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Episode 19: Conversation Transcript

Alex 0:03
Welcome back to another episode of community conversations with Alexandra Dean. We are here today. Yes with Mina Alice merde. Wonderful, wonderful. You are the curator, store owner, you're a photographer have Mamoon the wonderful store that we are currently in here in Los Angeles. Yes, so beautiful and we're so so excited to be able to speak with you know, it's our honor. It's our honor to speak with you. Yes. Yeah, you guys. It's a mutual. Thanks. Thank you. Yeah, so

Dydine Umunyana 0:39
I know we celebrated human human stories in the conversation.

Alex 0:43
Yeah, bring ourselves Yeah, to an extent to

Dydine Umunyana 0:47
all of you who are listening or watching. We all know you and we celebrate you. And so today, we're going to talk about your story. So we're going to invade your space. We're already in it.

Mina 1:09
I'm happy for you to invade my space. Pleasure meeting you guys over the past couple of weeks. And it's been wonderful getting to know both of you and I appreciate it and I'm excited for this conversation. So

Dydine Umunyana 1:23
thank you. Yeah, absolutely. I really love when we when we made sure when we came here. I love the energy in this space. I think you have your your aura. I think also kind of the space has the setback or as

Alex 1:36
a piece that I agree. Yeah, there's an energy in this space in this space, that it's very it's infectious, but it's always warm and inviting.

Mina 1:45
Exactly. No, this is exactly what I would vote for people to say. Yeah. And it was a real big reflection on just the environments that I had grown up in creating the comforts but also exploring the creativity. And you guys nailed it. So

Dydine Umunyana 2:08
talking about the environment to grow up and how was your upbringing? Yeah. Where were you born? Yeah. So,

Mina 2:16
um, about 36 years ago. I was born in Long Island. I'm a first generation Iranian American. So my parents you know, were born in Iran. In Shiraz, which is like the it's known as the artistic creative, poetic side. of Iran a lot more with nature. Yes, up in the outdoors. From what I've heard, I haven't visited yet but so yeah, I grew up in Long Islands and then stayed there for quite a bit of time up until I left for college up north. So that was upstate in Syracuse. Yeah, I mean, with my older brother and little sister and had a really wonderful upbringing in the suburbs, where I was constantly introduced to you just, you know, a real a real secluded, but lovely childhood. I fix us. Yeah. It really helps with like, curating my art. Or cementing my love for just like, you know, exploring things being artistic. Just different avenues over there. Yeah, it was a it's I look back and I'm smiling right now because

Alex 3:54
yeah, you

Mina 3:56
know, yeah, I find myself constantly. You know, reverting back to those moments of just like you said, having time to explore things and more and also just really being a part of a community. Yeah.

Alex 4:16
Yeah. And again, I feel that I feel that translates that comes through very strongly with you, because it's like a we're all in our 30s now. I just turned 30 So I can say I can say that. Oh, yeah. So like as we get a little bit older, I find myself kind of grasping certain things that I experienced as a child. A lot of peace and a lot of spirituality that I experienced as a child. I didn't really I feel like I've moved away from that in my 20s. Yeah. And I feel like now was the answer. I get a little bit older into my 30s. It's kind of coming back to me in so many different unexpected ways like in the art that we create in these these conversations that we have, and it's a natural thing, or at least it feels more natural to me than it did 510 years ago. And so I feel like you were probably more of a like artistic child. You spend more time like just exploring like the abstract things in life. Am I right about that? Because I feel like I sort of

Mina 5:27
my mother moved out to Long Island and she you know, she had three children and no, it's a lot and my father but he's a doctor and you know, he had a full time job and plus, yeah, and you know, thank God we had a neighbor close by who I look back on till this day, and I really could say, she and my mother and formed a lot of my artistic and creative side, but she would always get working on these projects and like, it was very, you know, everything she did was with her hands and to keep her daughter busy. Her daughter was close in age to us, our neighbor's daughter. She would constantly think of like different projects and art projects that she could do and they would invite us over constantly. So I have I think that really cultivated a lot of my interest in you know, painting drying the bead where every time we come over to her house, you'd have something new she was working on. Oh, that she was adding to her home. Or I don't know, it was just it really kind of allowed me to explore a lot and I don't think I had thought about that until more recently this year looking back on different things. Yeah. For certain, you know, interests of mine have come from

