I have had so many opportunities this year to speak with female entrepreneurs. As many of you know TuCamino Travel is a baby. We are in our first year and constantly learning and growing as we go. Luckily, I have made many new, amazing friendships with women in my same shoes and not only has this affected TuCamino, it has also affected my personal growth.
A couple months ago, Girl.ish co-founder, Christie contacted me regarding our retreat in Costa Rica. After several emails, we had a SKYPE call and what I thought was going to be 15 minutes turned into over an hour of good ol' girly conversation. I hung up the phone with the biggest smile on my face. We bonded over so many things but mainly, being women who crave community.
Girl.ish is the creative lovechild of Christie and Kiley, two very driven and beautiful women whose main goal is to create a platform to "share common interests and passions, such as pop culture, health, and beauty, or fashion." My favorite thing about Girl.ish is they work hard to "represent what it's really like to be a 20-something".
I wanted to get to know both of them a little better and thought you might want to too. Here is their interview! These girls know what's up!
Tell me a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind Girl-ish.
CHRISTIE: I'm Christie and I'm a 26-year-old who has lived various places and has settled into northwest Indiana (Chicagoland!) for the time being. A big inspiration for Girl-ish was my own personal desire for an online space that was less curated and more real. I would read and follow hugely popular bloggers and read blogs by people I went to college with and both felt so one dimensional. From pretty, perfect, curated posts and photos (which are so fun to look at, don't get me wrong, and that we occasionally do too!) to heartfelt blog posts that only felt 50% real and honest, Kiley and I wanted to create a place where people felt safe to share their stories and be real about their victories and struggles while maintaining a positive tone.
KILEY: I'm Kiley! I'm a 20-something from Kentucky, now living in New York City with my fiance. I got my degree in 2013 and have been searching for my "purpose" in life ever since. That is where a lot of my inspiration for Girl-ish stems from! When Christie and I began brainstorming the idea of this community over a year ago, I finally found something I could really get behind and pursue with passion. I hold on to that feeling of "purpose" every single day.
What is the mission of Girl-ish?
KILEY: Blogging has become something EVERYone dabbles in. Being an avid reader of lifestyle blogs, I finally got tired of seeing successful bloggers bringing a pro photographer along with them on their every day errands and putting forth this image of a perfect, care-free life. That just isn't real! That being said, our mission is to be a representation of what we are REALLY going through as twenty-something women. No filters, no photoshop, no BS.
CHRISTIE: Kiley said it perfectly! I would also add that the mission of Girl-ish is to tell stories truthfully and with dignity. You never know who you could empower or inspire by sharing your struggles, accomplishments, and/or realizations.
Girl-ish prides itself on promoting women and real issues that women struggle with. Have you found this to be difficult at times?
CHRISTIE: If I say that it's been difficult at times, I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way. There have been moments when a topic has been uncomfortable for Kiley and I but we know it's a story that's meant to be told and a story that could help other people. There have been times when we've posted a piece about a more sensitive/controversial topic and as a result, we've had people hide our posts from their timeline on Facebook. And to be honest, that's fine with me. What kind of life are we living if we never feel uncomfortable? If we're never challenged to think about things from a different perspective? To me, Girl-ish is about true and honest storytelling and that is something will always be difficult.
KILEY: I'm sure the day will come when we reach a challenging moment, but for now, we are lucky with our team of writers. These women are incredible. They know exactly how to stay upbeat, positive, and relatable while telling their real stories. A lot of times, I let myself get discouraged because I know we're missing a large audience who wants to see the 'pretty, perfect, unreal' lifestyle bloggers, but then our writers remind us how excited they are to share their stories, and I remember why we do what we do!
How do you feel about social media and using it to promote entrepreneurs and businesses?
KILEY: It's a balancing act for sure. Now that I am so immersed in the social media world because of Girl-ish, I'm realizing how saturated Instagram, especially, is with entrepreneurs and bloggers. To be successful, you have to carve your own path, and really be different. I'm constantly caught between appreciating social media for being free advertisement, and despising it for not being able to 'win' the game, haha.
CHRISTIE: Haha, Kiley and I are always talking about "the game" because that's all social media is- a game. You have to play it right to get the following you want, which is fine...and frustrating haha! I think that social media is an absolute necessity for promoting your business. It's how everyone is staying connected and like Kiley said, it's all about finding your niche and the thing that makes you stand out. With that being said though, one of the things Kiley and I have learned over time is that you don't have to do it all. If you don't feel like Twitter is necessary to get your brand out there or if you don't have an interest in really maintaining it, let it go. It's better to focus on the few social media outlets that you really enjoy and find beneficial to your brand than to stretch yourself thin trying to run an account on every platform available to you.
What advice can you give to female entrepreneurs?
KILEY: Don't fight who you are. No matter who out there in the entrepreneurial world you admire, avoid being "inspired" by their style or the way they do business, because, if it's already out there, you will NOT stand out. Keep searching until you find who YOU are, and then put that out there.
CHRISTIE: Be fearless in the pursuit of your passions and dreams. This is a hard one because everyone (myself included) struggles with the fear of failure and the fear of the unknown. But imagine all you could do if you truly believed that everything would turn out the way it's supposed to? As George Addair said, "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear."
What is a happy day for you?
CHRISTIE: A happy day for me starts with a cup of coffee and some cuddles with my dog, followed by a long walk with her. A happy day would mean I would have as much time as I want to work on Girl-ish, I would spend time with family and friends, and of course, partake in a little Netflixing. :)
KILEY: A happy day starts with a cup of coffee and a good attitude. I'm trying not to look forward to the weekend so much, because I'm letting too much of my every day life slip by being exhausted or in a bad mood. Every day can be a happy day, in some way, if I decide to make it so.