We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaiye Empress and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jaiye, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The concept for the business, Empressive Expressions, comes directly from my artistry. As an artist, I use my art to express my truths and experiences as a Black woman. Creating makes me feel more empowered and beautiful. Thus, I wanted a larger platform to inspire other Black women to connect with the stories I personally share, and then use that connection to create and share their own.  So that they too may feel empowered and beautiful!

Ultimately, I wanted Black women to realize that their (our) stories matter, they have merit and they are impressive!  Only I spell it Empressive to uplift the regality of Black womanhood as we are all royal within our own right. Also, my poetic alias is Jaiye Empress, so naturally who I am and what I create is Empressive!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Creative writing and poetry are my main forms of artistry. My entire life is a poem and I see everything through a poetic lens! That is what sets me apart from everyone else. Therefore, I am most proud – and excited! – about penning my first book, “Wild Yoni Flower: A Self-Love Journey.” It chronicles my journey into womanhood through a series of poems and journal entries. It’s a deeply personal, intimate and vulnerable testimony, so I am very proud of myself for having the courage to write it and then present it to the world. Beyond that I have a few other projects that are in creative gestation. I’m looking forward to sharing them with the public when the time is right. Just stay tuned…!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Haulover Beach. If my friend was feeling a little risque, I would take them to the clothing optional portion of the beach because being nude by the water is one of the most liberating experiences that I would love for them to share. We would also go to Ginger Bay Cafe for Soca Thursdays to dance to island music until the wee hours of the morning.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout Ruth Jeannoel of Fanm Saj inc., and Wakumi Douglas of S.O.U.L Sisters Leadership Collective, located in Miami, Florida. Both of these women and these organizations have powerfully held space for me in ways that have had a tremendous positive impact on my healing and self-growth. Also, bell hooks, Audre Lorde, Nikki Giovanni, Ntozake Shange, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis and so many other unapologetically Black women for being my spiritual, academic and artistic sheroes!

Website: www.everythingempressive.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/everything_empressive www.instagram.com/empressivekeepsakes
Facebook: www.facebook.com/empressiveexpressions

Image Credits
Jose Lawrence