Hello and thank you for visiting yaraimani.com!
I am Alana Sutton Watkins, the founder and curator of yaraimani.com.
I created yaraimani.com, an online marketplace, to increase the accessibility and appreciation of African inspired products made by Africans on the continent and across the diaspora. yaraimani.com is named after my daughter Yara Imani.
My great grandparents are from Cape Verde. I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Although I had family across the United States, I did not see a life for myself outside "the Lou". I earned my Bachelor of Science and Master of Accountancy degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia and returned to St. Louis to begin my professional career. It was not until I traveled to Argentina on business that I realized the world was so much larger than I had ever imagined. I fell in love with international travel and returned home with a new outlook on life. Shorty after, I fell in love with and married the most amazing, intelligent,supportive, and confident man in the world.
When my first born son was 9 months old, I decided to leave corporate America. I had attained all my corporate dreams and now wanted to focus on my growing family and developing a business.
I now live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and three children: Kadiri, Zaid, and Yara Imani. I want to ensure that my children understand that the world is larger than their geographic location. I want to ensure that my children have a strong connection to the African continent and appreciate their ancestral history as kings and queens. I want to ensure that my children are self confident and do not look to non-African images or messages to define their self worth. I want to ensure that my children take risks and pursue all their dreams. I want to ensure that my children experience entrepreneurship firsthand and recognize it as a viable option for a successful, happy life.
And so I created yaraimani.com...
Join me on my journey to cultivate an online boutique of beautiful African inspired items, create positive images of Afrocentric beauty & culture, and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship!