PAUSE Her Meets: Jayda Cheaves
Talks the impact of the Internet, being an entrepreneur and family.
Magazine: PAUSE Her // @PAUSE.Her
Photographer: Oli Ali // @MrOllieAli
Stylist & Creative Direction: Taija-Leorelle // @Taija_leorelle
Styling Assistant: Thavy Yin // @ModernGypsy
MUA: Nimzy Kabibi // @NimzyKabibi
Creative Advisor (Jayda’s Creative Director): Treasure Donaldson // @treasuree__
Project Manager & Interviewer: Johnson Gold // @Johnson_Gold
Talent: Jayda Cheaves // @jaydacheaves
The power queen of social media – Jayda Cheaves shares the secrets to her success.
Jayda Cheaves took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with PAUSE Magazine in Atlanta and share the backstory of her monumentous social media success along with the secrets of balancing both life and work.
Running a business in her 20s, whilst serving us looks after looks on Instagram “I make sure Jayda is good regardless” the 23-year-old prioritises keeping her family at the top of her empire.
With the internet being the ultimate marketing tool of her brand, Jayda makes sure to keep some things offline as “peace is everything”.
Starting at just 16-years-old, Jayda has gained an immense level of exposure through the Internet, racking in over 6 million followers on Instagram and 342k subscribers on YouTube.
We sat down with Jayda to find out what elements sparked her entrepreneurial journey and how she dealt with fame, success and money growing up.
Let me start. Social media has opened so many doors for so many people around the world, especially in the past few years. How has social media helped your career?
Social media really is what my whole career is based off. I started back when I was 16 on Facebook, so once Facebook died down, it was Instagram. And then after Instagram, that’s when I started meeting celebrities and really started my business for real and really started taking it to the next level. So social media is everything to my career. Social media is the biggest marketing tool we have today… there are no more TVs and ads anymore. Social media is where everything is happening.
You live and are born and raised in Atlanta, right?
I’m from Savannah, Georgia. I moved to Atlanta when I was 19.
Why did you move to Atlanta?
Savannah was just so small, I felt like I was outgrowing my city because there was a lot of hate. When you’re in a city and you’re not doing the same thing everyone else is doing, you’re driving a nice car… I was so young doing all this stuff, I felt like Atlanta was more where I belonged at the time. Moving to Atlanta really helped me out by changing my mindset and stopping me from being caged in such a small city.
In today’s society, a lot of people gain social media success quickly in a few months. They’re in a small town and now they have to adapt to what they’re inside of. Do you think that can be a tricky situation for people who gain that social success?
Tricky, for sure. Only because some people become TikTok famous overnight and there’s so much fame that you have to adapt.
One thing with me is that I paced myself, I took my time. I didn’t just move when I gained all these followers, I really paced myself. I made sure I finished high school and made this was something that I really wanted to do before I threw myself to a bigger city like Atlanta. I went at the perfect time and I felt like that move was the best thing I ever did.
Wow. How does Instagram business work?
The Instagram business works itself, honestly. It depends on how you market yourself on social media. Like, the way I market myself on social media I’m able to sell anything. I could just be on my story playing with something and everybody’s in my comments like “What is that? What is that? What are you using? Where did you get that from?”. It all depends on who the person is and how they market themselves. I feel like I mastered that.
What tips would you give to others to multiply their income in 2022?
Well, the first thing to multiply your income is saving. Saving is super important. A lot of younger daughts (daughters) now, my friends, for instance, get all this money and they just like to spend it. That’s not the way to do it, it doesn’t matter how much you make or how much you think you have; saving is key. I don’t care who you think you are or how much money you have in your bank account! Saving is so important. I feel like that’s the first step in order to keep making money, it’s to save your money. That’s the best advice I could give.
How did you adapt to becoming an entrepreneur at such a young age?
I think it was just in me. I had a job at a restaurant and I came in with blue hair one day and my boss was like “You have to take that hair out. You can’t have blue hair”. And that’s when I knew I could never work for anybody, ever. I want to wear my hair how I want to wear my hair, wear my makeup how I want to wear my makeup. So, I’m never working for nobody else. I started my business and it was just up since.
How do you balance running a business and trying to enjoy your 20s?
It’s really hard. There’s no such thing as balance, especially with me being a mum. I just kind of have to figure it out. That’s just my life, some days I have to be with my son, I don’t have a nanny available. I still have to go to this photoshoot, record this video. There’s no such thing as balance, you just have to make it work.
How do you deal with co-parenting? If you don’t mind me asking.
Honestly, the most important thing that I always tell my child’s father is that no matter what, there’s a child involved. So, we always have to be cordial. No matter what the situation is, no matter what the internet is seeing, because at the end of the day Loyal, my son, that’s the person who sees everything.
