noun || yəNG ˈhefā
A month or two back, I attended a brunch that showcased young black women who are considered power players in their field. Towards the end of the evening, a beautiful (inside and out — which is still important) young woman graced the stage encouraging all of us to make love based decisions versus fear based decisions, in all areas of our lives. To say the least, she was inspiring on and off the stage. She's a #YoungJefe to the core.
TA: What's your current hustle?
BM: I'm currently a content creator, brand influencer and co-host of a podcast called Afrolit.
TA: What is the difference between your 9-5 and your 5-grind?
BM: I actually just left my 9-5 about 2 months ago, so I could focus on building my brand and getting this degree! I realized that having a 'Plan B' isn't always constructive, because it just takes away valuable time and energy from fully realizing your 'Plan A.' So yes, overlapping conflict was that ultimately, you can't half-ass anything if you want to be great at it. At some point, you're going to have to take a leap and fully invest in your dream (just be strategic about it of course). So far, I have no regrets.
TA: What has the response been (from your peers) to either your 9-5 or 5-grind?
BM: All my peers knew that my 9-5 was a safety net (which is usually an illusion anyway cause there's no such things as "job security"), so they're really supportive of my entrepreneurial pursuits. I'm extremely grateful to have such a good support structure, cause they keep me sane in my moments of crippling self doubt!
TA: Who gave you the most memorable career advice? How has that aided you in you day-to-day?
BM: The most memorable career advice for me has been 'Do You.' It sounds so cliché, but I've come to realize that life unfolds so organically and so much easier when you live in your truth. Whenever I'm anxious or struggling to make a big decision, I always ask myself "Does this decision align with who I am and what I'm about?" If the answer is yes, I proceed. If it's not, then I re-evealuate. It's literally that simple.
TA: What has been your favorite "project," so far? Why?
BM: This is a hard one! I have two: One was my first ever designer collaboration that I did with a designer from LA by the name of Anika Perkins. We shot for hours on end and got really creative with the looks and make-up. I also loved all the shots I did with my creative soulmate Josie, who's now in LA. We're both Gemini's so every time we worked together, we'd make really dope art. So I guess anytime I have creative chemistry with someone, it's a win!
TA: What is your dream collaboration (or with who, where, etc.)?
BM: Because I'm expanding into TV and video production at the mom ent, I would LOVE to work with Solange on a music or fashion video. My favorite designer is Margiela, so I would love to shoot a fashion film for Margiela or any other experimental brand. Expanding into my high fashion/haute couture in the context of video production is also part of my future plans.
TA: When your first direct deposit hit, what did you buy?
BM: LOL probably, food.
TA: What do you listen to on your way to work? Music (if so, who?), Podcast? Motivational clips?
BM: I love discovering new artists, so I'm usually on Soundcloud if I'm out and about. I'm really into up-and-coming artist by the name of 'Sophie Meiers' right now, but I also love DJs like Hannah Faith and Eden Hagos. And of course, my fair godmother — Erykah Badu.
TA: If you could steal anyone's musical/artistic/visionary talent, who would it be? Why?
BM: Solange, Badu and Basquiat. They're so vulnerable in their art and that's a trait I really admire because I struggle with that a lot.
TA: Who are 3 "must-follows" on Instagram? That aid to you day-to-day inspiration/career path.
BM: Margaret Zhang (@margaret_zhang), Tony Gum and BodyPosiPanda. They're all very different but Margaret's tenacity + career success really inspires me, Tony Gum's artistry and vulnerability also inspires me and BodyPosiPanda is my daily reminder to be gentle with myself.
TA: In 3 words, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?
BM: "IT'S NOT THAT DEEP FAM!" (Okay that was 5 words — forgive me.) Lol I feel like I spent too much of my teenage years worrying and ruminating about every single minor thing cause I Was so attached to outcomes. But I've learned that the universe is always conspiring in your favor (Paulo Coelho quote), so there's actually nothing to stress about.
TA: Closing statements? Feel free to say anything!
BM: Drink water, eat your fruits and stay away from problematic boys. Then you'll prosper. :)
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