Freshly Inked Interview with Monami Frost

Instagram: @monamifrost
Monami is a very unique name, what does it mean? Where did it originate? 
It comes from a song my husband put in a mix c.d he gave me on our first date. It’s from a Latvian band called Solaris. The song was Mark Frost (Mon Ami) the title spoke to me and when I created my Instagram name I knew that was it. 

You're an author, business owner, Mom, and wife. What's the toughest job?
Toughest job is not to lose my mind and keep up with all of these different things, and the fact that I love them all so much makes it a never-ending job. It’s hard to find a balance. I will always prioritize being a Mom and wife over everything, as that means the most to me in the world and what’s the point of a job and success if my family aren’t proud of me? I do everything I can while I can, to make my family proud and to inspire all my followers showing that no matter where you come from, and who you are, you can do anything you want if you work hard enough and that you don’t have to choose family or work. If you have enough love you can do both. 

Do you have any tattoos that represent your husband or daughter?
I have my daughter's name tattooed on my palms/fingers. And I have my daughter's and husband's initials tattooed on my stomach. My stomach piece is actually two flipped faces of mine, as we used them as a reference and over the eyebrows on the faces it say’s TRUE LOVE, and on the cheeks below there is a G for Gabriela and on the other cheek an A for Anrijs. My true loves!
Being a Mom with tattoos, have you received any negativity on Social Media? Yes of course! There’s always someone that doesn’t agree with tattoos. And I get it very often people on the internet telling me I am a terrible parent showing this kind of example to my child, being tattooed.  I really don’t pay attention to that anymore, as I know that someone that is worth my attention or anyone that is kind would never put such things out into the universe. It’s sad that people actually think these things and jump to conclusions. It’s just old stereotypes. And I am here to break them and show that tattoos are just art and self-expression and they are beautiful and they don’t define you as a parent. The world is filled with “normal” parents that should have never become parents in the first place. 

After getting your first tattoo, did you know right away you wanted to be a collector?
Yes, I knew that even before I had my first tattoo. I knew I wanted many. I obviously had no idea how many I would end up having and that I would have very little skin left if any when I finish. But I love the idea of having art on your body.
Do you prefer black tattoos or multi-colored? Why?
Black and grey all the way!! I used to want new school colorful tattoos before I started, but I am so glad I didn’t get many. I have a few tattoos I tattooed myself on my legs that were colorful. My husband started with a few colorful portraits on my legs but they were just monotone colors, one color for one portrait, but everything else is black and grey on me. I see it as more serious and strong and long lasting; like styles and trends change so much but I think black and grey realism and lettering is something that would always be classic. Maybe I’m wrong but I love them.  I love how color tattoos look on others and it’s true artistry to be able to make them, it’s just for myself I prefer black and grey.
What's been the most painful spot to get tattooed, in your opinion?
I would say the side of my neck and middle of my chest. It’s not the pain I think it’s more of the vibration and my nerves that I can’t handle. I had panic/anxiety attacks every time we tattooed any of those places. 

