We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyna Nelson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyna, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Lets start with Covid 19 that’s when I began to see the shift happen. My career, personal life, and designing all began to intertwine and to be completely transparent it became a bit overwhelming. Keeping up with everything career related, transitioning from being in a work environment to now having class from the comfort of my home, working with my daughter on her assignments, transforming my business model due to Covid 19 from handbags to making masks, spending many late nights going to bed at 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. only to wake up at 7a.m and do it all over again. Only a few knew how completely exhausted I was, but I continued to follow through with everything that was expected of me. I honestly didn’t know how to adapt to this unexpected change I just did what I needed to do. I needed to make a conscious decision that I was either going to continue working an unorganized crazy schedule or I would create some type of order to the way I was doing things. I knew it was imperative to prioritize my schedule and set daily goals. Did I do that in the beginning? No. To be truthful I didn’t do it at all, I just multi-tasked and made sure everything got done. I can’t really explain the method to the madness. Now that the end of school is finally here, I was able to sit down, reassess, and restructure how I did things to make my life so much easier and to give balance to my life. Finally I was setting goals, prioritizing time for my daughter and myself. With the help of a written daily schedule I was able to find some balance, get all my work done, workout, have time for my family, and still have time for myself.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Right now designing, I consider it a form of art that allows you to create a masterpiece. I am passionate about my craft and my pieces are a reflection of my love for it. I pay attention to details attempting to perfect my craft every way I can. I am always finding ways to be better. I’m all for risky business, I’m not afraid to mix prints and patterns and take risk with my designs. You need to have fun with it and then it never feels like work. Since Covid-19 I have transitioned from handbags to making masks. That was an easy transition even though the demand was high. I was pushing out a lot of orders but it would take me less time to make one mask versus one handbag. My main objective was to stay true to who I was and in order to do that I knew I needed to be unique, bold, and mix my patterns because that’s how I represented myself through my handbags. Some lessons I’ve learned in my journey is acknowledging there is room for everyone to come up and there is no need to try and outdo the person next to you. Be open and willing to share and receive knowledge. There are people who came in the game before you and people coming in the game after you (receive and share knowledge). Never stop learning, there is always something you could be learning or teaching yourself how to do. Art of NeoSoul started from a simple and basic sketch. It has grown from earrings, custom handbags (all 100% leather), and abstract art. Now I’ve added custom mask to the lineup. I’ve used being at home during Covid -19 to my advantage and taught myself some new skills. Worked on some things I’ve always wanted to do but seemingly never just had the time to do. In the near future I plan to add home decor and lingerie into the mix.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m a pretty laid back individual however, I do like to get out from time to time and have fun. Our weeklong outings would probably start with Bernhardt Winery in Plantersville, TX. That was one of my favorites wineries I have visited so far. We would spend alot of our time in the heart of Houston, TX! The Houston Museum of African American Culture-It is so important to learn about our history and embrace our culture. I definitely love to eat so we would hit up Kulture. They have the best fried okra I have ever tasted. We have to stop by Taste Bar they have amazing food and drinks, Frozen Paradise is my kickback spot. There is nothing on the menu I haven’t tried that isn’t good and the drinks are always on point. My bestfriends love seafood so we would also hit up a seafood joint, any spot that has snow crabs ( my favorite). We have to make our way to my cousin’s cookie shop Rookies Cookies. Hands down they make some of the best cookies ever!! The Alley Kat and Frozen Paradise both give a nice chill vibe for night life. I’m beaded so I would have to take them to get beaded by the Waist Bead Queen Ms. Ethea.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give honor and praise to God for everything I do!!! Then of course my children Kaylon and Bryah, I do this to make them proud of me. My parents Linda, Willie and Brenda and siblings Aisha, Dee, Darion, Josh and the best mentor ever Raynese Edwards. Kim, Patience, LewRhee, Warraine, Nichole, and Francin my sister circle who will pray with me, laugh with me, and still check me. Two of my favorite people my cousins Nicoi and Carmen. Shoutout to my big sis, Toni Grant (Haus of Swag). She is in the fashion industry and she pours so much knowledge into me!! Uncle Kerry, Uncle Marcus and Aunt Nikki!!!! I love them all unconditionally.
Kyna Nelson\Art of Neosoul Nicoi Harrison Patience Coleman Toni Grant Eva Pearson T-shirts by @thebougietomboy Earrings by @beadsbyaree