Dydine Umunyana 6:52
That's true. That's true. You know, when we're kids, every experience really inspires us. And when we become Lehrer. Yeah. And the good of the Bad's really, really every every little thing kind of makes us who we are. And as you're speaking about that, you mentioned it that being a doctor and and you're a child of immigrants, you're first generation first. A lot of children of immigrants. Yeah, they are. They either become the parents when you have to become a lawyer to become a doctor. Because they know the challenges where they left home and so they like if you want it to be good to know you have the salary whatever. Yeah, stability.

Mina 7:37
Yeah. What parent a rebel country that was in the midst of breaking down revolution. All they want is for their family to have stability, or their kids to have stability. Yeah. It really does inform a lot of that first generation. Yes. Yeah. Kind of like the adults in the weight. Generation to wanna, yeah, you know, feel like your parents came here, not just in vain, but like,

Dydine Umunyana 8:10
oh, yeah, really make something of yourself. Yes. Was that a conversation for you to be oh

Mina 8:15
my gosh, growing up with my father was tough because I was always trying to I think I always wanted to make them proud. Yes, I really want but at the same time, I think I was struggling with a huge love of the arts and culture. You know, as you're growing up, you only tend to figure that out more right? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So I felt like there was a constant struggle of me wanting to lean into it and then also be having to pull away like now this is not who knows what this could lead to. It's not really a topic. You're constantly being told you need to be more stable. Yeah. I mean, I remember when I was applying for colleges, and I really wanted to apply to like these art schools, specifically for fashion design, and we had a conversation my father, he was like, I think, you know, you should do Liberal Arts and Business at least consider that Yeah. And my mom would kind of like call me over to her side of the bedroom and be like, applying apply where you want just put your application and that you know, the encouragement. Yeah, really. The support from that was really helpful with Oh, getting me to I think where I am today. To feeling less guilty about

Alex 9:55
Yeah.

Mina 9:57
It's, it's freeing and yeah, able to explore it. Yeah, I mean, it's. At this point, obviously, they're like we got it. We see what you like, the beginning. It's hard for them to imagine that but I think they're also coming from them coming from Shiraz, the more artistic creative side. Yes, yes, exactly. So my dad even though he's a doctor, he has a huge love. For music. He has a huge love for art music, picking up and putting down instruments. Yeah. He would paint with us when we're younger. So I think that in that same regard, you know, he understood, yeah,

Dydine Umunyana 10:44
there's a possibility of art in

Unknown 10:47
my life. Yeah. So I felt

Dydine Umunyana 10:49
the same way. Yeah, yeah. That's, that's nice. That's really nice. Yeah, to have a supportive supportive family. Yeah. I understand that a patient Yes. Because that journey towards where you are now. That's not easy. So you need you definitely need support emotional support.

Mina 11:09
Every creative person Yeah, to hear, you know, like, you're doing it.

Alex 11:13
Yeah. You're on the right path. Yes,

Mina 11:17
you know, keep pursuing it. Yeah. If it's, you know, obviously making them happy and they are showing you know, that they can offer something, bring something new to the table. Everyone needs to feel that encouragement. Oh, for sure. I think that's where, especially when you're younger,

Alex 11:38
it's easy to get stuff beat out of you as a kid or it only takes a few discouraging words sometimes to be like, Oh, maybe I should reevaluate my life choices. I know we all go through that. And as creatives, especially when you have parents who mean well, but I have a very pragmatic way of going about things but yeah, that's that's a beautiful thing. That's a beautiful thing that you had that support early on, and that's very ingrained in your, in your upbringing.

