As sales boom, Black business owner juggles two jobs

Womenswear designer Aliya Wanek, based in the Bay Area, is facing more than just pandemic-related changes in what people are buying.

“[With] the spotlight on supporting Black-owned businesses, definitely within the past two months, there’s been exponential growth with the business,” Wanek said. “[It’s] really exciting, but also really crazy at the same time.”

In addition to her clothing line, Wanek works full-time as a speech therapist.

Before COVID-19, she’d spend a full day with her students before spending four to six hours working on her clothing line. Now, she said she’s gained tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and sold out collections in a few days.

“It’s been a pretty big adjustment,” she said. Wanek plans to spend the next year working both jobs and monitoring if her business remains as popular as it’s been recently.

“I was thinking about it, and I don’t know if I’ve really heard of people who are like, ‘I hold two full-time jobs successfully,’” Wanek said. “I don’t know if that’s possible.”

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