I’m so excited to introduce you to Virginie Onephithak our first ‘Changemaker of the week’!
Virginie is a great friend of mine, she cares deeply about people & art and managed to fuse her two passions into an amazing project: Thread. I’ve had the pleasure to sit down with Virginie for a five Q&A! After reading her interview, I hope you will be as inspired as I was after speaking with her.
You’re the founder of Thread., an art and humanity website who asks ‘deep questions’, can you tell us a bit more about this project and why you decided to create it?
It’s a project I started in 2013. It used to be about the music industry and ‘actors’ of the music industry. When I first created the project, the idea was to make artists feel understood and make them feel themselves because I was seeing artists being something they were not and they had to do things they didn’t even like.
But, as the project kept evolving, it slowly began to be about art, so I started interviewing people outside the music industry like drawers, entrepreneurs and photographers. And today I can say that it has become a project where I fully focus on art and humanity. Art because I interview artists and I share their work with the world. Humanity because I’m being an advocate for human rights, LGBTQ rights and mental health awareness. I am more and more sharing my support for these causes on my website and my social media.
I have decided to create this project to simply help people and inspire others. I ask these deep questions so that the people can fully express who they are as human beings and as artists. I know their stories have been inspiring me to be a better person and hopefully this will have the same impact with others.
thread. is one beautiful community that I am very proud of. It’s all about love, unity, equality and art. So far, so good 🙂
You describe music as your passion but also your escape. Growing up, how did you embrace your creative side?
I always felt alone when I was growing up. I come from a big family and they were all so much older than me. So I would spend a lot of time on my own. Spending time alone meant writing, singing, listening to music. I listened to music all the time. It was my escape and was/is my best friend. As music was the only friend I could talk to besides God, I slowly began to learn more about music by listening and studying all the musical legends and also every boy band (laughing). I decided to really embrace my creative side when I was in middle school. I tried to learn the piano (but I gave up), I began singing – in fact, my friend and I wanted to be in a girl band so every weekend, we would meet and sing our favorite songs and we would take it very seriously. Until we stopped (laughing) After that, there was a time where another friend and I would record ourselves singing. I remember we did “Born To Try” by Delta Goodrem. I wish I still had these recordings. Back then we thought we were good (laughing) But singing was just a phase. It was fun though. After that singing experience, I developed my ear and I learnt how to really listen to music and felt very passionate about helping artists with their career.
To answer your question, I embraced my creative side by just doing things that made me happy and what made/makes me happy is art.
What advice would you give to anyone struggling to find their passion?
I will just say this: you will figure it out. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Be patient with yourself. Experience new things and live. Don’t force anything. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s not because others have already found their passion that you will never find yours. Everyone has their own unique path. You will figure it out and once you do, you will know and everything will start making sense.
We’re all passionate about something. The key is to figure out if you want to make it your job or make it as a simple hobby.
What are the 3 most important lessons life has taught you so far?
We live in a society where people will judge you and criticize you, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to be your authentic self. Being authentic is what will make you free and happy.
Self-love is everything. Be kind to yourself. You are loved and you are not alone.
Some things can take days, weeks, months or years, but as long as you’re passionate and as long as you’re doing what’s in your heart, everything will be fine. If you have a project/idea that never leaves your mind, do it. It’s worth it.
Sorry but I have to add another one: live in the present moment.
In your opinion, what can we do to lift others up?
There were a lot of times where I didn’t receive any support or encouragement from people I cared about, just because they didn’t understand who I really was or because they were just not open-minded. The reason why I am helping others today is because I don’t want people to feel what I felt. So the thing we can do to lift each other up is to be understanding, kind and open-minded.
By understanding and really listening to each other, we can offer help, support, love, respect and acceptance without any judgement and without expecting anything in return. Lifting others up means being a good person and being genuinely kind to others, on a daily basis.