We had the good fortune of connecting with Joeanna Clark and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joeanna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business as a hobby. I love the fact that something as small as a waist bead can make someone so happy, even if for one moment. I wanted to reach people outside of my circle, so I started a little backwards by starting an online store. I had no idea what I was doing. That is when I knew I needed help. I hired an assistant, and she has set things straight and kept me on my toes. Hard work definitely pays off. I never thought it would be this big.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a full time hair stylist of 15yrs and also the owner of Joeanna’s Collection which launched in 2021. I always experience a great feeling watching a woman come into the salon one way and leaving out with this extreme boost of confidence. The women that sat in my chair over the years made me realize I can do so much more. But the question was, what can I do? I was always really crafty but I didn’t know what to do to make it worth while, and still serve my purpose? I started making African waist beads the beginning of 2020. It was something I started, put down, and picked backed up. I did my research and figured out how to make it work. The craft of making African waist beads is not for everyone. It can be challenging. You have to be patient and surround yourself with positive and uplifting vibes. I believe this shows through the work. Somedays I have to sit everything down and revisit it another day, but the outcome is worth the wait. The real challenge is juggling the craft with the business side. If I can just make beads all day, that would be amazing! There is content, inventory, organizing inventory, managing contractors, booking and working events/pop ups, managing a website, packing and shipping orders, the list could go on. All of this and still working my day job, so no it is not easy. I am very passionate in helping others, and to be able to tie in an enjoyable craft makes everything worth while.
I have learned that being patient will take you far. Just follow the required steps and take things one day at a time and before you know it, you will succeed. I have also learned crafting from the heart is worth more than any dollar amount.
I would like the world to know that Joeanna’s Collection is here to provide African waist beads to the feminine collective no matter the race or size. As long as each person do their own research and understand where African waist beads come from. In Africa, they take great pride in others taking part in their culture so why should anyone be upset about a tradition that’s so beautiful.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This question is tough because if I am not working I am at home. I am such a home body. I would definitely suggest a comedy show at the laugh factory downtown Long beach. It is close to restaurants and bars. Kobe’s is another great spot. It is a Japanese restaurant that has a lounge with live music. Another place right next to Kobe’s is Spaghettini. Spaghettini is a Italian restaurant with live music as well. There is always Disneyland and Knott Berry Farm near by for those that are interested. My favorite thing to do (pre-covid) is Las Vegas. Vegas is a simple road trip away with tons of things to do.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I will love to give a huge shout out and thanks to God for making all things possible.
Second, my mother Ingrid has been a very big supporter in this whole process. She definitely keeps me grounded. Also without her I would not be able to have as many pop ups. My mother has been a huge help with making the waist beads.
Third, I must give a huge shout out to my assistant Ashley. She is supposed to be an virtual assistant but she is definitely way more than just that. She has been a really big help in pushing Joeanna’s Collection to the next level, and for that I am forever grateful.
Lastly, to all the women out here unknowing inspiring others to do better and to keep going. Your strength and resilience does not go un-noticed. Shout out to you Queen.
Captured by Gwin photography