Entrepreneur Events Human Character Inspiration Me and Life.

Hello, September

Hey there lovely readers,

I know. I know. Shame on me . . .

I’ve been away for some time, so let me explain. My last year of graduate school is here, I have a demanding internship during the week, I work weekends, and I am the Vice President of my Graduate Association – cut me some slack :). I almost forgot – I am working on applications for projects as well. But, people these aren’t excuses, this is just to let you know “I’ve been working, I’ve been working.” Okay!

I, also, want to let you know I haven’t forgotten about you all. I really haven’t! Some major things are happening and I am struggling to keep quiet – I’ll be sharing soon. Awesome events are in the pipeline and of course, SDBUP will be at every event giving you the insider. So, that is how I plan on making up for lost time by giving you all the goodies. Bear with me people, I promise I haven’t gone AWOL.

One last thing: I love September. It always brings me much-needed clarity. Also, Happy New Year to all my Habesha folks!

That is all for now and I will be back, very soon, I promise. Kisses.


your favorite estranged blogger Astu

Advice Art Entrepreneur Inspiration Interview

Meet Narel Argaw

“Art is all about expression, you will value your art when you drop a little part of you in it. You will be patient enough to perfect it.”

8cd8a0a2fa0011e2a8e322000a9f13d9_7Born and raised in Ethiopia, Narel moved to the United states at the age of 12. He attributes a lot of his foundation to his father, who discovered his gift early on and enrolled him in art school at the age of nine. He was the youngest in his class but was able to prove himself by picking up art fundamentals, right away. Art was not just a childhood fling, as it can be for many of us, but rather a passion that further evolved through intense lessons. Upon enrolling in AP art courses in high school, Narel was able to refine his talent and learn how to be more open and true to himself when creating.

Art is something that allows Narel to see the ‘surreal world’ in reality. He states “I do not just imagine it, but I create it – it is more of a deep subconsciousness state of mind I deal with. Art will define you. What you think, is what you print. It is a journal. It is the real you. It is sacred.”

When reading his submission, I truly began to believe that Narel creates because it is his calling. Art is extremely profitable and for many and it can be a way to make ends meet, so it is easy to see how artists may lose passion as it becomes a duty. Narel expressed the following “I have a lot of paintings that I haven’t even shown to my close friends. I’ve never sold any of the pieces and every time the subject comes up I always refuse. I, honestly, do not think I will ever sell any of my work.”

When asked what his favorite medium is, he responds: “I am a fan of Expressionism and Surrealism. Acrylic paintings are my favorite but I always keep a stack of sketch pads that I doodle in everyday. Ink, pen, & color pencils are always perfect. It is always the quickest way to create my rough drafts.” He later elaborates “I admire fine art. I look up to a few well-respected artists and couple of Surrealism painters but I’m more of dark arts fan. Meaning, I rather paint what I feel. I am a fan of what made me, Narel, I take time to admire the negative in me. I rather paint about my psychedelic thoughts of the perfect world rather than my reality.  I rather define lust than love. If I can’t vent in art, I wouldn’t, at all.”

All of his pieces are purposeful. “All of them are a reminder of a particular season, I look at them as a journal. And so I value them all the same.”

Below are samples of his work, links to more of his creations, and ways to connect. Enjoy!

To see more of his work please visit: Facebook:

Connect with Narel

Instagram:@Na_rell or @Narelart| Youtube:

Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up

Art Entrepreneur Events Inspiration Interview Wednesday's Business Weekend Sum Up

Zaaf Launch Event

Stay Down Blaze Up attended Zaaf’s Official Launch, this past Sunday, and below is the entire account. Enjoy!

Upscale, classy, and family/friend oriented, Zaaf’s Launch event was beautifully executed. People from all over came to celebrate, Abai Schulze’s up and coming company, and I was super excited to meet the mastermind behind the promising brand. I arrived about an hour into the event along with a couple of my girlfriends and we were immediately greeted with a sweet smile from an enthusiastic hostess.  The Barcelona Wine & Bar venue, handpicked by event planner Yodit Geberyes, was an excellent choice as it offered an intimate yet spacious feel. My girls and I checked in and we were immediately thrown into a room filled with laughter, good vibes, good food, and even better looking bags.

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Abai Schulze

Before delving into the mix of the event, I caught of up with the woman of the hour and here is what she had to say.

After speaking with Abai, I connected with an attendee and the male perspective is always appreciated, in this next clip Alan Yeboah tells us his connection with Zaaf and his go to piece.

Yodit Geberyes, the engineer of the event, sits down with SDBUP and tells us how her experience with Zaaf has been so far. [Yodit pictured below]

Zaaf, as Abai previously mentioned, is a brand rooted in the Ethiopian culture. Not only are the pieces stylish and practical but every item created allows for economic development in favor of the developing country. Zaaf, is also a brand that transcends all ethnic backgrounds and is a brand to be embraced by the international community. All in all, the line has an extremely bright future ahead of it and we are so honored to have captured some of its’ early moves.

Connect with Abai 
Instagram: @zaafcollection| Twitter: Zaaf_Collection| Web:
*Disclaimer: Not all pictures are my own.
Astu Mengesha – Stay Down Blaze Up