Sometimes we have to unlearn a behavior, change our way of thinking, and dig deeper into the things we thought we knew in order to make it to our next level.
Ameka Coleman knows firsthand what it is like to switch up and do things differently so that you can reach your success. Today Ameka gets transparent with us about her life journey including her faith walk which led her to start her business, Strands of Faith, a hair and beauty brand.
In this episode, we learn:
- How important it is to develop a new level of thinking on your journey to success
- How experience is often life’s greatest teacher
- How Ameka used her faith as her guide to building her natural hair and beauty business
- How important it is to prioritize your time in order to keep your sanity
- How you must fill your up and practice self-care before you can take care of anyone else
As a special offer, visit Strands of Faith website and use code “MTM15” to get 15% off your purchase.
Stay connected with me. Join my community to stay up to date on the latest news and information. I have some exciting offers coming your way soon. You don’t want to miss it!
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Ameka Coleman 0:00
It was tough in that in ways I had to strip relationships and connections that I was previously connected to. Because like when you develop a new way of thinking, everybody is not going to understand it. Everybody’s not going to be willing to, to go with you to that new place where he is, you know, and so for me, I had to understand that, okay, you’re walking into this new season, it’s gonna be lonely, but if you want to get to the next place that God has for you, you have to be willing to take those steps alone.
LaWann Moses 0:37
Hey, mamas. Welcome to the more than a mother Podcast, where we believe you can pursue your dreams and be a great mother at the same time. I am your host LaWann Moses, and I am helping you find the freedom to live. Are you ready? Let’s go
Hey there, welcome to the more than another podcast. This is your host LaWann. Moses back with you again. If this is your first time listening, I just wanted to take a moment and introduce myself. As I said, I’m LaWann Moses, and I’m a Success Strategist. I am here to help you streamline your systems in business and life so that you can create a strategy to live out your unique life story. Joining me this week, is a very special guest. Her name is Ameka Coleman. Ameka is a native of Jackson, Mississippi. She’s a wife and mom to three beautiful children. She’s also the founder and CEO of shades of faith, which is a hair and beauty brand. She was left to start this company after receiving a nudge in her spirit to do so. which resulted in her formulating high quality products to cater to dry hair textures.
Ameka has always had a passion for for learning, she leaves her past experiences and education resets ordained by God. To bring her to her current reality. Ameka took a leap of faith and resigned from her career in clinical research, and now runs her company full time. On her greatest recent achievements was overcoming limited mindset beliefs, and making fear work in her favor. As a result, her business has received its first six figures in revenue. She credits this milestone to getting out of her own way persistence, resilience, hard work, determination, and being sensitive to hearing from God in regards to each step he desires for her to make within her business. Her mission is to teach others that if she could find the courage to utilize her faith to work towards building a legacy, and others can too. I have the pleasure of sitting down and talking to Ameka about her life journey, the steps that she took to build her business strands of faith and how she has truly walked in faith. To Manifest this dream, and build the life that she desired to live for herself and her family. So sit back and enjoy my interview with Ms. Ameka Coleman, founder and CEO of Strands of Faith.
Welcome to the More Than a Mother show. This is your host LaWann Moses and today I have a special guest with me by the name of Ameka Coleman. Before we get into our interview, I’m going to go ahead and let Ameka introduce herself to the More Than a Mother audience.
Ameka Coleman 3:31
Hi guys, such a pleasure to be here with you guys today. My name is Ameka Coleman and I am the founder and CEO of Strands of Faith, which is a faith based, beauty and lifestyle brand. And we create clean quality products that instills moisture into your hair and helps promote link retention. We’ve been around for two years now and we’re just now coming into her own. So I am glad to be here and to be discussing more than a mother and all those things. Good things which are today.
LaWann Moses 4:02
That is awesome. Thank you so much for joining us. I can’t wait to hear more about your products because they just sound like they are so amazing. But before we jump into all the business things, as you know, on more than a mother, we strongly believe in storytelling and the power that lies in our stories. And I just believe that everyone has a story and none of us wake up and we suddenly are the person that we have grown to become today. So don’t mind if you could share with our audience. What is that part of your story? What is that defining moment, that aha moment that has led you on the path that you are on today?
