We had the good fortune of connecting with Naya Collins and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Naya, how do you think about risk?
Can I be honest? Risk and I have had an on again/off again, love-hate relationship for years. You know the saying “Its not you , its me”? Yeah. Risk really isn’t that bad and its actually quite rewarding when trust is implemented. If you’re anything like me, you’ve allowed fear to cause you to forfeit a kairos or two in the past that could have been life changing. I mean…literally. (Never doing that again.)

There really isn’t a way around taking risks in this life. Love, relationships, business…it’s all a risk. The defining factor of this is that if you spend your days avoiding risk, you’ll never get the chance to experience the beauty of what lies beneath a free-fall leap of faith. (Faith. Now there’s a word to note. I believe faith and risk go hand-in-hand.) You also run the risk of putting off any substantial level of success for yourself and the need of those connected to your purpose. That is what is truly important. Everything that each one of us is meant to obtain or go after in this life is not only for our benefit but for the benefit of those within our unique sphere of influence. So, whenever you’re standing toe-to-toe with a situation or decision that requires risk…remind yourself who its for. Remind yourself of just how important your life and success is to those that you’re meant to encounter in this life. Measure your decision against the detriment you may cause to those who await the answer that only you carry. Heavy, right? I know. I’m working on this myself. But that’s just how important your life is to the world. You are needed.

With that being said, risk has played a huge role in my life. And honestly…I believe it always will.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My creative journey started back as a child. I remember being inclined to all things artistic: singing, dancing, writing, drawing, makeup, fashion, etc.

In regards to my makeup journey, I remember playing in makeup as a child. My most prominent memory is of me applying eyeshadow on one of my cousins and showing my granny what I had done. Her response was ‘How do you know how to do that? How do you know where to place the lighter shade as opposed to the darker shade?” Of course, I had no idea but in that moment I thought “Hmmm, maybe there’s something to this.” So I continued to explore that and until this very day, I’m still “playing in makeup”. Makeup ended up being a therapeutic way for me to creatively express myself and for me to tug on the light and inner beauty in others. You know the extra oomph that comes out of you when you feel good about yourself and the way you look? I love pulling that out of people. It brings me joy to see the spark and sass that is displayed when one of my clients looks at themselves in the mirror after a session with me. The saying “when you look good, you feel good” is so true. Although makeup is a temporary addition, I like to think of what I do as enhancing the natural beauty that already exists as opposed to altering it. We’re all so beautiful and unique…I just want to do my little part to remind people of that.

Growing up I realized how trusting people were of me and how comfortable they felt around me, to the point of sharing sensitive/sacred information with me. This is something that has carried on throughout my adulthood and overflows into my business and professional life. So every makeup session is also a moment to release and lighten any load a client might have walked in with. I embrace every gift and opportunity Ive been given to be a safe place for others. This is a high honor in a world where you can’t be too vulnerable with people without the fear of it being taken advantage of. Because of this, I see everything I do in this life as ministry…wether it be a makeup service, content creation, or assisting another small business in their specific area of need. My hope is that I leave every single person I encounter a little better than they were when I met them.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Yikes! I’m probably the worst person to ask this. I’m a bit of a homebody if Im being honest. I’m working on getting out and doing a little more. I do love the water though, so a good pool or beach day is always a go! Literally any Mexican food restaurant is a must…Javier’s is one of my favorites. The food is good and the atmosphere is great.

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?
My family, hands down. I have the most loving and supportive family anyone could ever ask for. They’ve always believed in me and pushed me to go after my dreams and aspirations…especially when I didn’t believe in myself. I’d like to highlight my siblings Alexis, Dominique, Dejonai, and Dwayne for being my biggest cheerleaders in all things. Their persistent and immovable stance in my corner means the world to me. Lastly but definitely not the least, my two dear friends Brandy and Brittney. Some people will see more in you than you realize about yourself and attempt to stifle it but there are special humans out there who will not only acknowledge the greatness in you but encourage you to allow it to flourish without restraint. I love them all more than they’ll ever know.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lovelyleshon/

Image Credits
Tiffany Gilbert Natalia Lewis Acacia Jas Brittney Goolsbee Alexis Ann Marie Dejonai Monica Dominique Shaunte

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.