Kiara Blanchette is a force of nature. That’s what shone through the most during our brief interaction with her. She’s a vibrant woman who’s juggling more entrepreneurial projects than you can shake a stick at – and the most fascinating part about all this? She’s carved out a niche in so many different fields.
She first forayed into business at just 18 years old, when she decided to start a blog profiling inspiring, badass women. After publishing more than 400 of these profiles, it was time for Kiara to have her own.
Kiara is a creative soul. It’s the common thread that unites all of her projects. “For me, it would be more difficult not to express myself than to let my creativity run free,” she said. “When I create, when I write, I feel totally connected to my true nature. It comes naturally to me – I share many aspects of my life publicly, but it’s also because I’ve managed to surround myself with a community that accepts me as I am.”
These days, Kiara is a content creator, beauty product expert, podcast and poetry night host, freelance journalist, model, comedian, and much more. But above all, she’s an author and a poet. “I may not be a social media content creator forever, but writing will always be a part of me. When I was younger, I set a goal to publish my first book before I turned 18. It finally happened on my birthday. Six years later, my third title will be available soon.”
Writing has been an important part of her life in many other ways. Kiara started a blog called Pur Opulence a few years ago, just like so many other people around that time, right? Well, the difference is Kiara’s blog evolved into a full-blown media outlet. At the height of its popularity, it employed a team of 50 content writers.
While its initial purpose was to publish portraits of women, Kiara’s site took a turn towards lifestyle and beauty content after meeting with other bloggers. “In the beginning, I didn’t want to create content that was all about me. I figured nobody would be interested. I had a passion for beauty and wellness products, but that was something I kept to myself. As I edited blogs written by collaborators, though, I learned more about that world. Eventually, I also started receiving PR boxes. Instead of keeping all of the products I received, I added a free “shop” called The Editor’s Closet to my blog. My collaborators could log in, choose three products, then write an article about them. It was like a mini-distribution centre connecting brands to creators.”
At that point, Kiara was 19, working full time, studying business management, and running Pur Opulence. “Eventually, the blog burned me out. I decided to shut it down even though it was successful. That’s when I turned to social media instead. I slowly watched a community start to form around my content – people were interested in how I was living my life.”
“I never questioned the fact that I was sharing my authentic life online. Whether I was happy, sad, alone, or in good company, I wanted to show people that there are different ways to live a good life, no matter your circumstances. It’s a two-way relationship. When I share difficult things, I receive so much support. And I’ve also had the opportunity to help others. Knowing that I’ve helped other people get through their breakups by sharing my own… that’s priceless.”
Kiara maintains this same transparency in all areas of her life. She gives herself the right to try different things and let her passions lead the way. We tend to put people in boxes – especially online. Within a few seconds and with a few swipes of your thumb, you’ve solidified your impression of someone. But in reality we’re all complex multi-faceted beings.
It’s easy to understand how transitioning from one box to another – from modeling to poetry, from influencing to entrepreneurship – could cause friction. And not all of us are bold enough to face that head-on. “When I step into a new space, when I decide to try something different, I feel judged sometimes. I’m not always taken seriously. Six months ago, I started doing stand-up comedy. Sometimes, I feel like I don’t belong. But I think it’s important to make space for yourself regardless of people’s judgment.”
“I let my passions guide me. I let my true nature take the wheel. I know how hard I work and I know my worth. To pass judgment, people need to discredit all of the efforts I’ve made and everything I’ve accomplished. How could I possibly take their opinions seriously?”
To have internalized this lesson, and to have so much confidence in the authenticity of her nature, is impressive in itself. Kiara even takes things one step further by making sure others can also live their dreams. “For four years, I’ve been organizing monthly poetry nights. I wanted to create a safe space where anyone could find the courage to get onstage. Whether you’re an acclaimed poet or you’ve never touched a microphone in your life, you belong. And above all, you have the right to make a mistake.”
“A few years ago, I was insecure and very hard on myself. I thought that I had to push beyond my limits if I wanted to be a good person. To be perfect. Since then, I’ve learned to let go and go easy on myself. I do my best when I’m kind to myself, and that’s enough. That’s where my confidence comes from.”
Her advice? “Get to know yourself. Take the time to stop, to let life’s constant buzz fade to silence. Dig deep, explore. Then forget the rest. If you know you’re a good person, if you’re living the most honest expression of your nature, that’s more than enough. We go further when we act with self-compassion. No matter what, some people will like you, and others won’t. That’s life. Deal with it and move on.”
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