Sensual Soul is a monthly interview series where we interview cool people doing cool things. A Sensual Soul is someone who is in connection with their senses and how they make them feel. They are in pursuit of softness and peace of mind while making self-love a priority.
We're so excited to announce Nayamka Roberts-Smith (Nai) as our first Sensual Soul! Using social media, Nai has created a cult following by demystifying skin care and transforming the skin of so many people through tips like her #60secondrule.
Hi Nayamka! First, we'd like you to introduce yourself. Who is Nayamka? Your background and what you do?
A: I am a first generation American daughter to Jamaican immigrants. I’m also a license aesthetician based in Los Angeles. I’ve been in the beauty industry professionally for almost 10 years and unofficially since I was about five when my mom went to cosmetology school. I’m a social media skin care educator, wellness influencer, and e-commerce entrepreneur. I sell luxury bath, skincare & shower merchandise.
We love how you've demystified skincare for so many people through your Twitter, IG, and Youtube. What inspired you to share your knowledge?
A: During my teen years I really struggled finding the right products, techniques and styles to take care of my face, skin and body. Prior to becoming an esthetician, I saw firsthand the way taking care of others through physical touch and teaching about personal care elevated the quality of peoples lives. Once I went to aesthetic school, I realized how wide the gap was in reliable quality information for black women. So I decided to fill that space in the most accessible way I could… for free on social media.
Our June theme is Radiate. This month is all about not dimming your light and being authentically yourself. How important is it that you show up as your true self in your daily life and in your work?
A: Showing up as your true self I believe is the most important way to combat imposter syndrome. The world is loud, and industries are saturated, but I know no one has my unique perspective or my life experiences. There is only one of me, and I do myself and everyone around me a disservice when I attempt to show up as anyone else.
It seems like you give so much of yourself through your work. Tell us about your relationship with self-care and self-love? Do you have a self-care ritual?
A: For me, caring for my body is so grounding. As a black woman in America, it can be scary. Which is why I love focusing on the things I can control and honoring my physical self. Cleansing my face, washing my hair, lotion-ing, exercising, cooking, all serve as ways to affirm my importance in the world. On the flip side, because my work is so mentally & emotionally taxing, I’ve learned the hard way what not prioritizing my mental health can do to me. The mind and the body are inextricably linked.
First thing you do when you wake up? Last thing you do before going to bed?
A: Embarrassingly, the answer to both questions is being on social media scrolling and I hate that. Reducing my screen time and implementing morning and evening routines is something I am actively working to improve on.
We saw your recent IG post about your move from NY to LA in 2016. How did that move change your life and what advice would you give to someone afraid to make a big leap?
A: It’s really impossible to quantify how much that move changed my life. My decision to move was based on a desire to grow into the full, bright, impactful, purpose driven woman I envisioned in my head. I wanted to do scary things. I wanted to run towards fear. My advice to anyone afraid to make the big leap is to do it scared. The fear is a sign you’re moving in the right direction. Make a plan, give yourself a date, and jump. It will never not be scary until you do it.
You've said before you became an entrepreneur by accident. Has entrepreneurship made you more confident? What are some positive lessons you've learned from entrepreneurship?
A: Ironically enough, my entrepreneurship journey has made me both significantly less confident. It’s very very difficult to be in the public eye, and to serve so many people but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I think I’m in a “humility” season where my lessons are based around learning. But entrepreneurship has taught me how big and wide and beautiful the world is. If you can dream it, you can create it which is so so powerful. The future exists in your imagination. Entrepreneurship has also taught me the power of community. I’ve always really values community, but because entrepreneurship can be so lonely, it drives home how much we so desperately need each other to survive.
What's on your to-do list this summer?
A: My biggest goal for this summer is to push through on my wellness journey. Forming better habits. Eating well. Exercising regularly. Spending time in nature. My second biggest goal is to deepen my impact with my community and give back in more impactful ways.
When do you feel most radiant?
A: I feel most radiant laughing with friends.
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