We had the good fortune of connecting with Hailima Yates and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hailima, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I started Luv Mrk, I originally planned on it being a company that focused on celebrating kindness. I wanted to promote happiness and bring people together by exhibiting the various ways we leave our mark in the world with love. This is still important to me, but I thought about the struggles we face individually and as a society, so I decided to provide programs to get to the root of what causes our battles so we may explore life-changing solutions. That way we can genuinely leave our mark with love for the long-term.
Therefore, Luv Mrk is a coaching company that guides people to value themselves and others. Through transformative workshops, events, and multimedia productions we promote self-empowerment to foster social, emotional, and mental wellness; and diversity, equity and inclusion training to endorse humanizing views of others to cultivate respect for diversity and establish equitable and inclusive environments.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m excited to share that I just self-published my book, Dissolving the Anchor: Untethering Dysphoria and Self-Doubt to Create an Empowered Life. Seeing the impact the workshops are having on participants had me feel ready to know how to write it and how to create it to be more effective for the reader.
Dissolving the Anchor is part memoir and part self-help guide that consists of narratives, poetry, and amazing illustrations commissioned from artists worldwide, giving you a real and raw look into experiences that caused my negative self-image and low self-esteem leading to substance use and suicidal ideation. I then detail how I came out of that struggle to change my mindset to finally value myself, stop self-sabotaging behavior, and live a life I choose throughout my adulthood.
I wrote this book to share my experience and advice to work as a guide for people to emotionally heal, know their value, and know their capacity to manage and overcome adversities.
This was a long and sometimes difficult journey, yet rewarding. Twenty years ago, I was working on a poetry book going back and forth over the years not thinking it was good enough and making changes. In 2018 and 2019, I got to a place where I finally knew what I wanted to say and how I wanted to create it. I started working with a self-publishing company in 2020 to go over a series of edits, formatting, cover design, etc.
Throughout all of the work to get this book completed, realizing what I wanted to say and how to say it, and then working with a self-publishing company to go through a grueling series of edits, and then finalizing formatting and cover design, I also had to push through the thoughts that tried to creep in to tell me my voice didn’t matter or wonder why anyone would take my advice, I’m not famous or rich. I don’t have millions of followers or dollars. I don’t have a mansion, fancy cars, and designer clothes. I’m an everyday person who uses my story to share that my success is that I’m here today and if it’s up to me, I choose to see tomorrow. My success is based on the foundation of being aware of what causes me to believe I’m nothing, not enough, don’t matter to un-accept that as truth and know my value. Success for me is knowing how to manage and overcome adversities. My success is being aware of my decision to live each day being true to me and purposely make choices that will create the experiences I want in life.
When people ask me how I got to where I am today, there are so many factors to recognize. In addition to people who provided guidance when I needed it, traveling was huge in helping me to discover myself. Going outside of what I’ve always known and meeting new people introduced me to acknowledging my personality and beliefs and how that didn’t just affect my life and current position, but also how it affected my relationship with others. Traveling helped me to grow and be more open-minded, even when I already thought I was. Witnessing confident people take control of their life and paying attention to how they did it, helped me to realize I can live that way, too.
When I was in college, I took on leadership roles and that helped to boost my confidence and realize my ability to make choices that would create the kind of experiences I wanted to have as well. Yet, it was several years after graduating college and two businesses later that had me realize what I truly wanted to do with my life. I then started Luv Mrk.
I have learned throughout the years to overcome challenges is to first know what and/or who is being a barrier to what you want to achieve and then you can explore options to resolve obstacles. A good amount of the time my mindset was my barrier. I had self-doubt, self-critical, and limiting thoughts that held me back. To change my mindset, I had to identify where I learned those thoughts so I could no longer accept those teachings as truth, and I had to forgive people and myself to release the pain of holding onto those experiences so I could emotionally heal. Letting go of what didn’t serve me, uplift me, or help me grow allowed me to be free to know my worth and make choices that reflect that. I am now able to move forward in life knowing who I am and realizing that I am causing the effect I want.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Whenever anyone is visiting I like to take them to local restaurants. That’s what I love about Colorado, so many ethnic cuisines to choose from that are delicious! I’ll take my guests to an Ethiopian restaurant one day, a Cuban the next, and then Jamaican, Indian, and Salvadoran. If they like the mountains then we can go hiking or just take a drive and enjoy the scenery. There’s always something to do. We can go to a live music show, art walk, or go to a lounge for drinks. I want to make sure they get to see as much of what Colorado has to offer during their visit.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people to name, but I’ll share a few. I am where I am today because of the mentorship and friendship I received from Patrick Sheridan and Norma Paige. They helped me to grow professionally. Before Luv Mrk I used to have a production company. Patrick provided guidance that helped me enhance my ability with telling a story through film and videos. And Norma continuously hired me to film and edit videos for a nonprofit to exhibit their efforts where that consistent work helped to keep a roof over my head and food on the table. I also deeply appreciate my husband Joe Rogers for providing ongoing encouragement and support as I pursue my entrepreneurial ambitions. I am grateful for receiving much-needed advice and support from other friends, family, and strangers along the way, too. Their guidance and belief in me helped me to remember my value and keep pushing past the challenges to achieve my goals.