Dydine Umunyana 12:08
Yeah, it is. Yeah. And, and so, when you had you when you knew you know, whether you go to school for arts, you went to school for business, and

Mina 12:19
so yeah, I went to school for, like retail management. It's

Alex 12:26
yeah, yeah. That

Mina 12:28
was my dad being like, well, let's do liberal arts. Let's be more pragmatic and after that is when I went to fit, I did evenings and weekends while I was working a full time job at the time and that was my mom coming in and being like, pursue the art. But also I will say that was the 2008 economic crisis. Oh, yeah. I've just graduated from college. Yes. I was like, I'm not getting a job. I finally got to pursue something that I really was so in love with. And that to me, you know, it really sucked. It really kind of opens a lot of doors in terms of, you know, how do you imagine your life on your own terms? Yeah. Which is something that I really hadn't afforded myself. I think previously. Yeah.

Alex 13:22
There's also a certain amount of bravery in that as well. Yeah. Because to me, that was I was meant to, like, pay ourselves but I was. Oh, yeah, we did. I was a freshman in high school. She doesn't during that financial crisis, and we're not here to deem but it was it was, it was tricky, because I remember my parents having those conversations. I was at eight Yeah, yeah. It was still in high school. Yeah. And I remember them I remember. I remember the uncertainty around it. So like for you making the decision being like, Well, okay, I'm gonna just imagine you graduated college into that that Mark is like, I don't know what to do. And that just making the decision to persevere, right.

Mina 14:10
I mean, it's just kind of like, I think in moments where things because completely break down or combust or just hit that this equilibrium. We kind of have those moments to decide, well, the path is broken loan up. What's thought to happen or what's thought to be ahead of me? Yeah, so I might as well just create a path forward that is because when you have to lose Yeah, right. Exactly. Maybe that was the same story for you as well in terms of figuring out what's next or doing something. Well, I

Alex 14:50
definitely remember conversations about focusing in on like what I wanted to do, yeah, kind of every high school kid has a conversation with the parents eventually but it was like because the has like a trickle down effect. Yeah, they were like, Okay, we got to focus in my okay, maybe I should focus. I was doing a bunch of different stuff like band and basketball. This and that, but it did kind of narrow my focus on and maybe gave me a bit more of a work ethic to fight for things that I wanted. Yeah. So it had an effect for sure. Yeah,

Mina 15:24
it's during those quiet times where we can kind of like I feel move in words and just kind of create the plan. Not everyone

Dydine Umunyana 15:34
is able to get here where you are. And a lot of people there's a saying I think was Maya Angelou who said that they don't die with your music still playing in you. Yeah. And and so a lot of people have dreams. They have, you know, these big ideas, but they never come to life. Yeah. So it's always I think inspiring to be able to hear stories of the journey how, you know, people got to the point where they can actually put their, their musical their their talents. So that's the you know,

Unknown 16:10
story.

Dydine Umunyana 16:11
Did you always dream of having your own line your own store your own, you know, brand? Yeah. Growing up and having all these, you know, talents and creativity that was inside you and go to school for it. Yeah. Do you always dream about having your own space?

Mina 16:27
No. I did not. This again, it goes back to the guilt of not wanting to not being sure I should be pursuing something in the arts, let alone yeah, having something that was my own a whole other thing I've hadn't even thought about because, again, it goes back to stability right and once more and stable sometimes that going off on your own starting your own business and then it also being in the arts. It's it was definitely not something I afforded myself to

Dydine Umunyana 17:03
do they just be like, was it possible or it was just,

Mina 17:08
um, I will for one thing, I didn't think that I was the type to be in charge, manage something.

Dydine Umunyana 17:18
Yes. I didn't know

Mina 17:20
if I didn't imagine that. You have a melody? Yeah. And I think that was based off of people that I had worked with previously that had more of that mentality or had that confidence. Yeah. Didn't think that that was me.

Dydine Umunyana 17:36
Yes. But maybe the way they made you feel or Yeah, and

Mina 17:40
I think that's just not being exposed to enough people and leadership that we're doing things differently. Maybe not, you know, especially within fashion, the dialogue between employer and employee was a lot tougher and a lot, you know, more

Alex 18:01
work hierarchical.

