Hola beautiful people! How are we all this new month of 2021? Last year I decided to resume interviewing inspirational people because I needed some inspiration. If you’re a long time reader of mine you would remember I did a series called, Women in Business. This time, I’m doing interviews with inspired people. Interviews with inspired people featuring Antonia Fifi is our inspirational woman of the month.
Interviews with Inspired People, featuring Antonia Fifi
Who is Antonia Fifi
Antonia or Toni is a business woman, fashionista, wife, mother, fitness buff and a trini. I stumbled across Toni’s Instagram profile and promptly followed her. Her love for fashion drew me in but her authentic and engaging personality made me stay. If you follow her on Instagram you would have seen many a laugh out loud posts. Toni is just one of these women who has a way of drawing you in and making you feel okay with being yourself.
You relocated with your family from Trinidad and Tobago to Canada, what has been the biggest challenge so far?
The biggest hurdle in relocation was sourcing foreign exchange to convert our savings. We still haven’t moved all of it out of Trinidad, and aren’t sure how long the process will take. The initial lack of financial security was probably the scariest circumstance to embrace.
From what I can tell via social media, it seems as though your career is in transition. How are you finding that?
Before coming to Canada I had zero experience as a social media influencer, so in transition is an understatement. Lol. Though it’s been scary, it’s also quite exciting really, starting over and trying something new. I feel somewhat energized. Never too late!
As a business woman navigating a family, new home country and Rona (aka covid), how are you dealing with it all and staying sane?
I’ve certainly had moments when I didn’t feel sane in between. Lol. I’ve given my feelings the recognition they needed in order to work through and past them, rather than overlook them and let them fester. Exercise and not putting too much pressure on myself have also helped. I’m not going to be the best at everything right now. I don’t have a problem accepting that.
What have you learnt about yourself in 2020?
Rona has been life changing, however I think for a lot of mixed race men and women the uprising of the BLM of 2020 created a discomfort that forced (and allowed) us to evaluate our identity further. I learnt that I was harboring a lot more self hate than I gave credit to. Accepting and releasing it has allowed me to fully embrace my Blackness and energized me with confidence.
Your approach to fitness and nutrition has been motivating for me. There are days I just want to eat chocolate and do nothing but, I go on your Instagram and you’ve made something delicious. Or, you’re busting several squats. How did you get this mindset to your health?
There was no escaping this mindset for me, both of my parents were athletes and very much into health and fitness. From a young age they set an example for me that food is medicine and exercise saves lives.
As a West Indian woman based in Canada, what are the values you want to instill in your children?
I want my children to know that they are good enough, as they are. That being different is their magic. I think there’s often messaging that being West Indian equates to being uneducated, unsophisticated, unsuccessful. Often times we try to blend in with the crowd so as to not be labeled. My message to them is not to try to blend in to disassociate yourself from the negative perception of your culture, but to change the perception of your culture by standing out in greatness and surprising them.
Switching gears, let’s talk about fashion. I know you have a love for fashion, how would you describe your style?
I’d say my style is eclectic-bohemian-Caribbean. Lol, I’m a fashion chameleon, one day I’m all black and love the sleek polished look, the next I’m all patterns and textures. I suppose the one common thread is that I like being bold in my style. Whether it’s through incorporating statement jewelry pieces to complete a monochromatic look, or bold patterns and textures.
Fashion is often seen as a way of self expression and sending a message to the world. What message are you sending out to the world?
That I’m not afraid to stand out. Period! For my hair. The colour of my skin. Or my crazy fringed boots. Loud and proud.
We both have a weakness for shoes, #shoejunkie, if you were stranded on a desert island what pair would you have to have with you?
Wow. Hardest question today LOL. I guess it would be my new white fringe Jeffrey Campbell boots. Solely because I bought them during this lock down and I haven’t had enough opportunities to wear them so we’re still in the honeymoon stage. Lol!
What makes your heart sing?
No contest the answer there is my children. I thought one day the butterflies in my stomach would disappear but they haven’t yet. I still get excited when I see them for the first time every morning.
Bonus question: If you could invite anyone to dinner (dead or alive) who would you invite and what would you cook for them?
I’d invite my grandfather, my mother’s father. He died before I was born and because of a turbulent history he isn’t discussed much. He was a Black Venezuelan man, a descendant of slaves, and my direct connection to my African heritage. A part of me I wish I knew more about. I’d like to understand what life was like for him.
I’d cook arepas to show off that I’d kept some of the culture alive. Lol!
What an inspirational person Antonia is and check out her blog and Instagram. I hope reading her interview helps you dear reader to realise that you are worthy of being here and to live your best authentic life. Whatever that looks like for you.
Thank you for reading and I’d love to know what you think of this monthly series I have started. Let me know in the comments and until next time, be well! x