Women in Power / Why Keep Real is for Everyone

71Fr2S+6pAL._SL1131_If there’s a documentary I couldn’t recommend enough, it would be ‘Miss Representation‘ on Netflix. Exposing how mainstream media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.

Although I’m in the UK, sexism and under-representation of females in positions of influence or power exists. It has always existed, and continues to in every country in various degrees.

In the UK, women account for under a third of those in self-employment, and if women set up businesses at the same rate as men, there would be an extra 150,000 start-ups in the UK each year. Plus, for ever £1 a man earns, a woman earns 81p.

Nothing has really stopped me from starting up my own business, but I do wish there was a higher representation of successful women in the media. I’d like to think that we are becoming more aware of how the media influences us- and that what we see on our screens, isn’t necessarily something we have to take as the right way to see the world, or the right way to portray women.

However, those of a younger age, I believe do not have this awareness. When young girls are at school, they are constantly evolving, changing and growing as an individual. Girls are still trying to find themselves, and with the media being so accessible- is this making it harder for girls to find their identities?

 

This is why I’m starting my business. Keep Real stands for something good, not just in sustainability, it reflects equality as well as diversity as a brand. I’ve chosen the bands, artists or creatives to be involved with Keep Real; because they reflect a true representation of people. We’re not all size 8 for one. We don’t all have the same goals and aspirations, but that’s what makes us who we are. The media portray women (as well as men) as something that isn’t actually accurate at all. We are all on different paths, and it’s time to start portraying that more. Because people need something real. I know its corny, but Keep Real is something I truly believe in as a brand for everyone. It will continuously grow to reflect real people, and support folk’s wellbeing too.

The media portray women (as well as men) as something that isn’t actually accurate at all. We are all on different paths, and it’s time to start portraying that more.

There’s an extremely good article on how social media is harming the mental health of teenagers here, which I found so insightful. We’re changing the way we socialise and it’s putting so much pressure on teens, as well as everyone else.

It’s time we started making a difference to how the media affects us, and creating something for the people- not against.

 

Keeping’ Up With Kimberley – Progress and Procrastination

Hey you wonderful soul, how are you today? Thought I’d do a little personal post about what I’m up to. What a ramble I have for you!

I woke up early for a driving lesson, and started my day plotting and scheming for my business. I feel like I keep talking about my brand Keep Real far too much for my good- but I don’t necessarily share that much about it. I talk about it too much in my own little head, and realise that I’m not being productive!

After two years of saving up while at University, I finally purchased a MacBook Pro for my work yesterday. TheApple-logo-grey-880x625 software wasn’t up to scratch on my old laptop, and for the work/business I will be doing, it was time for an upgrade. It feels so good to spend my money on
something as wonderful as this (yes, I’m typing away on it as you read!). After all the hard work on my two part time jobs while studying for my degree, paying bills, paying rent etc- I saved up small amounts throughout the year. After something like this, it puts into perspective where your hard earned pennies go. Who needs clothes, make up or more pairs of Vans? Not me!

Now I have the right kit to work on, I finally feel like I can be more efficient with my time, and to get my head together. Since Christmas, it’s been quite a struggle for me to get going with Keep Real. So purchasing this, has put me into gear.

I’m still working on my  presentation for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, which is next Monday! Exciting stuff!! I also sent my final design to Heads Above The Waves for the Keep Real Collaboration. Also extremely exciting stuff!

I’ve also been reading an incredibly motivating book which I’m sure quite a few people have heard of, called ‘#GIRLBOSS’ by Sophia Amoruso  which has really helped me to take control of my negative thoughts about setting up my business. I cannot sing enough praises about this book. Thank you Sophia. Man. With the right determination, things will work out. Leave the negative folk behind, and the people that don’t push you to be the best version of yourself. Work hard, play hard. Focussing too much, can sometimes lead to a blurry goal. I just gotta keep at it, and not expect so much of myself all the time. A downfall I have to work on!

Anyway folks, thanks for reading my morning ramble. I hope you enjoy the day ahead!! Kill it! Own it! Rock it! And of course, keep it real!

Much love y’all xxxx

 

 

Interview with Si from Heads Above The Waves

Hey folks! Hope this post finds you well!  To start off a great week and all that Monday Motivation, I had the pleasure of interviewing Si from Heads Above The Waves, a non profit organisation providing hope and help full-logofor people who are struggling with self harm. I loved how I reached out to Si a while back, as he found me through my post over on Rethink Mental Illness, and messaged
me on Instagram. I truly look forward to seeing HATW improving mental wellness and providing a place to talk openly about mental health too. Big things to come!

