Alana Allen is a 20-year-old entrepreneur who founded Bodied Creations, a jewelry and art business, with the intention to promote body positivity. Alana’s shop provides something for every woman to celebrate their bodies in a way that is fulfilling to them, from paintings and candles to hypoallergenic jewelry, which feature her own hand-drawn designs of women’s bodies in all shapes and sizes. Bodied creations sends a necessary message to women, and it is one that resonates strongly amongst her audience – in just a few months, she has gained over 1,000 followers on her Instagram. To see more of Alana’s work, check her out on Etsy!
Katie Freeman: How would you describe Bodied Creations?
Alana Allen: It’s to empower women to be comfortable in their skin color and any type of body type that you are. Stretch marks are normal. Rolls are normal. If you have bumps on your skin, it’s totally normal. That’s what I created it to be, to normalize all those things for women because there are so many standards that we have to live up to. Everybody’s not perfect, you don’t need to change yourself.
KF: What is your mission with Bodied Creations?
AA: I was painting. Then I got into painting women’s bodies, so my mission is to normalize being comfortable with who you are. Be comfortable if you’re a dark-skinned girl, if you’re a white girl, Hispanic, it’s okay! Everybody’s not perfect. Nobody’s perfect, so it’s about normalizing all the flaws that people feel like that they have.
KF: What is body positivity and how do you express that through your art and jewelry?
AA: Body positivity to me is – I have back rolls. I just started working out in the past year, but before that, I wasn’t happy with my body. I chose to work out to feel good about my body, but some people don’t want to work out, which is okay! Body positivity is about being okay with who you are on the inside and what you look like on the outside. If you want to go get surgery, that’s okay. Just be positive about those things. I try to incorporate different body types with my art and my jewelry. I have a body painting that started everything. It was six skin tones, and then six different body shapes, and then I got the idea to put it on a necklace. I made two necklaces and now I have earrings!
KF: How did you go about making your jewelry?
AA: I design it myself. I drew it up and I have a manufacturer that makes it for me.
KF: How have you seen your brand impact the customers who have bought from you?
AA: I had this plus-sized model for my jewelry. She kept smiling the whole time I was taking her pictures. I put her in my plus-size necklace, and we even did the rose jewelry. She was like, “I’m so excited, I’ve never felt comfortable taking these types of pictures!” I was like, “You should be!” She has an Instagram account, and now that’s what she posts. She tagged me, and I think it was so cool.
KF: How did you come up with the name bodied creations?
AA: It was hard. I did a poll on Instagram asking what my name should be. I painted bodies. I’m creating a lot of stuff, so it’s not just jewelry. It’ll be paintings, I’m trying to perfect my body candles, and I’m trying to start my vases, so it’s going to be a big collection of things!
KF: What does your process look like for creating those candles?
AA: I added the candles because my sister had sent them to me saying “Why don’t you start this?” I was like, “Oh, that’s a good idea, let me go to YouTube!” I was thinking about how I can expand my business. I expanded it from painting because I love to paint, but it’s not something that I want to sit and do all the time. Some people may not have their ears pierced, people might not like gold jewelry, so I wanted to make it for everybody. If you don’t want jewelry or a painting, you can have a candle or something you just put in your home!
KF: Earlier, you said that the inspiration for Bodied Creations came from those body paintings. What inspired your interest in the arts?
AA: I’ve been in the arts since elementary school. I’ve always loved art, I’ve always loved to paint. I use acrylic – I don’t really like watercolor. I’ve been artistic since before I can remember. After high school, you go through the phase of trying to figure out who you are, and one night I was thinking “Okay, I’m not happy with what I look like.” Body positivity is all over social media, so I thought, “How can I put this in a painting?”
KF: What has your personal journey of self-love and body positivity looked like?
AA: It’s been very hard. People tell me all the time, “You’re really pretty!” People can tell you that, but if you don’t feel that yourself, then it doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s definitely been a long journey, but I’m only 20, so I’m still trying to figure out myself, and it’s not complete yet. I’m not even close. Working out, focusing on myself, making sure my mentality is good and that I am growing is a big part.
KF: What are some things that influence your creative process?
AA: Really just my daily life, like what I see on social media, because TikTok is a big one. TikTok is where you see everything, and as soon as I see posts where girls are like, “I’m going to get a BBL so I can look like this,” or “Why do I have these stretch marks?” or “This is how you get rid of this,” or “I don’t like to wear my natural hair because straight is in,” I’m like “No!” So I think, “What can I do next?”
KF: What are some of your goals for the future with Bodied Creations?
AA: I want it to grow! It’s growing very fast. I just started it, and I want to be more consistent. I want it to be one of my main sources of income, and I want everybody to have a piece of my collection in their homes or on their body. Something that they can wear every day. I want to expand to silver, and clay things would be really pretty!