Ameka Coleman 4:42
So, so my aha moment? Well, it’s kind of one I don’t know if it is to be expected. I know everybody have different aha moments. But for me, my aha moment has to do with my faith. And I’m a believer. I’m a Christian. I have a very, very strong faith. And like growing up, you know, I grew up in a, like a church household going to church all the time, and had a strong community of believers around me. And over time, what I realized is that I personally began to feel like I was kind of in bondage, you know, like, I felt like, I had shackles around my feet at a time as a result of just being a Christian. I mean, I don’t know it’s kind of sound like harsh. And so and basically what I realized my aha moment like, okay, Christianity is supposed to be freedom, right? You know, God wants us to live a abundant life prosper.
Like he want us to be full of joy, you know, and things of that nature. And so everything that I was kind of experiencing or seeing in the environment was kind of like going against that was like the opposite. And so what I did was I finally just kind of like blocked out all the outside noise. And I was like, Well, let me get go to the source myself. Let me develop a relationship with Christ myself. Let me get an A word for myself and see what this, you know, is really about. And when I did that, that, for me was my aha moment because in that moment, I got to experience Christ like I had never experienced before. And I started to view created Christianity in the way that I had never viewed it before. Like now I found like, I truly found a life of freedom. So I began to experience like never before and like this was a life of true freedom. And, you know, God gives us commandments and I guess guidelines, so to speak, to follow and he does this as a way to kind of protect us, you know, we’re his kids and any good parent is going to want to protect your kids and that’s understandable. Before me when I was realizing is that people Within a Christian community, we’re creating these like, subset of guidelines or commandments or beliefs that they thought were, I guess the way to go. And those are the things that I was attached to that made me feel like, you know, I was abundant, you’re like, Okay, this isn’t the life that, you know, I initially would have thought a Christian life would be.
And so I begin to pull back from what I had previously been taught, I started unlearning that behavior, and you know, going through divorce myself and relearning and for me, that was my aha moment. And it kind of ties back to the business. You know, and I know we’ll get into that further, was you know, when I initially started the business, if you you know, you notice my business name is strands of faith. So, I’ve always had a level of faith even starting, but I didn’t know that me starting my business will be the pivoting point to develop that relationship and to further My faith like increase my level of faith. So I will say in a nutshell that developing a personal relationship for Christ and getting to know him for myself, it was my aha moment. And that changed the trajectory of my life. And just the way that I view the world. The you know how I see it, right?
LaWann Moses 8:18
Yeah, that’s, that’s good. That’s, that’s the that’s really good. And I like how you mentioned how you just grew up, and it was just things that you knew and observed. And then you felt this bondage and this lack of freedom. And one thing that I like where you said that you had to unlearn certain behaviors so that you could learn something different and learn for yourself. And I was just like, when you’re going through that moment of unlearning. I mean, it’s hard. And it’s a transition like what were you feeling at that time? What were you experiencing as you tried to break that bondage and unlearn that behavior so you could learn something new?
Ameka Coleman 8:54
girl, let me tell you first of all, if any of you have ever done Something that was outside of the norm outside of what you’d normally believed or was taught it kind of, in a way feel a bit ostracizing because you’re now stepping into someone of the unknown. Like, you’ve never been there before. Right? So for me, it was tough in that in ways I had to strip relationships and connections that I was previously connected to, because like when you develop a new way of thinking, everybody is not going to understand it, everybody is not going to be willing to, to go with you to that new place. You know, and so for me, I had to understand that, okay, you’re walking into this new season, it’s gonna be lonely, but if you want to get to the next place that God has for you, you have to be willing to take those steps alone.
And once I became okay with it, I think that’s when things started to really change for me, but it was it was a struggle in To be honest, it kind of feel is you know, it’s a It’s not something that you just, it’s one and done and you know, you you overcome it tomorrow. It’s a it’s a journey, right? And so each day, I’m learning myself over, I’m creating new habits, new thoughts and things like that. And I’m just really trying to embrace it. And then a process connects you with people who, you know, your vibe attracts your tribe, connects you with people who understand you, and who are willing to take your training with you. So, right, always a silver lining.
