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Hidden Gems: Meet Jane Uzuegbu of Bezvlel’s Designs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jane Uzuegbu.

Hi Jane, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Being the daughter of Nigerian immigrants, I was encouraged to pursue a career of prestige and security: medicine, law, accounting, or engineering. Although I was pretty artistic growing up, I never thought of art as more than a hobby. I had absolutely no clue that anything art-related could be an actual career or means of livelihood. So, when the time to pick a career path for college applications came, I googled “careers in medicine that make good money” and went with neurosurgery.

I was well on my way down the pre-med path until I hit my first year in college and making “good money” just wasn’t enough to get me through those pre-med courses. In the midst of trying to stay afloat in the science world, I stumbled upon graphic design like Alice stumbled her way into Wonderland. However, unlike Alice, I fell in love. I had never heard of graphic design and was pretty clueless. I started off creating designs on PicCollage until a friend offered to teach me about Adobe Illustrator. My life changed forever.

From that moment on, I immediately knew that I wanted to be a graphic designer. I had rediscovered my love for all things art. I would skip class to practice YouTube tutorials on how to create things with Adobe Illustrator because…priorities! While I was in a committed relationship with graphic design and getting ready to major in Studio Art, I was simultaneously seeking prayer and advice on how to break the news to my dad. I was so afraid that he would respond rashly and cut me off or something (a tad bit dramatic in hindsight; my dad is actually very supportive of my artistic endeavors). How in the world was I supposed to tell my Nigerian father, who sent me to school to be a neurosurgeon, that I was jumping ship and switching to…art? “What do you mean art?” “What is graphic design?” “How will you get a job, take care of yourself, and be stable after you graduate?” These were all questions he asked when I finally mustered up the courage to tell him about my switch. After a bit of back and forth he said “…do whatever you want.” I ran with it.

I switched my major and haven’t looked back since. I love it here. My plan was to graduate, get a job as a graphic designer at a nice company, freelance on the side, and live well. That IS NOT how the story has gone. There is so much I could share about my journey, but long story short, here I am. After many tears, lots of confusion, conversations, and a ton of praying, I decided to pursue business full time. I lacked confidence in my decision but finally committed to building my business from scratch last year, March 3rd, 2020.

Bezvlel’s Designs started as a freelancing gig with no name, but for me, it quickly became much more than a side hustle. It is a nod to individuals who are making what seems to be a risky move. In addition to Bezvlel’s Designs, I’m growing a brand that caters to other risk-takers and out-of-the-box thinkers. I desire to help creatives in every field thrive by sharing my journey and walking with them through theirs. I consider Bezvlel’s Designs to be a living, growing example for people in my community and those who can relate to my story — following their God-calling is equally as prestigious as being a neurosurgeon.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There have been a good number of challenges thus far. I think two of the most prominent challenges I’ve faced are a job scam I almost fell victim to during finals week my senior year and getting hit by the COVID-19 lockdown, quarantine, and everything in between just three weeks after deciding to do business full time.

The job scam hit me hard because I did everything right. I went every extra mile possible. 200 job applications and the one interview, the one offer I got was a scam. It was heart-wrenching, and it seemed like no matter how much work I put in, I just wasn’t successful with anything. This was where I learned not to find my identity in my work, in my failures, or in my successes, but in who God created me to be…me. I am so much more than what I do. In a society that ascribes value to profession and numbers, I have to actively remember that.

Starting a business and having COVID restrictions in full throttle just weeks after was scary. There were so many factors at work and I couldn’t help but question my decision often. However, if there’s one thing I learned in 2020, it’s that I cannot afford to anchor my life in a corporation or in the government or in systems. I think this is something we can all agree on. 2020 was an insane year for many reasons. However, against the odds, it was actually a great year for my business. Most businesses are in the red in their first couple of years, but that wasn’t my experience. I do my part, stay planted in a solid community, and trust God to bridge the gap.

We’ve been impressed with Bezvlel’s Designs, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Bezvlel’s Designs is a design house that focuses on showcasing authenticity through design. From our minimalistic portraits to our graphic design solutions, we hone in on the vision of our clients to accomplish more than visual satisfaction. Every design is targeted at echoing the heart of our clients.

Our Custom Portraits capture the uniqueness of people in a way that highlights each individual’s essence and communicates the richness of their person beyond their physical features.

Bezvlel’s Designs was founded in March 2020 and is based in the Greater Washington D.C. area.

What matters most to you? Why?
What matters to me is purpose. I am a firm believer that we are all here to create specific impact in our various worlds, whatever that looks like from person to person. The specific substance for impact is resident within us. Our careers, niches, hobbies, conversations, and interactions are conduits for the impact to be carried out and take effect. I am also a firm believer that the best place to discover the full breadth of something is to pick the mind of the person who created it. For human beings, that person is God. Having a personal relationship with Him puts everything in perspective, and it transforms — revolutionizes the way we walk in purpose.

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