Mina 18:02
Yeah, yes, very much like that. And I and it just wasn't empathetic enough. And I think that I'm not of that nature, where I can just separate the two are in my orbit, especially daily. You know, it's it's way more of a family. Yeah, so I think that for me with the job where it was working remote or you know, had a lot more time on my hands, and you know, how to study income coming in with that position. I slowly started to think about other things. I think it afforded me to think about other things, you know, well, if money is not something that I have to worry about, where how can I fill that space in terms of like, really going after what I want or Yes, and it kind of started off with like one simple word document where it was like titled store dot voc. It was on my desktop. Yes, I would just open that file and if and I was just like, if I could dream of what a store would be because at the time, I was working a lot within retail spaces. So my mind started moving in that direction. I was like, if I can just dream of what the store would be what it would look like what the packaging would look like. The vendors would be yes. What? Anything that I would do differently. How would I communicate to customers? No, what would that be? And they're all thoughts that I would just get down on to the store document but yes, yeah, and I would add to it almost every single day added things lead things, fixtures, inspiration, and it came to a point where there was nothing left to add there. I was just like, well, that's that's good. I mean, I guess I have like, a story. Story. I have like a dream of what I envision Yes. There's nothing left to dream about. It's all now do or don't. Yes, yeah. I think that having that document to just bounce things. Off of maybe I'm better at like, writing things down to see things come to life, but really, it created the space for me then to be like, less guilty or like maybe less or maybe more just enthusiastic and more comfortable with getting myself or envisioning myself in a certain role or tangible

Dydine Umunyana 20:47
event because you could see it on the document. Actually, this is doable. This thing's a question mark. Yeah,

Alex 20:53
yeah.

Dydine Umunyana 20:55
I think that really helps. That is a good idea. Yeah, I mean, I

Mina 20:58
encourage everyone so I'm not a journaler I don't you

Dydine Umunyana 21:03
find your way you find your own way.

Mina 21:07
Like have ideas and thoughts written down? Yeah. feel less of a you know, less of it. Yeah. Dream floating thing.

Alex 21:19
Less than a question mark.

Dydine Umunyana 21:20
Yeah, question mark. That's

Alex 21:22
a big thing. Because a lot of these things are very conceptual. Yeah. I mean, of course, to start out and just like well, okay, this is my idea. This is what I would want to maybe happen but then, like, it's like I guess journaling is one way that I sort of figure that out. But you do find your way in, in making these things real. Yeah. And I love what you said about, well, the paraphrases I've already forgotten what it was about, like being in like a managerial position. Because for me the same way I allowed the managers that I had growing up doing these retail jobs. I think that kind of stemmed from like my, like sports background and like coaching it's like well, the coach is like this, like there's a lot of there's a person to hide to when you have your like one step. Yeah. And it's like, yeah, and so it was hard for me to make that that emotional connection with people who I feel in my vision, like these are the managers, either people in charge, and I didn't feel like I could be in that space as well. Right. And so it's not until sometimes when you see that thing or just a different flavor of what that actually looks like. Or what that can mean to you. Yes. Then you can start to like use your imagination. See ya realize itself for your for yourself. And it's like, okay, so this is a totally different thing. I'm originally envisioned. Yeah. And so it's, yeah, it's really interesting how that works out for each you know, each person,

Dydine Umunyana 22:48
each person. Yeah, I

Mina 22:49
mean, everyone thinks that there's a specific role to be played and how you play that role. And I mean, it doesn't have to be that way. Yeah, we don't have to have that Devil Wears Prada. No,

Dydine Umunyana 23:02
no. No. You know, it actually messes it up and actually makes people not care about their work.

Mina 23:13
Oh, yeah. So like, I think that this conversation is I mean, I think that the topic of quietly quitting is a real thing like Paul got if it's not there at the top people disengage yes is disengage. You know, you've you might not know you've lost them, but yeah, they've actually gone yeah. And you know, I've been there in a few situations in my password experience, where it's just like, I know, this is not what I want for myself. And yeah, yeah.

