We had the good fortune of connecting with Obiageri Ohayagha and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Obiageri, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The journey to starting Studio Ohaya began in 2018 while dealing with pre and post-partum depression. I was diagnosed Hyperemesis Gravidarum which is severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. I felt so down, I told myself something had to give because I couldn’t go on feeling as terrible as I was. Creativity wasn’t something I explored as a child or adult because I believed I wasn’t creative. However, I always wanted to learn how to sew. A friend shared a 4 week sewing course on Facebook and I reached out to the lady in charge. I paid and went straight to Walmart and purchased the cheapest sewing machine I could afford. A couple months later, Studio Ohaya was born. I started with bonnets and tassel earrings, and I now design polymer clay and resin jewelry, accessories, homewares and decor
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work full time Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) working at a crisis center where I see clients dealing with a spectrum of substance related disorders and psychiatric issues.
I was previously worked in product research for a big fortune 500 company but realized early on that it was not the path for me. I returned to college for my Bachelors of Science in Nursing and knew I would be working in psychiatry the first day I walked into my psych clinicals.
I couldn’t get a job in psych after nursing school because I was a new grad so I went into Neuro/Tele then float pool. 6 years later I completed my Graduate studies and now work full time as a PMHNP.
I’ve learned along the way that when you are passionate about your work, it will not feel like a chore. This sentiment is applicable to day job as a PMHNP and Studio Ohaya. I love my career and actually look forward to going to work everyday. With Studio Ohaya, I squeeze in as much time as I can to create new designs and restock my inventory every 4-6 weeks. There are long days and late nights but the joy it brings me is worth the time and effort
I share the story of Studio Ohaya because everything I create, comes from a place of love and genuine passion. The day I lose my passion to create, is the day I put my brand on pause. Many people go through similar challenges in life and may not have an outlet or space that is just for them. I share my story to spark a little light to whomever feels they are not seen or heard. The journey begins with “I can do this”.
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?
The metro Atlanta area is filled with many restaurants to explore. For brunch we would go to The Real Milk and Honey in College Park, they never disappoint. Ponce City Market is great for shopping and hanging out during the day, and round up the evening at the Illuminarium after dark for a nice chill evening. Some other good eats are 5 church in midtown, and Negril Village in downtown.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Tash Neal of Candid Frames Photography. She has been a part of Studio Ohaya journey from the beginning volunteering her time to take professional product photos and moral support
Facebook: Studio Ohaya
Images with models taken by Candid Frames Photography