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Conversations with the Inspiring D’Ana Joi

Today we’d like to introduce you to D’Ana Joi.

D’Ana, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a woman of many creative outlets. From cooking to crafts, photography, singing and composing music, a love for plants and much more. For years, I felt that I would never find success unless I chose one thing to focus on and get really good at. However, when I choose one thing, I am neglecting so many other parts of myself. Feeling like I had to only focus on one of my many creative outlets had a paralyzing effect on me.

Then one day, I had a lightbulb moment! What if I didn’t have to choose just one thing. What if I chose to embrace ALL the aspects of my creativity?! Even better, what if I started a blog as a safe space for all of these outlets? And this is how was born. I started my blog and gave myself permission to embrace ALL of my gifts and put them all on the internet for the world to see. Starting my blog has been the most liberating thing I have ever done for myself creatively. I try to tell my story often because I know there are other creatives out there who feel like there is something “wrong” with them because they struggle to focus on any one area of interest. I hope my story will inspire others to share their gifts and embrace it all.

I have a saying that I live by, “Bow to your creativity.” I surrender to my creative impulses as often as possible. I am an obedient servant of my creativity and I honor those moments when inspiration strikes! On my blog, you will find life-advice, short essays, recipes, plant-care, DIY crafts and more.

I recently launched my Blog Shop where you can purchase original art prints of my photography as well as my customized journaling kits, directly from my blog. I hope to be able to work on my blog full-time in the next two years.

Has it been a smooth road?
The largest obstacle I faced in this process was getting started! When we have an idea that we want to bring to life, it can feel overwhelming and it’s easy to create excuses for why we are not ready to begin. I didn’t know anything about building a website or publishing blog posts when I started and it was pretty scary. However, a friend told me to stop waiting for things to be perfect and “just start.”

This is the best advice I can give to any young women out there who are eager to start a project of their own. Don’t wait until you have all the pieces because there will always be more to learn! Just start from where you are and do your best. You will attract the support that you need along the way.

Another piece of advice is don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you find someone who you think could be a good mentor for you, don’t be afraid to ask for some guidance. People are nicer than you think and almost always willing to help.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into story. Tell us more about the business.
As mentioned before, I am a lifestyle blogger. What sets me apart is that I refuse to choose one niche. I embrace all of my creative attributes and highlight all of my interests on my blog. When I was first researching starting a blog, every article said to choose “one thing” to focus on, well, is the opposite of that! You get all of me, not just one part. I also sing and play the ukulele. I have a live mini-concert series on my Instagram called Sunday Serenades.

Another aspect that sets my blog apart from others is that I’m not just highlighting my favorite products or giving out recipes, I also offer life-advice from my own personal experiences. Whenever I find a process that enhances my life, I get excited to share it with my readers. I want to enhance as many peoples’ lives as possible and using my blog to do that has been a wonderful gift.

I have also become a photographer by default because my blog is so photo-forward. Not only do I take photos for my own blog (when I don’t have a photographer helping me), but I also style and do editorial photos for various brands.

My art prints express my love for gems/minerals and feature my photography and composition skills. I never imagined that I would have a product line for my brand, but as I said before, I am obedient to my creativity! So, when I had to idea to start selling my artwork and creating journaling kits, I followed through. The response has been amazing. I ‘m so glad I trusted that creative impulse.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
You are more ready than you think you are. Just start.

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