With over six million subscribers and over three billion views on content they’ve created, it’s clear to see that the Onyx Family means business! The family consisting of Mirthell, Rita, Shalom, Sinead, Sade, and Shiloh are all admament when they say family is everything. Their tight-knit bond is the core of their entertainment brand and we’ve got a feeling they’re soaring in the right direction to ultimate success. We recently sat down with the members of the Onyx Family to discuss everything from their mission to what we can expect to see from them in the future.
Tell our readers a little about yourselves.
We are the Onyx Family; Mirthell, Rita, Shalom, Sinead, Sade, and Shiloh. Together we have become one of the first African American families to build a successful multimillion-dollar family brand and business, primarily through social media, having over 6 million collective subscribers and followers and approximately 3.5 billion lifetime views worldwide.
Long before there was an Onyx Family, Mirthell and I were two young students who fell in love at an HBCU in the South. I was an 18-year-old freshman and Mirthell was a 22-year-old junior in undergrad when we met in January and got married in December of that same year. Our first job together was working at a burger joint on campus making $5.00/hr each. Starting from less than minimum wage, to eventually graduating and starting our careers with Mirthell as a minister and marriage and family therapist, and me as a nurse practitioner, to now working full-time on the multimedia family business, we know what it’s like to start from the bottom. When we look back, we are so grateful for how hardship and resilience shaped our partnership and future, 23 years later.
What is your overall mission and how do you use your platform to help others?
The Onyx Family mission is to “Tell the Story, Feed the Soul, Make them Laugh, Heal the Heart.” Whether through our book publications, studio productions, music, or educational and fitness apps, we recognize and are committed to the healing and inspirational power of our influence as a family that works together and has fun while doing it.
We also feel it is important to share our life story in our podcasts and during our business coaching so people can understand that we have a had quite a few challenges, but we’ve persevered through faith and a commitment to each other and our mission. We have compiled some business strategies and relationship tips in our upcoming book entitled “Onyx Family: From the Struggle Life to the Onyx Life.”
How have you been doing during the ongoing pandemic?
2020 has been a difficult year for our country and in particular our African American community. We have tried to stand up to the task of becoming a reassuring, inspirational, and advocating presence by marching for justice and helping to inform others about how to remain healthy and safe during the pandemic. During this troubling time, we strove to keep our platform light, to maintain a sense of normalcy and give people joy in the midst of pain.
In September 2020, Dr. Fauci and his team reached out to our family to collaborate with him to enhance awareness of COVID-19 and public safety. We were able to have a fun yet informative time playing Two Truths and a Lie where we learned important health and safety tips. We were also contacted by the Biden-Harris campaign before the election to team up to encourage the importance of voting, and then once again to be a part of the healing and bipartisan Inaugural program entitled “Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans.
Can you share with us the experience as guest of Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans?
It was such an honor to be a part of the Inauguration. Not only was it important to lend our voices to help bring our country back together, but for me and our daughters we felt so privileged, especially as women of color, to publically and officially celebrate with Vice President Kamala Harris and her amazing achievement. Many people do not know this, but we also have blood related connections with Vice President Kamala Harris. Kamala’s grandmother Beryl and Mirthell’s grandfather Earnest Finnegan were first cousins in Jamaica. Mirthell’s mother recalls many fond memories of her and her father visiting Beryl who lived close by in a neighboring district, so you can imagine our sense of pride on so many levels.
What can we expect to see from the Onyx Family in the future?
We have some really exciting projects coming up on the horizon. Right now, we are working on season two of our cartoon animation “Onyx Monster Mysteries” a funny and heartwarming narrative about an African American family that works together to save misunderstood monsters. This is a project that our production company, Onyx Star Media, has partnered with Albie Hecht of Pocket Watch, and Doreen Spicer from the Proud Family to produce. Season one which was released in late December 2020 is exclusively on Amazon Prime and Amazon Kids Plus. Season two, which we’re working on now is scheduled to be released in October.
We are also in the process of filming a YouTube Originals series called Onyx Family Dinner, where our family models eating and talking together around the dinner table, having conversations that will inspire and educate. We like to stay productive and busy and as you can imagine it is hard to summarize everything that’s going on with us, but for those interested in learning more about our family, you can go here.
Featured Image by Gianna Snell