Welcome to the first installment of "Lean on Mi", which gives me a chance to highlight amazing women in our community who other girls can lean on or can aspire to become.I got a chance to speak with someone who all girls can lean on if they are ever in need of some positivity or encouragement. My first installment of Lean on Mi, I am featuring Pearis Bellamy a kind, sweet, generous individual who serves her community with a smile on her face any chance she can get. Pearis is a rising junior at Hampton University and the founder of her two businesses Youth Nation Seminars and Positively Pearis, both of he businesses promoting self care and self love. Many who know Pearis would describe her as a beam of light spreading positivity wherever she goes.
How did you cultivate the idea to start Youth Nation Seminars and Positively Pearis ?
The summer before my senior year, I was assigned a paper about the biggest obstacle I’ve had to face and how I overcame that obstacle. This was for an AP English class and practice for college application essays. At that time, I had to decide if I would write a generic response or really dig deep and be honest. I had never really shared my story and was scared. I took a leap of faith and decided to be real.
At that same time, my ACT-SO (Afro-Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics) chairperson told me she wanted me to compete in Entrepreneurship for the upcoming competition. I was freaking out because I had no idea what kind of business I could start and did not think I had the skills to do so. Then, I remembered my love for public speaking and helping others. So I began to brainstorm and reflect on the essay I wrote.
I was so grateful for how God had allowed me to overcome being sexually abused and the domestic violence I witnessed. I was blessed that I was not a statistic and I wanted to let others know that they did not have to be either. So that’s when Youth Nation Seminars was formed. This organization empowers youth to know that their current and past circumstances do not have to define them.
I decided a long time ago that I was not going to let my experiences steal my joy and that I could take control of my life. So I chose to be happy. I chose to be unapologetically proud of my morals and I chose to live my life. When I got to college, I found that many women were afraid to share their morals and values because they were afraid of what others would think especially men. During my freshman year, girls came up to me and told me how great it was to know they weren’t alone in their values. They felt alone because they didn’t think anyone else was like them. So, I started Positively Pearis to empower women and show that there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who is proud of her faith!
For an aspiring entrepreneur what challenges have you faced when starting your businesses? How did you overcome these obstacles?
One of the biggest challenges I have faced when starting my business is being afraid to fail. We learn our biggest lessons when things do not go as planned. Not everything is going to be perfect. I’ve learned to be patient and trust God’s plan.
What has been a pivotal moment or event, as an entrepreneur?
A pivotal moment for me as an entrepreneur has been this summer. This summer I decided to dedicate myself to working full time on my business and my career aspirations. That meant no safety net of working a side job. This forced me to take my business even more seriously and take leaps of faith.
I admit, I was very scared because I liked the comfort of knowing I would get a paycheck every 2 weeks even if no one bought a shirt or booked me for a speaking engagement. However, that comfort was keeping me from pursuing my purpose with the intensity I needed to.
This summer I have been blessed to attend an event hosted by the White House as a “Nominated Changemaker,” be booked for speaking engagements, attend conferences and more just because I decided to trust God. This summer has been pivotal because I realized how important it is to not get stuck in your comfort zone and believe in yourself.
Through Positively Pearis, you have created the MVP collection which you have apparel for sale promoting women to be proud of their Morals, Values and Prayer. When life as a business woman takes a toll on you how do you keep your faith and your values strong?
When life as a business woman takes a toll on me, I keep my faith and stay strong by remembering why I do it all. So I read scriptures, devotionals, listen to Bishop T.D. Jakes, read quotes and pray. I reflect on when my life wasn’t going so great and how God brought me through. I also listen to my favorite gospel songs and sometimes I even have myself a good cry. We all get tired and stressed. But ultimately, my purpose and all of our purposes are so much greater than any temporary feeling we may have.
What is the legacy you wish to leave with Positively Pearis and Youth Nation seminars?
The legacy I wish to leave behind is that happiness and success is available to anyone if you want it. I remember thinking because I was sexually abused and had some of the experiences I’ve had that I was worthless and would never be happy. However, God allowed me to see that my story and life was not over. No one’s story has to be over just because of what someone did to them, didn’t do for them or a mistake they made. I want to leave a legacy that those society labels as “broken” do not have to stay broken and happiness is possible for them too.