Yeah, She Werkin' : Ayana Listenbee

We're excited to kick off our next "Yeah, She Werkin" interview. In this series we highlight women who've turned their creative passion into a business. Women who "aspire to inspire" and support each other on our way to the top!

Ayanna Listenbee is one of the many creative's that we admire! She is a handbag designer + artist.The clean aesthetic of her blog and handbag collection will have you swooning while adding at least one of her bags to your current wishlist . 

What is it you do that puts the "werk" in "Yeah, She Werkin"?

"I've had some major setbacks during the course of my business, and some of them took a while to bounce back from. So I would say my daily persistence and dedication toward seeing the vision for my business, that God has blessed me with, come through to fruition is what puts the work in "Yeah, She Werkin". For me, it's a daily, minutely, second-by-second commitment to myself that I am going to persist, regardless of what the circumstances may look like on the outside."

When did you recognize your talent and realized it was something to pursue?

"I have been designing, drawing and creating since as long as I can remember. I am always changing the space around me to reflect my personal aesthetic, whether it is through clothing, art or interiors. As a toddler I used to walk around with a pen in my hand, and to this day I am (abnormally) attached to my pens and art supplies. But even with that, at the time, I did not think that a career in the arts was a viable career and so I did not pursue design as a major until I was one semester away from graduating with a BA in English. I had always been designing and sewing clothes for myself, and I realized that, although I love to read and write, English was not the direction I wanted to go in. So I switched my major to Fashion Design. At the time I was attending Clark Atlanta University, and they had a small fashion program that pretty much took place in the basement of one of the buildings. Once I changed my major, I knew I had found my calling. I was hooked. I started with clothing and then moved onto luxury handbags in 2005."

How do you werk it? (balance it all)

"Gurrrrl. I'm not sure I am totally balancing it! Right now I work from home and I love what I do, so I could honestly work all day and be content. So balance for me, is looking at each day as an opportunity to be better and do better today than yesterday. Some days are more balanced than others. For instance, I hate cooking, but I love to eat, so I notice that my days go so much smoother when I have taken the time to plot out the meals for the week so that I am not rushing around trying to figure out what to cook for dinner at the last minute (because I will most definitely put it off until the last minute if given the choice). So planning ahead really helps me to at least feel like I am balancing things better. My husband is a great cook and does a lot of the cooking also, so that is another part of the balance equation: teamwork. I also make it a point to practice being present in the moment wherever I am, with whatever I am doing, and that can be a real challenge for a creative mind! Ultimately my goal of balance looks like this: God first, family second then work.  I have to work hard every day to keep things in that order. Lol!"