Today we’d like to introduce you to Bieunkah Anwojue.
Hi Bieunkah, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
My story began as a little girl, living in Grambling, Louisiana and having a love for drawing. Little did I know that love would save my life. I am Bieunkah of Bieunkah Illustrations. I am an illustrator who creates customizable paper goods that bring diversity and representation to the stationery space, and this is my story!
In 2017, I was working at a job that I loved, surrounded by people I loved and was “living the American dream,” but behind the scenes, I was holding in a lot of hurt and literally losing my mind. I would wake up, get the kids ready for school, drop them off, cry on the way to work, wipe my face in the parking lot, walk in with a smile, complete the workday like nothing was wrong, say goodbye to everyone, walk out to my car, cry some more, wipe my face, pick up the kids, go home make dinner, then go and cry in the closet. Did you get tired from reading that? I was tired of doing it day in and day out.
In 2018, I gave up trying to maintain this strong appearance and decided to go to therapy. In therapy, I had to find a coping mechanism or distraction. Art was my way of coping with my hurt. It was my distraction for a small portion of the day. I started sharing my artwork on social media while sharing my story and women began to tell me how my drawings got them through the day and how they were now comfortable sharing their mental health journey.
In 2019, after being in Corporate America for seven years and struggling with mental health, I decided to step out on faith and be the light that I needed during my mental health journey. Growing up, I never saw a card or a bookmark with people who looked me. Something as simple as a card can be just want someone needs to turn their day around! I took the desire to bring awareness to mental health, the lack of representation and my love of fashion and created a line of stylish stationery that brings encouragement and gilded details!
Whether you need some encouragement for yourself or you want to put a smile on someone else’s face, there is a card, bookmark, art print, notepad and so much more just waiting for you to select your skin tone and receive stylish paper goods that represent YOU! I want women and young girls all over to know how powerful they are, how beautiful that are, and while life can hit us hard at times, I want my products to be the reminder to keep going!
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. It has been more of a beautiful, winding road with multiple obstacles along the way! It has been Uncomfortable! I think that one of the biggest misconceptions with entrepreneurship is that you will get a business started, then you automatically become successful. That is just not the case. I have had to figure things out and have worked a lot more than I ever had before. I have taken more classes, done more research, done more loving on myself, more praying than I ever have.
There have been days where I just felt like giving up, but then I have to quickly remind myself of why I began. I have three beautiful children who I want to see grow and thrive, all while seeing themselves represented, so stopping is not an option. That being said, get comfortable with being uncomfortable! That uncomfort is where you will grow. It is where you will be pushed outside of your boundaries. One of my favorite quotes is, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am an illustrator who creates fashionable art that inspires and uplifts. I turn my artwork into stylish paper goods that you can gift to others or keep for yourself as a reminder that you are simply magical, no matter what you are going through in life.
I am most proud of the fact that I stepped out on faith and did what was best for me and my mental health. I think that so often, we as women put everyone else before ourselves and I am proud of the fact that I finally did something for me. And there are no regrets! What sets my apart from others is the fact that I am not competing with anyone else except the version of me from yesterday. The creative community is so full of talent and I get excited when I see others winning. I will root for your success just like I root for mine because what we do today will be bridges for our future generations. The barriers we overcome, the glass ceilings we break are all stepping stones for the ones coming after us.
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
A few tips that I wish I had known beforehand are: 1. Support will not always come from where you expect: many entrepreneurs question their talents and want to give up because their family and friends do not support them. Not everyone will see your vision and believe in what you are doing; that is ok. No one owes you their support. Keep pushing! There is a world full of people who will love you. Your best customer can be someone you have yet to meet. 2. Keep learning: don’t be afraid to ask questions. Learn from the people who are already succeeding in your field.
- Stylish Cards – $5 and up
- Bookmarks – $8
- Notepads – $10
- Art Prints – $10 and up
- Custom Work – $180 and up
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.bieunkah.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bieunkah_illustrations/
- Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/BieunkahIllustrations/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrawandMotivate
- Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BieunkahIllustration
Copyright © BIEUNKAH.