We had the good fortune of connecting with Markia Ash and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Markia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I think about risk sometimes it scares me because I am a person who has to plan everything out in hopes of success at the end. Risk scares me because I like to settle for safe, although lately I have found myself full of faith to take on the risk ahead of me. Taking risk in my life and my career has led me to so much success at the age of 23 that I never new I could accomplish. It started with being the first in my family to go off to college with no idea what was ahead of me, but I knew it was a risk I had to take. While in college I found my passion and started my first business at the age of 19. Taking those risk allowed me to discover something about myself that I never knew I had within me. Now I look at taking risk as a new part of my journey where my faith has to overcome my worries. This helps me overcome the fears of failure and I look at it with the perspective of “what if this risk I’m taking actually turns out in my favor”.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I got my first taste of entrepreneurship back in 2018 where I specialized in offering eyelash extension services (Kimani Lashes) while in my sophomore year of college. As you can imagine that must have been a lot for me because not only was I juggling school and my business, I also had a part-time job and apart of many school organizations, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Being able to see the growth of my business while maintaining an overall balance within my life, has been my proudest moment about my journey.
When starting my entrepreneurship journey, I never gave it my all until my senior year of college and that’s when I became fully aware of my capabilities. Although, I always worked a job while running a business it taught me the ends and out of all aspects of establishing a successful business. From marketing, branding, policies, to customer service, my journey in the workplace is what really helped my business stand out from others. By the of age 22, my clientele was well established, I had my own suite, and I was a graduate of one of the top research institutions in the U.S. Being an employee in workforce is also how I got to where I am today professionally. I’ve been working since I was 16 and out of all those years I’ve been a business owner for 4 year and it is truly one of my greatest accomplishments yet my biggest challenge. In business things are never peaches and cream but I’ve always been able to over come my challenges by never giving up. Consistency has been the most rewarding aspect about my journey.
One of my greatest lessons that I’ve learned throughout my journey, is learning how to pivot in business. Recently this year, I’ve had to start completely over with my business because I moved to a new city, Atlanta, GA. During my first few months here I was so set on not getting a job and only focusing on school and my business because I decided to go back to get my MBA. I can say that I had no idea what I was doing and got very discouraged because my clientele was not growing. Well that’s when I decided it was time to make a pivot within my business. As Kimani Lashes is still growing, I’ve decided to target a different audience within the lash industry and start my second business Kimani Branded. Now I teach women how to obtain financial freedom by starting a lash business and I help other beauty entrepreneurs grow their business through business consulting.
I would like the world to know about my brand Kimani and my businesses is that my goal is to help everyone win. I’ve seen what being a business owner has done for me I really want others like myself to experience this as well. My purpose in getting my bachelor’s degree in Social Work was because I wanted to increase generational wealth within marginalized communities through financial literacy. This passion of mine still stands, although I’ve found another way to fulfill it. It’s like I’m still doing the work God had planned for me, but in a different form. So if there’s one take away I want the world to know about me and my brand, is my success was never meant for me to be selfish, it has always been for me to help others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were visiting the first thing we would do is look for any great restaurants in the area, find a fun museum, and do a little sight seeing. Personally, I don’t go out much so I enjoy doing activities that are very relaxing and has great music.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to everyone who has ever contributed to my success and invested in me. From friends to family to my business mentor, I’d like to thank them for always supporting my dreams. Big shoutout to my parents and grandmothers for the continuous prayers over my life and always reminding me that God made me with a grand purpose to fulfill.
Instagram: @Kimani_Lashes & @Kimanibranded
Linkedin: Markia Ash
Eric Smith Tim McGuire Drae Brown