Five questions with Got-Mocha.com creator, LaQuayle Agurs
What made you want to start Got Mocha?
I started Got Mocha because I’ve always been interested in magazines and I’ve always been interested in the growth of a young girl, of a young woman. For me it was one of those things where we obviously have Teen Vogue and Seventeen and things like that, but rarely do we have content with girls that look like us. And I would give kudos to Elaine [Welteroth] for Teen Vogue because I feel like she has, since becoming editor in chief, there has been a lot of girls or a lot of features of girls of color. But before then and even with other publications now, there’s just not a lot of girls who look like us. I just wanted to create a platform where girls could come and receive the celebrity-crazed content but still get content with substance. So that was my goal and I really wanted to blend the celebrity with telling stories about issues that really matter.
How long have you been working on this project?
I’ve been brainstorming this idea since my freshman year at Hampton [University]. So like three and a half, four years, I’ve been thinking about it but it wasn’t until…it’s funny it wasn’t until I actually got to InStyle in June that I actually physically started writing things down and putting things in my notes. And for me, when I start writing tangibles out of things, it’s about to get real. So once I started writing it down and putting things in my notes, I set a date and I was like, okay you’re going to launch this for October 1st. Because in my mind, if there’s something that keeps coming to me, and I can’t let go of it, I feel like God is speaking to me.
What is your best quality?
Honestly, I think my best quality is the will to just go for it. I really live my life by ‘nothing beats a failure but a try.’ I’m not afraid to hear ‘no.’ Life doesn’t end if somebody tells you ‘no’ or something doesn’t go your way. God has been so good to me, like I have — all the opportunities I’ve had have come from sending emails. I didn’t know who these people were or anything like that, I just said ‘I’m gonna go for it.’ That’s what happens. I think that’s my best quality: just taking a chance and being persistent.
What is the quality you work hardest to improve on?
You know….I think I have more than one answer for that. Right now what I’m working on is intimate relationships with people. I’ve been the only child for a long time so for my entire life, I’ve learned how to entertain myself. I’ve never been really big on friends — like I said, I went to a thousand high schools, so I never made friends because I wasn’t there long enough. So I’ve just never learned how to have a friendship or a relationship or anything like that so I think that’s one thing I’m really trying to work on: how to be a friend, how to accept friends.
What is your responsibility to improve equality in treatment and representation?
I think it comes down to using your talents and your passions to push forward. And I think a lot of the times we get this idea that you have to become a lawyer or you have to go into politics or you have to do this or you have to do that in order to make a difference. And I just don’t think that’s true. For example, if I love to write, if I love storytelling, which is what it is that I love to do, then that’s what I’m going to do to try to move us forward as a people. So for me, it was like, you know, I’m gonna use my passion and my talents to make a difference. I’m gonna create a platform like Got-Mocha and I talk to these girls or give them content or give them things that I’ve gone through that could possibly help them, then I’m changing a child’s life from the time that they’re kid to the time that they’re a college student or an adult. And I think that right there is making a difference.