Crafty Ladies is an ever-evolving, ongoing, personal photography project connecting me with creative women. I’m documenting their faces and their stories in order to better understand the role of creativity in women’s lives, and its impact on my own.
Anisa, founder and CEO of Anisa International, welcomed me into her beautiful new home in Atlanta’s Virginia-Highland neighborhood. Anisa’s success is hugely inspiring to me as a small business owner, and I felt a little intimidated to be talking to a woman who has accomplished so much. But Anisa was incredibly down to earth and open, and I was seriously moved by her thoughts on staying inspired and bringing something of value to the table.
“The thing about creativity – why it’s constant work and awareness – it’s that you can’t demand inspiration. You can’t say, ‘I’m ready to be inspired now! Give me that idea!’ I think you have to be in process. And THEN, if you’re in process and you’re honing your craft and honing your receptiveness to creativity, then I think you can notice inspiration faster, easier. And everything, on some level, starts to inspire you to do something differently.”
“Whatever we resist persists. So if we keep fighting, the fight will come to us. But if we focus on, ‘What am I going to bring? What’s my impact?’ I think that’s what people all start to focus on.”
“In 5 years I’d like to feel healthy. I still want to have vitality. That’s what I want. I want to feel enthusiastic about whatever I’m doing. And I want to feel like I’m making a real difference. So those are the things I want to feel. Lately I’ve felt more proud of my work and my company that I ever have – this really deep pride. I like to see the people around me flourishing and happy. That’s a phenomenal feeling. I’d like to continue that.”
I’ve been quoting Anisa non-stop since I spoke with her. Her comment, “What am I going to bring?” really inspired me. I think it’s really easy to get distracted by our competition, to feel jaded by the negativity around us, and to feel frustrated by the flaws in our respective industries. But I’m never more fulfilled that when I stop thinking externally and instead turn inward to ask myself, “What am I doing to contribute?”
Because it doesn’t really matter what everyone else is doing – the good, the bad, the mediocre… All I can do anything about is my little corner of the world, right here. To quote one of my favorite literary characters: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf the Grey