Am of All Trades
Entrepreneurialism is alive and well amongst the Modern Renaissance of today’s world. Now more than ever people are tapping into their artistic capabilities and flourishing in the lights of their true destinies. Amber Jenkins is a multi-talented creative that has learned to follow her soul no matter what the adventure may be. As a Master Barber, Poet, DJ, and Author of an Amazon Best-Seller entitled “Born to be Different”, her journey has been filled with a variety of knowledge which has made her into the impactful artist she is today.
As a child, creativity typically starts as a coping mechanism to a challenging lifestyle. What were some of the challenges you faced growing up in your younger years?
Growing up there were two things that bothered me most. One, I was always more interested in everything the boys did, be it sports, clothes, or even different types of music they would listen to. So I never gravitated to the things society said a young girl should take part in. And two, most people don’t know about. Fact is, I wasn’t very fond of my complexion. It was weird because in my head I assumed that if I couldn't attract lighter skinned friends or lighter skinned boys it meant that I was lesser than, especially when it came to boys. So as one can imagine, never knowing that my skin was actually a blessing in disguise, my confidence made me feel like I would never know what first place felt like.
With that being said, how did your childhood experiences enable you to overcome some of life’s trials and tribulations as an adult?
I am a lot more comfortable with who I am now, and as I got older, I always found myself working in male dominated fields. It took years for me to recognize my worth and nothing you do should ever make you question who you are. I am a firm believer in, if you don’t like it, change it, and always be willing to risk it all for your peace and fulfillment in this world. Of course being black PLUS being a woman added another layer of adversity, but thankfully, the world has finally started to acknowledge the beauty in our melanated tones.
So once you began realizing your worth and potential, how did it all come together pertaining to becoming a barber, artist, and entrepreneur?
Well as a barber I began to see my potential when I attended the BET Awards for the first time, which led to me meeting T.I. and ultimately cutting his hair for two years straight. However it was my third time attending the show where I ended up at a Def Jam party and had the opportunity to cut the manager and DJ of rapper 2Chainz. Within weeks, I was cutting the mogul himself. By October 2017 I was bouncing back and forth from ATL to LA. It wasn’t until 2019 that I had the opportunity to be the official barber for HUE for Men at the BET Awards Suite Lounge. It was an honor cutting some of the biggest celebrities at the event. Wale, Kelly Price, Raheem Devaughn, and the pioneer MC LYTE were in my chair getting trimmed and cut. To be honest I never thought I’d live an entrepreneur lifestyle. The only experience I had was when I was about ten and I opened my first lemonade stand, but I never thought that experience would carry into my adulthood.
Ahhh the good ole’ days of lemonade stands where making $20 was all the money in the world! So now, let’s focus on your journey in becoming an author. Your book “Born to be Different” includes a lot of honesty and self-reflection. How did you learn to be so descriptive in your writing, and what made you gravitate towards that particular art form to begin with?
In a chapter I titled “Hanging up my Jersey” I talk about taking Advanced Literature in high school, where our teacher Ms. Channer, encouraged us to search deep within and reveal feelings that no one else knew about. This led to me refining my writing skills through the art of poetry, but also unveiled talents I didn't know that I had. Writing poetry became an outlet for me to express myself whenever I experienced something negative and didn’t know how to outwardly convey my emotions. “Born to be Different” wasn’t the book I thought I’d write. I now understand that this is the book God told me to create, especially once the poems became way more detailed, and began wowing anyone that came across them. I believe He made an agreement with me that if I wrote a book with the purpose of elevating the minds of those who read it, that a new adventure would come along with it. So I began to write...
Everything you do is so grounded in positivity, which makes sense when the Most High is on your side. From mastering the art of beauty to mastering the art of inspiration, it seems as if your next path is to master the art of style. So tell us about your newest venture in fashion. What is the divine purpose behind creating a clothing brand?
So KREATIVE Mission which stands for Kingdom Riser Engaging Ambitious Thinker Influencing Versatility Everywhere, was created to have clothing that doesn't separate men from women pertaining to style. I was always a fan of men's style i.e. the colorways, details, and overall presentation of their outfits, but there was never a cute option for women that had the same WOW factor. That's what I set out to change. Even deeper than that, success can only be measured by those whom you help on your path, so the ultimate goal is to create a safe place where people can nurture their individual creativity. By living out your purpose people can be inspired by your works and ultimately change their lives for the better, simply because you’ve added positive references to their psyche. It all begins with inspiring at least one person to follow their passion so that it may lead them to their own purpose. That is the definition of success for me, and that’s what I plan to do with KREATIVE Mission.
So what is next for Ms. Amber Jenkins?
Well the KREATIVE Mission brand is an entity of its own, and under that umbrella I will be releasing the second installment of my book "Born to be Different", a book of poetry, and creating an inspirational podcast series. As for the clothing line, I'm set for launching my second collection late summer/early Fall as well. Aside from that I'll still be cutting hair and will soon debut my digital series "She's My Barber". The focus will display a female perspective to the proverbial barbershop talk which is usually filled with male dominated conversation. Until then, I'm simply finding balance and multitasking while everything comes to fruition!
Awesome. We look forward to the next stage of evolution for you Amber, and thank you for being a part of our interview. Bless...