While Black History Month is certainly an ideal time to celebrate African-American excellence, a devoted 14-year-old girl stays busy working in her home studio making clay key chains… African activity tubes, African greeting cards, and hair beads throughout the year
MARYLAND – A 14-year-old Muslim girl has launched the world’s first craft design firm to celebrate African-American excellence and historical trailblazers who paved the way for justice, Baltimore Times reported.
“My products are geared towards educating girls, boys, men and women from ages three to 103,” Kalimah McKeaver, a resident of Clinton, Maryland, said.
“I wanted to start my company because I was inspired by other kid entrepreneurs that I read about or saw on TV.”
Kalimah, who is home-schooled, started her own business Dinkra Stylez, LLC at the age of 12 following an assignment from her mother about the Ancient Empires of Ghana and how their inventions and contributions benefited modern day society.
“She asked me if she could make something as her final project for the assignment, instead of just writing about the subject. I told her that as long as she retained the information she was free to deliver the final project in any format. She created hand-sculpted clay hair beads adorned with the Adinkra symbols— at that moment Dinkra Stylez was born,” Abdul-Sabur said, also explaining the meaning of the company’s name, Dinkra Stylez.
“The name Dinkra is derived from the word ‘Adinkra,’ as in the Adinkra symbols. We just dropped the ‘A’ and borrowed the rest of the letters. We added the word Styles with a ‘Z,’ to indicate that her products (although hand-crafted) were stylish, fun, colorful, and engaging.”
Currently, she stays busy working in her home studio making clay key chains, bow ties, African activity tubes, African greeting cards, and hair beads throughout the year.
“I wanted to find a way to help others experience this same feeling without having to spend countless hours in the library or online,” Kalimah said.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of being a teen CEO is getting opportunities to do some pretty cool stuff…. like teaching workshops and meeting new or famous people.”
Being a teen CEO, she has many challenges of finding a balance between school, work, and fun.
“I definitely needed the skill of patience and the tolerance for failure in learning to make my products. It often takes my attempts to get a product just right before it goes to the market to be sold,” Kalimah said.
“As a result, patience and a tolerance for failure were the two biggest skills I needed to learn.”
White Christian slaveowners stripped African Muslims of their faith and forced mass conversions. During the Black Muslim Movement, numerous African Americans reembraced the religion of their forefathers.
Seeking to preserve the legacy of the African American Muslim experience Sapelo Square partnered with Paper in February 2018, and launched Preserving the Legacy, a portrait and interview series, to capture and conserve Black Muslim Life in the US.