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Meet Nia Imani Ryan, The Mastermind Behind Eban Noire: A Consulting Agency Created for the Creative

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Caribbean Heritage Month

June 2023

By: SemegaChange

Written by: Leila Biola Olukoga

It all began with an assignment for her “Business and Society” class in her freshman year of college. 18-year-old Nia Imani Ryan had written an anecdotal, empirical essay on the effects of gentrification on low-income students. After describing the effects of gentrification on herself, she was inspired to encourage students with similar backgrounds to her own to invest in their own hopes and dreams.

Now, as a recent graduate from New York University’s Stern School of Business, Ryan has successfully launched and established her organization called “Eban Noire.” Eban Noire, a consulting agency created in 2020, works to create a network for rising talents in the New York City area.

“[With Eban Noire], I'm helping people with campaigns, getting more followers, curating their brand, and more along those lines.” Ryan said. “Eban Noire is connecting a bunch of people who have different businesses who are artists, creatives, etc.”

Since its initiation, Eban Noire has partnered with multiple collaborators and artists to bring more attention and support to their projects. Ryan said that she formed this consulting agency to find more effective ways to uplift rising artists.

“My previous work was just being behind the scenes of different events and seeing different ways that I can help people and their projects without completely taking over,” Ryan said. “Now, I understand how to better assist people.”

Ryan’s past collaborations consist of supporting black owned businesses and artists such as Almost Nude by Nia Nicole and Kilo, who creates rugs and sculptures for audiences to disassociate in the products dreamlike aura. Ryan, who is both African-American and Trinidadian, accredits her success and aspirations to her cultural background.

“I just grew up constantly seeing two different sides of the black and Trini experience,” Ryan said. “That's influenced me in a bunch of different ways like with my business, my interest in other cultures, and just hobbies as well.”

Ryan says that her position as a black woman in business has brought its own levels of adversity.

“I've noticed that, as a black woman, I constantly have to prove myself or like to outdo myself for people to trust my work,” Ryan said. “I feel like I had to graduate because no one would really consider my voice or my talents, if I didn't have that stamp of graduating from NYU. So it's just hard constantly having to advocate for yourself and not feeling guilty about it, because [others] could look at you as the angry, aggressive black woman all the time.”

Ryan uses her identity as a way to motivate herself in an occupation that doesn’t maintain high levels of diversity.

“I think that my influences at the moment come from the fact that there are black people here and in all careers,” Ryan said. “[It’s just a matter of] staying along with the journey and not letting myself be influenced by others.”

Ryan plans to collaborate with other artists and businesses in the near future such as managing the shoot for recording artists on the week of Juneteenth. Ryan has said that she continues to utilize being one of the few women of color in these spaces to uplift herself and her message through her work.

“It’s always important to remember that gut idea that you had and just always resorting back to that remembering this is where you started, this is what you wanted to do,” Ryan said. “Always remain open to criticism and collaboration and stay consistent with your goals.

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