Dydine Umunyana 23:41
We Alex and I worked. That's what we met. We met at a job or you did Yes, work together. It was not a retail but kind of had that retail feeling. Yeah. I had never worked in retail before. Yeah, have you? So enrollment it's not a thing for like high school kids to work. Yeah. So you don't really start working until you finish school. So I never had the experience of, you know, the part time jobs and things. So it was the first time I had had experience I have a manager. And I remember we checked out you know, mentally your checkout. Don't care. Now a relationship with that place. It's just a paycheck. It

Unknown 24:28
really could be sometimes a beginning. It was

Dydine Umunyana 24:30
not. So something must have happened. That made people feel like a detached the now they're looking at us like every every end of the two weeks, I'm gonna get my paycheck and that's the only relationship and that's not healthy, either for the person who's working or for the person they're working for, because then it gets toxic. Yeah.

Mina 24:52
Yeah, you're just spinning your wheels on this your next gig and they're spinning their wheels until until

Dydine Umunyana 24:57
they find the next person

Unknown 25:01
you know, it's Yeah, time is precious. Yeah, it

Alex 25:03
doesn't say like, wasting a lot of time.

Dydine Umunyana 25:05
Yeah, yeah. Should

Mina 25:06
be actively always working towards something that you believe in. And a purpose for yourself that you believe in. Yeah, yeah. I don't know. I mean, so

Dydine Umunyana 25:16
that's how we end up getting started. Yes, we were like overall, this is not unless we find something that we want. So we started podcasting when when I don't work and the end what is your happy place? Oh, yeah. I think it's like almost like the way you were writing down our time you were like, Okay, what's missing the store and you just had that document. I think it was almost the same way where it's fulfilling you so that void that you have at the job that you don't like at least you have something that's, you know, keeping you Yeah,

Alex 25:52
yeah, exactly. It wasn't even that it was it brought me thing monetarily back. And it was just the act of creating and just, like you said, keeping that keeping music alive, staying in touch with like, yeah, as your source, whatever it is, that keeps your your wheels turning every single day. And it's like it's a daily practice to and it is practice it is practice to go after what you want. Because you can't say it's hard to just wake up after four years of being dormant and thinking like, well, I want to chase my dream today. Okay, that also takes it takes practice. It's

Mina 26:30
like, yeah, it's the moments where you really have some time to yourself to figure out what it is that you really want. That's absolutely not to waste the time to go after it. Because you can get caught up in many things that yeah, it's easy to keep pushing off or not pursue it. But yeah, you have to shrink about your future self right.

Alex 26:55
You have to Yeah, it's hard to have the foresight when you're

Dydine Umunyana 27:01
so how Mamoon was born, how so I just send the document kind of helped out. Yes.

Mina 27:12
Yeah, no, of course. So well, just to kind of get to the root of it is a boon actually comes from the Persian language word meaning meth moon, or how you say this McAloon in Farsi, yeah. And what that is, is having guests or company over to your home for an event or a social gathering, or milestone Yes, but it's a it's about hospitality and inviting someone into your space. You know. A lot of that, you know, growing up a lot of that, for me was my parents having this evening that they would call shadow share, and what that what that translates to, specifically in Farsi is night of song. Yeah, so I have shown a native side of song. So yeah, so every, every year my parents would host kind of like this big events at our home where they would invite over musicians, artists, poets, I mean, it was it was looking back on it now. It was really incredible. And I find that it was a way for them to bring their community close to them after leaving your honest Yeah, it's a big crowd of people. I mean, it wasn't like people they might have known directly. It was a way to bring people into the fold to introduce people with one the other persons living in the community. And to celebrate our person. Foremost. Yeah, yes. And they would host it we'd have microphones that have chairs out of editorial style, and it was a real like, it was a real event. Yes, and yeah, and of course we had food Yeah. And so all the all the beautiful stews, you know, everything Yeah, desserts and all of that but um, those nights where I think and when I got older is when I really appreciated it. But it really unformed. What I wanted to do at the store in terms of inviting people into a space where they're in someone's home and I'm a huge lawyer, like when you bite me into your space I want to look around your arm. I just, I love it. I think again, it goes back to the human story. And what what objects and things garments, whatever it might be. Yes, say about a person. Yeah. Yeah. So I've always been interested in how the two connects, yes, which is also why had briefs then in costume styling for films, but again, the human story, how that all relates. This is just so interesting to me. So the store I really wanted to have it as a space where the customer is coming in and they're adding things that they find rare and precious into their own human story or in their own world. But also kind of like take a peek at our world. Having more of a kind of like warm feeling towards the vendors that we were carrying, what their story is, how they produce things and telling their stories as well. But also really spotlighting some talent that didn't have another outlet at that time or really had something to say through their art and through their work. Yeah. So that's really what I think for me and until this day I'm so I'm still so interested and you know, sharing that story. Yes. And I can

