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November 10, 2015


Q & A with Poet Natasha T. Miller


November 10, 2015

Meet our very own Natasha Miller, award-winning poet and Shinola Detroit team member. We had the opportunity to spend some time chatting with Natasha about style, creativity and her hometown of Detroit. Read more of our conversation below, and view the video above to listen to one of her poems.

Photo and Video by Bruce Weber

When did you first join the Shinola team?

I heard about the brand Shinola in early 2014. Before I became interested in working for the company, I was approached by a friend about possibly getting involved with the Shinola-Bruce Weber Campaign. At the shoot, I fell in love with the story and the brand. A few months later I applied for a job in the store: I got the job, and here I am two years later. 

How does living in, and being native to, a city like Detroit shape your work? 

Detroit doesn’t just shape my work, Detroit shapes me as a person, and my work becomes a reflection of that molding. I wouldn’t be half the writer or person that I am without this city. Detroit is in my poems, it’s in my heart, it’s in my activism, and it makes an appearance on every stage that I touch.

How did you begin writing?

There was nothing fancy about how I started writing, one night seven years ago I wrote a poem, and I’ve been writing ever since. I’ve found the key to being inspired is to be present in every moment. If you’re present, something will inspire you to create. 

You seem to do a lot of traveling, what does a typical month look like for you? 

My travel schedule is pretty exciting. Typically, during the busier performance seasons, I’m out of state two to three times a month. I usually leave the country a couple of times a year. I say exciting, but it’s still work. When I’m not in the store, I’m on the road working. 

Do any of your past performances stand out to you as particularly noteworthy?

I like to treat all of my shows the same, sometimes I perform in rooms filled with just a few people, sometimes I perform in rooms filled with hundreds or thousands of people. One of my most memorable performances was at Ford Field in front of 30,000 people. It’s the largest audience I’ve ever been in front of, received a double standing ovation from, as well as the largest audience I was able to tell the history of Detroit. 

What does style mean to you personally?

Personal style means everything to me. I’m not into trends. I’m all about wearing clothes that make you feel good. Buy an item of clothing for $3 or $300, but make sure that when you put it on you feel amazing, you feel like doing something memorable because you feel that good in what you’re wearing. 

What is your signature wear every day/never go without wardrobe staple?

My wardrobe staple changes. Right now, my staple is a wide brim fedora; it fits the mood that I’m in recently. A staple that never changes are my socks. I like to look good when I sit down; I like to feel good from the feet up. 


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