LaWann Moses 10:28
Yes. I mean, it is hard to, like you said, let go of those relationships. Everyone can’t go with you. And I mean, that relates to face but that relates to so many areas of life lighting, where you’re starting a business, whatever you’re walking towards, when you start going away from the crowd, or what everyone seems sees as normal. There’s always that just kind of everyone can’t go with you, everyone, for you. But I just think it’s important how you just mentioned that this was something you had to do for you and that you kept the focus of this is what you’re doing for you. So that That’s great. Yes, the door. So what did you discover about yourself during this transition during this time as you were pushing to your next level and walking through these moments?
Ameka Coleman 11:11
Okay, girl. Let me just say, number one, I think I discovered that I am resilient. Um, I’ve always considered myself to be a chameleon because I can adapt to almost any situation. But just seeing my strength, I saw a strength in myself in a way that I had never saw before. And it just gave me the momentum to keep going like, who I am now is so much more different than who I was two years ago when I started my business and who I will be two years from now. My God, if I continue on the path that I’m going and was submitting to him and all like, I’m gonna be a force to be reckoned with. Right?
LaWann Moses 11:54
That’s amazing. This when you go through those times, it’s just amazing how you learn. So much about yourself, you discover that strength that you didn’t know you had that resiliency, like we know we can adapt as people. But when you discover that strength, that it’s just like, Hey, I’m unstoppable if I can get through this, that I can just get through anything. Yes, yes, this theory there is that strength will come when you need it that may not come when you want it, but he’s right. I firmly believe in that.
Ameka Coleman 12:28
And that’s the truth. That is the truth. I’m a living witness.
LaWann Moses 12:31
Yes, me too. And He will guide your steps guide your path and like you said, when those old relationships, rate pay alijah with people that are having a similar vision as you and that can take that next step, that next part of the journey and walk with you because life is just an ever flowing journey, right? Yes, I agree. So now I want to hear more about this strands of faith because everything just like you said, It ties back to me with us. Your aha moment all that you’re going through it all led you to building this business and led you to building strands of faith. Can you tell us more about Strands of Faith?
Ameka Coleman 13:10
Yes. So Strands of Faith. So let me just back up. So basically, I know, this is probably a boring version of the story that you usually hear. But I like to say, when people ask me, okay, what gave you the idea which translate what motivated you to start? And I simply say, you know, the voice of guy, he is something that he put in my spirit and kind of like nourish me, you know, told me to do, and at the time, so leading up to this, I’ve been in the natural hair community for a while and I first went natural into the big chop back in 2006 when it you know, kind of really wasn’t a thing yet. And over time, I think was once I did that, I felt like liberated I felt free. I feel again, like got a chance to know myself in a way that I’ve never known because I was relaxed. the better part of my life pretty much all my life I had relaxer. And so once I did the big chop, I well created a community. I had a facebook, facebook, instagram following, and I will post hair tutorials, hair tips and things of that nature. And then I kind of like, I guess go on as supporters on that platform. And so that was my main thing was just encouraging women to embrace and love exactly who they were the way that God created them to be right.
I think many times we have struggles with images and what’s portrayed in the media like loans, great European hair, and that’s something we tend to kind of like to follow or to mimic and there’s nothing wrong with it at all. But my whole thing was embrace what God gave you and let it be an option you know, but if you want to wear straight hair and want to get to relax to do that, but first of all, No one believed that you rock in your natural textures like you are bold and beautiful regardless, first and foremost. And so when he gave me the idea to start strength, faith, I had already been passionate about it. And the funny thing about it was in hindsight is 2020 they say, right, and so when I look at all the things that led me up to starting strength to faith, it was like he was preparing me for it because my background was in research. I had previously gotten an MBA and at the time I got the MBA, I had no no no earthly idea that I would one day start his own business. And so everything just kind of came together full circle, full circle, and I took all of my life experiences and kind of trance you know, transition them into strength based on the company and so, in a nutshell, again, he was he got, you know, drop into my spirit to start I was passionate about it, it was one of those things passion may have purpose and here we are at
LaWann Moses 16:01
That’s amazing. But I mean, it just shows how experiences life’s greatest teacher. And that just comes up in so many things. And we don’t realize that the past that we walk on the things that we go through how once we get to the point where we have this tangible item like with you building strands of faith, it’s like who knew that all those different paths that you traveled on, every experience that you had will lead you to this point that you are today so that everything in life happens for a reason?
