When I tell people I’m a contributing writer for Suit & Artist, the first question they ask is: “What does Suit & Artist do?” I can see why they’re confused. It’s not often our society prioritizes and values commerce, creativity and culture in the same sentence, let alone the same business. 

Most of us are/were raised to see these three endeavors as separate, and depending on the situation, possibly equal. I’m not always sure folks value creativity as much as they do amassing wealth—unless wealth can be achieved by being creative. And then there’s culture. Unless we’re referring to white culture, culture is often looked down upon by both the establishment and those with much less “sophistication” who want to emulate the establishment. For these two groups, culture is synonymous with exotic and different, wrapped up in too much “otherness.” Definitely not something to strive for…

For the rest of you with open minds, but who may still be confused because the concept of harmonizing commerce, creativity and culture runs counter to the way you were raised, I hope this interview you’re about to see brings it all home for you. 

Zarinah El-Amin is an HBCU-educated, former IT professional who realized at 21 years old that she wasn’t doing what she was born to do—something that would bring her joy and meaning. So Zarinah did what many wandering souls do. At 22 years old, she picked up and moved to Egypt, where she discovered who she really is and what she wanted out of life.

Zarinah El-Amin

Today Zarinah is a cultural anthropologistTEDx speaker, the founder of Beautifully Wrapped & The Headwrap Expo, a published book author and the founder and CEO of Book Power Publishing & The Power Author Academy.

While I could have written an article about Zarinah, to really get her, you need to experience Zarinah, and trust me when I say this can’t be done with words alone. You’ll see immediately why Zarinah was stifled, sitting in a cubicle that was dressed in corporate drab, destined to conform. To learn more about Zarinah’s step-by-step method to publishing a book, click here

I’ve also included a transcription of the interview.