My name is Amena (Ah-men-ah) short for Amenaghawon (Ah-men-ah-gha-won). A name that hails from the Benin Kingdom in Nigeria. The meaning of my name is 'The water you shall drink, will never flow past you'. I've held this meaning close to me since I was small and think of it in all that I do. I was born in Toronto via Nigerian immigrants - a Civil Engineer and an Artist/Designer/Entrepreneur. I've always considered myself a perfect blend of my parents, business minded and creatively inclined.
I grew up as a competitive studio trained dancer in ballet, jazz and acrobatics. I also grew up with a love for visual arts sketching and painting whenever I had the opportunity.
However, I opted to follow my interest in business, studying and obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce at McMaster University. During the summer, I would take drop in dance classes in the city and audition for dance opportunities when they came up.
I soon found myself working in the entertainment industry, first as a Production Intern with MTV Canada, then I landed at Alliance Films, working in PR. It was fun but not fun. Those in PR know what the deal is, so I decided to pivot to eCommerce, which was getting really popular at the time (Have I dated myself yet?)
I am not a seasoned eCommerce and tech professional with over 13 years of experience working for some of Canada's biggest fashion and Beauty retailers in the online space. I've helped buy and build online catalogues, develop online promotional strategies and push marketing campaigns and merchandising initiatives for my past companies like HBC, Well.ca, and Town Shoes/DSW. In 2016, I moved from merchant side to product side, working with Agency Partners at Shopify.
Im extremely proud to say that I am now stepping into the most impactful work of my career thus far, leading the Lifecycle Marketing Program for Black Entrepreneurship at Shopify. I work with an amazing team with the goal of making successful commerce, more attainable for Black merchants.
BUT WAIT THERES MORE...
In between all of this, I've had like 101 side businesses: partnering with my mom to open her bridal showroom in Toronto to showcase her designs, bringing that same experience online, freelance event management, building an online skincare brand, but currently leaning into my creativity by selling my art online and commissioning my art for those interested.
If you stayed until the end of this ridiculously long bio, kudos, there is no prize unfortunately, but if you enjoyed that, follow me on linked in, twitter or instagram. I post not only about work, because well that is not the only thing I do, but also post about working out, art, things that grind my gears, and anything fun!
Thank you <3