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

Hi Ayanna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Since a very young age I’ve always wanted to start my own business, and luckily I had a lot of role models to look up to. My dad owns his own contracting and construction company called New Community Construction, and my mom owned her own restaurant called The Vegan Cafe. I watched how hard they worked and sacrificed to make this work, and it still gave me the motivation to want to try it myself. I ultimately have a goal to inspire my own daughter to start her business as well.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I started my business SQN by Sekkara LLC over a year ago in the middle of the world pandemic. I am already a licensed esthetician and I’d been doing makeup for about 6 years. I was doing makeup in my bathroom and disinfecting everything after each client, whew. I knew I wanted to still do facials and waxing but it had been awhile since I did it and I got a great refresher course from @complexxionsskinlab with Takiya. I still have my 9-5 as an esthetician, just so I can get the in-house certifications I need. This journey has NOT been an easy journey. I’ve wanted to give up so many times, just get an office job, and shut everything down. But my cousin (also launched his business) @liquorsquared gave me the pep talk I needed to keep pushing forward. You earn nothing in this life without a few setbacks.

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?
Well I just found out about this place from a special person, but it’s this restaurant called Gen, and it’s a Korean BBQ hibachi spot. It’s so delicious! Also another place would be the downtown tunnels, great place to get something quick to eat for lunch on a weekday. I would also take them to Miss Carousel, great drinks and a nice vibe that anyone can chill in. Now if you’re looking for something a little more like home, I recommend the Local Seat on poetry night, and get there early! There’s also this place on the north called the Greasy Spoon that will give you itis if your not careful lol. And next to it is Icon Nails and she’ll get you right. Both black owned businesses!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First, I want to thank my higher power and my ancestors, as I am nothing without them. I want to thank my friend for getting me this interview. He will always have a special place in my heart no matter what. I also want to thank my family and close friends for helping me take this leap of faith into this journey. @slaybratory and @kikovanitysimmer who both own there own businesses as well! Last but not least, I want to thank my daughter for showing me unconditional love and support.


Instagram: @sqnbysekkara

Twitter: @sqnbysekkara

Facebook: SQN by Sekkara LLC

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