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Alum makes her mark after leaving NCAT

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Alum makes her mark after leaving NCAT

Falesha Brodie, Contributor

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Fashion majors can’t be put into boxes, and this alumnus is living proof. Born and raised in Louisburg, N.C., Sydney Daniels is determined to make her name known around the globe.

Daniels graduated in 2015 with a fashion merchandising degree but was happy to explain what made her shy away from fashion and fall into writing.

“At the moment, fashion as I was experiencing it was not for me anymore. It was killing my love and creativity for it. I began to feel like I was conforming and that is not who I am,” Daniels said.

She admitted that she always loved writing, but she didn’t take it seriously until her sophomore year of college.

“I have always had an imagination. I started writing during my sophomore year of undergrad to combat depression.”

During her undergrad years, she revealed how she would sit around campus and watch everyone interact with each other. To her, black people’s representation in romantic fiction is not authentic.

Daniels was confident she could capture black people being multifaceted in her work.  She also wanted to make sure underrepresented women were included in her art. After countless ideas and sleepless nights, she released her first book, Gold Plated Pieces, in Nov. 2015.

Soon after, in the summer of 2017, ‘Cuffin’, a book filled with short, relatable stories was released. Lastly, her third book, “This Is Love” released in 2018. Daniels continued to bring her imaginations to life and cater to her audience: The people who don’t like to read but still love a good story. Her testimonials tell it all, as her fans love her work.

“The characters were relatable and I felt like I was on an adventure. I can’t wait to see what story comes next,” said Shana Wilkins.

Wilkins recently viewed a few of Daniels’ books on Amazon which opened her eyes and soon had an epiphany to start her own cosmetics line.

While writing is also a passion for Daniels, she also took interest in butters and oils. Oilz-n-Butterz is a brand new, all natural moisture line.

“I have always been a fan of natural herbs, and I feel that many products lack the moisture I desire,” said Daniels.

Daniels felt like mainstream stores/products weren’t interested in her as a black woman. Overall, she felt out of place. This line holds a special place in her heart. Since, just like writing, it wasn’t her “plan A”.

“Before A&T, I initially went to cosmetology school. The goal was to open my own salon. Then, along came YouTube and the natural hair movement. Now, everyone can watch a 30-minute video and maintain their own hair.”

But even though hairstyles were evolving, Daniels quickly adapted and found a way to exercise her creativity.

“Looking at the natural cosmetic industry, I realized there would always be room for products. Ones that can be used in both a salon and at home,” she continued.

So far, Daniels ’cosmetic line includes body butter, lip balm, shower scrubs, and bath bombs, with more products on the way.

“Out of all the products, the lip balm is perfect,” says Bianca Bullock. One of Sydney’s first customers.

When asked who her biggest inspiration was, Daniels gave all glory to God.

“I desire to change the trajectory of my entire family. Every time I see my younger family members I get inspired. I want to create jobs for and revenue to my hometown.”

She goes on to acknowledge the reality and struggles of being a business owner.

“Keeping the faith can be difficult. As well as effective marketing. In 2019, influence is currency.” As most Aggies do, she continues to pay homage to her HBCU.

“I have always been a hustler. Period. But A&T plants hunger inside of its students. That hunger helped me survive. I will continue to break down walls, and I owe a portion of that attitude to A&T.”

For more information about Oilz-n-Butterz visit https://www.etsy.com/search?q=oilznbutterz

 

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Alum makes her mark after leaving NCAT