A Chat With: Mija Vera

 Hey Gang!

  The one thing I love about being on the internet is the opportunity that it presents, to network and meet other creative ladies like myself. Mija and her sisters run a stationery company called Mind-Speaks, which is just chock full of absolutely adorable and geek-adjacent paper goods. I had the awesome chance to talk with her and I can't wait for you guys to meet her. 


NAL: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

MV: My name is Mija! I am one of the Vera sisters from Mind-Speaks.com - I do the web and print design work for the blog. We are 3 very different girls with different hobbies but we have a huge love for everything geek and Nintendo since we were little girls!

NAL: Tell us about your business?

 MV: We run Mind-Speaks.com, we started the blog in 2010!!! I just noticed the site will be 10 years old in just a couple of years....whoa! The site started out as a way for us as sisters to communicate with each other. I was away at college and moved to another city and wanted to share my crafts I was working on and it has evolved into this DIY, crafts, recipes and local review blog between us! I have been dipping my toes into making stationery, stickers and we just threw our first event, an Usagi Birthday Bash!! We want to do more nerdy meetups, have everyone bring their handhelds and just make new friends!


NAL: What's your favorite fandom? Harry Potter, Pokemon, Sailor Moon?

 MV: Oh man, this is sooooo hard. I love them all in different ways, but if I HAD to pick one....Sailor Moon! That show is perfect for sisters - we all could pick a favorite character and play along without fighting over who was the best scout! It also showed that not just Usagi was strong but the rest of the girls were powerful on their own as well. It really was a magical show. I was probably 8 years old when we first started to watch the DiC version on USA network. A year or two later we visited our local comic shop and found floppies of the manga. We still have them, this show was pretty life-changing. If not for Usagi and her friends we wouldn't be the magical girl obsessed sisters we are today!!

NAL: If you could live in a fictional universe, what would you choose and why?

 MV: Now, I wouldn't say Sailor Moon because lord those girls have a bunch of crazy villains to deal with on a daily basis. I think I would instead love being a student at Hogwarts! I am a Slytherin, they seem like an interesting house and fun house. I think everyone has picked up a stick and said "Wingardium Leviosa" once or twice in real life. 


NAL: If you could collaborate with any other creative, who would you choose and what would you create?

 MV: Right now I have been making stickers and stationery sets, that was one of my dreams as a kid to work for Lisa Frank. If I could design for a planner or stationery company I think that would be my perfect dream! Stationery influenced me even as a young girl, now that I make stationery and stickers for Mind-Speaks it is a small step to be able to share my passion with others! 

NAL: What's a typical day for you?

 MV: Mornings start out at work. I work full time as a designer so when I am work I am designing for others. During any free time, I do tend to write ideas or sketch in my planner what is the next sticker or stationery set I will work on. I look forward to going home to my daughter and husband. At the end of the day, I get to design for myself. I get to turn my sketches into vector art!! If I have some time I'll sneak in some Monster Hunter gaming on my 3DS.


NAL: What's your favorite movie?

MV: Oh goodness, I will probably always love Labyrinth. That film introduced me to David Bowie when I was probably 8 or 9. My love for Bowie was instant!  

NAL: Can you walk us through your creative process?

 MV: Everything starts out with a sketch and a list. I am a tad OCD, so list making helps a lot, the list can include the theme, color ideas, how many items to include in a sticker set. What to include in the actual stationery. I'll scan the sketches in and start to draw them out in Illustrator. I am always running my printers making test prints. I always test out the stickers in my planner to see if this is something I would like to use. All the sets we sell are things that my sisters and I love. The Dino origami set is actually influenced by my sister Kim. She works at a local museum and actually did a post on Mind-Speaks.com about making dino origami. The macaron set is influenced by our youngest sister Kat - she is a pastry chef and one of my favorite things she makes are macarons, she also did a post about how to make macarons!! I'll make one set of stickers or stationery and post it on Instagram to see if other like-minded people would like the item. 


NAL: Do you have any pets?

MV: I have a Maine Coon name Tomo! He is probably the coolest cat I know. He is so mellow and walks around the house chirping. He is also super big and fluffy - my daughter just loves to roll all over him. He deals with it but he is 12 years old and probably wasn't ready for a toddler to try and sit on him every chance she gets.


NAL: Do you have any tattoos? 

MV: I wish! I am so indecisive - I go through so many obsessions, if 17 yr old Mija got the tattoo she wanted at this age I probably would have some Japanese rock/visual kei band name on my arm.

NAL: If you could introduce your daughter to a fictional character who would you choose?

MV: Of course Sailor Moon, she can be girly but strong! And has a super awesome supportive girl squad - I want that for my daughter.

Check out Mija's Work here:

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