Ameka Coleman 16:29
Yes, all things work together for the good. I love him.
LaWann Moses 16:34
yes, they certainly do. What would you say has been the most rewarding part of business?
Ameka Coleman 16:43
I was saying the most rewarding part is probably just simply when not probably but definitely walking in purpose. Like I really do feel like transfer faith in everything that I’m doing with community Building in just the empowerment piece and everything how it comes together, I really feel like I’m walking in my purpose. And also the flexibility behind it all like entrepreneurship in general allows me to kind of mold my days if you will, like, I don’t get it twisted entrepreneurship is a whole different beast from like, you know, working a nine to five or having a career because you go from working, let’s say, See it 40 hours a week to now 80 Plus, you know, right in doing so, like I said, the flexibility I’m able to kind of like create pockets of time to work on my business. And now I can have set amount of time to spend with my family, which you know, family is the most important and they always come before business, of course, oh, it’s got family and business. But you know, it’s just rewarding that I’m able to have my own business because I get to control my time. So I would say walking in purpose and being able to control my time.
LaWann Moses 18:00
Right. And that is just so important. Like I said, having a family being a mother with everything that we have to do. I mean, that flexibility just gives a certain just level a new level to things to where you’re able to have that control of your time and manage everything. So taking all that until consideration as a mother, how do you find yourself managing all that you have going on? I mean, you mentioned entrepreneurship with the 80 plus hours and then yes, you do have control over your time, but you also have your family, your kids and all those things outside of this. So as a mom, how are you managing it all?
Ameka Coleman 18:37
So Oh, gosh, and you know, you’ll hear me say this a lot. I say this, pretty much across all my platforms. Like I don’t really believe in balance when it comes to managing a company in managing a family and things like that, I believe in prioritizing and so that alone is the number one things that I do in order to keep my sanity and in order to keep everything you know running smoothly. So I set aside things like for instance, in my business, I have an unlimited amount of tasks that needs to be done to complete it. So I batch those out. I said, you know, put different things in different categories, give them deadlines, and then I’ll get those completed, right.
And then I tried to make it to so we’re like, so for instance, with our day to day schedule, my husband, thank God for him. I’m so grateful for him. He is absolutely phenomenal. But yeah, he take our kids to school in the morning, and he brings them home in the evening. So he dropped them off and pick them up. And so that frees me time to just get up and just hit it hard, right. But I know that they’re going to be home by a certain time. So when I know that they’re on their way, I wind down, get a stopping point. And then when they get home, I make sure that all my time is dedicated to them and their time and their timeframe. But I mean, to be honest, I can’t lie Sometimes I do a little itty bit of busines in there, only because when you’re running a company solo like me, you I mean, it’s just it has to be done.
And that’s where the sacrifice comes in. But they also know and understand their mama run a business, you know, I try my best to include them in every aspect of it, like, you know, sometimes they’ll help me take the orders, they watch me make the products and you know, they’ll ask the hell can I do this? And can I do that, and so they feel included, you know, and so just making sure that my time is allocated in the manner that it needs to be and then also including them as well is how I manage it, you know, and of course, this is going to look different each season or like each season is going to bring about a new set of challenges and a new set of priorities. But currently, this is how I do it. And I can honestly say that now I’m at a pretty high place with how I have my time now in the beginning was starting a business it will totally different from right now, right? Because that was just like crazy mo but but yeah, so they have a priority and I just keep it in the back of my mind that I can’t neglect them, you know.
