Shoana Clarke-Sayeh: Turning a Passion for Her Homeland into a Cause
"I like that I can print on demand in any quantities I need and their print quality is the same with each copy. The customer service is awesome! I feel like I have been friends with them for a while. I am loyal when I am comfortable, and they make me comfortable."
"I like that I can print on demand in any quantities I need and their print quality is the same with each copy."
Turning a Passion for Her Homeland into a Cause
One of her life heroes, successful entrepreneur Hugh Clark, has always encouraged her to take risks. Shoana Clarke-Sayeh is doing just that, through an international business, quarterly travels abroad, and her new book, Liberia Smiles.
Shoana has been expressing herself creatively since her years at Temple University, where she graduated with honors in Broadcast Telecommunications and Mass Media. While a student, Shoana took her talents as a photographer and put them to work. "Photography was my biggest passion and I was making a lot of pocket change. We had a lot of aspiring actors who needed headshots." Shoana says, speaking of classmates who requested her services.
In 1999, Shoana took her freelance operation and expanded it into Cachelle Ink, a company that specializes in photography, graphic design, and public relations. She was in a position to take all of her learned skills and natural abilities to create a unique one stop shop for her clients. "It’s one thing to know photography, but another to know design as well. You make yourself more marketable. I know design, photography, make-up, and fashion. Everything I love to do kind of works together." Shoana states.
Shoana spent the first 14 years of her life in Liberia before she became a displaced citizen as a result of civil unrest in the country. Shoana has taken her passion for photography, a love for her birth country, and her travels abroad and put them into her book Liberia Smiles. This work is not only a reminder of her personal journey, but will also provide a rare glimpse at a nation and the people who call it home. At 29, she has published a 100 page collection of photos that capture positive images of a country so often portrayed in turmoil. The pictures in this coffee table book each tell a unique story, but there are some that touched Shoana in a special way. "My favorites are the little girl holding the coconut and the dad holding the baby. I particularly like the one of the man holding the baby because, generally, African fathers are not shown as nurturing. He wasn’t posing for me. He was standing far off, holding her, and so into his baby girl. The girl with the coconut stopped, put this pose on, and forgot she was selling the coconuts. I placed these two side by side on purpose."
Proceeds from Shoana’s book will aide orphanages throughout Liberia. One of the photos in particular relates to this noble cause. "The picture with the caption that says "It’s time to smile," is another favorite. I love that shot because I knew the little girl. She was being adopted that day and leaving Liberia. She was being placed with a family in Minnesota. The orphanage project is definitely a close one to my heart."
Shoana took advantage of PrestoPhoto.com’s services to create Liberia Smiles. She found the site after searching unsuccessfully for the right company to provide a print on demand option for her book. "I like that I can print on demand in any quantities I need and their print quality is the same with each copy. The customer service is awesome! I feel like I have been friends with them for a while. I am loyal when I am comfortable, and they make me comfortable."
PrestoPhoto.com is the online community for sharing life and the journeys that make life worth living. Shoana has not only shared her travels and her work, but she is doing something to make a difference in the lives of children in need. Shoana plans to continue traveling to Liberia every other month as she opens her first Cachelle Ink office abroad. In the years ahead, she plans to relocate there permanently. "Right away, I am opening a company in Liberia. It is a success. I hired my first staff member. We are going international! Ultimately, in about 5 years, I will be making the move to live in Liberia."
Travel is an adventure that takes you to unseen places and new experiences. Business ownership provides similar thrills, especially as risks are taken and opportunities are revealed. Shoana has used her love for images and photography to continue nurturing a dream that was seeded in her heart many years ago. PrestoPhoto.com salutes her effort and the tribute paid to the people of her homeland through Liberia Smiles, a true visual voyage.