Kia ora beautiful people,
We connected with this beautiful young 14 year old with such a massive kind heart early on this year throughout the world of instagram. Some people might have a negative view on the world of social media but when you start a business honestly the people around you that you have provided support to over the years only about one third will honestly stick around to support you through the tough times. Everyone wants to travel with you in the limo right? But it those people people who still travel with you when you need to take the bus that are the most important, respectful people. It is also incredibly insane how strangers become like family and family become strangers throughout this journey. I met with Miah and her incredible amazing Mum during NZ fashion week and asked if Miah was interested in supporting our #fiveways promotion with a video which she jumped at the chance and she got to wear our Chocolate Queen t shirt for Notion. Our Chocolate Queen and King t shirts is a story about an incredible journey from being made redundant from Cadburys in Dunedin, to starting a business supporting our emerging New Zealand sustainable fashion designers and raising money for I AM HOPE. This amazing young Lady then sent through two photo shoots from the wonderful Deon Hamiltion and Stanley Hannington. INCREDIBLE, to see this kind of support can be very overwhelming when you have struggled with mental illness. I believe in giving more than what you get back. Thank you Miah for your awesome blog!! Miah has three instagram accounts running @miah.marshall @ocean.miah @miah.selling
To celebrate Miah’s awesome support towards raising awareness to mental health issues, and the effects of plastic in our oceans and climate change @notion_fashion have teamed up with @caliwood & @miah.marshell do an epic giveaway. Stay connect to social media to see this epic giveaway grow.
Tell me about yourself what school do you go to and what age did you start modeling?
I am 14 years old, I live in Auckland, New Zealand, I’m a dancer and model who loves the ocean and wants to make a real difference in the world one day. I go to Botany Downs Secondary College in East Auckland and I started modelling when I was 13 if you don’t count the fashion show and magazine shoot I did when I was three.
Was modeling something you always wanted to do and what do you love the most about doing photo shoots?
No, not at all. It was my mum who wanted some professional dance photos of me, so she paid for me to do a group shoot with Brylee Mills and I really enjoyed that. I posted the photos on Instagram and then people started contacting me through my page! The thing I love the most about doing photoshoots is seeing the end result of the pictures, just like in anything… but photographers do so much work after the actual day of the shoot, some like to do crazy edits with drawings and photoshopped backgrounds and some like to change the lighting to make it look like a bright sunny day rather than a cloudy one. The difference between pre editing and post editing is insane, and all the photographers I’ve worked with do it so differently. I also really enjoy having adult conversations with photographers I work with and being treated like an adult rather than a child.
Do you love fashion and what’s your fashion style?
At the moment I spend 90% of my time in either school uniform or dance wear. I do love fashion, I think that it is a way to express yourself and your mood without even talking, a way to give an accurate impression of yourself based on your looks. One day I hope to be able to afford to buy really nice, stylish clothes.
What’s your favourite activity to relax/have fun and why?
My favourite things of all time are scuba diving, surfing and paddle boarding. DIVING!!! I love, love, love scuba diving. It’s the number one thing that makes me the most excited. Adventures in the water, discovering new things, encountering animals that could eat you whole, then finding out they’re scared of you! Unfortunately because diving is so expensive I don’t get to do it often but when I do, I never want to get out of the ‘underwater world’. Even though I’m not very good at it, I love to surf because I am in the ocean and the sun, concentrating on catching a wave, thinking about my technique, balance and stability so I can stay on the board, but at the same time, not really worrying about whether I fall off or not because, well, it’s just surfing! I find paddle boarding one of the most relaxing things ever. You’re out in the ocean (again my favourite place!) with only the noise of the water and no distractions. I like paddling out to buoys at beaches and tying my leg rope to them, then just laying down and listening to the waves in the middle of the bay. Because both of those things require the ocean, and the ocean isn’t all that lovely when it’s 5° outside, my other favourite thing is dancing. Dance is my way to free myself and get lost in my movement. I love attending classes at Neverland Studios where I get to hang out with my best friends and just, move with them.