LaWann Moses 21:16
So that’s true. I mean, I’m with you. I’m one I don’t believe in balance, like you said, it’s all about prioritization. And I just believe in getting life to work together in harmony. And it seems like that’s what you have managed to do in your household with your business and all that you’re doing. And I think that’s an important tip that you’ve thrown out there to find a way to include your kids in your business. So not only are they seeing the work that you’re putting in and seeing what you’re building, but then also you’re still getting that time with them. They feel like they’re involved and that they’re helping so you’re still able to pay attention to your kids and pay attention to your business at the same time. Yeah, that it looks different in each season. But I think that’s really good to find a way to include your kids and what you have going on. On right? Yes, yes, yes, yes, I am loving all of this don’t make it he told us a lot about strands of faith. Well I’m interested in knowing now is what type of products Tell me more about the products that Strands of Faith has to offer?
Ameka Coleman 22:17
So yeah, I find those can be used for kinky coily curly textures or multicultural texture. If you have type four hair like me type three hair and basically what our products do they instill the moisture and they increase the longevity of your moisture over a couple of days. So for me personally, when I created the initial products, I was able to get 15 days straight without re moisturizing my hair and I know everybody’s hair is different. Yes, I know everybody’s hair is different. But the products are created in order to basically increase your moisture levels and the longevity of before you have to re moisturize your hair.
LaWann Moses 22:57
Thank you for telling us about your product. Can’t wait to get over there and check them out. So do you have any tips that you would offer to a mom as we as you just mentioned, you have at all with the prioritization and including your kids those were like your main tips but if there is a mom that is struggling that perhaps was mom girl are struggling to start to pursue her dreams are just trying to find a way to get some control of her time. And this feels like it’s impossible. Is there like any tips that you would give her? So if you think back to when you first were starting out in business, and you said it looks different now than it did back then when would you give to someone that may just be starting out?
Ameka Coleman 23:43
Well, I this too, can actually go across the board. And this is and I learned later, and I’m still learning but the number one tip I would say is fill up your cup first. Like fill up your cup first. Like we all know you can’t pour from an empty cup, whether it’s pointing to your kids, your spouse, your job, your business. And what I found is that many times, moms tend to feel I mean, we’re nurturers by nature. Right? Right it moms tend to kind of put their dreams on hold, put their sales to the backburner and put their kids and everyone else to the forefront.
Now call me new school, but I just don’t believe in doing it that way. Because I feel like, okay, at the end of the day, right? We raised these beautiful, the gifts that we have our kids, but one day they’re going to go on to live their own lives, they’re going to have to experience the world for themselves. And the best thing you can do for them is to prepare them for that. But also, at the same time, you have to live your life because when they’re long and gone, and then you’re left with nothing and you’re looking back and like wow, I spent all my time preparing them for their lives. And now I feel like I don’t have one you know, and so that’s my number one tip is to make sure you’re getting It’s cool first before you pull up, pour into others, you don’t have to put your career on hold. You don’t have to not pursue your dreams not pursue your passions or your hobbies, you don’t have to not do any of those. You just have to find a way at the end to prioritize it. But never lose yourself in the midst because it can get very noisy, you hear all type of advice and suggestions from a lot of different sources.
But at the end of the day, you have to tune in and find out what is it that really makes you happy? Like, what is that one thing that makes you happy? And then don’t go back on it? Right, you know, don’t go back on it. And that’s another thing. traditional Christian belief will have you to believe that a mom is supposed to stay home, cook all day and do all the dishes the laundry, clean up, tidy up. And you know, at the end of the day, she’s exhausted, right, she’s exhausted and if she’s the only one doing all those things, then what does that leave for hers? Let it’s a little long for her for self care. And to kind of, you know, put her plan of action to get her own thing going. So I would definitely say ensure that your cup is filled up all the time if that means extra 30 minutes in a closet with your your face on the floor praying or if that means going to the spa for a pedicure, whatever it is, your family your kids and your husband would be better because of you when your whole.
LaWann Moses 26:27
That’s definitely true man that is was one of the driving forces behind the foundation of more than a mother and this whole podcast and showing wherever it’s going to go from here because I was running into so many people that were had been mothers for so long. Now our kids are getting older and they’re looking around like okay, now what am I supposed to do? Like they put themselves into their kids activities and now they find their kids are older, becoming more independent, maybe leaving the house whatever is going on. The mothers are now looking around like okay, now what am I supposed to do? They would always ask me, well, how are you doing it? You seem to be doing X, Y, and Z. And it’s like, yes, you can live your dreams you can do the things you love while still raising a family and having your kids involved in activities that you just, you find a way to. And once you make yourself that priority, it really does become easier. I mean, it’s not an overnight thing, because we do it. Just out of habit of thinking we’re supposed to put everyone before us. But once you get that mindset of Okay, I need to take care of me first. If I don’t take care of me first. I can’t take care of anyone else. And I’m anyone else. I mean, that’s really good because I am a firm believer in filling your cup up and not being able to pour from an empty cup.
