Q: Tell us a little bit about your background
I grew up in Monmouth County, NJ, and Bucks County, PA. I received my education in Communication studies at the University of Maryland. My time in the DMV (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia) was very pivotal. I was around a lot of artists, creatives, and entrepreneurs. It filled a void I didn't even know I had. I became a part of a community of beautiful, talented people that expressed themselves in unapologetic and magnetic ways. I'm relatively young but I've occupied a few roles across a few different industries. My recent roles center around facilitation and creative problem-solving. While in the DMV, I worked with a digital magazine called The Vibe Room, where I was the Curatorial Director. For every issue, among many other things, I curated a roster of creatives to be interviewed and featured. Earlier this year (which feels like another lifetime), I interned for Harlem's Fashion Row, a social company that provides opportunities to minority designers in the fashion industry. I currently do project coordinating for Hoffman Design Group, a plant design company right outside of Philly. Entrepeurnship is new to me but has always been my end goal. It was just a matter of what and when!
Q: How was Ginja Snap created?
In college, I had a sore throat and a friend of mine told me to boil ginger and water, add lemon and I'd feel 80% better in no time. I had my doubts but I tried it anyway. While boiling the ginger I got distracted and forgot about it (classic) so most of it evaporated and the little bit that was left was realllllly strong. I drank it straight, no lemon or sweetener. It was so strong that I could feel the ginger "working" on the part of my throat that was sore. Within an hour, I could tell a pretty significant difference in how my throat felt. From that point on, Ginger water or tea became something I made for myself when I was sick. Ginger as a flavor began to grow on me and I found that when I bought ginger teas and beverages, the ginger flavor was never as strong as I wanted it to be. So I starting making bigger batches that would last me a week or so.
Q: We know the benefits of ginger and love to incorporate it into our daily routines but we'd love to know why you decided to create a beverage that centers around Ginger?
It was the positive response from family and friends who've tried it that prompted me to bottle it up and test it with a wider audience. My brother has a vintage shop in Brewerytown called Search + Rescue Drygoods. I figured that would be a great place to start, and to my surprise, it was a success!
Q: Have you always lived in Philadelphia? What draws you to this city? What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of Philadelphia?
I actually just moved to Philadelphia in May but as a Bucks County kid, I've always been somewhat familiar with the city. There are quite a few draws. Philly is a good place to create a foundation and try something new. I have a support system here. My best friend is here, I have family here. I love being able to see my brother on a regular basis and help him at his shop. Right now, my favorite aspects of the city are the thriving independent businesses and the vintage scene. Least favorite part is driving - y'all are aggressive, lol!
Q: What is next for Ginja Snap? In a perfect world what would be next for you and your company?
Ginja Snap is practically a newborn so the sky's the limit! In a perfect world, I'd pay someone to do all the boring business stuff for me while I focus on bottle design, brand image/marketing, and perfecting the recipe :-)
Q: Where else can people learn about you and Ginja Snap?
You can learn more about Ginja Snap and where it will be popping up next by subscribing to my mailing list at www.ginjasnap.com and following Ginja Snap on Instagram at @drinkginjasnap.
You can learn a little bit about me by following me on Instagram @shaakira.eymya. I source and sell vintage and upcycled goodies, a passion of mine that can be followed at @petitepotatofinds. I'm usually at my brother's shop @searchandrescuedrygoods on the weekends if you want to meet me in real life!
Photos by https://www.instagram.com/indicuttt/
jumpsuit by https://www.instagram.com/iidkkkkkkkkk/