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

Hi EssenceofShay, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
What an amazing question. The end goal is to put smiles and confidence in every soul that watches my videos, purchases my products and follows my journey. My life has been hard, although it really shouldn’t be. From several abusive relationships, father disowning me, people pleasing to starting a business, becoming an influencer and actually loving who I see in the mirror. My purpose was and is to go through these times to show and help queens. listen, do not stop, keep going, manifest the life you want. And to do so is too face what your going through, be completely honest with your role in it, start the process of change and advancement and thrive. So at the end of my career, I would have like to change at least 5 lol yes 5 not 1 lives. And also retire in Greece with my bubba!!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Becoming an influencer was a fluke. Better yet being a loc hair influencer literally fell in my lap. The journey was easy to start, the hard part was being consistent, not comparing myself to others and actually figuring out how to mesh all my gifts together. I am a Gemini and we are very creative so it can be a little exhausting being this great lol! Joking!!

I started my career on YouTube after being a relationship that was emotionally, physically and mentally draining. I didn’t want to leave the house and became very disconnected from friends and family. I open a YouTube page and was looking for loc styles. Everything I saw, all the personalities were the same. So I started my own page. But it wasn’t for locs. I sang covers (you won’t be able to find it, so do not look!!), cooked my favorite foods. My goal was to have a cooking page, tour the world trying new foods and cuisines and document. But god clearly had a bigger plan. Folks started asking about my locs and commented on my home girl personality, and there EssenceofShay was born.

The journey to began like I said was easy. But the bumps in the road came from self doubt. Not knowing myself fully and people pleasing. My brand was birth from doing something for me finally. My mission statement: love every journey your in.

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?
Ok so I was born and half raised in Brooklyn, Ny and United States Virgin Islands. St. Croix to be exact!! I moved to Dallas 3 years ago, with that being said I may not know all the thangs and mostly look for food because hello New York, but here we go! I would definitely take them to truckyard, Trappist for a turn up, rooftop cinema for a romantic vibe, breakfast brothers for brunch especially the fried ribs yumm, oh oh auntie irenes because duhhh who doesn’t like seafood (unless your allergic!), rose couture for some dope pedi and mani situation and puttery in the colony. Just to name a few things haha lol!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To be honest, my grandmother and my mom deserves all the credit of any success I achieve, future and past! These two strong, Jamaican women have struggled, survived and persevered this thing called life. With 1st masters degree in the family, breaking generational curses and leading the charge in a family full of women. They have taught me a lot!

Website: www.EssenceofShay.com

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/EssenceofShay

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/essenceofshay

Youtube: www.YouTube.com/EssenceofShay

Image Credits
Photographers: @deee_porter @jtaylorstudios

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