Dydine Umunyana 31:14
see a big smile whenever you see a journey. It's a it's cool. Yeah. So warm. Yeah.

Mina 31:22
And like, you know, of course not having a physical space when you first started this, you know, eight years ago and this case the store came along this past year. It finally feels like okay, we have a home now Yes, like and that's very good, actually. Table Yeah. As if it was a dinner setting and you know, just kind of creating a more comfortable dialogue between the people that come in and what we're offering and knowing you know how to share these stories with your customers.

Alex 32:01
So when we became a you're for the event, right, base reinjury Moon crossover event, and one takeover. It was it was a special thing, because I was kind of I was recording a lot of the times and I got to see like very candid sort of natural connections. Yeah, human connections happening. And I was like, It is astounding how comfortable how quickly, people can become comfortable in us in a shared space. And I was like, this is actually like a magical thing. Because people were just kind of like lounging just laying on the ground. Just naturally talk to people who you maybe have just met right? Yeah. And I think back to like many you know, I'm not naming names, but so many different retail spaces that it is very much just like 100 of the same sort of garments or clothing just like you pick one, go to the cash register. Yeah, buy it and then it's very transactional relationship with the store. And I guess that's one way of going about life and it works for many people, but just experience being able to experience the the connection again, it's something that I feel like is missing in many different spaces, nice. retail spaces, of course, but it was it was it was surprising. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but it's like I liked

Dydine Umunyana 33:29
that. I was like this, this. This is more of this. Yeah,

Alex 33:34
we need more of that and it's just the question is how do you cultivate that? Yeah. And so as you're talking about what you the effect that you want to have, as opening this space, and you it's only been open for how many months ago,

Unknown 33:47
opens early May, early May.

Dydine Umunyana 33:49
Yeah,

Alex 33:50
what Yeah, and what were you able to when I was in Brookfield, yeah, right? It was astounding.

Dydine Umunyana 33:57
Yeah, absolutely. And thinking of all of that out we're really

Unknown 34:05
we've been on this interview now.

Dydine Umunyana 34:12
Yes, yes, absolutely. In the end, that's what I think. I guess that's how you choose your vendors. Because, yeah, there's a connection between your youth the culture was the main thing. I was going to try to save in Farsi. Yeah. Yeah. And this range, which is one of your we are wondering few vendors. Yeah. And the culture is this thing the humans come first. Yeah, the people come first. The piece that just thinking about humanity and understanding that the pieces are for people. Yeah. And just not forgetting that, like, you know, and so seeing that, YouTube, you know, you chose best friend as one of your vendors. Do you choose every vendor when you choose them? Do you have that in the back of your mind? You're like, they're like me, this is what I'm Yeah. So how do you deal with a commonality? Yeah. How do you select Um,