I don’t want my son getting on the internet one day and saying “Oh, this is what y’all used to do?”. Really, it keeps all your problems there so you have to make sure of what you put out there. What matters is what’s not on the internet, and I feel like some people get consumed by that and forget the reality of things. And the reality of everything is that we have a son, and co-parenting is everything to me. I try to keep the relationship as healthy as possible because there is a baby involved.
Definitely. How do you balance not sharing too much on social media?
Yeah, that’s the hard part. Because sometimes I’m so close to my followers that they kind of know everything about me and what I have going on, so it’s hard sometimes to not let them in on certain things when I want them to be in on it… but sometimes I have to just protect my peace at the end of the day.
Peace is everything. Sometimes it’s just best to keep things off of the internet because you’ve got to keep the peace.
What tips would you give other people to ignore negative messages on social media?
Like I said earlier, what’s on social media is fake. What matters at the end of the day is what goes on after you put your phone on the charger and close your eyes.
That’s what really matters, social media is all a façade. People are only showing you what they want you to see. They’re only showing you the good, only the positive things. They’re only showing you them making all this money, but they’re not showing you the losses that they took. They’re not showing you all of the hardships they had to get through before they got to this.
What sort of things do you post on social media to keep your engagement going? What are some of the tricks that you do to keep that going?
I kind of just keep it real, you know. I just show them me. I’m 100% me on my Instagram. I feel like that’s why a lot of young girls do relate to me because they might see the cars I drive, the jewellery, the clothes, but at the end of the day, I go through the same stuff as them. We go through the same relationship problems. I’m a mum and sometimes I wake up and say “I cannot do this” but I still have to get it done. I just like to show them that I’m human too, just because y’all see this and that, I’m going through the same stuff y’all going through. We are all human at the end of the day.
Definitely. What are your top three tracks that you play when you’re getting ready?
Hmm. So, lately, I’ve really been feeling Doja Cat. She’s been my girl lately. ‘Need To Know’… that’s one of my top songs. And then ‘Hate U’, SZA… I’m loving that song right now. Those are my two favourites – like I’ve been playing those on repeat lately.
And your top three beauty tips?
So, the number one beauty tip is using dark liner on the lips, always overline. There’s no such thing as underlining your lips, that is not in. We are not doing that anymore. Super gloss, love a good gloss on my lips. And another beauty tip is… using a spoolie, the thing for your lashes, as an edge brush. That gets the job done!
Hmm, okay! Who’s your muse?
Honestly, I’m my muse! That might sound so cliché to say but I am who I live through. Like, some days I might just want to try something and I’m not going to see if it looks good unless I do it on myself. So, I’m my own muse. I’ll just try some things and see how it works; I’ll just do it on myself first.
If the internet didn’t exist, what would you be doing?
I’d probably just have a regular business somewhere. Just like a walk-in, on foot business where I’d probably be selling clothes or something. I used to sell clothes. If the internet didn’t exist, I’d probably have a boutique… just in my city, probably.
Tell me about your business. What sparked the energy to build your own empire?
So, back when I was 16, I started my hair company. After I did my hair, I started selling clothes, shoes, everything… and I kind of took a break once I got pregnant just so I could focus on the baby. It was a lot having to ship orders, I was doing everything by myself.
Got it. Tell me about your experience in being in a relationship with a rapper. What top three tips would you give to others feeling the pressure?
Honestly, you have to just make it what it is. It’s a lot of pressure dating an artist, it doesn’t matter if it’s a rapper, an athlete… it doesn’t matter. It’s just a lot of pressure because now you have their fans who have to chime in, then you have your own fans, then you have outsiders and people who don’t even know you, but you just have to make the best of it. No matter what terms me and my child’s father are on, I make sure Jayda is good regardless. I don’t let him dimmish my light, and I don’t dimmish his light.
We both just do our own thing, and that’s hard to do because I know a lot of girls who get with rappers and then after they break up with the rapper, they kind of die down…but you know, that’s the thing, I’ve been me from the jump. If you’re in a relationship and you do meet someone who is bigger than you, you’ve just got to create a brand and stay true to your colours so that you can create your own fanbase. The difference with me is that I was already doing the same stuff that I’m doing now.
Exactly! Instagram or TikTok?
TikTok is just so free, I feel like you can be yourself on TikTok. Instagram is so fake! It’s like you’ve just got to have this character that everyone just likes, but TikTok is where you really get to let your hair down and play a little bit.
What five things are you going to avoid doing in 2022?
I don’t really have five things off the top, because I’ll be here all night trying to figure it out…but what I can say is that in 2022 I want to be more positive and not respond to negative things as much. I stopped doing that as much over this year. We’re not getting into all this negative stuff; you’ve really got to protect your peace. In 2022, I’m all about protecting my peace. If it’s not going to better me, whatever.