How has the pursuit of your dream evolved during COVID-19?
At the beginning of the year, I had a grand-plan to book myself solid in 2020 with shows performing at conferences and events in the entrepreneurial and activism spaces! I had actually just booked a show where I ‘d be sharing the stage with one of my idols — Jason Isbell — (I still can’t believe that was true!!) When COVID-19 hit that show was canceled as well as the rest of my year. I had to figure out how to pivot and use the time productively! I started writing more, collaborating virtually with musicians, and started focusing more of my time on activism since 2020 is such a crucial year. I also started building a community for entrepreneurs and artists who are passionate about both their creations and about engaging politically!
How has your brand evolved since you launched your first bag?
So much has changed – but in a good way. In 2018 I realized my dream of having more control over my brand, and purchased,manufacturing in Istanbul, Turkey. Doing this gave me more control over the operations of my company, and has given me the ability to help others. LINĒIJ™ now manufactures various luxury apparel, private label items, personal protective equipment, bespoke executive/promotional gifts, and shoes for adults/children. I have offices in New Orleans, Istanbul, and Los Angeles.
How have you had to pivot during COVID-19?
I have not had to pivot, but there were some hard truths to face. My pipeline is predicated on brands needing social strategy, partnership, and influencer marketing support. If brands aren’t allocating funds to agency support, that affects my pipeline. I have been blessed with sustained clientele for the year, however, if need be, I have bolstered my agency with a business development machine.