We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Grace Meyer-Massey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia Grace, what do you attribute your success to?
One of my favorite quotes is “No one is you, and that is your superpower.” In today’s day and age, it is easy to fall into the comparison trap, where we measure our success and self-worth based on how well we compare to others. I think this is a dangerous trap to be in because when you are constantly comparing yourself to other people and their journeys, you are losing sight of what makes you and your journey special, unique and beautiful. No one on this planet is exactly like you, and no one’s life path is going to be identical to yours, so there is no sense in trying to be like anyone else.
Being authentic means staying true to yourself, and your core values and not allowing anyone to sway you from your path. It is easier said than done, but I have learned that by being unapologetically you, you will hone in on the superpowers that are innately unique to you – and learn how to use them to your advantage.
Authenticity is a major part of my identity and brand and has contributed to my success because with authenticity comes transparency, relatability, trust, and respect, which is a great recipe for success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One limiting mindset I had to overcome to get to where I am now was that I could pick only one niche, one outlet, one source of income, and stick with that one profession for the rest of my life. I learned pretty quickly that putting all of my professional and creative energy into one thing was not going to work for me or my lifestyle. Solange sang it best, “I can’t be a singular expression of myself. There are too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers, so many…” Growing up we are programmed to think that we have to pick one profession for the rest of our lives, but I believe it’s vital to have multiple sources of income and to embrace your inner child to rediscover your passions so that you can make a living doing things you truly love.
Since I was a kid, my passions are fashion and beauty, beach & indoor volleyball, fighting for causes that I believe in, and giving back to my community. My favorite thing to do as a young child was style and make clothes for my Polly Pockets and MyScene dolls and then make an aesthetic miniature community for them out of my collective toys. Now I hold a degree in Fashion Design and work as a fashion designer and fashion stylist. Then as I entered my pre-teen and teen years I played indoor and beach volleyball competitively for 10 years. I won 8 national championships and multiple accolades and awards including Defensive MVP, North Carolina Mid-State All-Conference Player, VH1 Carolina Region 18U/16U Champion, and Carolina Region USA Volleyball All-Tournament Player. Now I coach middle schoolers, high schoolers, and adults in beach and indoor volleyball and share my love for the sport throughout my community. As I got older and learned about political and global issues and injustices, I became very active in the fight for racial justice and equality. I organized and led peaceful protests in my high school during lunchtime, and in my community.
Now I represent and serve my community as an elected Councilwoman.
The polarity in my hobbies and interests overwhelmed me in the past. I thought I had to pick one path because I didn’t think it was possible to be an athlete, a creative, a model, and a community leader all at the same time. Boy did I prove myself wrong. Sometimes we can be our biggest critics and we can fall victim to imposter syndrome. I have had to realize that there are no rules, and you can create whatever reality you want for yourself, and you can do it all. I encourage everyone to tap into their inner child to find what sparks joy and passion, and to do that fearlessly.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to my friend and organizing partner of the historic 2020 Coconut Grove March for Black Lives: Vanya Allen. Vanya is a multidisciplinary artist, designer, educator, and architecture student. She and I met in 2020 when we were both grieving over the many innocent Black lives that were taken by the hands of police and senseless civilians. We were connected by my mother, who was one of Vanya’s architecture professors. Together we organized and led a well-attended peaceful march from Coconut Grove Village West, Miami’s oldest neighborhood, to Miami City Hall where we highlighted the issue of gentrification in predominantly black neighborhoods. It was an honor to connect and bond with Vanya on a soul level and to engage with our community together. Like myself, community activism is a portion of Vanya’s eclectic and busy life. She is working on many different projects and endeavors that deserve recognition.
Photo 1: Photographed by Damion Codrington @iam.damion
Photo 2, 6 & 7: Photographed by Victor Gregorio @victorgregorio
Photo 3 & 4: Photographed by Steph Estrada @howdysteph_
Photo 5: Photographed and styled by Olivia Grace Meyer-Massey @the.real.olivia.
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