Need some inspiration? Listen in on this podcast!

Hey SWAJE fam!

We're at it again! Founder Imani Quinn was given the opportunity to speak on the Life According to Her podcast and it is quite an inspiring conversation to listen in on. It can be found at the following link:  https://www.switchpivotorquit.com/single-post/2017/07/19/Podcast-Switch-Pivot-or-Quit-Chat-with-Imani-Quinn

What we're talking about:

  • What Imani does to stay mentally strong

  • How she navigates change despite being a creature of habit

  • Transitioning from a career as a charter school teacher to the founder of a textiles startup 

  • How she’s not waiting to give back to a community of young women through "Godesses That Give"


It's a great listen and source of inspiration if you're looking to kick some booty today!

all the love,

SWAJE Family

 

Opaque Project + Collaboration

SWAJE is working on creating a special edition outfit titled, "Opaque" and we recently did a collaborative project where this special piece will be showcased. The project was choreographed by SWAJE founder, Imani Quinn with accompanied music that was composed specifically for this piece. The project is underway and getting ready for a private viewing. Catch it in action at a pop-up event coming soon to Los Angeles. For your viewing pleasures take a look at a picture from shoot day.

xx

As seen on

SWAJE has made some pretty creative collaborations in its time thus far. This was by far one of the most special ones. We did a collaboration with Kiran of Madame Gandhi last December 2016 with our first collection Artesia + Saadiq. Kiran is rocking the Elijah button up in this series, this particular button up is one of a kind, but you can find it in our shop section with some other pretty dope designs!

XX

Catch SWAJES founder "Imani Quinn" in The Femme + Fortune Magazine

Hey SWAJE fam!

So our founder Imani Quinn wrote a pretty humorous, sassy and authentic article for Femme + Fortune Magazine titled, "Find your purpose and make it dance" which tells the journey of how she came to create SWAJE. If you're looking for some inspiration on starting your own business or just on finding that passion and rocking it out take a read! Just follow the link: http://femmeandfortune.com/2017/07/12/find-purpose-make-dance-imani-quinn/

xx,

SWAJE

The Power of Women

The power of women

 

 

It’s almost Mother’s Day! Mother earth, birth mother, godmother, and adopted mother, there are so many women to give thanks to!

 

This mother’s day my mama and I will be selling SWAJE at Unique LA in downtown Los Angeles. How symbolic right? My mother and I are in business together making clothes and artsy things and we get to sell together at one of the biggest LA marketplaces on Mother’s Day, I’ll have a mimosa toast to that.

 

 

www.uniquemarkets.com

www.uniquemarkets.com

How our mothers raise us shapes so much about who we become as women. We either try to be like our mothers or try to not be like our mothers. I spent most of my early adult life trying to NOT be like my mother. A free-spirit artist who is a seamstress, painter, dancer and business owner, who wants to do that? Well I sure as hell didn’t, but by the end of this article yall are gonna be fan girls of my mom. I know I am, and I have turned into such an image of my mother and I love it.

 

My mom had me at 42 years young, reference the picture below. If she knew I told you that she would not be so happy with me. Sorry mom.

 

But hot DAMN right?! My mom was a babe, scratch that, she IS a BABE.

 

This woman can do a headstand in yoga better than I can, she sews majority of the clothes for SWAJE and she taught me EVERYTHING I know.

 

Look at that hair?!

Look at that hair?!

How about a little story? When my mom was pregnant with me she would swim laps everyday, and she was teaching West African dance. Have you ever seen West African Dance? Cause if you haven’t you need to YouTube that right now. This woman was jumping up and down, and teaching other people how to jump up and down, with me in the womb like “yeah this work out is giving me some quads” Literally, I was born with quads. So lucky me, to this day I have thunder thighs full of muscle, I was born this way. Anyways, I say this all to show how badass my mother is.

 

As a child I grew up with just my mom and I. We were a team, kind of like a business team. She had a teahouse for most of my childhood and teenage years. In this teahouse I had a hair braiding business that I started, I sewed clothes and accessories, I baked for the teashop, trained the employees and operated the business. I was a legit 8 year old. What other kid do you know that’s waiting on you at your neighborhood tea or coffee shop like it aint no thing? Exactly. Some may call it child labor; I call it life skills.

 

My mom and I at the Teahouse

My mom and I at the Teahouse

I will be forever grateful to that teahouse and my moms dance company, ‘cause I mean that’s what I do now. Did I mention that I came out exactly like my mother? Me, teaching dance and owning a business, who would have thought?

Us now 

Us now 

Needless to say being a strong woman is a necessity to me, as well as being collaborative and loving with fellow women.

 

I mean no hate on men, but from my childhood I grew up with my mom and all of her friends. I spent so much time hanging out with my mom and her lady friends drinking wine and chatting; to be clear I was NOT drinking wine. But as soon as I turned 21 did I want a shot of patron? No. I went to the neighborhood natural food store and bought a $12.00 bottle of cabernet, with goat cheese and crackers, took it home and grubbed. This is what you do when a single mother raises you around all her badass women friends. By the time I was in high school I remember telling my mom screw boys, it’s all about your girlfriends they’ll be around forever. I mean don’t get me wrong I don’t think we can live without romantic love, but try living without your girlfriends for a week.

