31 Days of Dreamers & Doers | Alisha Davis
Alisha Davis is the founder, owner and photographer of Davie Grams, LLC. Since 2016, Davie Grams' purpose has been to offer professional photography to individuals, profit and non-profit organizations while pursuing social action through the development of community programming and projects.
"Our first project in motion is "Building Our Legacy in Love & Light", a 12 photo series organized to take back the narrative of black Americans by illuminating a variety of positive images. We are currently working to establish support and funding to transform one of these images into a mural."
As of April 2017, she became the founder and yoga instructor of SadhanaLife. Their mission to "cultivate, enrich, [and] grow" their community through the mindful-self practice of yoga has lead them to building partnerships with organizations such as NOAH Free Clinic, Malcolm X Memorial Foundations, MICAH House and Girls Inc. They are also a team of affiliated members working together to build their community up through collaborations, providing education and tools for self-care and personal development.
What is your earliest memory being involved in your business?
The day I set out to purchase my first DSLR camera was very memorable. I decided to make an investment in myself - I knew I couldn't learn to take more professional looking photos without having a the right equipment. I spent about an hour talking to a guy at Best Buy about what sort of things to look for in a camera, what everything means and the differences between Nikon and Canon. It was a very informing conversation and by the end I was convinced that Canon was the way to go. So I left Best Buy that day with my camera and the basics of what I needed to get started.
In the summer of 2016, a couple of my friends asked if I would help them improve their yoga practice. So, June through August they came to my apartment once or twice a week. We would meditate, flow, practice some poses and end with a cup of hot tea. I don't know how I did it, but at least once I fit 4 or 5 people plus myself in my little living room! It was the experience and the feedback I received from these ladies that inspired me to think bigger.
AD: The people I meet and interact with everyday, people in general inspire me in so many ways. Everyone has her/his own story and no one can take that away. Davie Grams gets to capture moments in those stories and share a reflection of them.
Our stories are what make us who we are and every story comes with its own sense of trauma. Not one is greater than the other because we all experience different things, differently. Sometimes we hold ourselves back through our struggle to accept, embrace and/or progress from our experiences. SadhanaLife guides people to find healing within themselves to find growth through all experiences in life.
AD: In the almost two years I have been in business, my work with Davie Grams has been featured with several local artists, businesses and organizations like Wakanda Arts, Bound, Seventy Five North, Balance Beauty Botanicals, Sistah Gurl Society and so many more. Davie Grams has also been featured internationally with the Jamaican dub poet, Ras Takura! SadhanaLife has established affiliations with local and international artists and businesses as well as built partnerships with local nonprofit organizations. In short, my journey, so far, has been filled with collaboration and connectivity with my communities near and far. The future is unknown, but I'm ready because this is only the beginning.
10 years ago would you have pictured yourself in this position?
I did not picture myself in these particular lines of work, but I had imagined owning my own something. I have all these ideas I come up with and just set them aside until one day I find, or create, the opportunity to use them.
Can you name a highlight of your career?
In October 2016, I traveled with Wakanda and 3gypt to Standing Rock, ND for a music festival they were performing for, in support of the fight against DAPL. The energy became so intense as we approached the camp and continued to grow in the 17 hours or so that we stayed there. I consider this to be a highlight because it is one of the most memorable and meaningful events I have been a part of so far. Some of my favorite moments were captured on that trip.
If I could go back and change anything it would be all the times I allowed fear or doubt to get in my way.
"NEVER give up on yourself. Establish and maintain a healthy self-care routine. Being mindful of our physical, mental, and spiritual health is key to finding success in everything you do."