Can you tell me about your two instagram handles @ocean.miah @miah.marshall
When my main account got to 1000 followers, my mum asked what the one thing I would want to tell the world would be. I replied and told her that the world needs to know that however big or small, they can make a difference. Now, because of my life-long love for the ocean, my first choice was to tell people about the differences they can make on helping save our oceans. So, I started @ocean.miah , I hope it inspires people to make changes in their daily routines with consideration of the big picture of our earth and to treat our oceans better. I hope to build it up big enough so one day I can have a strong enough voice to influence corporate companies and governments to make changes too. This started off as a personal account where I posted photos from photo shoots and daily life. But as my ocean account grew, I gained confidence in speaking out about things I have strong opinions on like mental illness, bullying and being kind. I began to post a mixture of personal life and these opinionated posts. The more I’ve spoken out and shared my opinions and stories, the more I’ve seemed to help other people. Now I hope that account is a bit of a support community for anyone who needs support or can provide it.
How does Climate Change make you feel? What is one thing everyone could be doing to make a difference?
I feel that climate change is the biggest issue of our decade and probably will be the biggest issue in the world of my life. As humans, we have managed to treat anything and pretty much everything that we need to survive, with so much disrespect. We have the science to tell us that we need trees and our oceans, fresh water and organic food to survive, yet we cut down trees, pollute oceans and rivers and kill crops to build more houses. Instead of using our earth because we can, we should be using it because we need to. We don’t need leather from cows to make designer bags, or skin from snakes to make boots. We throw away things we don’t need, right? We throw away plastic into the ocean for it to what, be out of sight and out of mind? We throw away things we don’t need, so we clearly don’t need plastics. Plastic doesn’t grow on trees or out of the ground, so it shouldn’t be put in the oceans or in streams. We need to stop creating new materials from chemicals and start sustainably utilising what is organic because we know that it will go back into the earth easily and without harm. Our mindset tells us that it’s ok to waste all of the things earth has provided for survival, for all the wrong things. One thing everyone can do is ONE THING. I think people believe the issue is too big for them as an individual to solve. So that’s the problem, that no one does anything because they think that their one straw won’t make any difference to the massive issue that is at hand. I don’t think it matters what the one thing is, just do it. Whether it’s stopping using plastic straws or using a reusable cup rather than a plastic one. That’s one less piece of plastic in the ocean that could save a marine animal’s life. You could do things like using public transport, or having a ‘no car’ day to save carbon production. Buying local produce or even growing your own – even something as small as growing your own tomatoes as there is usually a plastic tray AND plastic wrapping on them when you buy tomatoes from supermarkets. When that one small thing becomes normal, look at another thing you can change.
Who are some inspirational people who have helped you so far on this journey and what is their guiding inspiration?
My mum has done so so much to support and encourage me. She has given me so much “marketing” advise on how to grow my account and especially at the beginning she gave me a lot of assistance in answering some of the tricky questions I get. Now I pretty much know how to deal with most things but she’s alway there for me if I get stuck. Mum has given me the confidence to “just be you” and to speak out on things I think are important. I think the people who follow me are my biggest inspiration. The comments people leave for me mean so much and knowing that this page has helped some people is what inspires me to put so much time and effort into it. Most things I write happen because someone has asked me for advice or I’ve experience something and I’ve thought it would be a good thing to share with everybody. You are extremely empowering with your messages about mental health, what inspires and drives you to help and to reach out to people in this way? I mainly write about mental health because of people who have shared their stories with me. I want to empower them and anyone else who is going through the same thing. I feel like I can be a strong voice for anyone who has a story they want to be shared but they are uncomfortable to share it themselves. My mum drills in to me that it’s ok to be me, whoever I am, and I just want to make everybody else feel that way too.
What is one activity you could recommend to help look after someone’s well being and why?
I think well-being is a really personal thing because it is something you as an individual need to connect with. The activity you do to help your well-being should be something that makes YOU feel good. Some things I like to do if I’ve had a stressful or bad day, surfing/paddle boarding/dancing or even having a nice warm bath!
How did it make you feel to wear a Chocolate Queen t shirt for Notion & I AM HOPE?
I feel really honoured and proud to wear the Chocolate Queen t-shirt. Every time I wear it I hope it’s somehow helping all of the people in Dunedin who lost their jobs and inspires people that it doesn’t matter what’s going on, there’s always hope.
Give me an empowering message that inspires you?
I would say the message in my Instagram bio because it fits any situation…
BE KIND, to yourself, each other and our planet.