We had the good fortune of connecting with MonA Hayslett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi MonA, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite quote is “I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.”― Rumi” I love this quote because for me it’s a double entendre. It reminds me not to care about what others think of me and the only validation I need comes from me. It’s also an ode to my childlike self, when I was young my mom nicknamed me Bird because I was obsessed with the Tweety Bird character from Looney tunes and I also looked a bit like tweety bird(but that’s a story for another day). Any-who with Bird being my childhood nickname the second meaning of the quote takes me to my childhood and ensures me that the younger me who was outspoken, carefree and bold is still there for me to tap into when I need her.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I express my art through many creative forms but acting, sharing creative ideas and reconstructing clothing are my current outlets. In the entertainment world, I am considered an actress and what excites me most about that is being able to tell and create stories in order to archive black history and when I say black history I mean the magnificent and the what seems to be minuscule. We all have a story and I am honored to have been chosen as an outlet to share them. I am thrilled to be a part of a art that has the power to ignite a light in so many. I feel like I just hopped in the car with the entertainment Industry and it’s going to be a long ride. As a creative, my favorite thing to do is share ideas. I went to school for Creative Business Leadership so I’m constantly spitting out creative business ideas. It’s fun to be behind the scenes in this area. I’m pretty sure it’s a superpower at this point, I can hear about your passions and come up with a creative way for you to turn it into a business. I also reconstruct clothing(#thethriftyactress). My favorite thing to do is to go thrifting find outfits and then turn them into something new and edgy or chic. The road to where I am today has definitely not been easy, I went to undergraduate school for fashion and then to graduate school for business. Then I worked an amazing job at an innovation company where I was coming up with creative ideas/events all day and then once the pandemic hit, I lost my job. I was so scared and had no idea what to do then I had an epiphany. What if I lived in the moment and didn’t worry about what my next job would be and just began to create and to take advantage of my FREE time. I’ve been doing that since and God continues to guide me. I want people to know that my story is created by me and it’s ever changing. I want you to know that my ultimate art is sharing love and light with others. I know it’s cliche but it’s real.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Friday- Everyone has just entered the city and tired from the plane ride so it’s a chill night. We’re going to do wine and chill. We’re ordering Busy Bee cafe, it’s so delicious and then we may go on a walk around Atlantic station, If they want to go out, there is this really fun VR bar called Revery. Saturday we can do Breakfast at Barney’s, then maybe karaoke and kick it at Grafitti Lounge and then Bar Vegan at night or Negril. Sunday we’d do Buckhead Brunch for live music before everyone takes off. During the week, some other places I love:
Sri Thai Atlantic Station
No Mas! Cantina
Atlanta Braves Stadium go for a game
A Cigar Bar
Little Five Points Shops
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Literally so many valuable lights in my life, it’s hard to pick just a few. It’s always going to be God first, my parents(All four of them), and my family and friends. A special thank you to my Granny and older sister Victoria. My granny introduced me to thrifting and my sister introduced me to reconstructing clothing, They both sparked my fashion flame. A shoutout to Miss Britt who is younger than me but hired me as a personal assistant back in the day(and fired me real quick when I wasn’t taking it serious.lol) but she showed me a side of business/entrepreneurship that I had never seen before. She sparked my creative business flame. Shoutout to my professor Brian Grandison who introduced me to acting and entertainment, he also gave me my first theatrical role as an adult actress. He reintroduced me to acting and entertainment and I will be forever grateful to him. He sparked my acting flame. And a quick round of shouts to:
To my mama, Shirley for being so resilient.
To my daddy, Terry for being a protector.
One of my besties- Denisha for always hyping EVERYTHING I do.
To Dominique for being such a light and for nominating me. You see me girl and I see you!
and to all of those people who are following my journey, rooting/praying for me. I see you and you are appreciated deeply.
Oh and to my future husband who obviously hasn’t found me yet… DM me nowww lol!
Youtube: MonA Hayslett