Interview With Yasemin Kanar aka Yazthespaz
Yasemin Kanar, better known as YazTheSpaz, is an eclectic 30 year old, born and raised in Miami, Florida. She is a mother of two who prides herself on raising her children in a healthy home filled with lots of love, laughter and a focus on Islamic values. Yaz’s unique half Turkish, half Cuban background has helped foster her multifaceted and creative style. She is known for her modest and elegant fashion, distinctive hijab styles and above all, her work with the youth on building confidence and beauty from within! Yaz has shared her talents on YouTube for the world to see - appreciate and get inspired! Feel free to check out all Yaz has to offer by searching @YazTheSpaz89 on any social media platform. (www.YazTheSpaz.com)
- How has life in the industry changed for you since you became a mom: Overall and recently?
Since having been in the game for 10 years and becoming a mother, I have seen lots of changes. Within those years, I disappeared for a little after getting married, and then having kids I disappeared a little more. I was going through lots of new changes like having a new husband, moving to a remote new city, living in a new home where I knew no one around me. So even though it was supposed to be a beautiful time, to me I felt alone and lost. I truly feel becoming a mom gave me the courage and push to live in the NOW and take on opportunities that come my way because now my time is more occupied and limited. It’s funny because when you have the time, it’s wasted...but when you don’t have it any more, you make the most of every minute. Ironic I know. I’m happy to say I’ve been able to make a comeback and even better than before while being a mom of two Alhamdulillah.
- How do you balance having kids and a career?
The way I balance having kids and a career is by taking it day by day. I try to get as much work done before the kids wake up, during their nap time or after they are in bed. If I need to shoot a couple of outfits, we’ll either take them along for the long ride and just make it work or see if there is family that can watch them while we are shooting for the day.
Is there anything you find more difficult since being a mom and balancing your career? If yes, what?
Nothing is more difficult than being a mom. It is also the greatest blessing which I am thankful for EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Do you feel your followers or people have been a good sense of support since you have became a mommy? If so, what are some of the things people do to show their support?
I truly believe my audience has grown with me. First we were young girls together playing in front of a mirror. Then we became married girls, and after that we all had kids together. So I truly feel we have all grown in this journey of life together. Women show their support by sending the sweetest messages or by constantly showing love on my posts. You already know who you are!
- Do you have advice for any mom’s or future mom’s on balancing a career and being a mother, what would it be?
My advice for any mom to be or thinking of becoming a mom is to not think about it. It will come when Allah sees it best fit. Live life to the fullest and take advantage of opportunities that come your way because once you become a mom, life will forever change...for the better! With children in the mix, your time is SO valuable. You wake up early because you want some time to get stuff done for yourself. You spend the days taking care of your children, cleaning, cooking, working and then on top of all that you have to spend the most time teaching your children how to be well behaved good Muslims. So moral of the story, just take each day as it comes and don’t worry if you don’t have time for social media every single day. Life is so precious and your children will grow SO FAST so enjoy every minute.
- What do you feel is the biggest blessing from being a mother?
I feel so blessed to have children that teach me so much about myself. They teach me patience, love, about dinosaurs and all animals, and most importantly because of what I have taught my son Sulaiman (3) up until now, if my husband and I do or say something wrong, he will be the one to correct us SubhanaAllah. That’s when you know you’re doing something right.
- Do you have any marital advice for Muslim women in the industry?
The best advice I can give other women in the industry is to keep some things private and for the enjoyment of your home. Yes you want to share with everyone your life but sometimes you get so caught up in the social media world that you forget to live in the moment. Days will go by so fast when you have children so I make sure to focus on them as much as I can NOW while I still have them around.
- What is the best opportunity you have had since you started your platform to now?
Some of the best opportunities I’ve had were traveling to Haiti for a charitable mission trip, but best of all was working with Lisa Vogl for the countless number of shoots we’ve had over the years. One having been in Dubai for a week shooting with a company in all the most fabulous places and another having been shot underwater in an Olympic sized pool. Toughest and craziest experiences of my life.
- How do you feel about the current hijabi Muslim social media?
I think the current hijabi Muslim community has grown like you wouldn’t believe. I’m thankful to have been able to see the growth from when there was nothing to what it is now.
- How have you stayed consistent as a hijabi Muslim influencer while other hijabi take off their hijab?
That’s a tough questions only because I am no one to judge. I just know for myself, I’ve never been one to be easily influenced so when I see a trend going on, I’m usually the one to not take part in it. Allah has blessed me with so much the last thing I want to do is disappoint Allah by doing the one thing that He has ordained Muslim women to do. I am not perfect what so ever but as long as we try to do a little better each day, Allah sees all of our efforts and most importantly He sees what’s in our hearts.
- Since you are an “OG” of the Muslim fashion industry, what have you seen change in the industry?
First off, thank you for the shoutout! The thing I’ve seen change the most is the availability of modest wear and hijabs that are easier to get. Back in the day, the demand was so high that now we have so many options as Muslim women to choose from such a Verona Collection!
- Since you’ve been in the industry for awhile and we see a lot of main streams brands tapping in on the Muslim fashion industry: how do you feel about that?
I honestly think some recognition is better than nothing...but in a way if feels as though they are just jumping on a bandwagon. Sometimes they do not represent us in the best of their capabilities which makes it just seem like a fashion statement instead of a religious thing, but again, seeing main stream brands recognize us even in their own way is a start.