1) So, for those who don’t know- what is Heads Above The Waves?

Heads Above The Waves is a non-profit organisation that raises awareness of self-harm in young people, promoting creative and positive ways of dealing with the bad days.
We talk openly about self-harm and depression.
We sell merch with a message behind the designs to help get people talking.
We run workshops to give people the chance to find what works for them.
We create content to let people know that hope and help exist.

2) Where did the name of your company come from?

I think Heads Above The Waves is quite simply a summary of what the whole ethos is – life is all about figuring out the best way to keep your head up and stay afloat amidst whatever waves life might be throwing your way. I think the name might’ve also come from me mis-hearing the opening of ‘Mike Kennedy is a Bad Friend’ by The Wonder Years.

3) Who is Heads Above The Waves aimed at?

HATW is mainly aimed at young people aged 11 – 25 who are struggling to cope, but really, I believe that a positive message that hope and help are out there for you can apply to anyone. Personally, I think there’s enough negative stuff on social media – which pretty much everyone is on these days – so it can be a nice break to see something positive as you’re scrolling through your feed.
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4) What inspired you to start HATW?

Heads Above The Waves essentially came about from me wanting to share my story and experience of how music helped pull me out of depression and self-harm. The goal really was to let other people know that it can, and does, get better. For me, it was specifically finding pop-punk music, and the positive message in a lot of the lyrics, as well as actually playing the drums.
But Heads Above The Waves is all about finding what works for you and accepting that one size doesn’t fit all. Not everyone plays the drums; not everyone makes music. But everyone’s got something that they do that helps keep them positive, regardless of whether they’re struggling with self-harm or some other battle. The more people I spoke to about it, the more I found that different people with different experiences, cope in different ways, so I wanted to build a collection of these experiences as well as positive things that I’ve drawn inspiration from to share with people, so that anyone can be inspired.
Heads Above The Waves is all about finding what works for you and accepting that one size doesn’t fit all.”

5) Tell me a little bit more about why you chose to raise awareness in mental health.

From my personal experience, I found that a lot of stuff out there talking about mental health was either quite cold and clinical or a bit childish and condescending – I wanted to make something that could speak to young people on their level. I’ve got this silly, and grammatically awful saying that I keep coming back to: everyone is people.
We’re all human beings, trying to figure out how to live life and cope when the odds get stacked against us – however big or small that may be. Even if you’ve never experienced a full blown issue with your mental wellbeing, you still know how much it sucks to feel sad. My main aim is to help everyone find what works for them to pick themselves up when they fall down, as well as trying to encourage an atmosphere of people helping other people out.

6) Do you have any tips on keeping mentally healthy? 

It’s obviously going to be different for everyone, but I’ve got a couple of things that I do to try and keep myself on top of things.

I write lists – lists of stuff I need to get done (seriously, it’s so satisfying to cross stuff off a to-do list) – lists of things that are going wrong and what I can do about them – lists of just generally what’s going on with my life (my office is covered in post-it notes). It helps me keep visual track of what’s going on, and stops everything going too wild in my brain.

I also play drums – practising repetitive rhythms is actually really good for distracting me and focussing my brain. Plus if I’m getting worked up and angry, I thrash out on a drum set and it helps.. but probably not so good for relations with the neighbours.
And something that I struggle with but I’m trying to get better at is actually giving myself some ‘me time’. Even if that’s just an hour in the evening to play some PlayStation or have a bath. Sometimes you need to shut off from other things that are going on, and not worry about being around other people or being productive – and most importantly not feeling guilty for taking time to yourself.
That’s just a couple bits that work for me, but what’s most important is to keep on trying out different things until you find what works for you.

 

“My main aim is to help everyone find what works for them to pick themselves up when they fall down, as well as trying to encourage an atmosphere of people helping other people out”

7) What is your favourite aspect of running your own business?

D’you know what’s funny? I’ve got some friends who run their own businesses, and they’ve always been the types who have wanted to run their own businesses – but I haven’t. I think ‘entrepreneurship’ kinda fell on me. I always assumed I’d come out of uni and get a ‘real’ job and just live out a typical suburban life. Yet, here we are. So the best bit for me, is probably the fact that most days are a little bit different and new and unknown. It’s exciting. It’s also utterly terrifying. But I think that the best of you can come out when you’re outside of your comfort zone, so I keep on pushing myself and learning new things pretty much daily.

8) What are your plans for HATW in the future?

