Born in Columbus, Ohio to parents originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, Gayima grew up in the ’80s-’90s with strict parents that were adamant that she and her siblings embrace their West African culture, despite the cruel taunting of school peers in a predominantly white demographic. The presence of their maternal grand-aunt allowed her to find a balance and overtime, her love for her African culture matured and would later prove to influence and inform the way she lives her life.
By age 20, Gayima had interned for Chase Bank (Bank One, NA), working in over 10 different locations in Ohio, Delaware, and New York City. Upon graduation from the prestigious Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington, she was offered a full-time job by the bank to join their Management Training Program in Branch Administration.
Over the course of eight years, she took on roles in Management within the IT space, and eventually worked as a Project Management in the corporate offices supporting Banking Centers. With a passion for IT Project Management, she joined Fiserv to support the Bill Payment initiatives in the Digital Channels Division. This change allowed Gayima to focus on technical writing, business process development, systems reporting and authoring of training documents for her peers over the next 4 years.
All the while, Gayima’s creative energy was brewing in a different direction. As she began to travel and network, she realized that entrepreneurship was calling her name. She launched her management/consulting boutique in 2009 with a sole purpose to assist her best friend with building her brand and business as a musician. This launch resulted in tours throughout France in 2012, and shows from Chicago, to Texas, to New York City. Her client base grew along with her work for other entrepreneurs. She was producing pop-up shops, curating private group meet-ups for yoga instructors and more. Then another creative spark hit. In 2013, Gayima and her sister, Sallay, created the fashion brand,
Amyang Fashun™, A Lifestyle Brand.
Over the course of five years, the two have relocated from the slow paced city of Columbus, Ohio to fast-paced city that never sleeps. The process of building a global fashion brand, growing a client base in consulting, and living a present life guided Gayima to leave the walls of historical Corporate America to step into her purpose.
With clarity, her abundant energy is constantly being channeled to create and develop ideas and initiatives for her business as well as her client’s. Now she spends her days, whether at her showroom space in New Jersey with her team of Creatives, attending private listening sessions of emerging musical artists in Brooklyn, or on a plane heading to the Continent of Africa to execute Fair-Trade deals on behalf of African Artisans. Her commitment to broker these types of business deals became a mission after completion of her eight-month tour through eight countries on the Continent of Africa with her best friend. Their stories can be found under the brand, Passport2Zuri.
Nights belong to her bed, as a dedicated self-care advocate, but if she’s up to it, you can find her on the dance floor if the DJ is playing the right Afrobeats mix. In between speaking engagements, client initiatives, fashion showcases and travel, she makes time to catch up with close family and friends, and enjoys quiet time in her Mom’s house, reading, eating pepper fish and binge watching classic shows like Sex in the City, or the latest phenomenon on TV like Insecure or Game of Thrones. Basically, she trusts HBO.
To connect with Gayima, subscribe to her podcast, I Am…Gayima. A Podcast, invite her to be a panelist or attend a speaking engagement where she’s featured in your city, visit the Amyang Fashun Showroom, or book her for your next project.
If you see me standing in a photo alone, know that I am never alone. Someone is always holding the camera, and someone always has my back. I’m all about collaboration.