Kenashia “Shia” Douglas first got her start in the fashion and entertainment industry through internships at Coogi and FUBU. Both opportunities would influence her journey to becoming a creative director. “That internship and experience was the seed that planted a lot for me. Being a girl from Long Island moving about in Manhattan by myself taught me how to navigate and be an independent individual,” said the Dymes Only entrepreneur during a chat about her experience as a young girl navigating young womanhood. However, back then she had no clue that she would be creating a beauty, wellness and lifestyle brand specific for women of color.
While her sister and award-winning singer Ashanti is known for iconic hits from Foolish and Baby, Shia earned the credit for creating a one-of-a-kind holistic brand oasis for women everywhere. Wife of Creation is more than a lifestyle brand with natural, organic, non-genetically modified, and vegan products – it’s a source of culture and knowledge that focuses on consciousness, creation, mindfulness, and planetary healing while offering resources for mental health, nutrition, wellness regimen, and meditation. After her spiritual journey to happiness and positive life changes, Shia has manifested WoC into existence for a new consumer brand to be on the lookout for.
We caught up with Shia Douglas about her experience in the fashion industry from a young age, the importance of self-care as an entrepreneur, and the projected success of the Wife of Creation brand.
On how her fashion experience from a young age translated into entrepreneurship as a woman:
“Working in the office helped me see and understand another side of the culture, I’m now seeing the process of the clothes I wear regularly being made, starting from mood board to tech packing, to sampling to finished product. That process sparked my interest. Most importantly, the dynamics of the internship helped me begin to understand the protocol. Which was important! I can now see and understand the process, but I was still a student. Ironically, my life experience has come full circle, I’ve recently reconnected with Coogi to create a capsule collection.”
Her thoughts on the term ‘influencer:’
“To be honest, I used to really dislike the term ‘influencer’ because of how it’s thrown around and what it adhered to. In my eyes, as an influencer you hold great responsibility [by] influencing or inspiring the minds of others. I think specifically a key factor as a fashion influencer in today’s world is making the connection between style, self-expression, and creativity. On the surface, it seems typical but when you dive deeper and begin understanding you can communicate with color and literally express how you feel through what you’re wearing, is rewarding. From a design standpoint, you literally get to create a visual message that garners influence as you put it out into the world.”
On being creative director of Ashanti’s PrettyLittleThing swimsuit collection:
“It was a really cool experience working on this project with her because it was so organic. As a creative, I’m really passionate and I put my heart and soul into any project I’m working on, Ashanti herself is hands-on with her business and has this logical approach that’s grounding so there was a great balance. It was cool to do the creative direction for the campaign [and] seeing my ideas on billboards for the very first time in Times Square was elite.”
On transitioning into the beauty and wellness space:
“For me, there wasn’t any decision making. I’d like to say I was more intuitively guided. Your life story shapes your purpose. For my life, some of the most profound experiences were also very painful and those experiences pushed me towards seeking knowledge of self and healing. The first step was tending to my mental health. I put myself in therapy which introduced me to meditation, the chakra system, and the spiritual healing practices of Reike which helped save my life along my journey. For a long time, I was ashamed of the things I’d experienced in my past abusive relationship but I now believe living through that sparked my soul’s mission. I knew I had a great responsibility as a woman with influence living through that and other people could use these resources this knowledge and information to help themselves too. Then, the concept of Wife of Creation was conceived. I wanted to be deliberate in my messaging and highlighting our innate divine energy.”
On the inspiration behind WoC and its products:
“After learning a bit more about myself, shadow work, and ancient African Kemetic teachings, I found this healing text to Sekmet, the Goddess of Healing. One of the lines in the text read ‘Mother of youth and healing, Wife of Creation, she whose opportunity escapes me not, she who is powerful wise and strong,’ and it hit me that was the name.
Our mission is rooted in creation, healing and cultivating the mind, body and spirit. Every product we release is with those intentions and also animal cruelty free, vegan, sustainable or repurposed out of respect for Mother Earth! We’ll be releasing essential body oil candles, vegan and organic skin, haircare, [and] home-cleaning products, [while] staying true to my roots with a new twist incorporating UPcycled and repurposed clothing.”
On the importance of Black women and self-care:
“It’s your responsibility to obtain peace and harmony from within. I think as Black women we carry the weight of so much on our shoulders and are used to being strong, being resilient, holding everything and everyone down that we forget to hold down ourselves. The pandemic has been a harsh reality and has had a major effect on the mental health of a lot of people dealing with these realities, but on the other side of the spectrum created an opportunity by force to get in tune with ourselves. Even with all of the craziness, this actually was the perfect time to implement or maintain a self-care routine that incorporates meditation to connect with yourself which is extremely important for obtaining peace in chaotic times.”
What’s next for Shia Douglas:
“Since Wife of Creation is an extension of my own healing journey, on a personal level I’m going to continue to do some soul work, discover more about myself and integrate what I learn from my healing experiences with these upcoming products. I love the fact that I am able to provide these resources for others that genuinely can help someone in need. This is also an extension of my healing journey, it gives me a sense of purpose, it is my purpose [by] continuing to shift consciousness, and inspire others to live authentically in their truths. I’m currently creating my own reality putting myself in a position to help create an opportunity for others. You can expect a lot from Wife of Creation in the near future!”