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Meet Aije Tortilla of Sailor Tortilla in North Miami

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aije Tortilla.

Aije, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a vocal influencer within the online anime community. I primarily focus on one show from the ’90s, Sailor Moon, and I have dedicated my social presence to sharing my love for this classic cartoon via YouTube, Instagram, etc. My self-made social presence led to a career within the Social Media space with ad agencies, and I currently work as an Influencer Manager in a professional capacity.

My Sailor Moon obsession most recently led me across the Pacific to Japan in the hopes of visiting the official Sailor Moon attraction at Universal Studios Japan. Yeah, that’s a thing that exists. Locals were excited to hear about Miami and share their love of president JFK, while I was single-mindedly focused on collecting the most content possible for fellow fans back in the states.

My story begins in a small town in Virginia in 1995, when my mom brought home a pair of Sailor Moon Sneakers from Toys R Us/Kids R Us. I had no idea what the show was, so she explained how the employee at Toys R Us told her Sailor Moon was the next big thing. When I finally caught it on Fox, I realized Sailor Moon was the first show that I’d ever seen, aimed towards kids, that dared show romance. The theme song really sealed the deal. I was hooked. That Toys R Us employee will never know I grew up to sink thousands of dollars into shiny plastic toys in my 20’s.

By the time, my family moved down to Miami Beach a few years later, I was already propping up my Sailor Moon toy boxes on the floor against the wall, displaying them in a similar way to what my fans see now. Hurricane George taught me that windows aren’t my friends, and I now keep my collection far from liabilities. I’ve spent my life in Miami since, and so far- no more water damage.

The rest is the usual influencer story, one video goes viral and suddenly, you’re known within your own niche community for better or for worse. I’m happiest that I could use my hobby as a pathway to a career since the job situation hasn’t been perfect for older millennials since the great recession.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My struggle only involves remembering what collectibles I’ve preordered and to what address. I’m very lucky!

Finding a job was tough for a while after college, but that’s nothing extraordinary. It’s tough in this city if you’ve got an Arts degree. I thought I could be the next JK Rowling- next life I’ll go to trade school instead. I was incredibly lucky that Youtube prowess was needed for certain social media positions on Indeed.

Fortunately, being an influencer has no requirements other than being somewhat interesting, which most people here are.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Without repeating what I said earlier, I’m an influencer in a very niche space. I unbox Sailor Moon toys on YouTube and share my toy collection on Instagram.

I’m unlike my peers in that I’m brutally critical of expensive plastic trinkets. If I don’t think a collectible is worth collecting, or worth the price, not only do I announce that- I add some curse words along the way. My audience mostly enjoys my rants, and I find that honesty really is the best policy.

Any service I provide is in the review space, and I buy things so you don’t have to. I still get to practice my writing chops when scripting and editing videos, so I’m fine being surrounded by many Japanese knickknacks.

What are your plans for the future?
My last big plan ended when I left Japan, and I’m excited to receive the next big Sailor Moon collectible in the mail. We moonies have one very limited, very large, statue coming out in late 2020 that I’ve just got to make space for.

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Getting in touch: VoyageMIA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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