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Meet Fatoumah Ndiaye of Waist Beads By Fatou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Fatoumah Ndiaye.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
When I was in college my mom bought me a large container of various beads and findings from her friend that resale’s goods for $15. We bought it home, organized it and my mom suggested that I make waist beads. The beads sat for quite a while, and one day I started to research platforms to sell online, ways to accept payments and made 7 very simple styles of waist beads.

At the time I was very unsatisfied with my college experience and personal life and figured that it was time I did something fulfilling, so I remembered my mom’s suggestion. I changed my personal Instagram to a business page and began to post my work, a few sales started to come in little by little. One day Nerissa Irving followed me and reached out about custom waist beads. She posted her purchase on her page, and other women followed me and purchased, and posted on their Instagram; which leads to constant organic growth, and gave me the opportunity to adorn many women over time.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Although I’ve been really blessed with the ability to make beautiful waist beads and relate to women, it has not been a completely smooth road. There is so much more involved in running Waist Beads By Fatou than just making waist beads, and sometimes it’s difficult for me to stay on top of it all.

I’m one person and sometimes two with the help of my mom that does it all from photographing products, shipping, beading, inventory, customer care, events, etc. I’ve gotten a better handle on things as I grow and learn, but I still struggle with answering all the emails and messages received via social media sometimes.

Waist Beads By Fatou – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We specialize in luxury and very creative waist beads, custom waist beads, and traditional African waist beads from West, Africa. For those that don’t know waist beads are beaded adornments that women of all shapes, sizes, and ages wear around their mid-section for various reasons ranging from body positivity to healing and spiritual growth.

I am very proud that our products help make women feel great about themselves and their bodies, and that fact that so much genuine love and care is put into each creation and I can tell our customers feel it, which I believe also sets us apart from others.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Growth is how I define success. When I can clearly see the growth I know things are moving in the right direction.

Everything from the waist bead designs, website, quality of materials used, photographs, shipping process, to social media has continued to elevate gradually over time. To the point that nothing looks how it did when I first started.

We have so much more growing to do, but I’m happy with all the growth and changes that have taken place publicly and behind the scenes.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Nerissa Irving, Island Boi Photography, A Black State of Mind Photography

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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