Mina 35:20
well, first and foremost, I like to include partners in my life. I have like, mutual respect for you know, there's a good energy between the both of us Yes, I just, like getting with people that can come off a certain way or not feel encouraging or exciting or excited. So yeah, but for the most part, I really love finding designers who are either working by hand or creating things in such a small capacity. Specifically, you know, artists who are using techniques that you know, might not be in existence because they take too much time or the most practical thing Yes. Yeah, that does amount to be a price tag that we see is more so about, you know, honoring art and honoring pieces that live past a season and here. Yes, you know, each of these pieces I can really say I feel like they're in your closet for decades. Certainly being passed down generations. Yeah. As future objects of desire and you know, heirloom pieces. Things like that, but I really do look through it. Of course, there is a business standpoint, it's all centered around a boring the margin is there. And they recut smiles if you need them to and things like that. But every vendor offers something a little bit different and the relationship that I have with each vendor is a different story in terms of honoring their work and getting their work across the, you know, across the wavelengths, either online or in person to the app user. Or Yeah, and just being able to honor what what it is they do because it's all it's all quite unique and it's it's beautiful being able to and completely my honor to be able to share their work with others as well. Especially bass range, like I don't think you guys really do a wonderful job getting getting past the fashion climate of, you know, seasonal, where it's more of like a lifestyle that you guys have built and that's really what I try to do with my store. And the way that you guys engage with your audience is unique. It's not conventional, I'd say by any standard on what happens within this industry. I for me, part of it is of course, you make really wonderful pieces that work so well and yes, you know, but a lot of it is also like the story that you guys are telling how you make your goods and the partners that you work with feels. Again, that has a lot to do with a lot of the vendors that I bring on board as well. So yeah, yeah.

Alex 38:51
Well, I mean, like you said, I mean, there's stories everywhere and I think that the share it's it's sharing and sharing different cultures across the entire world. And so, you know, with bass rains, you may move in plenty of other people who love to share stories and share parts of themselves. It is it's meant to stay in your life. It's meant to change or positively impact who you are as a person and so if that's what we can do on a daily basis is share who we are and to our best to better ourselves and make the world a better place. Environmentally, that's where I'm trying to find and spiritually well then that's what we're supposed to do. Yeah, right. And so it's, it's, it's an incredible thing. Being able to share space with people like right now, I'm just kind of taking a moment just it's, I wish we could do this more often. Yeah, you know, it's a special thing for sure.

Mina 39:50
Right. And honestly, it's like my favorite part about Market Week. People talk a lot about Fashion Week. The Market Week is like that's where you're having those conversations, but click one on one connections and you know, you're checking in with them and how they're doing and what their inspiration is that season, how they're making things now and they're showing you pieces of clothes and what they were inspired by. And it's like, these are you know, these are the moments that really brought me here that really influenced why I wanted to get into this. So having that field community going to their studios and just seeing you know how things are graded and made you know, it's incredible. It really is. I'm so I really love.

Dydine Umunyana 40:41
I know, I know you love what you do, too, and I it's really nice to see someone talking about what they do. Yeah, and just see a smile on their face. Every time they are speaking about it because not everyone has that luxury. It's like you know, yeah, that for granted.

Mina 40:59
You know moment. Yes. I really don't. So yeah, it's a lot of like, you know, earlier about like, how I wasn't sure if I could do this or if I was yet or if I could even pursue something in the arts. I look back on that. And I really do feel like everything had to work. out for this happen. Yeah, yeah. The right way.

Dydine Umunyana 41:26
Yeah, that was gonna take me to my next question, actually. When you look back on your young self, yeah. When you hire that document, yeah. And all the things we're going through, as you were, you know, you know, the unknown things. That were ahead of you. And now from this point now, yeah, looking at her. Yeah. What would you want to tell her?

Mina 41:50
Keep working on that document. Girl I would tell her to, you know, don't be don't think that this is all just about you dreaming. This is about you creating something that whole community can share. At the time, I think I also was thinking more so about me and what this meant for me and like how I can move forward and and of course, when you're sewing something out, that is what it's very insular. It's, you know, your own little cocoon time, but it's more so about uplifting other people's art and their work and their words and being able to share that with a wider range of people. And then that is something that came from all this that I didn't even factor in at the time. So yeah, I would definitely yeah,

Dydine Umunyana 42:49
this document is your magic one.

