Why I Am Still A Creative Despite My Day Job
BY: BEVERLY CARTER
Reading time: 5 minutes
It all started in London, UK. I was a 16-year-old college student, who would wake up at 6 in the morning, and took the Underground just to get to college and make it to my classes, and sometimes end up getting home at 7pm because of the London rush hour.
I had never worked before, I only had experience volunteering in various places such as hospitals, hospices, schools and even charity shops. When I was younger all I ever wanted to do was grow up. I felt like grown-ups were more respected, they were more visible, and they had independence.
Since I was a young girl, I always dreamt of growing into becoming a powerful, influential, well- educated woman who carries substance and I looked up to women like Oprah, and even Rihanna because I respected the work ethic that both of those women entail, even though they are from two different worlds.
I wanted to be so many things as a young girl.
I wanted to be a fashion designer, I wanted to be a model, I wanted to be a NASA aerospace engineer, I wanted to be a journalist, I wanted to be an actress. When you’re young, it appears as though the world is your oyster, and there are no limits. You can be whatever you want to be, and the women I would see on TV screens, or magazines or billboards inspired me. I went through a phase in my life where I would read two books a week, and I also got my mom to take me to the store, so I could pick a new book each time. I would read until late in the night, and that would even inspire me to write stories myself.
The first time I got a laptop, I was hooked. I could not stop writing, the ideas that sprung in my head were endless. Sometimes I’d get so carried away, that before I finish a story, I’m already writing another one which meant none of my stories realistically never had an ending because I also started something new, all because of the excitement to bring my ideas to life.
I remember in 5th grade, a group of girls in my class wrote a book and even had it published. I was jealous because I wanted to be a part of it, and they never told me about it yet some of them were girls I considered friends. Instead, I decided to be inspired and write my own book. I never got it published of course, because like I said, I never finished a story because I always began a new one.
Growing up, of course, I’m a different person now. I have different aspirations, but I still want the same things. Going back to my main point, as a 16-year-old college student, I wanted to live like an adult, which meant getting a job.
I always told myself that once I’m eligible to work, I will do so because I want to learn responsibility and I wanted to teach myself the value of money, especially if I’ve worked for it. At 16 years old I applied at Apple for a job. I applied at several locations by submitting my application online and expected to be denied because, after I had sent out my resume, 3 months had passed and I never heard back from them. At that time, I had just decided to keep my options open instead and apply for other jobs such as Superdrug which is like a CVS or Walgreens, and I also applied for retail jobs too. To my surprise, one day at 7pm, I checked my phone to see an email notification from Apple saying that I have been invited to attend a hiring event. I was ecstatic. Just as I had given up, suddenly, an opportunity became available.
I read through the email with excitement, where they had congratulated me and provided a time, address and a dress code. I had about a week to prepare for the interview, and I didn’t research anything, I just dressed up, did my hair in a straight slick bun, and went to Westminister for my first interview.
I was overwhelmed when I walked in. It was in an unusual location, the interview took place in a court but they held the interviews in rooms which had chairs and a whiteboard, as well as a projector screen. They were broken up into groups depending on locations, so I was escorted to the room where I had picked for my first-choice location and joined about 12 other people for the first round. The first round was simply about them getting to know your personality by testing you in different aspects such as how you respond in stressful situations, how you would respond to a customer, and what values you think an Apple employee should have. I was intimidated because as the interview began, we were asked to go around and introduce myself and I was almost at the end which gave me a chance to listen to everybody else. What I had concluded was that majority of them were grown adults in their mid-twenties going to thirties, who already had degrees, had already worked in professional professions or already had experience working and there I was. A 16-year-old black girl, with no experience whatsoever. No degrees and no certifications except from high school going up against people with bachelors and masters’ degrees who have worked in IT, business and other professions. And yet somehow, after the tedious wait of around 4 months, I finally got the job and began at Apple starting off as a specialist.
My experience was great, I loved my job and still do, and I enjoyed working in environments where there is so much positivity, good teamwork, good cooperation and plenty of diversity. I never thought that my first job, would be something like that and I have stuck with Apple ever since to now where I am a 20-year-old, who relocated from London, back to Houston, Texas and I split my time vicariously between Houston and LA as I complete my first bachelor's degree.
Eventually, I decided I didn’t want to settle for just a regular part-time job, and decided to become an entrepreneur and started two businesses. One for skincare, with natural handmade products that include sugar scrubs, face cleansers and exfoliators, and body butters and, also a makeup cosmetic line that specialized in nude only colors. I feel as black women, we are often put in a cage, and society tells us what we can and cannot do.
There are so many powerful black women doing amazing things, and Rihanna and Oprah are two figures who have always stuck with me in regards to my aspirations, by demonstrating that women are allowed to be professional and they are allowed to be multitalented. I didn’t want to put my talent to waste, so I decided to start a brand of my own, with hopes that with time it will continue to increase and through that, I can also support other black-owned businesses. I wanted to break the glass ceiling, and I wanted to start off by doing it young instead of waiting.
I work well at night, and that was the time my ideas starting flooding into my head to start all these new ventures. I started working on it while I was still pregnant, and would balance the work in the day, and come home to put my ideas into play at night, which was the only time I had. I recently had a baby also, which means that as I’m away from work right now, I get to also focus on my businesses, during the night when my baby is asleep and I stay awake to be alert in case he needs me. I create at night, and I also make the products at night too (in regards to my skincare business).
Balance is one thing that has helped me to juggle all the different things I have going on in my life, and I feel as though women should do the things they love, and even make a side hustle out of it like I did because I believe that talent shouldn’t go to waste and it’s an amazing feeling also, to be able to work for yourself. With that, I’ve learned a lot of responsibility, I’ve learned to be organized, and I’ve learned more about the business world, and what it takes to run a licensed business successfully. I was discouraged because of all the other cosmetics there are out there, but if it’s one thing I want to make clear is that, as I simply emphasized before. Do not let your talents go to waste. I want women, especially black women to be inspired and be great!
Images credited to UK Black Tech
Beverly Carter, Houston, Texas
Beverly grew up in London but I’m a Houston native. She is an entrepreneur that a skincare and makeup cosmetic line. In her spare time she likes to work out, go hiking, listen to music, pamper herself, shop and of course most importantly spend time with her son, family, and best friends.
Twitter: @bshanese_ | @bluxbeauty
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