So if you could just leave us with just thinking back to when you were younger, doesn’t have to be I say exedra think back to their 18 year old self but it doesn’t have to be your eight year old self but as you were thinking back to first getting your independence your 18 year old self, if you could give a message to that girl, what would you tell her knowing what you know now?
Ameka Coleman 28:13
Listen, oh, I will have a lot to tell her. But I was sorry. I was gonna say listen, amico in your 18 year old beauty beauty girl, you are beautiful. You are worried you are honorable, you’re smart. You got the juice, like you got it. So, while Put your head up, you know, life won’t always be easy, you will fail and you will succeed. So like embrace the journey is like life when we look back, you know, we all the seasons that we’ve been through all the struggles. We always feel like in that moment when we’re going through like it’s the end of the world, right? And then when we get to the other side, we’re like, oh my gosh, I’ve made it through So and that’s basically my my whole life up until now, like I’ve been through some storms have been through some things and 18 year old me was, I thought I had it Well, I was I thought I had it figured out, I was trying to figure it out. But I had much more self esteem that I had today.
You know, just trying to find my way, at 18 you really have a lot more pressure on you, I think, really than any other time because that’s the time you’re kind of coming into your own. You’re going to college or you get a job or you’re doing you know, whatever, as you’re transitioning to adulthood. So it’s a lot of noise. And so if I could just say, Be steel, just find your voice. Be authentic, be genuine, pray, have faith, you know, just allow God to guide each and every one of your steps. If you allow him to guide you, then you can’t go wrong. Even when you feel like you’re in a down season. You’re up season is to follow so I was just having to hold her hand up Enjoy life, right? Just enjoy life.
LaWann Moses 30:03
That is some great advice for your younger self. And it’s amazing how when we get that wisdom, we can leave that advice. And I just thank you for sharing that with us. So before we go, can you just tell my audience where they can find you what great things you have. By the time this episode airs, you will be in full mode. So if you just want to share all the greatness that you have going on in your business and all that,
Ameka Coleman 30:32
Sure, well, you can find me personally on all social platforms, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, wherever at Ameka Coleman. I think the links will be in the show notes. But you can find me at Ameka Coleman on all platforms and you can find Strands of Faith on all platforms at Strands of Faith. And also I would like to share with you guys today we have a discount code for you guys if you’re interested to come over and get your haircare in in just good shape revitalize those strands, you can get a 15% off discount at www.strandsoffaith.com using code MTM15, that’s Mary Tom Mary one five. Basically I got it from More Than a Mother so More Than a Mother 15- MTM15.
LaWann Moses 31:34
I like that that special offers that you heard a week ahead on over to strands of faith and use the code MTM15 and get 50% off of your purchase. Thank you for that special offer. So I just want to thank you Ameka for joining the More Than a Mother show today and sharing your story and your business with my audience is just It’s been a pleasure to talk to you and we will have to chat again soon.
Ameka Coleman 32:05
Thank you so much for having me. It was my pleasure.
LaWann Moses 32:11
All right, thank you so much. Thanks so much for listening. You can learn more about Amiga and her work on Facebook, Instagram, and her websites. And it’s a special offer to the more than a mother audience amigas offering 15% off your purchase when you use the code MTM15. Again, that code is m tm 15. So head over to strands of faith and use your special purchase code to get 15% off your purchase today. Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, head over to LaWann Moses calm. I love for us to stay in touch. Make sure you leave here at email address so I can send you installation tips and the latest updates. Or if you prefer, text the word more, that’s MORE to 3024404632. We have some great things coming up and I don’t want you to miss a thing. Thanks again, make sure you subscribe and leave a review. Until next time, keep pressing because victory is yours.
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