 

Women are amazing. Powerful, strong, gentle, graceful, intuitive and sensitive.

 

We are literally powerful enough to give birth, squeeze a whole baby out of our vagina and not kill it. The biggest thing a man can get out of his body is poop. No offense again men, but this post is ALL about women. It’s time to talk about how much women do for us on a regular basis. Let’s not only talk about it but, APPRECIATE IT! Love your mother, love your girlfriends, love your gynecologist, love the drunken girls in the bathroom, but also love them the next day when you’re sober. Love the girl that you broke up with even though she hates your guts; love your old best friend who doesn’t talk to you anymore. Love the women who are easy to love, but most importantly love the women who are hard to love. CHALLENGE yourself to love all women, especially those that you don’t want to love, otherwise how will we get this change for woman that we speak of.

 

Oh and this pic? Yeah I just felt we looked so badass and fierce, it just makes me so happy. Isn’t it just beautiful?

xoxo,

Imani 

Women are in the media. Women are building businesses. Millennial’s are doing some badass work

Women are in the media. Women are building businesses. Millennial’s are doing some badass work

 

 

So I wanted to join the crew. But there’s no guidebook. Nobody tells you how it’s done. So I’ll tell you my journey from quitting my job to where I am now. Keep in mind I still have a long way to go!

 

Break-up with your job

Quitting my job was like a break-up where you feel really bad, but you know it’s for the best. The timing to move on was overdue I knew it but I was ignoring the signs until the signs became bulletin boards and fire alarms that went off all the time. It got to the point where I took a sick day at home ‘cause I just couldn’t deal and I had to have some real talk with myself and ask, “what are you doing? You’re looking for a change from the universe. WOMAN wake up! You are the change” So I went into my supervisors office with a letter. Needless to say I left that meeting with an end date to this 4-year gig. I drove home that day and balled my eyes out, that type of ugly cry, where, you howl like a zombie. I cried in the car, and after dinner at my favorite restaurant and on my whole drive home and then I proceeded to cry at home. But after the first week it wasn’t so bad. I knew I made the right choice, now it was about looking forward to this new life I was creating, building my own business.

 

I was a year and a half into my business and it was time to take the next step, ya know get serious.

 

 

 

That should have been my holy shit moment right? Nope. I was still moving and grooving.

 

Keepin’ your shit together

The first two weeks the mantra was all about keeping my shit together. I went to yoga every morning with my friend to keep my mind right and pretend I wasn’t stressed. My stress was noticeable only because I was eating as if I were on a diet. Anyone else stress diet when their life is like what the fuck did you just do?  Well mine does. Anyways so as I’m trying to keep everything together, personal disasters are just happening up the yin and the yang. A family member passed away, and I had to go to Virginia, an overdue visit of 9 years. Then to make things even crazier I was having reoccurring ex issues, and some product that was supposed to be ready for my upcoming event for my company was all messed up, like all the way messed up and had to be redone from scratch. When I tell you I lost my shit, any shit that I may have had it was done. Like retrograde came in and ransacked my sanity. When the rain poured it poured a monsoon.

 

So here I was ready to quit on myself. But quit for what? To do what? Go where? Exactly.

 

So I kept trekking. Went bicoastal for a minute, got those product pieces redone and well I couldn’t really help the ex situation, just had to deal.

 

Back in business

Came back from Virginia like holy moly, LA is AMAZING, and got to work. I LOVE LA like head over heals for LA. It wasn’t always so, at first I thought LA was kinda slutty, like close your legs b**ch you stink. After a while you realize it has some pretty badass women making history and men too. So here I fell in love, brunching on Sundays, taking yoga where they know me by name and getting juice as a meal replacement. Yes I said it, I am THAT LA girl and proud of it. So coming back from Virginia to my life in LA was AMAZEBALLS. I can be spiritual and talk about chakras and people know what I mean, I can be sexually fluid and people just wanna know if the girl is cute, and I can quit my job to be an entrepreneur and my friends are like hell yassss I’ll buy your goddess energy shirts. Nothing like a 6-hour flight back to your city to put things in perspective, I came back ready to kick some booty. I was going to yoga in the mornings and then going to coffee shops for my afternoons to work on my long overdue business plan. I already paid taxes as a company, had an LLC and had been selling clothes but somehow managed to sit on this business plan thing, getter done!

 

Then I’d continue work at home, because lets be real owning a business and starting a company means you take no time off, you even dream about work, but you love it cause its yours, like a baby, your business baby.

 

Get your side gig on

So I’m not gonna lie, it hurts losing that nice cushion of an income so you definitely need a side hustle to get you through. Mine is dance so I teach and choreograph for myself and I have a couple of freelance gigs. Its important to figure out how you’re going to keep yourself afloat. For me it’s the side hustle and growing my business. Research and find grants to apply for, get out there and sell your product! Start local and expand to neighboring cities that you can find, get influencers to expose your brand to a larger target market, and slowly but surely get that business plan and business index so you’re ready to pitch whenever the opportunity shall come. That’s right be a boss and go out and find the opportunity, make it happen cause that’s what an entrepreneur does! I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. 

 

 

Until then keep moving, whatever you do don’t stop, make it dance.

 

xx,

Imani Quinn