We had the good fortune of connecting with Mikki Loud and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mikki, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In the beginning, my thoughts behind starting a business were to prove a point. I wanted to show people how much I am capable of despite the lack of support and acknowledgment of my talents. As I matured, my purpose became more evolved. I didn’t want to show what I am capable of in a vendictive way, but moreso I wanted to be an example of what was possible. To exemplify what potential and passion can cultivate. I didn’t have start up funds, I had cheap supplies from art stores and time to create. I spent more money than I made for years. I surrounded myself with other business owners and creatives. This afforded me a library of knowledge and meaningful connections. That library afforded me a better opportunity to grow my business and also be an influence to others who may be watching my progress. I can now say I’m in the business of using my gifts to touch people. Eventually this led to more earning opportunities and even more connections in the art and digital communication world. That was just the spark I needed to keep pushing, keep connecting, and stay LOUD.
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.
My career as an artist is still growing and evolving. The interesting thing about me is that I have a 10 year professional background in the real estate world, total opposite of my art world. Ironically, my art life helped me secure my employment a lot of the times. I am a chameleon in most ways, adapting to every surrounding I encounter. This acts as a character builder, and great training in communication and customer service. I see everything as an art form to excel in. This makes me marketable on both sides of my professional world, art and real estate. I challenged myself to not just get jobs, but obtain professional positions that I ultimately master through hard work and dedication. This can be said about my art commissions and assignments as well, using every new opportunity as a learning experience. My artistic identity has afforded me many opportunities to do work for colleagues and friends of those colleagues.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend comes to town she will be in for a weekend of food, culture, and music! The Friday night shenanigans will start with dinner and music at Trez Art and Wine Bar in the Heights, followed by some hookah vibes and refreshing drinks at Cafe Mawal. If we’re not tired yet, there will definitely be some light bites at BB’s along the way home. Saturday morning brunch will consist of a visit to Lucille’s followed by a walk around downtown to take in the sites. We’ll immerse ourselves in some art and culture by visiting the African American Museum on Caroline St and The Museum of Fine Arts. It may be time for a quick siesta before we get dressed up and have a night of glam and great food in River Oaks District. Of course we’re having drinks and vegan burgers at HopDoddy Burger Bar! We’ll finish the night with beautiful cocktails and music at Le Colonial. Sunday will be a chill type of day enjoying some sun and relaxation at Axelrad Beer Garden or Saint Arnold Brewing Company. Maybe a walk around Hermann Park will end our day, before getting some food truck fare at Truck Yard Houston. I believe the best way to experience Houston is to pick an area and just be in the moment. There is so much to see and draw creativity from here, and that is what I want to show my best friend on her first adventure to the great city of Houston.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
It truly takes a whole VILLAGE! To God, my foundation, I give you all thanks and glory. All the respect is due to my daddy, Michael Grayer. I thank my friend and pusher, Ahmed “No Egos” Davis for always creating avenues for me to be seen and heard. The mentorship and friendship of Stacey “Jatso Designz” McKinney has been a constant that I will forever be grateful for. Orissa Bey, thank you for giving me a chance. To my Sistars (you know who you are) who have embraced me, supported me, and allowed me to be a part of their journeys, thank you for being constant. My partner in grind, Nayimah Jackson (BossUp Creations) has been such a light in my life. All my love to my core that has cried with me, loved on me, and allowed me to do the same for them…Schavy “Unique But Very Similar” Martin, Angie “Angie’s Box” Ayala, Veronica A, Margaret H, Danielle M, Broderick M, Keith N, Becky, Erica O, and Tracey G. This group has truly shown me that family does not have to be blood related. I also give tribute to two books that were very helpful, “Rabbit” by Patricia Williams and “Black Privilege” by Charlemagne the God. All I can say is thank you for your gifts. In closing, I want to give flowers to every elder that has been an influence over my life, on Earth and in the clouds. I am not me without you. To my family, thank you for the life lessons. To my mother, thank you for giving me life. This shoutout is dedicated to you all, my village.
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