Behind the Brand is a Pretty Entrepreneur series. We pull back the sheets and give you more insight into the people behind the brand. We are blessed to feature Nyeesha D, Williams. I truly believe that we find healing and purpose in our story and Nyeesha embodies that statement. Check out our Q&A below.
Hey Sis, We like to get all up in your business for “Behind The Brand” it gives others a peek inside. Can you state your name, where you are from and tell us a little about your business/work, and are you a full time entrepreneur ?
Ha! Good thing I’m as transparent as they come. I don’t mind you being in my business, quite frankly me telling my business is exactly why I’m an entrepreneur. My name is Nyeesha D. Williams and I am a Philanthropic Inspirer and Counselor who inspires and motivates teen girls and women through counseling, artistic expressions and entrepreneurial consciousness. I am a full-time entrepreneur, a mother of three, a wife and a hustler. This hustling mentality came from my birth place of Newark, N.J. #BrickCity
There’s a special kind of magic that happens when a woman of color sees a positive representation of her likeness in the media. At first glance she’s in awe, enamored even. She then begins to study said woman, examining her appearance, calculating her movements, and paying close attention to how she carries herself. She watches how she communicates her thoughts, beliefs, and passions--careful to see how others respond to her presence. Next, she makes note of their similarities. See, this part of the magic is key. While many argue that comparison kills confidence, this form of comparison could very well save a life. This woman begins to see that there are others with qualities like her who are not only surviving, but thriving as well. And that if this woman can make it out here in the world, so can she. At least that’s what I was thinking to myself when I first saw Janelle Monáe dancing across my TV screen back in 2007.
As an almost 33 years old woman, when I reflect back on the childhood version of myself there is one word that immediately comes to mind "awkward." I know that may seem like a cliché answer that one gives when describing a past version of themselves but here me out Sis! I was a middle child, raised in a relatively small town, by a single mother who worked a ton. Of course, she was doing what needed to be done to provide for myself and my two siblings, but it left us spending a lot of time to entertain ourselves or each other. I was introverted, shy, extremely sensitive, and spent a lot of time with my books. Can anyone relate?
Thinking about it now, I find it interesting that the only thing that got me to come out my shell was singing and dancing! Yes! I would sing and dance along to the radio and recite music videos all over the house! I was an okay dancer, but a terrible singer! Couldn’t hold a note to save my life but that didn’t stop me at all!
So when I sat down to write this post, my mind automatically went back to that young girl singing until her sister gave here "the look." It instantly went back to the many female musicians and entertainers who helped me go from that shy girl to the strong, confident woman that I am today. And after going through many great artists, my mind rested on one that I’ve been rocking with from Day 1! The Queen of Hip Hop Soul herself, Ms. Mary J. Blige.
“There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You would think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists but... more often than not, the opposite is true. You see the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists... well, without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.” — Modern Family
And I fall into the dreamer category. I’ve never felt that anything in this world is impossible. Even the word itself spells “I’m possible”. I believe that opportunities in life come in abundance and coming after everything I feel I deserve is one of my top priorities. If I don’t believe in myself and my dreams, then who will? There is no such thing as “doing too much” or being “selfish” just because I choose to create the best life for myself. I believe I can have everything I want with who I want when I want it. Even if some things take a bit longer to acquire, I know I will still have it nonetheless. Sure, there will have to be sacrifices. I understand that. But sacrificing doesn’t mean that I can’t get it again.
Lucrative career? I can have that. Active social life? I can have that. Healthy relationship? I can have that. Nice place to lay my head? I can have that, too. My motto for my life is simple.
I can and I will do anything that I want to do.
An artist's duty is to reflect the times..."
Screw your status quo. Collective liberation and truth matter. Complacency? Not so much. As a child, I befriended kids everyone else shunned. Ostracizing folks never sat well with me - even on the elementary school playground. I simply could not pretend I did not see their pain. You see, I feel intensely.
I think its why I connect so deeply with Nina Simone, a woman of fierce talent who dared to speak about the ugliness of America while simultaneously pushing for change. She understood creatives do not produce art in a vacuum. We are deeply impacted by the world around us - whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.