Day 15: Imani K Simmons

Everybody meet superwoman. One of those people that can wear 10,000 hats, handle a million things, walk through fire even, yet stay 100% calm, in the process gaining the trust and confidence of those around them.

We may have met her as YesJulz trusted sidekick, but she has been establishing her career well before, and proves just how much more she can do daily. Fortunately, in the midst of launching her perfume brand, curate events such as The Women Of Color Series at AWOM Lab, various pop ups, concerts, and more, she allowed me to get some insight on just what it takes to be so young, yet the glue that keeps so many industries together.

What industry are you in currently?

Marketing and event production

Is your industry one usually dominated by women? How did you fight stigmas?

Absolutely not; I just have to keep pushing and always be about my business. At the end of the day my work will speak for itself, even if it takes a little longer than my male counterparts.

What are you most proud of at the moment?

I just quit my job and got rid of my safety net for the sole purpose of bettering myself. I had to get uncomfortable so that I can grow.

Any major life events in the last 6 months you’re working through?

I quit my job, started my own business that’s completely out of my professional career, and now I’m planning on flourishing in BOTH.

What is your version of success? When will you say you’ve “made it”?

I don’t ever want to get too complacent to say that I’ve “made” it, I’ll always strive for better.

What’s one thing you’ve realized with age/time in the industry? (and want other women to realize as well)

NO ONE will ever take care of you the way YOU can take care of you. If you need a break, take one. If you don’t like your job, regroup and leave. There’s always another option, don’t ever allow yourself to get into the mindset that you’re ‘trapped’. Your next step should always be one that will set you up for the one after that, and so on and so forth.

Love or success? Should you have to choose?

I choose both 🙂

What is one stigma entrepreneurs face that you’d like to debunk?

There are a lot of stigmas that you should find one lane and stay in it. I think that’s crazy. For the multi-faceted people like myself, who’s to say I cant be in one lane one day and switch over to the other one the next (referring to my event producing and perfume making lol). I’m great at both, so I want to flourish in both. One doesn’t take away from the other.

Any new endeavors?

I started a fragrance company this year called Keturah Lab! It is bespoke perfumes, incense, and I just added room sprays. You can check out some of the work at @KeturahLab on instagram and follow the page to stay updated on pop ups.

Agree so so much with your point that you should be able to flourish in more than one lane. What does it take to be successful in multiple things? (What character traits or organizational skills)

Honestly, if you want to flourish in multiple avenues. STAY ORGANIZED, Know how to prioritize your wants vs your needs. Everything else will fall into place. 

Many of us get to enjoy events without ever really knowing what it takes behind the scenes, the most challenging task for us is RSVP’ing. What is the most challenging aspect of an event producers tasks?

*insert crying face emoji* for me, its trying to predict the unpredictable. I do a lot of concert-stye parties. Is there enough security? Will we lose the alcohol sponsorship if we make it 18+? How many mophies will I need to last me through the night? Whats the cut off for artist entourages? Is there a cut off for comp bottles for said artists? Are there enough trash cans? Sounds random but if one of those questions go unanswered its pretty much the end of the world.

 I’ve tested the perfume, (obsessed btw, highly recommend) how did that come about? 

Me and sisters scrambled around on Christmas eve trying to find a gift for my dad (he’s hard to shop for) so we wandered around a little mall in the suburbs of Chicago. Every store that didn’t have a line out the door was also somewhere we could never shop for him lol, so we walked into this tiny mom and pop shop that sold fragrance oils. He had every scent imaginable. I remembered my dad telling me he used to sell gold jewelry and oils on the streets of Chicago and New York in the 90’s and thought making him his own fragrance would be thoughtful. I put the experience on my IG story and got a lot of really good feedback. I went home thinking about how Miami needs a place like that, no one has custom shit anymore they’re all fighting over the same stuff. After giving my dad his cologne (he loved it btw) I shared my idea with him and he loved it. My sister reminded me my middle name actually meant “fragrance” and I was like “That’s it! That’s the sign I need. I was born to do this”

What can be said about taking risks and betting on yourself? 

Its scary. Its soooo scary and you should absolutely positively be terrified. The payoff is even more rewarding though; just knowing you’re giving yourself everything you’ve got, you can’t go wrong with that.

To keep up with all her endeavors:


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