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Interview

Women We Love: Mia Thornton.

Kickstarting your post- uni career is always a daunting experience, especially when the you're looking for a creative role. The arts have historically been pushed aside for more 'practical' jobs (ugh), making the chances of ensuring your passions are tied in with your work life often feel difficult to grasp.

Fortunately for Mia Thornton, she is showing the world her talents in EVERYTHING that she does. Mia works as a Junior Content Creator for digital lifestyle subscription, Black Ballad, alongside hosting her own podcast, 'Go Off, Sis'. Her passion for amplifying the voices of black women (and representing her Northern roots) is evident in her work- she is paving the way for other creatives who may feel held back by their own imposter syndrome. 

We have been following Mia for a while and we just know she is destined for huuuuuuge things. She sat down to tell us all about her journey so far and exactly what it is that inspires her to do what she does. Go off, Mia...

Hey honey! Please can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little bit about what you do.

Hey! My name is Mia, but I normally go by Mimi. I'm 23-years-old, from Teesside but currently living in Liverpool. I work full time as a Junior Content Creator for Black Ballad UK but in my spare time I run a platform called Go Off Sis which is all about supporting and representing northern creatives in whatever it is that they do! 

Talk us through your journey- how did you get to where you are today in your career?

Good question...I’m not even sure how I ended up here! Within my career I always knew that I wanted to have a creative job, but because my degree was in English Language I didn’t really have a lot of “creative” experience. It took me a good two years to build my own personal portfolio of creative work, and the majority of this was done on a self-taught basis through Go Off Sis. Google and YouTube were (and still are) my best friend when it comes to learning and improving on my skill set. I got turned away from so many creative-based jobs because I didn’t have a degree in the area or didn’t have any experience. I applied for a job at Black Ballad on a whim and didn’t get the original job I applied for in Social Media, instead they thought I was a better fit as their Junior Content Creator and the rest is history!

We think it’s super important to set yourself both personal and professional goals. What are yours and how are you working towards achieving them?

I think a personal goal of mine is to improve my self confidence. I think lockdown and a lot of personal things really knocked me back this year and in 2020, so I’m really trying to get back to a place of strong self belief, without needing validation from others. Professionally, I want to gain more experience at presenting. It’s definitely a career path that I’d like to pursue but I think I’ve lost momentum since life has been so busy. But I really want to produce a series which showcases my presenting skills. 

We think you’re a hugeeeee inspiration- who is your biggest personal inspiration and what was it about them that made you stop and take note?

I’d probably say my biggest inspiration right now is Julie Adenuga - I think where she is and what she's doing is exactly where I want to be. In terms of presenting radio shows, tv shows, hosting music talk shows and just being confident in dominating her industry, it’s definitely a place that I want to reach in the future. But at the same time I’m learning not to compare my journey to anyone else's because they will never be the same! 

We absolutely LOVE what you do- what does it mean to you to be able to do what you love every day?

It means a LOT! I graduated from University and expected my life to be perfect straight away and that everything would fall into place - but this was absolutely not the case. I was working a job that was just not what I wanted to be doing and I really couldn’t accept that it wasn’t permanent. It took me over a year to finally get out of it and find something that I loved, and to be able to work for black women and create content for black women is extremely rewarding. It’s something that I’m forever grateful for. 

So many people are nervous to break out and try something new- but you did. What piece of advice would you give to people who want to try something different but are too scared to take the risk?

I’d like to say “don’t care about what people think” but I think that’s something which is really hard to break free from, I really struggle with it. But definitely accept that you are never going to be where you want to be when you start out, but unless you start you’ll never get to where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong the first few times, because that's the only way you can learn and grow. 

What positive impact do you hope to have on those within your community?

I think I just want to show black women, specifically from the north, that there is space for us. We can absolutely fill up these spaces and we are in no way less deserving of them. If I can inspire just one woman to create something, even though it seems overwhelming or out of their depth, then I’m doing the right thing.

We all know that life ain’t no breeze. What is one piece of advice you can offer to people in your community to help make things that little bit easier?

No matter how tired you are - always do the washing up before you go to bed, you’ll never regret it!! 

But in all seriousness, I think just remember to stay true to yourself. There was a time, and still are times, where everything just feels like a compromise to those around you. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, “ok but what do you want?” It sounds soooo cliche, but it can be really hard to maintain authenticity - especially if you’re in a creative industry, so to ignore the pressure to alter yourself/your content to gain attention or keep up with others is a lot. 

Thank you SO much for chatting to us Mia! You can check out here projects here:

Black Ballad / @blackballadUK

@_badgyalmimi_

Go Off, Sis / @gos_hub

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