Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is Mikka Gia, Owner and Head Barber at exclusive Toronto grooming studio, The Groomed Society. Mikka has determination, drive, and I’m sure you’d agree with me, exceptionally dope style. She’s a creator who took life into her own hands by creating her own business, one that is all about making others look and feel amazing. I salute her for that.
We caught up with Mikka Gia to find out what inspires her and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
– Julian Brass, founder, Notable
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
Armed with clippers, years of know-how and creativity, I transform TO men (and a few select women) into things of beauty, out of my Queen West studio.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I began working in salons as a teenager. I like the constant change that fashion brings about. The appeal of creating my own schedule, helping people feel better about themselves, giving them more confidence to face their day, and hearing “That looks amazing, thanks!” Well, that’s all the push I needed.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Opening my own business, under a name I chose – “The Groomed Society” – has been an unbelievable experience. Terrifying at times but totally rewarding!
4. Where do you see yourself in five years, 10 years, 20 years?
Beachfront hut or a small farm. Travelling – it’s a big world. Having my own child – I would be an amazing mom.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Believe in yourself. Ask for opinions and advice then make up your own mind. Learn to trust the voice inside.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
Yes I have. I provided free services at The Loft Community Services for Youth housing for the young men. In the new year, I plan on making that more of a consistent thing. If I can contribute by using my talent and a few hours of my time – how do I say no to that amazing opportunity?
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Learning to my own voice. Accepting the opinions and advice of others but learning that in the end, it is my decision. Believing wholeheartedly that I can and deserve to be successful!
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
It is something of distinction or uniqueness.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
I love checking out new spots but also have my favourites. A few I’d include: Lisa Marie’s Wednesday Spaghetti and Meatballs for two; Raca Café – everything on the menu is amazing; and, amazing tacos can be found at Campechano. Pai is also great if you love Thai food.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I will often check out sneaker sites of all sorts, plus Facebook and Instagram for my social media dose. As for music, it changes every month, but currently I’m feeling the Latin beats. I recently fell in love with the track “Safari” by JBalvin featuring Pharrell, BIA and Sky. Another more upbeat track that I never get tired of would be “ Watch for this (Bumaye)” by Major Lazer.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I have three personalities I follow. The first, is someone who will make me laugh – that’s gotta be Kevin Hart – hands down, he is not only funny but motivating. I need inspiration and role models so my current fix comes from the following, @Popethebarber, @KevinLuchmun and @LaneDorsey. And finally, my day isn’t complete if I haven’t checked out my good friend @Kayleighreikitarot’s feed – I’m all about energy and she delivers that daily dose.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
Barcelona Spain – no explanation required. If you’ve not been, go then you’ll understand why no explanation is required! My Portuguese friends want to kidnap me to Lisbon and the Algarve coast. OK so truth is there’ll be no kicking and fighting – we just have to find the time … Italy is also up there for me.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
I don’t experience FOMO. I have an amazing family. Incredible friends. An amazing dog, Luigi. And I have great hair, tats and can dance for hours – so I would be missing what! LOL
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
When a certain friend comes over with ice cream and brownies. Okay, that’s a lie – a certain friend is enough. We’ll go out for ice cream and brownies or order in. Oh and sneakers– except I should have guilt, but don’t!
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Sneakers and sneakers.
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Success is just a feeling inside, more than anything materialistic. Except having enough money to buy sneakers would be okay too. Seriously, it’s being able to breathe calmly each day, taking a moment of thanks for the ‘real’ things I have in abundance.
Photo credit: Lane Dorsey