Najaah Lawhorn and I met during a Mocha Moms Raleigh meet-up at an indoor park four years ago. She organized a learning group for our chapter to meet up once a week for themed educational play. That’s when I first became acquainted with her exceptional ability to make the ordinary extraordinary.
Lawhorn is the person who planned all the family holidays and friend’s parties. “No matter what the event was, I had a part in planning it,” she shared during our interview. “I was either making the food or putting together the party favors. I was always involved.”
When she wasn’t planning events for the family, Lawhorn helped others create memorable gatherings as a cupcake decorator and event planner. She also was a preschool teacher, where she extended her art and decorating skills into the classroom. “I consider myself a creative person,” Lawhorn shared. “Anything that I can do with mind and hands to make something beautiful is what I have always been drawn to.” From singing at the Rochester, N.Y. school of the arts to throwing B. Smith-worthy baby showers, Lawhorn has demonstrated her artistic ability at every point in her life.
Last spring, after much encouragement from her friends and family, Lawhorn launched Create.ish—a custom gifts and events service that “brings your Pinterest dreams to life.” The name was inspired by a hashtag she had come up with a year earlier social media posts displaying her latest crafting creations.
What sets her apart from other customized gift makers is the breadth of her ability. She creates classic items like screened t-shirts, personalized mugs, and vinyl stickers. Lawhorn can also create origami dollar-bill bouquets, themed birthday boxes, and even customized furniture. She decorates, plans events, designs, and imagines unforgettable celebrations—in-person or virtual, for a couple or a crowd.
When you contact Lawhorn through the Create.ish Facebook page (facebook.com/create.ish1), the first step is scheduling a consultation. During this time, she gets to know you, asks questions about the recipient of your gift or event, and engages you on your style and aesthetic preferences. Don’t worry; the conversation is fun because of Lawhorn’s warm and inviting personality. After sharing your likes and dislikes, as well as pictures and examples of your desired order, she gets to work.
While the prospect of being a business owner is still daunting, Lawhorn has pressed through the feelings of intimidation and has created some fabulous gifts for her clients. One such creation was a basket filled with flowers and butterflies made out of dollar bills. While the bills (totaling over one hundred dollars) were folded so that they were still spendable, the client refuses to do so. “It’s up on their mantle over six months later,” Lawhorn said. “They say it’s too pretty to take apart!”
Like many Americans, Lawhorn started her business during the pandemic. As an event planner and custom gift creator, this meant thinking outside the box to make celebrations and holidays that were now taking place virtually unique and memorable. One of the ways Lawhorn has accomplished this challenging task is by creating elegant and interactive gift boxes for guests. For a children’s birthday party, she made a “travel bag” with a mini passport that the children would use during the virtual tour around the world that took place during the party. For a grown-folks celebration, Lawhorn created a stunning black and gold invitation box that included a customized shot glass so the party-goers could imbibe together throughout the celebration.
Lawhorn is truly an artist in every sense of the word, yet her medium is gifts and celebrations. “My biggest inspiration is creating memorable pieces for other people,” she said. “It’s my joy and my calling.” It is also her favorite way to honor Black culture. “I love everything Black [culture]. I really enjoy creating for my Black and Brown brothers and sisters things that say ‘we are loved.’”
Lawhorn’s creations will certainly make you, your loved ones or your clients feel special, appreciated, and seen.