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Follow These Steps to Create “Real Influence”

Although “legacy” is usually defined as something we leave behind, what if we saw it as a gift? With contributions from our family, friends and ancestors for future generations? We partnered with Target to create Beat Of My Own Drum. This story of HMCU alumni, who is creating their own legacy while expressing themselves through style, entrepreneurship and self-acceptance.

Kaya Nova was able to decide on a major while still sophomores at college. Nova began blogging while she was a second year music student at Spelman about the emotional rollercoaster she experienced as a young Black woman. Nova was suggested by her father to start a blog with the help of her friends. Since then, it has grown into a fully-fledged fashion and beauty platform. Nova says that Grown began as a personal project. “I didn’t plan for it to become what it is today.”

Nova’s digital magazine is not the only thing that struck a chord. The multi-hyphenate Nova, who is based in New York City, continues to pursue her musical goals. Nova released “More Than That,” a single in August. Another will be released at the beginning of 2022. Nova hopes to inspire other artists by sharing her artistic journey.

She says, “I hope that I can inspire people” to question the notion of what it means to be a person. “I want to continue teaching, sharing, creating businesses, and spaces for people like me. They should know all the steps I took to get to where I am today, so that they can become even more successful than I was. This is the only way you can have real influence.”

Nova shares his wisdom about what it takes to be an artistpreneur, the truth about making it big and how to make it happen with integrity.

  • Why HBCUs are so important?

“The sisters, brothers and friends I made on Spelman campus feel like my family. It was so empowering to be a part of an HBCU. It gave me confidence as a Black woman and helped me to take huge risks and follow my dreams. We need to be able to tell young Black women that we are worthy and that we matter. It is crucial that you invest in education that was built for you by yourself.”

  • An online magazine was launched because…

“It was a place to ask questions about my college life and how it is going as an adult Black girl. That was something I didn’t see in any media. “Then, I realized that there might be other women who also needed this space.”

  • Artistpreneur?

“Because I didn’t know how art and business interconnected until I was involved in it, I invented the term “artistpreneur”. “Artistpreneurship” is simply the act of being a creator, and allowing it to be applied in many different areas. It’s my hope that it will catch on and artists see themselves as more than the talent they possess.”

  • Truth about becoming a big-name celebrity

“With social networking, it seems like people go from zero-60 overnight. But that is not the case. Sometimes, you find yourself in places you never wanted, and you realize that it doesn’t feel the way you expected. Be open to change and flexible about where you are at the moment. It’s hard work, but it will happen. Be patient with yourself.”

“It’s important to remember that there is a lot more to being someone else than you are in modern art. When you think about how you will become a superstar, you are imagining something other than yourself. It’s something you would be able to attract people to. To be successful, you need to be authentic. It is important to be authentic about who you are, who you care about and what you would like to share with others.”

  • Your style is…

“My personal style would be described as “The perfect combination of street and sweet.” The milkmaid-type designs are what I was drawn to this year. Cottagecore was a new name for it. My long nails, gold jewelry, and sneakers are still my favorite things. Although I am very feminine, someone might think that she isn’t somebody I would want to play with. She kind of looks like she comes from the middle. I love to mix both.”

  • How do you prime

“I love to have good lashes, nice lipstick, and I will do my eyebrows. Because it is easy to make a big impression with little effort, I like bright eyeshadows. I prefer to use a lot of color, but keep it simple.”

Style is not just about what you wear. We are able to attract attention. It is important that we have as much freedom as possible when it comes to beauty and fashion, especially for Black women. We often feel unable to express ourselves in this area. It doesn’t matter what we say, just how we look or what we wear.

  • Self-acceptance means

“It’s having patience with myself. It’s not about transforming. It’s about having inner conversations each day, and saying that no matter what our mental state is, we’re still worthy. We’re still loved. We are still loved and cared for.”

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