This week on “Geenius Mondays” I’m featuring Ally Marie-Blogger, Journalist,Business advisor, Jewelry designer,School teacher, Artist, and someone that has played a HUGE part in helping me build Fly Geenius Clothing. This freckle face woman does everything, there’s no doubt in my mind that she’s a “Geenius”.
FG: What up Ally? So I know you live in New York but are you from New York?
Ally Marie: I am from DC but have been in NY for five years and now I’m a Brooklyn girl.
FG: You have a women’s empowerment blog (www.she-blogs.com), can you tell us what it’s about?
Ally Marie: Well, a few years ago when I was thinking about starting a blog, I knew it had to be something I was passionate about and I knew I loved helping other people. I feature interviews with female entrepreneurs, talk about beauty, fashion, and write inspirational articles.
FG: How long have you been designing your own jewelry and have you ever gotten any big names to wear any of your pieces?
Ally Marie: I launched my jewelry line in 2007 and since then Alicia Keys, Estelle, Shon Gables, and actress Lisa Arrindell Anderson have worn my pieces…I feel so blessed. I just finished my spring 2011 collection too.
FG: What are your price points and where can people buy your new spring collection?
Ally Marie: For my new spring 2011 collection all of the necklaces are $45.00 and the anklets are $14.00. People can check out my website www.allymarie.com because the new collection will be up there soon.
FG: The “Ace of Spades” necklaces you designed are sick, do you plan on designing necklaces for any other brands?
Ally Marie: That was my first time designing for a company and it was really exciting! I haven’t decided yet but I may start doing it for other brands. Some entrepreneurs that I know have already asked me to make branded necklace for their companies.
FG: I think you’re a “geenius”, but you’re also an artist, how long have you been into Art?
Ally Marie: I am actually working on my first art collection but I can’t lie it’s on pause (laughs) because keeping up all of these gazillion projects is not cheap.
FG: You give great business advice also, you helped me a lot with FG, do you plan on being a business advisor?
Ally Marie: I have done a little consulting in the past but I may pick it back up again and take on just a few clients in 2011. I am happy that I could help you out with FG…you’re going to be really successful!
FG: So the “Poof”(your hair) is its own person and it’s also a movement, what made you go natural? And who came up with the name Poof?
Ally Marie: Uhhhhh (laughs) you’re so silly well actually I don’t think I’ve ever said this before but going natural was a spiritual thing for me. I was at a place in my life where I was exploring and beginning to love who I was and I wanted to try something new so I did. But I cant lie the first two times I tried I kept going back to a perm and then in 2006 it stuck and I haven’t had on since. And you are the one that coined the nickname “poof” for my hair silly, that’s the only reason you asked is because you want the proof online (laughs).
FG: I know your a Journalist, how did get into journalism?
Ally Marie: I graduated from Temple University with a broadcast journalism degree and I was determined to work in my field. I actually applied for 700 jobs (laughs). When I was in NY I met my lovely friend Neidra who was also waiting in the line for an Essence magazine casting and I told her I was new to NY etc. She was super sweet and a few days later she text me and told me the Editor-in-Chief of Hype Hair mag was looking for an editorial assistant and the rest is history. I have been working with them for five years and I am now an editor and a contributing editor for Today’s Black Woman too. While at that company I also got to be an editor for Angela Simmons teen mag “The Rundown.” I feel so blessed and thankful for all of my experiences.
FG: One of the reasons I featured you on “Geenius Mondays” is your ability to help other people, You also teach now on the side, how do you like teaching?
Ally Marie: Yes I am teaching a fashion class at a charter school in harlem to junior high students and I absolutely love it! I love working with kids…there is something so beautiful about seeing how much more confidence they get when they have finished a fashion project
FG: Sometimes when you are a budding entrepreneur it can be hard and you may feel like giving up. Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs?
Ally Marie: Hmm, well I think it is important to remember to always surround yourself with people with good energy especially in the beginning. I say that because when you are stepping outside the box to do something most wouldn’t it is a fragile sensitive time and you don’t want anyone saying anything that will make you want to give up before you even get started. The second thing is finding a mentor or to look up people with similar career paths and research and read up on their journey. Even though yours will be a different journey sometimes reading the stories of people that have made it can be very inspiring.
FG: Is there anything else you want to add?
Ally Marie: Yes, Thanks so much for featuring me on your site and keep me posted on your line too…