Meet Our Professional Homegirl of the Week: Kiana Amber
1. Social media :
@thedatingnetwork (podcast on IG),
Kiana St Louis (Facebook),
2. What do you do and what does a normal day looks like for you?
During the day, I work as an Executive Assistant to the SVP and VP of Handbag and Accessories Design at Kate Spade New York (I'm recently on my way to promotion). When I'm not working in fashion, scheduling meetings, and running around Midtown like a crazy person, I write. I am a published author of my first book entitled 100 Days of Dating dedicated to understanding and relating to black love. My work can be found on the Palladium-Times in Oswego, NY, 99U (Adobe's Creative Magazine), Z Publishing Houses 2017 Best Emerging Poets of New York, and so much more. I've been writing professionally since my sophomore year of college, which is about six years now. Writing brings me clarity and I believe it is my gift to leave an impact on this world.
A typical day in my life is I wake up around 5 am and I try to exercise before anything else (that doesn't always happen but I try! lol) along with daily devotion. Building and maintaining a relationship with God is a priority to me and the only way I am going to be successful is by putting my whole trust in Him. Having a balance between my physical and spiritual life is important to me.
I begin my work days at about 9 am depending on my executives morning meetings. As an Executive Assistant, I am the front line of defense for the handbag design teams at Kate Spade. I set and manage top-level calendars and meetings with the Brand President and Creative Director, strategize on special building projects, and manage all email and team communication.
Plus, I have been working on marketing my new book, 100 Days of Dating. I have been calling and emailing different black-owned bookstores in different cities and have single-handedly set up my first book tour which starts this Saturday, October 13th at the Sisters Uptown Bookstore in Harlem, New York. I will be reading, signing and promoting my book across different black communities. I'm also working on launching my first book giveaway and an initiative called #blackgirlsread that will launch in November. Lastly, I will be launching my podcast The Dating Network in February 2019. My side projects are just as important to me as my 9-5 so everything I do is with intention and I am dedicated to pushing the importance of literature and bringing life back to print, through one black female author at a time.
3. What motivates you?
I'm motivated by the climate of our country to be the best version of myself every day. I am already thought of as less than because of the color of my skin. Before opening my mouth there is already a perception of me that I can't control simply because of the way society has developed and even more so because of the man who sits as our president. I want to leave an impact here and as mentioned before, I will do that through my writing. I don't know if I'll have children but I do know that my words can and will be left here as my legacy.
4. How do you balance with your career, side hustles, and your social life?
Girl, I'm still trying to figure out the right balance! But I do think I've gotten a good hold on it. I think it's really about prioritizing my wants and needs. I want to do well at work and build my career in fashion so when I'm on the clock, I'm locked in and making the most of my eight to ten hour days. I want my book to thrive so I make time to work on it every day along with working on my other side projects. I never want to lose that momentum. On the weekends, I socialize with my friends, attend church, maybe a party/event, or even catch a flight.
5. What does Professional Homegirl mean to you?
Professional Homegirl to me means being that friend that might not has all the answers but will know where you can find them. This kind of homegirl, is a friend, a mentor, a teacher, a guide and maybe even someone to turn up with! The big thing is knowing you can come to this homegirl about any and everything and feel safe.
6. What advice would you give to young women that want to pursue their dreams?
My advice to young women who want to pursue their dreams is this - DO IT! Whatever you're working on, whatever big idea you have, whatever great thing you've got stashed away waiting for the right moment to share with the world share it now, do it now, our time is now! This is the era of the woman. We are so fearless, so strong, so determined and more powerful than we've ever been despite our colors and differences. It's about time we join in and start taking success for ourselves. I had no idea I'd be a 25-year-old author until I did it. I made a vow not to stand in my own way and I won't do it and I encourage my beautiful young women to do the same. Surprise people, shock yourself! Do that thing that makes you lose sleep, and above all else protect your heart, for everything you do flows from it. This is our time.