Meet Kayla Parchia: a fresh voice in the growing world of bloggers who knows what it's like to follow her passions and create the connection between herself and her readers! Although she was born in Houston, Texas, her life found its way to Atlanta, Ga where she finished out her undergrad at Georgia State University (GSU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Navigating the worlds of post-grad college life + internships, media influencing and writing, Kayla has found a way to flawlessly combine her passions and create a life that truly speaks to her. Her brand focuses not just on the professional, but also on the meaningful, as she makes a difference by creating a space for people to become the best version of themselves. We spoke with Kay about the unique nature of her professional journey, how she found her voice, and what inspires her creatively.
While in college, you were a musical theatre major before you discovered it wasn't your path. What ignited the flame that led you to becoming a journalism major?
Kayla Parchia: Well, musical theatre is still very much a passion of mine. I had to switch it up for a bit because you know #lifebelike, but I have always loved to write! During my time at Ole Miss I discovered my love for interviewing and getting to know people’s story. I transitioned back home to attend GSU, decided to change majors and pursue acting in the bustling city of Atlanta.
After discovering your love for writing, your self-titled blog launched in 2015. How has the journey been?
KP: Honestly, it's been all over the place. In 2015 I started publishing a few blog posts while I was still working on my website, so I'm just getting into the flow of things this year. Kayparchia.com launched in February, and there have been so many new opportunities since that keep me excited for right now and the future.
What sparked the light in you to create your own platform?
KP: I’ve always wanted a brand of my own. Having the last name Parchia, which I find unique, was always something that I’ve looked at as an opportunity to brand myself. I knew a blog would be an excellent way to encompass all of my passions, as well as document my personal journey.
How has living in Atlanta influenced your life and the style of your blog?
KP: Atlanta has been a huuuuge impact on my life and the content of my blog. I’ve gotten to know the A by networking, being a student at GSU, internships, outings, and previous jobs. Those life experiences and the people and opportunities’ contained within them are where I gained inspiration for new content.
What has been the hardest aspect you didn't anticipate that comes with blogging?
KP: Let me tell you, blogging is a full-time job! You have to be the writer, editor, photographer, graphic designer, the flavor and personality; you have to do it all! It’s a lot of work, but that’s what I love about it: the hustle.
What advice/words of wisdom would you give to upcoming journalists who are interested in pursuing a career in blogging?
KP: I am still learning so much about journalism and the art of writing, but so far I have learned:
• Find your voice – Find how your normal voice and personality can translate through compelling words or visuals on camera. Stay true to who you are. Your voice is enough to change the game; you just have to find it.
• Invest in lifelong learning – NEVER stop learning. Stay curious, read books, research successful people, travel, push yourself out of your comfort zone. These aspects of life will influence your content. You will never run out of content if you just continue to live life.
• Be consistent – You have to choose to invest in yourself every day. Be consistent in learning about your craft and doing something towards it every day. You can become who you want to be by remaining consistent. Just start.
Who are some people that influence you creatively?
KP: Oh my goodness, so many people! Everyone from Oprah to Bey, to people like you who are out here getting it! Of course I’m for the ladies, so kick ass women who are dominating or creating a new wave in any industry, but I am inspired by men and women who are unapologetically being themselves and sharing their gift with the world.
If I had to name a few, I’d say Mali Hunter, Lenny S, Jessica Alba, Sara Blakely, Jonathan Mannion, Elaine Welteroth, Levi Maestro, Vashtie Kola, & Melody Yehsani.
I read that you're taking on the 100 books challenge! How do you find time to read while working and running a blog?
KP: That was my ambitious reading goal for 2016, but it’s looking more like the 25 books challenge! (laughs) I found that I had to make the time. That’s part of the reason I had to trim the down the challenge; I didn’t make time at the beginning of the year as I do now. I get up in the morning at 4:30 AM to meditate, journal, and read a chapter of the latest book I’m reading, depending on how long it is.
You have definitely accomplished a lot at 23 years old. What is you ultimate career goal, and what steps are you taking to get there?
KP: THANK YOU SO MUCH! Ultimately, I want to leave a legacy that’s bigger than me through my purpose, my career, my family, and giving back to the community. I want to do sooo many things in this world, but right now I am enjoying being a student of the game and working towards “living for a living.”
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