Tell us about your book. The title and what made you want to write it?
My book is a Vegan Cookbook. The title of it is Vegan Home Cooking with Monami Frost, as it’s all the recipes I cook for my family daily. Since going vegan I fell in love with cooking even more. I used to cook before but I was not as passionate. Finding regular recipes and making them vegan, and doing that to my childhood foods I used to love. Before I wrote the book, I was doing a bunch of cooking videos on my Youtube channel and there were so many people loving the recipes from all over the world. I always focused on making the recipes simple and without any special vegan substitutes or ingredients so people all over the world can make them and have no excuse not to try vegan food.
And that was my main goal with the book, share even more recipes simple and fast. So anybody can make them and focus on home cooked meals, not fancy restaurant food that no one will ever make. That’s what usually cookbooks are or at least what they used to be, for chefs to show their skills. I wanted to share the food and have people try and cook as if I can still cook for my family in my busy life anybody can!
I am so glad I pulled through and released the book as it was a great challenge self-publish and do it all myself from zero.
When did you decide to become vegan? What motivated that?
I became vegan 3 and a half years ago. At first, it was because I started researching about health and looking more into what we are eating, me and my husband just wanted to be the best parents we could be for our daughter and give the best to her too.
So one thing lead to another-that me and my husband stumbled upon a few documentaries about health. First, we watched a few just about food in general- BBC documentary about supermarkets, Food Inc., Hungry for Change.   
After that, we watched a couple of movies about veganism like- Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, Food Matters, Got The Facts on Milk, and it right away opened our eyes to what we have been eating our whole lives and what effect it has had on our body. So in one day, we went from eating meat to being Vegan.
So the first 6 months we were mostly in it for the health reasons didn’t think too much about animals. We were really concentrating on eating only plant-based whole foods and making everything from scratch. We constantly continued to research and read more about what we put in our body and what we need and so on. That’s when we actually realized more what is going on with animal agriculture. We saw the reality so clear, how people exploit animals in so many disgusting ways to fill up their greed and stomachs.
Starting from the makeup industry and laboratories, starting from factory farming to “free range,” “organic” family farms. Poor animals still end up killed and chopped into pieces on everyone's plates just because people think they are more superior and they don’t realize that an animal's life is more important than your taste buds and blindly thinking that they need to eat animals and their byproducts without any research about it. 
Now it is a proven fact that you can live a perfectly healthy and healthier life, preventing major illnesses from being vegan. Once we learned more about what animals go through then we realized how important is not to just eat plants but to fight for the animals and educate some people and help them open their eyes to the reality. Now I can say that I am a vegan for animals. I am trying to be the voice for the voiceless. 
It can never be a personal choice if someone else’s life is on the line. 
What's your favorite vegan meal? Ever since I became vegan, I just love food so much more and I can eat everything pretty much and anything Vegan is my favorite food. (haha) 
Would you write another book? Maybe someday, I now have so much to focus on! I have to open my new restaurant - Frost Burgers and then we’ll see from there what happens. (: 
If you could give your life a book title, what would it be and why? 
The Limitless girl from next door. I often am referred to as "the girl from next door," as I am just like any other girl. My heart is full of love and all I want to do is share it and keep breaking stereotypes and follow my dreams without any limits and live like there aren’t any. 
When you started doing Youtube videos, did you expect them to be as popular as they are now?
I started my Youtube channel around 1-2 years after I started my Instagram. I started it just as another way to connect more with the people that follow me. So many of my followers would assume just because I had tattoos that I am this badass girl, but I always wanted to show that I am just like everyone else, just a young mom that loves tattoos, loves her family, loves her vegan lifestyle and wants to share that with everyone.
So I started filming videos starting from just videos about my family, makeup tutorials, vegan lifestyle videos, vegan cooking videos, outfit videos, tattoo related videos; basically sharing everything I cared about. Now I, because my time is so limited, I focus on filming more vlogs as I just want to share my life with everyone and still be able to create videos even with my crazy schedule, and Vlogs allow me to work around that.

What's your favorite Youtube video, that you've done?
My latest favorite video is probably the one I filmed with my daughter about her scars and her birth story. That was really hard to share but I am so glad I did, there have been so many other parents and kids that have gone through the same and I had never known that there were so many people. Sharing similar stories and people are reaching out with how inspired they are to share their own stories and not hide their scars and embrace them. It’s been a beautiful experience.
Aside from being a Youtuber, you are a designer when did you start up Frost Streetwear?
Yes, that’s right! I started Frost Streetwear a little over a year ago. It has been a great journey. I love creating clothing that is simple yet super dope, something that I would wear and I want to share it with everyone. Working with amazing tattoo artists on collaborations and of course my husband. 
What's a piece of clothing by Frost wear that you wear often?
I love wearing the Cargo sweatpants and the Frost Originals heavy tees and the checkered shirt I love to wrap around my waist- my go-to look.
What was the biggest obstacle when it came to promoting your new business or starting up a business?
I didn’t look at any obstacles when I started. I was just so excited to do it and create the clothing. Now I would say the hardest obstacles is having other people involved into manufacturing the clothing, as of day one I don’t think there has ever been a launch of clothing that went smooth and everything was the way we wanted the clothing to be.  And of course, the hardest things to figure out are all the crazy expenses and taxes and shipping prices. it takes a lot to figure it out and continue growing as it’s not easy at all. Yet still, there will be people that will complain about the prices and shipping costs. Being a small business is hard as we can’t afford ordering insane amounts of clothing and therefore make the clothing cheaper or have amazing shipping deals like big companies have. And people don’t complain about the big companies, but when a small company tries to make it and actually pays attention and does the best people will find things to complain about. and I think because there it’s my face behind the brand it makes it kinda hard as if there is any little thing that goes wrong or someone doesn’t like they will always personally blame me. But oh well, I have signed up for this. and I love every moment of it as there is of course 99% of the people that are positive and make it all worth it! 
What's the next big thing for you? What's a new project you've started? My next huge thing is my Frost Burgers restaurant I have been working on for the last year and more! I am so excited to soon be able to share everything when we open! It’s coming soon to - Liverpool, UK.
What advice do you have for women interested in starting a business?
You have to want it bad and love it with all your heart, put all your passion into it and don’t expect and wait for money to come. you have to do it because you love it and it will take time for the business to thrive. but you just have to keep going. everything that is worth it is not easy and everything that lasts didn’t take a day to make it. 

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