We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Martine St. Hilaire a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Martine, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. What sort of legacy are you hoping to build. What do you think people will say about you after you are gone, what do you hope to be remembered for?
I hope my legacy is the celebration and recognition of my Black & Haitian/Venezuelan culture, dedicated to the education, awareness, and commemoration of my heritage and Black people as a whole. As we all know, freedom is a constant struggle. The fight for liberation extends far beyond marches – it flows from the movements in corporate events and boardrooms to classrooms and lecture spaces to art studios and libraries. It is lived through the active participation of diverse and valued experiences. Resistance against the practices, modes, and tools of oppression, against the mindsets that perpetuate injustice is an indispensable aspect of every part of Black expression. This year, and every year, I’m proud to celebrate our contemporary resistance as I move my mouth and body, tell my own stories, advance my visions, and work to create the world I want.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your background and context?
I’m the founder of MOTS Media (a full service digital creative agency) and Martine On The Scene (my personal blog following my career journey). I was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived there through the 2nd grade. At age 7, I moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL through high school. I’m a proud Haitian Venezuelan American and I’m the first generation of my family born in the U.S. I’m also the middle of 9 children; I have 5 sisters and 3 brothers. My parents came to this country with very little, but they scraped their savings together, borrowed credit and bought a small business. They ran it together for almost 15 years. We weren’t wealthy, but my parents never wanted their lack of wealth to interfere with our family’s ability to grow, learn, and pursue our dreams that I had. After high school I moved to Providence, RI to attend Johnson & Wales University to pursue a degree in Website/e-Commerce. I later found a really good job a couple states over at an investment advisory firm in West Hartford, CT. I worked there for 7 years before I realized what I truly wanted to do with my life. While there, I learned a lot about the finance industry and how to market a business through the years. I’ve always been a very accomplished individual but there’s was truly something missing in my life and I was destined to find out.
I decided to go to school at Full Sail University to get a Bachelor’s degree in Media Communications. During my matriculation, I interned for The Daily Buzz and Emotional MOJO for a few months. These 2 two syndicated television shows were part of the very successful MOJO Brands. It was surreal working at a newsroom and television studio for the first time ever. I was a staff writer for both shows and was fortunate enough to have written over 100 articles. I even got the opportunity to produce a health segment for Emotional MOJO’s YouTube channel. My most memorable experience was when I became a multi-media journalist, which is where I got my nickname Martine On The Scene. I got a chance to walk the streets of Winter Park and interview random people by asking them funny trivia questions to test their knowledge on different topics. During my entire journey at FSU, I had the most fun, learned so much, became the salutatorian of my class, met many great peers and made life-long friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience. I honestly wished it lasted forever.
After graduating from FSU, I moved to Atlanta to start my new career and open MOTS Media. I’ve worked as a freelance writer, project manager, and digital marketing coordinator through my business. I’ve been honored to work on various types of high-level campaigns for Haiti Open Magazine, SPANX, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Creation Speak, and more. Over the years, I was able to help leaders and influencers leave an impact through comprehensive and dynamic marketing solutions.
Even though I have way more accomplishments to achieve, I can say my parents are very proud of how far I’ve come and their decades of sacrifice had helped their daughter tremendously. Granted, I still have a ways to go but I’m well on my way to the success I’ve always dreamed of.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
My story of resilience starts from my early 20’s when I was working as a very successful marketing and administrative assistant at a financial advisory firm in Connecticut. I was there for seven years. New management wanted me to remain answering the phones all day long because business was booming. Prior to new management the company allowed me to rebuild their website, design newsletters, and become their in-house photographer/historian. During that time I realize that I had a passion for marketing so I decided to quit my job and pursue my dreams by enrolling into college to become a full-time media communications specialist. Ever since I enrolled, I’ve applied to over 500 job opportunities to this date. One thing you will learn about me is that I don’t give up on my dreams. I may be a little older than my peers but I have natural talent and plenty of wisdom to share. I can’t take the credit though. I must give all of the credit of my resilience to my higher powers who are God, Jesus Christ and my parents.
What do you think is the goal or mission that drives your creative journey?
Yes, it goes back to my legacy response. I think it’s very important to live out my mission for the rest of my life and for the generations to come after.
- Website: https://beacons.ai/martineonthescene
- Instagram: @martineonthescene
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/motsmedia
Image Credits: Watson Photography LLC & MOTS Media