Really the plan for HATW is to grow and spread and impact and hopefully make a difference to even more people. We’ve got our new site launching, we’re sharing a range of ways of coping through social media, we’re branching out and running workshops in even more schools. So the main hope for 2016 and beyond is that HATW can become a more practically useful resource to help people find their way of coping with the bad days.
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Please go and check out Heads Above The Waves on their website, twitter & instagram.

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #13

Hey folks! Sorry it’s been a few days since I did a post- but with life getting in the way (as it does!), it’s hard to find a time to sit down and type some good things up! So here’s what I’ve been getting up to…

Next Tuesday I will be on BBC Radio 4 with Claudia Hammond for ‘All in the Mind’ discussing mental health in teenagers. Exciting times!!! I will post a link nearer the time, but if you’d like to check out the wpid-img_20151019_194311.jpginfographic, you can do so here. Discussing on a panel of wonderful souls concerning mental health was such a humbling experience. Raising awareness is so important, and it was nice to share parts of my story too. Be sure to tune in on the 27th at 9pm!

I’ve really been focusing on establishing my goods brand Keep Real as a concrete idea, ready to process all my thoughts and ideas into something I think has masses of potential. Once it’s out there, I really hope you love it! Just gotta have the drive and faith to create ❤ I’ve been taking in all the inspiration from my lovely home in Yorkshire, which you’ll see through the brand as a collection.

This week wpid-img_20151020_093301.jpghas also been part of a job search, as I had my second interview at Hollister Co as a Manager in Training. I have my fingers and toes crossed- and I am extremely thankful for whatever way it sways. What a beautiful brand to be interviewed by!

I’m taking every day as it comes, going with the flow and being kind to myself. I am feeling all kinds of good fuzzy vibes lately, and I hope it continues into next week.

I hope this post finds you well, and that your week has been good to you so far!

Sending all my ❤ to you, and as always – keep real! x

You Can Take The Leap!

Good Afternooooon, how are you? I thought today, I would do a post on where I am now aspiration/career path wise, to where I first started thinking of my own business. It has just occurred to me, that I don’t share so much about how I got to where I am. And that isn’t without it’s hard work! Things do not happen overnight, and you just gotta roll with the day, the here and now. I am not saying I am successful or anything like that (who knows, maybe in a few years huh!), but I am saying that I am content with where I think my chosen paths are taking me. Overcoming mental health issues played a part too, so hear me out.

Anxiety held me back from a lot of what I really wanted to do. During my time at University, I had therapy outside of my degree, but also self awareness and personal development lectures and seminars as part of my course. If I didn’t have both of these things, I don’t think I’d be doing what I’m doing today. I gradually became more confident in my abilities, slowly gained awareness of my weaknesses and strengths, and realised that it’s possible to achieve anything as long as you believe that you can. One hundred percent of the time, the only person stopping me from achieving was myself. Mindfulness personally helped me take a step back, and learn to pass each moment not worrying about the future, so I eventually found myself focusing on the present.  So what was happening right here, right now?

I started designing in my spare time, developing scribbles into more scribbles on tote bags and t-shirts. Maybe my hobby could be a business! I took the leap, walking with my scrapbook in hand to the local art gallery in Huddersfield, to see if I could put my work up in there. Hey Presto! They accepted, and that’s where it began. My confidence boosted, I continued to draw. At this point, I had no idea what I wanted to do career wise. I liked to draw, and maybe others would like it too!

I eventually found myself drawing more than studying for my degree, it also kept my anxiety at bay too. In the space of a year, I put myself and my work out there. Even though my vision as a business wasn’t clear, I went for it anyway. During the year of 2014, I exhibited my work at the annual Art Walk Exhibition, my work was up in two local stores, amazing arty connections with some fantastic illustrators and creatives made, had my first big commission for a small menswear company down in London, Levi’s looked at my work a lil’ bit and I created my first mini collection.

*phew* – what a year! All of that while studying, and having two part time jobs.

So, fast forward to the present. I’m working on my business plan. It’s getting prettttyyy serious. I have such confidence in my business idea and what to do. It’s very much under wraps (although sneaky behind the scenes is on my Instagram), I’ve been blogging about mental health more, and working with the charity Rethink- where I blogged for them regarding Anxiety and University. My work is more refined and it feels sooo good to have a solid style that I’m happy with. I was asked to go down to BBC Radio 4 in London for All in the Mind (which you’ll get to know more of soon, it’s a wee bit of a secret right now!), and I’m in the process of being interviewed for a Manager in Training at a certain amazing company. Exciting!