Mina 42:51
It is and I can help a lot of people figure out what they want and absolutely cutting things down on paper. I really do think that it helps clear up your mind. Think about big space for other things. Yeah,

Alex 43:09
definitely.

Dydine Umunyana 43:10
Yeah. Do you still do you still do that? Do you still have that you know, do the document the documenting things and you still have that

Mina 43:22
document or writing things down? It's a to do list? Oh, yes. Yeah, it's a to do list but there is a portion of that to do list. It's a very categorize to do lists. There's a portion of this to do list that is all about dreaming, and all about future projects and all about things I want to do and pursue. Yeah. So yeah, I would say in some way it continues. To inform what I do and how I plan things. And yes, sometimes also, like, sometimes, sometimes you can't, you know, express into words and things just happen to you, but you have to just be open to it and go with it. Yeah. So of course there's that as well. That happened with the store actually. So you know, just being awake. Really. Yeah. Yeah, that's the things but feeling the confidence that you have the power to make things tangible? Yes, yes. It's incredible. When you feel passionate about something, yes. It's really about our customers who support us throughout all these years. engaging with them. And you know, I again, that goes back to me being a lawyer like I love getting to know who our customer is, what they're looking for and why they're here but also to encourage them to think about making, you know, supporting a business that goes beyond just, you know, just cutting products. You know, how, what they're doing, what they're up seeing what art they're pursuing, but it's it's great. We have the best conversations in here with spin.

Alex 45:11
I bet we can create the space to be able to do that though. People and people can sense when like they're open to speak Yeah, they're open to have these sort of deeper, more fun, human conversations. It really lends to like, you can feel it in the walls. Yeah, bones can know

Dydine Umunyana 45:27
like, yeah, like, that's fun.

Mina 45:32
Yeah, because yeah, that's what I that's how I grew up. So that's what I want for you this place

Dydine Umunyana 45:41
this place and know you would get a lot of great messages throughout the population. But was there anything you would like to tell to leave with our listeners? Yes, this may know who may be starting a business or just women who don't you know, who have no confidence that they can actually you know, their realize their dreams? Yeah. What would you like to tell them as like a closing? You know,

Mina 46:07
absolutely. I think that kind of touched upon something that we were saying to one another earlier in this conversation, but I would say like, lean into yourself in any capacity of what that might be, and not to discount. Your differences are not discount your shortcomings so you can hire for your shortcomings. You can collaborate for your shortcomings, you know, but lean into what you're happy doing and what you're passionate about. Yes. and collaborate with others. Yes. Yeah. So I would say so that is, you know, what I've been able to do. Yeah, and it gives you the strength to figure out

Dydine Umunyana 46:56
that you can you can hire for your shortcomings you can hire.

Mina 47:04
She went, right. Yeah, you're play and you can focus on what you need to do. And this is especially why school is so late. And we're building a community if you're not going to school around what you're doing and you know, young people and reaching out and want to work on this project. And it's a mutual collaboration, and it wasn't getting something in the end, but you're also working towards a common goal and figuring things out and discovering. I will say the beginning of creating this business, and I will and I think a lot of people feel this way because it was it was the best time of their lives, right? We're figuring things out. Yeah. Well, last row, take some of the wall, see what stuck and then move on to power or look at it and kind of move it around and reshape things but it's it's a precious time. And it's a amazing time to you know, get to explore and not feel like you're you have a b and c to do is just have fun. Yeah,

Alex 48:09
yeah. Right. And you have fun that's that's also an incredibly important. Oh, yeah. We all have Yeah, absolutely.

Dydine Umunyana 48:16
You have right now. Thank you. Thank you guys. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Mina 48:27
Thank you. Yeah. I'm so honored and happy to have been able to have this dialogue with you guys. So thank you for having me. Of course. Thank

Dydine Umunyana 48:35
you. Thanks so much for creating this space. Absolutely.

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