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

Hi Jonaa, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work life balance has fluctuated tremendously since I started my business. A year after I started my business and began to really get into entrepreneurship the pandemic began. Simultaneously, I work full time and in graduate school it was important for me to find a schedule that worked for me and stick to it in order to keep my balance and sanity lol.

I think of balance as a scale, if I work to much I’m neglecting myself and if I spend too much leisure time, I begin to fall behind with things I feel are crucial to my business such as posting on social media on a regular basis or making sure my finances are in order for the quarter.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
By day I’m a Cytotechnologist, up until May 6, 2022 I was a graduate student at UNCG earning my MPH. I found cytotechnology in 2015, 3, years after I graduated from WSSU with a B.S in Molecular Biology. I attended CPCC in Charlotte, NC. it was a year long, intense certificate program that only accepts 6 students a year.

I learned to identify and diagnose abnormalities in pap smears and other bodily samples. That program was honestly harder than all 4 years of my undergraduate degree, I wasn’t allowed to work, all of my time was spent in school and studying. That’s where my passion for women’s health was revived and led to me pursuing my masters in public health. Both programs were extremely challenging in their own ways. My second semester of my MPH program was the beginning of the pandemic. It took an unexpected toll on my mental health. Trying to work, run a business, adjust to Zoom school and adjust to so many changes left me depressed and anxious. My only positive outlet was crafting. The biggest lesson I learned through everything is the importance of taking time for yourself and asking for help when you need it. What I want the world to know about my brand is that I pour all of the love I have for people into every order. My business isn’t for financial benefits it’s to give a little piece of my heart to every person who orders. Kindness and compassion is all I have to give to the world and I do it through my crafts.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my bestie is visiting then we are eating good ! My bestie isn’t a morning person but I’d order breakfast from The Cherry Pit Cafe anyway. The food is delicious but my favorite part is ordering brownies with my breakfast. I would definitely take her to country park or hanging rock state park for fresh air and maybe a picnic. We both love food trucks so a sausage dog and lemonade from back yard flames is so necessary. One evening I would take her to Elm Street lounge to listen to some live entertainment and wrap up her visit with l brunch at Melt.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate and recognize my mother. Without her my business wouldn’t be successful. Late nights, she stays up with me, long deliveries, she rides with me. If I need materials that aren’t located in my city she willingly purchases them and drives them to me. She singlehandedly pushes me to envision more for my business beyond what I ever thought my small business could be. She encouraged me to trademark my busines, balances my books, and will even help me create when I’m too tired to keep going. I owe EVERYTHING to my mom, Joann Smith.

Website: Www.notyouravgart.com

Instagram: @notyouraverageartistry

Linkedin: Jonaa Smith

Facebook: Not Your Average Artistry

Other: Etsy: NotUrAverageArtistry

Image Credits
Adley Haywood

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