The most tangible change that I have noticed as a young woman starting off, are people’s energy, mindsets, and awareness of what’s going on around us. It feels like in the last few years there has been a shift of openness, a shift of wanting change and a shift of taking ownership over what we want to create. I have found that very inspiring because it has given me the courage to step out and create my own things. It is exciting to see Belfast change in a way that is becoming more inclusive and has the potential to become a thriving creative city.
I feel that Belfast has always been a community-based place, and I am excited to be a part of it, making my own mark and structuring it in a way that represents me. I have felt very welcomed into the creative community and that is the beauty about living here. There is an amazing space to create what you want to create because a lot of it didn’t necessarily exist. Therefore, you have the freedom to be adventurous without fear. It is also a great space to learn and grow at your own pace.
How can we as a creative community make the most of and build on these changes and make Belfast the most successful, inclusive and creative city it can be?
As a creative community, we are doing very well with hosting various events that promote different things which is exciting to see and to be a part of. I think if we continue to do more events where more people get the opportunity to share their background and story, it will transform Belfast into an inclusive, diverse city.
You have also mentioned empowerment – what are your top tips for empowering yourself and coping with the struggles of being a young female creative entrepreneur in Northern Ireland?
Some of my top tips are:
• Surround yourself with the right people. I think it is easy to fall into spaces where you aren’t really expressing your true self. For many years I struggled with finding my tribe of people that understood who I was, what my background is about and understand the vision of what I wanted to create here. It can feel suffocating not being understood or heard. However, once I found my tribe of people, things really started to change. I am surrounded by people that pour so much love and light into my life. People that encourage me daily to do better, but also keep me accountable for when I am not on the right track. That is so important. Don’t surround yourself with people that are always saying yes to you, or agreeing with everything you are saying because you won’t grow that way.
• Create a healthy relationship with yourself. Creating a healthy relationship with myself is an ongoing journey that I am working on. Over the last few years, I have been working on loving myself deeper, taking ownership of who I am and being proud of the person that I am becoming. It's exciting because the more you work, the more you grow. Even though growth can be painful and exhausting, it is so essential on how we live our lives.
• Collaborating with others. Working with other people has been such a powerful tool in my career so far. I am constantly being challenged on my perspectives, and projects end up being multidimensional, which is great to have more brains concentrating on finding solutions.
• Giving yourself grace. This has been such an important thing that runs deep in my life. It always goes back to giving myself grace and not being so hard on myself on where I think I should be. It is so easy to compare yourself, your life, your career to other people’s and disregard all the work that you’ve done. That is where creating a healthy relationship comes in because you realize that everything that you are doing is valid and worth something. I am learning to continually just to stay in my own lane and keep working hard regardless of other people’s journey.
• Last tip is to encourage others. There is room for everyone in this industry. It goes a long way to be positive in outlook and to send good vibes to other people.
Creating a Space is made up of culturally diverse people, is there enough representation within the creative and business communities for Black people in Northern Ireland?