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Conversations with the Inspiring Sakiyna Jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sakiyna Jones.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My blog started off as a classwork assignment. My professor at the time insisted that we all create a blog by the time the course ended. I began my blog during my last college year (nearly 3 years ago) and focused it solely on college campus fashion and entrepreneurs. After about 6 months, I felt discouraged. I had 2 options: let it go or create it around myself. I took a different route and re-created my blog (2 years later) and focused it on the three things that I love: fashion, travel, and lifestyle. During the process, I expected rapid results and had to learn the hard way that I cannot control the rate of my success. So, I decided to continue it and focus on it as a hobby, rather than a career. I began to see things form slowly from that point on.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Blogging is definitely not a smooth road. As far as the struggles, I faced many. One of which is competition. After I got out of this mindset and focused on my own lane, things began to feel more genuine. It is so easy to get caught in social media and believe everything that we see. 9 times out of 10, a lot of bloggers fabricate their lives to present it to be everything that it is not. Another struggle is timing. A lot of successful bloggers don’t speak much on the amount of time that it takes for them to reach their level of success. Timing and patience are key.

As far as advice that I have for those that are beginning on their journey into the blogging world is to: stay true to yourself and ALWAYS be authentic. Be open to sharing personal stories. Bloggers are not happy nor have a perfect life 100% of the time. Don’t be afraid to send that message out. Be relatable.

what should we know about ToastedLeather? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a fashion/travel/lifestyle blogger. I have traveled within the United States, as well as overseas. I just enjoy giving travel tips (and I make sure that I am super detailed and cost-conscious) and being a fashion role model at the same time. I am most proud of the networking opportunities that my blog has brought me. It shocks me still that hundreds of people check out my blog weekly. I have been blessed to use my blog to attend/cover events, especially for New York Fashion Week. I am also proud to be able to work with different brands.

What sets me apart is that I make it the main focus to be 100% relatable. I am a firm believer for “shopping on a budget” but finding amazing pieces. I make sure that I am telling a story within my posts and that others can get to know me more beyond social media.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
I am a die-hard advocate for women empowerment and I have many. However, I will share a few. Elaine Welteroth, a former editor of Teen Vogue, is an amazing journalist and writer. She inspires me because, for someone with such a high position, she was that voice for millennials, especially black millennials. She decided to use her platform to discuss important issues. She did not have to do that. Meeting her in New York during NYFW made my views on her even better.

SZA, a singer, inspires me tremendously –, especially through her music. I have been following SZA for about 5 years and this woman has taught me the power of living free. I admire her work ethic, her humbleness and the message that she sends through our music… it’s powerful. I think to move a person and transition their life through music is definitely some form of power.

Last but not least, my mom is an inspiration of mine. I can only respect her strength and learn the things that she went through during my age and understanding how she got to where she is now is incredible. It takes a strong woman to raise 3 wonderful women. She taught me the importance of hard-work — no matter what your task is at work, always give 110%.

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