Mia grew up with constant conflict between her parents, which ended when her dad walked out. She clashed with her mum, who threw her out of their home after an argument. With help from Depaul UK, Mia’s life is on the up – she set up her own beauty business, and has real ambitions for the future.
“My family life was pretty rough to be honest. I’m the oldest child of my mum and dad so I’ve seen it all to be honest. Always drama, never peaceful in my house.
“Then last year it got to a point where the arguments were nonstop. I don’t even know what the fight was about but my mum was like, ‘right- you can get out’. I just wanted to take myself out of it anyway, because it had all just got too far.
“After that I went into a hotel for about a week or maybe two weeks. It was far from everyone that I knew. It was so depressing. I was lucky really as I still had student finance left so I could afford it. But I was running very, very low. I was barely eating anything. I could only just afford the hotel room.
“That’s when I got in touch with homelessness services and they found me Depaul. Depaul found me supported accommodation, where there are staff here to help you. The staff were really nice. They were dead accepting and friendly. They made me feel a lot better about it considering.
“When I got into Depaul, someone told me about this business grant thing. I’d liked doing eyelashes myself so I thought I’d do it for other people. I had to fill in a business plan and it asked me questions like, what is your business plan? What is the purpose?
“My beauty company now is called Beauty Baerae and I do eyelashes and eyebrows. Depaul have given me the access to go to college to do Beauty Level 2 and 3, then a business grant as well. It would have taken me years to save up for otherwise. The money goes to all the products for my business too. Like all the waxing, microblading, and pigment. It’s like it’s all worked out. It’s amazing.
“Now I want to move up into bigger beauty treatments. I’m moving to a new salon too. It’s on a busy road and it’s got big open glass so that should bring more opportunities.
I’m hoping that a year from now I’ll be in my own flat with a thriving business. I always say you’ll see me on the billboards in 5 years’ time.”