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Young Trailblazer Nominee

Ashyia Allen

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Nominations

Nominated By Cornella Morris

She owns her own business called Slay’d by Ashyia.

My Black Colorado Interview

How old are you? What school do you go to? What year are you in?

I’m 15 and a sophomore at Cherokee Trail High School 

What do you think others would say they value most about you or that they like about you as a person?

I’m just really nice to everyone, even when I don’t know them. I just like to help people out and make people feel good about themselves. 

Why do you think it’s important to encourage people

Because I know I would want somebody to do the same thing for me. Even if they don’t, it’s okay because it’s just how I am and how my mom raised me. I was bullied at one point, too. So why do that to other people when I can just choose to be nice?

When you’re not in school, what are some things you enjoy doing or being involved in? 

Well, I really like to do makeup and practice hairstyles because that’s what I want to do when I get older and incorporate it into my business. I like to find stuff I can add to my business in my free time. I want to start working on hair products too.

What got you interested in doing hair and makeup? How did that start?

I had an interest in it ever since I want to say I was maybe five years old because my mom used to buy little makeup kits and I would do my makeup. I was really bad at it, but I still had fun doing it. So, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. 

Did your mom do hair and makeup or is it was more like this is something that you just kind of picked up on your own?

I mainly picked it up on my own because my mom doesn’t do any of that. 

What inspired you to launch your own business? How did that transition happen from you loving to do it, to wanting to have your own business? 

I’ve always had my own business. I used to make jewelry in general, especially bracelets, ever since I was eight years old. So, I’ve always been an entrepreneur, but I just decided to change it up a little bit as I got older. I still make the jewelry, just not as much. 

What sparked the idea of creating your business?

My mom saw it when I was making a friendship bracelet for one of my friends and it was really cute. She noticed how creative I was and asked me if I wanted to start a jewelry business and I did. Then I started getting a lot of customers from outside of my family and eventually around the country.

What is the best advice that someone has given you recently? 

Don’t give up and never settle for less. That’s something that my friend’s mom told me ever since I met them when I was in fourth grade. There were times that I would think, “Oh. Well, I’m comfortable here. So, I’ll just keep doing this.” But then she told me, “You can’t just stay in one spot. You have to keep moving forward or else you won’t get anywhere. . .  Never settle for less!” 

 What is one thing that you want to get better at? 

I really want to get better at doing hair, especially braiding. And nails as well so I can be better at doing that for other people. I miss making wigs, though.

How did you get into making wigs? 

It just came naturally because I’ve watched videos, but I didn’t really follow them because it just came easy to me.

What do you think is one piece of advice you think adults need to hear to help them connect with the youth or younger generations?

I would say to them that times are different now and they shouldn’t be stuck in their old ways. They should also try to be open to more new ideas from the younger generations. It would be nice for them to just listen to us, get our ideas, and have them be open to new opinions. 

What accomplishments or awards are you most proud of and why?

Honestly, my grades. I’ve been getting a lot better because I have struggled with school in the past. My mental health has been getting a lot better and my confidence, too. I had really low self-esteem at one point; it was a hard time trying love myself. But now I do so that’s an amazing accomplishment– for me at least. 

What do you think led to that change of you loving yourself more and have more confidence?

In my opinion, everyone’s beautiful but people perceive beauty differently. You’re not always going to be good looking to someone. I had to realize I can’t change how I look, so I just might as well start embracing it!

What impact have you made in the community that you are most proud of?

That’s kind of a hard one. . . I feel like I opened the door for younger girls to be able to feel like they can start their own businesses and to be able to love themselves better. Especially younger black girls because I struggled with loving my natural hair at one point, too. Now I like to wear afros. So if they see me doing it, they may embrace their natural hair as well.

What do you think you want to do for your career when you grow up?

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I want to get into cosmetology and open up my own salon. So if I go to school for it now, I’ll be able to get my license by my junior year and then be done by the time I finish high school and start getting that together for my future.

How do you feel like your family has supported you and your plan? How have they helped you move in the right direction?

They’ve actually been really supportive because I changed what I wanted to do a lot. I wasn’t really set on cosmetology before. My mom helped me to be sure of what I want to do since she’s helping me financially with everything I’m doing. 

Is there anything that you want to share more about either your business or about yourself in general? 

All of my stuff is natural. It’s handmade by me. My lip gloss, body butter, and scrubs are all vegan and natural. The mission of my business is that everyone is beautiful.

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