11 Jul chit chat with Sabri Beny: getting to know her🌸 (part 1 of 2)
Remember when your parents used to tell you “don’t talk to strangers”?
Well, these days I’m all about doing the opposite of that. Through social media, we have the power to reach out to “strangers” and connect. We can find content that speaks to us and actually get to know the person behind it, even if they are halfway across the world. (basically millennial version of pen pals!) This article is living proof of that. However, instead of selecting the name of a pen pal from a pile of folded paper slips, I first came across Sabrina through, yes you guessed it, Instagram.
Three words to describe Sabrina: queen of content. She is a kind and warm soul sharing moments in her life in such a beautifully open and genuine way. If you don’t know her already, hopefully you will feel like you do by the end of this. We’re going to talk about her work, things she loves, being a woman of color creative, and more… here we go!
Taken by: @laetitiapelch
ALLIE: hi sabrina! thank you so much for taking the time to be here. my first question is something i love asking everyone: where is home for you?
SABRI: I realized that to me home is not a place. It’s more a state of mind. It’s when I feel comfortable, cozy, just well. So it’s whenever I am with my husband (@magiic_stick) and we share time together.
Ahh, I love, love! As someone who is a year into post grad, I’d love to heard about your journey from university to where you are now.
Oh well where can I start.
I graduated as a visual communication conceptor which means they trained us to be Artistic director. After being graduated (master 1) I did not wanted to be in an agency like I normally should. So I took a year to see what I wanted to do. I went to a lot of talks, workshops etc I also did some freelance job for friends or for free and I traveled a little bit. After 9 months I had this idea with a friend to start a jewelry brand. Three months later I went to New York to see what was up. I also went to events and I stayed 3 months there. At that time, my husband and I was already so into Instagram so we were exploring the city, taking photos and vines *chuckles*. This year and a half was so important because this is when I start to meet a lot of people, to use my love for photos and creativity.
I did not realize it but I was networking a lot without even noticing it.
When we get back one month later I launch the brand alone this time and the first collection. I was surprised how people welcomed it. I had people who ordered from USA, Japan. It was amazing. I continued to create collections since 2016. I was doing everything from the idea, to the jewel creation, the shipping, and the com (social media). Some people thought I had a team but I was doing it alone. I was really well surrounded by my family and friend who were always happy to help. At this time I was also doing graphic design projects for client, digital consulting for 2 brands included doing their Instagram content, photography project, and I also was organizing my wedding. It was too much. Six months later I realized I was doing a burnout. It took me 6 months to realized it, it was insane. I stopped every project that stressed me. It took me so much time to recover, I was not able to read one page of a book, I was not letting myself getting rest or even watch a movie. I sat and try to decide what I could do next. I was interested by set design and I wanted to get a try. So this is what I did I worked with an amazing Artistic director which is also my friend, Samantha Kerdine. It was great, I enjoyed doing it but something was missing and one year later I stopped.
I was in that moment in your life when you start to make summaries, to watch from where you came and try to figure it out where you want to be.
The past year I felt like I worked too much for others and I did not bet on me. I realized that few month ago, I was doing so much things for other that I completely forgot myself. So I took the time to work on myself not just on surface but deeper from my body, to mind to my soul. I try and I still struggle with anxiety even if I manage it better than before. And I worked on my website. It is the first time, at almost 28 that I bet on myself and I finally listen to myself. I always had intuitions who tells me when I need to cut something out of my life but I tent to listen to it when it’s a little bit too late.
So I can’t tell you that I’ve got a successful business or that kind of thing, but what is certain is that today I can tell you that I am pretty close to what we call being happy. Yes I have financial ups and downs, but freedom has no price and today I don’t care to plan or to know what I will do next. I am just trying to enjoy every bit of life and see what God’s plan will bring into the table. I can’t wait for this.
Photos by @laeticiapelch
I definitely resonate with what you’re saying. Sometimes I feel like we don’t value ourselves enough to take time and figure out what we truly want. After hearing about all your hard work, it reinforces the fact that following your dreams is never easy but the challenges are worth the end result. What does a typical day for you look like? Do you have any tips on staying productivity and on schedule for projects?
I don’t have a typical day. The only tasks I do daily are responding to my mail, working on my website, taking photos and videos (yes I do it every single day, you can’t imagine how many I have!). I also go to events and try to plan 2 or 3 workout sessions a week.
Most of time I am too much on my chair working on my computer or too much moving. I am trying to find the right balance here.
About productivity, I really worked on that. I even watch Youtube videos, read articles, etc.
I tried so many ways to be productive but this is what I learn and what work for me.
Bullet journal, calendar and to do lists are my basics. Add a little bit of motivation and you gonna be fine.
About bullet journal, I start like a lot of people by writing to much stuff in it, my meals, how many glasses I drink a day, how many step I do (yes I can’t turn crazy with numbers) until I realized I didn’t need all of that. So now I just have a month calendar, a month page where I set my goals an other one where I write what I accomplish in the month, a week page for the week goals, and the day to day pages. This is what work for me and I can’t tell you I stick to it every single day but now I don’t care.
I also put all my meeting in the mac/iPhone calendar and I decluttered all the meeting by sort. I created a color system.
About to do list, my method is to have one where I write everything most of time it’s a month or week to do and then I included the task in my schedule. I also do one day by day.
The important thing is to be kind with yourself. It’s ok to not plan everyday, it’s ok if you did not use it in a week. The important is to get back to it when you realize you forget it.
We have to be more gentle with ourselves and listen to what is good for us. If it don’t work for you find an other way, it’s ok. You are not strange because you don’t get it and everybody does. Who care!?
It’s a lot to absorb but the things I learn it’s really to be patient, listen to yourself. When you don’t want to work there is always a reason.
You can be tired so maybe take five to take a nap or a walk. This 5 to 10 minute breaks can change everything! When you force yourself too hard it doesn’t work. You also maybe don’t want to work on that specific project. When it happens to me I try to find a motivation and see the good side or write what I am afraid of because sometimes it’s fear that try to stop you! Meditation, and prayers allowed me to be centered with myself and to face problem in a better way. I can be conscious of the things that stress me and why they are stressful. When I have time to do both early in the morning I know I gonna have an amazing day no matter what!
Photo by Sabrina and @magiic_stick
Having that kind of self awareness is something I personally am trying to work on every day so it’s so reassuring to hear your experience! Being a woman of color in the world of social media, I’ve been super aware of the importance of having support through a community. As someone who works closely with social media, do you feel we, as women of color, must navigate and present ourselves in a certain way?
This is a really good question, I just feel like we have to be authentic first with ourselves. To me it’s the most important. My personal point of view is I do what I want, how I want and when I feel it. So as a Muslim woman I wish all the Muslim holidays to my community, for example. I feel like we have a certain responsibility to make people understand our culture no matter where we are from but only if we feel like it.
Taken during l’Aïd. Photo of and by Sabrina and @magiic_stick.
TO BE CONTINUED….