Talented artist started 2 businesses while in high school

Mia Walton

Recent Destrehan High School grad Mia Walton not only excelled in high school, but somehow found the time to start her own business and one that funds non-profits.

Walton’s Mia for Missions raises funds for Christian missionaries.

“When a missionary friend at church, Devin, took his first trip to Kenya, Africa, his experience made me realize how hard it is for missionaries to fund their trips,” she said. “They are often very restricted when they are in America because they are trying to save for their next flight, stay, food, etc. in another country.

“I knew I had to start something.”

Since Walton is also a talented art student, she was able to design trendy, faith-based apparel items and market them in order to raise funds.

“Recently, I was excited to be informed that the money I’ve raised for Devin this year will buy a pair of shoes for over 100 children at a local school located in Kenya,” she said.

Before starting Mia for Missions, Walton also created a charcuterie board business called Across the Board by Mia. Though the business began in December 2022, she started designing the boards in 2020.

“I’ve always had an artistic touch, but I wasn’t very experienced with food or catering services,” she said. “Being 14 years old (in 2020) was also a limiting factor in my mind. I created my first one with my grandma, and continued creating them for my own events.”

The business has grown steadily over the last year.

“I enjoy performing the service, expressing my creativity, and being there when someone is in need of an affordable party dish or a special touch to their milestone events,” she said.

Both Mia for Missions and Across the Board by Mia rely on Walton’s artistic talent. She said she’s been drawn to art throughout her life, taking normal art classes in elementary school before being tested for talented art in 8th grade.

“I have always shown artistic talent, but I really fostered a passion for it when I found purpose for my life,” she said “My faith and relationship with God have heavy influences on my artwork, which is something I love to embrace.”

Walton loves how art is a form of expression, which leads her to create with motive and passion.

“The most important aspect of art to me is that I believe in what I create,” she said.  “I love pushing social norms and expressing controversial ideas through my artwork. I view controversy as a means for the growth of diversity.”

While she’s talented in art, Walton’s favorite subject in high school was psychology. In fact, she received a 5 on the AP psychology exam.

“I use the same study methods for every class, but this was different because I became very interested in the subject,” she said. “Learning about my brain is fascinating to me, but I’ve realized that it’s a very useful tool in marketing. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I plan to use my psychology knowledge to cater to my customers.”

Her best memory from high school was getting to know one of her best friends, Trenton, in chemistry last year.

“It seems simple, but sitting next to someone for five months straight is such a blessing,” she said. “It gave me designated time every day to get to know someone that I couldn’t have imagined being friends with before. We formed inside jokes that we still have today.

“Sometimes it’s refreshing to ignore high school cliques and find someone you just personally click with.”

This summer, Walton plans to focus on her business, servanthood and taking some time to relax. In August, she plans to pursue a degree in marketing with a focus on social media at Southeastern Louisiana University.