We had the good fortune of connecting with Aveda Adara and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aveda, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Personally speaking, corporate life killed every aspect of my creativity. I will spare the details because we all have been drug through the experience of being a statistic. It was now or never, and I did not want to look back and have regrets.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Thanks to ADHD, I have many mediums of art that contribute to my success. I paint, I am a DIY clothing designer, I am a DJ, I am a podcaster, I am a drag queen, I am currently working on producing my own music. When I get overwhelmed by one of the outlets I can jump to another. It basically works out, on who is seeking what. Like, I currently have a DJ set due by the end of next week, and a podcast episode due by the end of the month, and also an interview with a very well-known New York City Club Kid scheduled on the 30th. Its a hustle but I enjoy all of it, on top of being a stepmom and holding a part-time job all during the pandemic. I think what sets me apart from everyone else is my story, I am what my culture calls a Nadleeh, which is interpreted as a Two-Spirit Being, one possessing the spirit of a man and a woman, hence the podcast. Not many trans women of color make it past the age of 34, which is the life expectancy for people like me. Not many Native American trans women make it off the reservation and get to live the “successful” life I’ve been given. I was interviewed by NBC a few years ago, about my experience as being trans in the workplace, and looking back I was literally walking into any place hiring asking for work, there was a determination to be taken seriously, but instead would be laughed out of interviews. The determination of doing what I did, and not giving into the turmoil got me here. Lesson learned, Do not wear heels you have not broken in yet to an interview if you know you willl be walking all day, and don’t wear metallic lipstick.
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?
One of the best joys in my life is showing people very neat things they have never experienced. I literally am the person who will take my friends to the flea market, because great minds think alike. As a DIY designer who loves nothing more than getting dressed to the nines and going out on the night dressed in haute couture, flea markets are the best places to find these things. I would schedule a day to the Harwin Shopping District, which is just warehouses full of jewelry, wigs, shoes, literally everything you can imagine at wholesale, and Harwin has really good Indian restaurants. I’d schedule a whole day to tour the city going to the best thrift stores, and the East End District has some of the best Mexican food places. I would probably take them on Friday night to Galveston to one of the best dive bars ever, Robert Laffittes. Where you are guaranteed to leave smelling like a pack of cigarettes with a dozen tamales. These are literally things I do when I visit other cities, and I always am looking for seedy underground dive bars with a good DJ. Places like One-Eyed Jacks in New Orleans, The Dungeon in New Orleans, Beauty Bar Las Vegas, Tranzylvania Phoenix AZ.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I run a small podcast called, The Two-Spirit Podcast, and it’s about Inspiration. I am inspired by unlikely situations and the most unlikely people you could think of. Since I was a child, my mom brought the most unusual people around me, and they’ve shaped my perception of who I’ve become. So, I’ve basically have taken every aspect of my Idealisms from addicts, artist, transwomen who essentially became my Riot Girls. I am amidst documenting of all these beings, who have in some way saved me from starvation, gave me the wrong advice on how to live life, which in turn made me realize who not to trust but then again maybe they wanted me to experience life for myself. I have lived a very interesting life and along my journey cannot think of one person who deserves all the credit, because they all do.
All images created, photographed, enhanced, by me.