Spotlight Series: Take a Peek at Ay's Diary
Read about this creator's refreshing take on motherhood and social media.
A mother of three, entrepreneur, and fashion maven, Aloaye is a hard worker on every front. When you visit her Instagram page and see how genuine she is with her followers, it strikes you immediately. She never shies away from showing her true self online, from sharing her breastfeeding and weaning journey to asking her community about self-care. We decided to interview the woman who does it all.
We’re obsessed with your brand, Madam Belle, offering an extensive collection of lashes and fashionable headbands. Can you tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur?
My journey started just before I had my first daughter. Being a fashion and beauty enthusiast, I was the go-to person for beauty product recommendations. I would also provide free makeup services to my friends and family whenever they had events. So I decided to build a business around my passion and that’s how Madam Belle was created.
Aloaye showcasing her new headbands collection. Source.
What advice would you give to women who’d like to get their business idea off the ground but are worried about taking that first step?
Just start. Don’t overthink it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you don’t start, you can’t learn and you can’t grow. Drown the noise and focus on your “why”. Can I tell you a secret? Nobody knows when you fail, except you. See every challenge as an opportunity to learn and do better. Every successful person didn’t have it all figured out at the beginning, so start that business and keep going.
You’re juggling a business, three kids, and an online empire as a content creator. How do you do it all?
To be honest, I just show up each day and give it my best shot. I find that having a schedule works well for me. There are days where I feel like I’m being pulled in a hundred different directions, days when I’m running on empty, but having a great support system helps a great deal. In the past, I would feel so guilty asking for help because I thought being a mother meant being perfect but perfection is an illusion.
You’re very genuine with your followers and often post heart-to-hearts about your current state of mind. How do you define the line between your personal life and your online presence?
I love connecting with my audience, especially women who are on the same motherhood journey as me. One of the reasons why I started creating content online was to build a community where new mothers could share their journey, help and inspire others. I’ve shared my highs and lows on navigating this path. With that being said, there are things I’m strict about not posting on social media—things I feel are private and personal and should be shared only within my family. I also try to keep a balance between social media and my personal life. When I’m with the kids and my husband, I live in the moment. I still snap a few pictures but I set my phone down and stay present with them.
Aloaye and her three children, Mofe, Moye and Moni. Source.
When life gets overwhelming, what are your go-to self-care activities?
I pray. Then, I pause. It doesn’t matter if the dishes are spilling over the sink. My husband knows when I reach that point, so he automatically steps in while I get myself together. I prioritize time for myself and fill it with something that recharges me. I either go on a solo drive to a place that brings my joy… Like the mall! Or I binge watch a show. I do realize now that self-care isn’t selfish.
You’ve appeared on panels organized by Grace to Parent, talking about your views on parenting. What do you think are the main values guiding you as a mother?
First, my faith—it’s one thing that keeps me grounded as a mom. I was brought up in a Christian household and my mom made sure we were well versed in God’s word which is something I’m also cultivating in my home and passing on to my children. Then, teaching my kids the importance of patience, having compassion, showing respect, gratitude and politeness. These are the core values I build my home upon.
You moved from Nigeria to build a family in the United States with your husband. What do you miss the most about your native country?
My family! My parents are back home in Nigeria and I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like. My mom comes every now and then to visit but it’s not the same as having them close by. I also miss the food, Nigeria has some of the best dishes in the world.
Pretty in pink. Source.
It’s Black History Month, what does this period mean to you?
A lot! I’ve had to educate myself since getting to the US. I’ve had to learn about Black history and culture and how it affects me and my family. My husband has been here for more than twenty years so I’ve learned a lot from him. For me, Black History Month is the recognition and appreciation of Black culture, the celebration of achievements made by Black men and women who continue to promote positive examples—exemplary leaders taking steps towards societal change.
Aloaye’s favorite Black-Owned brands:
For hair, Aloaye shouted out The Nomsii Collection. This company sells versatile wigs made with 100% virgin hair. Go follow them on Instagram @TheNomsiiCollection, they share the process of creating their product—each wig is made by hand with the sole help of a sewing machine.
For makeup, Aloaye said Pat McGrath Labs and Mented Cosmetics are amongst her favorites. We don’t blame her, these are also one of Influenster’s most popular makeup brands, with the Skin Fetish foundation and Mented Lipstick continuously receiving rave reviews.
- Fashion-wise, she recommended Flair By Ashi, a brand creating outfits with gorgeous African wax prints in a sustainable way. She also told us about Andrea Iyamah, a Nigerian creator whose styles have been seen on icons such as Michelle Obama and Kate Hudson.
- Finally, a lifestyle recommendation with Forvr Mood: Changing your home’s atmosphere is as easy as lighting some candles. The Influenster community rated the Cuffing Season Candle a full five stars—when are you grabbing yours?
Go give Aloaye a follow and tell us which one of her headbands is your favorite.
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