Multi-talented business professional Demetria “Mia” Cotter has over a dozen years of experience working closely with some of Chicago’s most prestigious, top-tier global and international companies. Groomed in client service and delivering the highest quality results in executive support, project management and event planning, she is known for her ability to establish and nurture relationships with individuals at all professional levels.
In 2013, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Columbia College Chicago alumni founded The Fabulous Purge Project, an initiative designed to encourage women to recycle items from their closets for the purpose of donating to women’s shelters.
N’Digo recently sat down with Cotter to learn more about her background, what inspires her, and her plans to grow her Fabulous Purge Project.
Tell us about your corporate day job and what it is that you do?
I am the assistant to the President at a global market research firm. I support a group of executives, consultants and analysts through project coordination and event planning.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the versatility and work life balance that my job offers. No day is the same. I have the opportunity to work with a brilliant and diverse group of people and I learn something new everyday.
What is The Fabulous Purge Project?
The Fabulous Purge Project is a nonprofit organization that I created to encourage women to clean out their closets to donate to women’s shelters.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of The Fabulous Purge Project?
I have a Fashion Degree from Columbia, and can recall volunteering with a women’s shelter my senior year. I remember the looks on the faces of the women I had the opportunity of working with and always want to feel as full as I did during the time I spent with them. While, my professional career isn’t in the fashion industry, I remain inspired to give back and to build an organization that brings women together to do so.
How do you balance motherhood, your career, and passion projects like TFPP along with having a life of your own?
Being a mom is my most honorable and rewarding job overall. I think that my career and passion compliment the best of who I am and the balance keeps me grounded. I talk to my daughter about my days in my corporate role and ask for her opinion when making decisions for my organization, and by including her in my work and passion, it allows for her to see my work ethic and drive. I make sure that when I’m home and spending quality time, I’m 100% unplugged and present with my daughter so that she has my full undivided attention, I give 100% of my capabilities while at the office, and am constantly brainstorming on ways to improve my project and create new initiatives. My balance has become a well oiled machine, and all elements work well together.. for now.
At the end of the day, what motivates you to do what you do?
My daughter motivates me. I see the future in her, and it’s my job to ensure that she grows up with firm values. I want her to understand the value of giving and appreciate the life that we are afforded compared to those less fortunate.
What are your thoughts on our new President-Elect?
As much as I wish he were not, the fact remains that he will, barring unprecedented events, be our next President so we need to brace ourselves and deal.
What’s something your closest friends would be surprised to know about you?
I love to sing, and would sing a song upon request if asked.
Past or present, name one person you’d love to have a business dinner with?
What’s the last great book you read?
”Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown is an absolute must.
In a movie on your life, who would you want to play you?
I’d have to go with Taraji P. Henson. She’s a beast and so versatile.
Best advice to aspiring business professionals?
Stick to it, stay with it and never give up. If you have an idea, write it down and work on it everyday. No matter how long it takes, continue to work at it. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help, ask questions, or create something on your own if you aren’t able to find someone to do it for you. You might even discover another talent within yourself that you didn’t know you had.
Favorite affirmation or quote?
”The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
What’s next for Mia Cotter and TFPP?
I’m in the process of looking into opening a boutique of my own. As for TFPP, we’ll be expanding and taking the project worldwide and helping women in shelters across the US.
For more information on The Fabulous Purge Project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.fabulouspurgeproject.com to join the mailing list and find out about upcoming events.