Working day and night
Being an influencer might seem like the dream lifestyle, but Onyi admits that at first it was incredibly hard. Plus, just a month after buying her first camera, she landed a job as a Financial Accountant, which for many might have put an end to her determined self-tuition in photography. But Onyi was undeterred and continued her deep dive into YouTube lessons, blogging and shooting her own stories, often editing and practising until 3am. After around a year and a half of pulling the night shift, she began to get noticed by brands and the workload increased to the point where a decision had to be made. “It was getting to the point where I was turning down these job offers,” she explains. “So, I said to myself, I’ve always wanted to be creative; I might as well give this six-months and see where it leads. And if nothing happens, I’ve got my qualification, I’ve got experience, I can fall back on that.” She turned professional as a content creator and influencer in May 2017 and never looked back.
Developing an aesthetic
The gentle, romantic luxury that is Onyi’s signature style isn’t in any way contrived. She has simply taken the day-to-day things she loves and amplified their role in her life – elevating something as simple as having a cup of tea to an aspirational moment. “Flowers, books, tea, nature… I’m tuning into the things that make me happy.” She connects these physical joys with wider influences to create an aesthetic that is part silver-screen opulence and part period drama with a heady splash of the kind of on-location glamour you’d see in Condé Nast Traveller. She has a knack for discovering overlooked spaces and contrasting them with clever fashion choices. “I get a lot of messages asking ‘are you sure you live in Manchester? I’ve never noticed these places.’ They do exist. You just need to pay attention.”