art galleries, restaurants, and wellness businesses, its such an inspiring and vibrant community. My favorite restaurants in LA are N-Chow which is a new and delicious Nigerian restaurant in the valley, My Two Cents; a black woman owned soul food restaurant in mid city, Wild Living Foods; my favorite raw vegan spot, and Malibu Seafood which has the freshest beach front seafood ever. I love that a nature adventure is always a short car ride away. Knowing that I can drop everything and find a waterfall, spend the day at the beach, or take a short road trip to Joshua Tree makes this city so Special to me. It breaks up the hustle and mundane aspects of life and pours in the sunshine into everything I do out here.
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 would love to use this space to shoutout Kimberly Durdin and all of the wonderful people at Kindred Space LA. Before I found this amazing organization I was living quite isolated from the health and wellness community. I had been on my own personal hollistic journey for years but never had a community of likeminded people until I completed my doula training through them. I was introduced to inspiring elders, teachers, and peers and learned so much insight and build amazing connections. They gave me the confidence and tools I still use in my professional practices and the community cultivated at Kindred Space still inspires me and holds a near and dear place in my heart.