I had the pleasure of sitting down with Nyemadye Sasha Hughes, who I have affectionately known as “Sasha “since we were in the 2nd grade. Throughout the years, I have always thought the world of Sasha because she has internal and external beauty; she exudes strength, walks in her truth, and is simply a dope SISTA. It was only appropriate, (a phrase often used by Shannon E. Muse), that I chose her to be my first Honey Girl Highlight. She is a: daughter, sister, wife, mother, social media influencer, health and wellness guru, and plant muva. In addition, she and her husband are changing the narrative around the East Side of OKC (historically and predominately the black side of OKC) by opening a bar and restaurant called “Kindred Spirts.”
Sasha and I talked everything from accessories, to the West African culture, to soul healing, and to her personal venture “Nyemadye’s Lifestyle”.
Chelsie: You were one of the first customers that placed an order during the Honey Girl soft launch, why did you chose to purchase?
Sasha: “During these times, it’s so important to hold each other up. I am a proponent of supporting fellow women, and although I do not purchase earrings often, I was drawn to the Honey Girl collection. The earrings are unique, dope, and I really loved the uplift that you were giving your customers. In essence, I like the message behind the Honey Girl brand.”
Chelsie: How would you describe the perfect earrings and what is your favorite pair of earrings from the Honey Girl Collection?
Sasha: “Classy, trendy, beautiful and of course I want to feel like I got a bang for my buck. When my first order came in, I was shocked at the quality of the earrings. I walked away feeling like I made a great investment. My favorite pair of earrings from the Honey Girl Collection are the “Formation” earrings. I literally have purchased every color but I slept on the translucent pair! If you restock it, I will be sure to purchase them.” (Chile, just call my customers “Sleeping Beauties,” because they don’t wake up until that SOLD OUT post goes up on Instagram.)
Chelsie: What would like to see the Honey Girl Brand come out with next?
Sasha: “I love necklaces. I live for a simple and cute necklace that I can wear with the majority of my wardrobe.”
Chelsie: Being a mom of a preteen daughter, what are you teaching your daughter about beauty?
Sasha: “Well first, I try not to speak negatively about myself in front of my daughter. Growing up I was body shamed for having a big chest and curvy hips, so my entire life I have worked hard to maintain my shape and to stay fit. I want my daughter Nadia to know that she does not have to fit a certain mold. I want her to look like Nadia and really enjoy her youth.”
Chelsie: Wow I always thought of you as body goals. Can we talk more about who and how you were body shammed?
Sasha: “Yes, my parents are from West African, Liberia, to be exact. Growing up my parents were very strict and brutally honest. So family members were very honest when I started to gain weight. They called me big. It hurt myself esteem and it created a complex. So that along with other trauma caused me to seek therapy.”
Chelsie: Knowing you for as I long as I have, I would have never guessed you dealt with self-esteem issues, what would you tell your young self to help her heal?
Sasha: “I would tell her to love herself.”
Chelsie: I know you son is still a toddler, but how are you defining beauty to him?
Sasha: “Whew raising a son is hard. You really have to be careful because you are raising someone’s husband, and I have had my fair share of toxic relationships, so I am teaching him that respect is number one. I am also trying to teach him about internal beauty as well.”
Chelsie: How does Mr. Hughes define beauty and what do you think he saw in you?
Sasha: “He would say that he was attracted to my spirit. He also prefers natural beauty. He prefers that I do not wear makeup because he does not think I need it. Although, I love a good beat and enjoy makeup he has helped me redefine natural beauty.” (Yassss to Mr. Hughes for helping his beautiful Liberian Queen.)
Chelsie: Let’s pivot and talk about your personal venture, what is Nyemadye’s Lifestyle?
Sasha: “Nyemadye is my first name and it is West African. It means “Nyema’s mother” in my father’s tribe. “Nyemadye’s Lifestyle” is a blog and it will highlight everything that I love. Therefore, it will include healthy recipes because I love to cook. Staying fit is a priority for me and I honestly love fitness, so it will highlight workout routines and I will also be discussing supplements. Overall, it will be sporadic but my goal is to get people thinking, talking, and healing. “Nyemadye’s Lifestyle” is an inspirational blog for everyone.
Chelsie: What is your goal for Nyemadye’s Lifestyle?
Sasha: “I hope it takes off! I hope to grow into a social media influencer. I am focused on putting out quality content on my Instagram and Facebook Page. A year from now I would like to have 2,000 followers.
Chelsie: I have also known you to be transparent about sharing your struggles, why have you let so many people into your personal life?
Sasha: “Growing up my parents instilled in us to keep our business private. However, if you are not sharing your true story, how will you learn, how will you grow, how do you pivot if you are going down the wrong path? My goal is to help as many women as I can. So I am okay with sharing my truth if it helps one person.”
Chelsie: How have you healed past trauma?
Sasha: “I see a therapist twice a month and it has really allowed me to sit in my emotions vs running from them.”
Chelsie: For those that cannot afford therapy, what free options would you recommend?
Sasha: “Working out, it releases endorphins. It also helps me decompress my day. Being a new plant mom, I enjoy taking care of my plant babies. I also love being by the water so I will journal by the lake.”
Chelsie: Before we wrap up, can you tell me more about Kindred Spirits?
Sasha: “My husband and I are working on building generational wealth. “Kindred Spirits” is a way for us to build our legacy for generations to come. However, the goal for the bar is to provide a safe space for the East Side of OKC to have a drink and meal. The East Side is so much more than BoBo’s Chicken (BoBo’s is an Eastside staple, where HONEY is on the fries, chicken, and the biscuit and it’s damn good and Honey Girl approved). We want to incorporate a new sprit to the East Side since we are new generation.”
Stop by Kindred Spirits and have a drink during the soft launch in a couple of weeks.
Please follow Sasha on her personal page on IG @nyemadye, her Blog page, @nyemadyes_lifestyle, and her business page @kindredspiritsokc. She is also on Facebook under the same handles.