5Q: Aja K. Riddick, Deputy Editor AND Qimmah Saafir, CEO/EIC/Creative Director, HANNAH Magazine
I first met the gals at Hannah Magazine when they invited me to be on their beautifully cultivated blog. I was honored and inspired. There were so many images of beautiful and powerful women of color, I was happy to be included. The inaugural issue is equally as beautiful - I can't wait for the next. Follow the ladies on INSTAGRAM ~
Aja: Looking back on your first job, what skill did you use that you still use today?
Qimmah: My first job was at FAO Schwartz. The importance of customer service comes to mind. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the customer is always right; I would tweak that to say that the customer is always a priority. I definitely still use that today when it comes to HANNAH Magazine because the readers are my top priority.
Aja: Was there a defining moment that made you start HANNAH?
Qimmah: There are very few magazines on the market for women of color. Even less for black women. We’re incredibly diverse as a people, so I wanted to create a platform that attests to that. I created HANNAH in order to fill that void after witnessing it first hand. Black women are often placed into a box and simplified. HANNAH is meant to illuminate black women’s diversity and beauty.
Aja: What was the first step you took to launch the brand?
Qimmah: I gathered 10-12 of my closest girls and told them what I was about to do. I am my audience as are they, so it was kind of like a focus group.
Aja: What is your greatest lesson learned in your first year in business?
Qimmah: A few things. First, trust my gut and that what is meant for you is meant for you, so don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Also, to trust God’s timing!
Aja: What is your best piece of advice for your fellow Female Founder?
Qimmah: Don’t worry about trends. You know in your heart what you want to see created or what you want to see exist. Trust that. Go with that. Don’t be deterred. And don’t listen to people who call you crazy. You are crazy, but that’s a good thing!