You can take the leap into whatever your heart is set on. You wanna start your own business? Go for it. You wanna change your career path? Make it happen. You don’t have to have a clear vision straight away, but once your heart is set on something, I implore you to take the steps in making it happen. In the last few months, I have only just realised what I want to do business wise. It’s taken research, trial and error, plus a substantial amount of patience to get to this point here. It’s only just beginning.

If you believe you can do it, you will do it. I believe in you, because you have never ending potential. You got this. ❤

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #11

Hey you! Here’s a little update post on what’s been going on recently. As some of you have gathered, if you follow me on Instagram that is! I have been profoundly inspired by my long weekend away in Stratford. I took some real good photos while down there, so it’s been lovely to look back on them!

These past few days, I’ve been sketching and scheming my way through designs (take a look at the photos in this post!), looking at internships for next summer (It’s looking like Edinburgh is gonna be the place!) and applying for full time positions in the City. Just trying to gather all my little ideas up and move forward. I’ve been writing a lot and trying to manage a plan for my business. It’s been quite hard for me to develop ideas further, as I’m quite new to starting up my own brand! So I’m being kind to myself and taking it easy. It will progress and Keep Real will be what I want it to be. I just gotta believe in it ❤

I hope you’re having a lovely, and as always – keep real! x

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Caught Up In Social Media

Hey folks! How y’all doing? I thought I’d post a little personal one for tonight about how I’m feeling recently. Now, I do realise that most of my posts are centred around mental wellness and tips on how to stay all good- but that doesn’t mean that I personally feel good all of the time! It’s impossible, and feeling rad comes with feeling bad too. They’re hand in hand, and it’s knowing the balance between the two that brings a certain harmony. Just being mindful of your thoughts and feelings allows you to go with your natural flow ❤

Even though my anxiety is for me, very tame and rarely rearing it’s head these past couple of years, there does seem to be a lil’ anxiety coming from social media lately. If some of you follow me on Instagram or even on Tumblr, you can tell from the content, I like to post photos related to my day to day activities or illustration! However, if I’m feeling good I’ll go ahead and post a ‘seflie’ here and there. But sometimes, I feel a real sense of being caught up in the world of social media. Clicking and scrolling my way through pages of content, it can be real hard to put my phone down.

Caught yourself looking at notifications for recognition or those ‘likes’ received? You’re not the only one. I’ve stopped notifications on my phone from social media now, however with my business Keep Real- I feel like I have to be constantly on the ball with it. It’s trying to find the balance between reality and your platforms online. Sometimes, finding that balance is tough. With our world communicating constantly through different networks- it really is hard to keep up.

We’re in an age where Facebook is just a given. When someone tells you they haven’t got a Facebook- you’re absolutely astounded! Why haven’t they got a profile!? Oh…you don’t have a Twitter? Are you living under a rock!?!? You have to take a step back and realise how involved you are in the world of social media. Is it taking up quite a big part of your day? Do you feel like you cannot go a day without checking your platforms?

I’ve been asking myself these questions, and feel more at ease with my web presence, and in general with my online platforms. Log out, see the world around you. Because it’s flippin beautiful and you’re missing it.

As always, sending my love to y’all- and keep real! x

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #9

Hey folks! How’s your day going so far? I must apologise for my lack of posts over these few days- but holy moly I’ve had a busy week!

Let’s start with yesterday. My cousin Ricky got married!!! What a beautiful wedding it was, it was so lovely to see wpid-img_20150907_084814.jpgthe family and get all dressed up. Congrats to my cuz, you dah man!! Wishing you all the best for the future Mr & Mrs Robinson! They even had a photo-booth at the wedding, so here’s my family in the booth with some of the props they had on the right, and a photo of my cousin Ricky with his beautiful wife Lindsay! Feeling all the love and wishing them all the happiness in the world!

Amongst all the celebrations, I’ve been working and seeing my girlfriends, as well as having a business meeting. It’s been quite the week- but so so humbled and just feeling all the goodness ❤ I received a lovely email from the Golddigger Trust in Sheffield, who work with issues in self esteem and sexual exploitation in young people. What a wonderful charity! Their current projects include ‘I’m The Girl I Want To Be’ and ‘Made of More’, which are courses that support young people challenging issues concerning self esteem, social media, sex and relationships, and their aspirations. So I’m sending off a little Keep wpid-img_20150906_221436.jpgReal Package for their reward boxes. I hope they like them!

Speaking of Keep Real, the business meeting was long overdue- but at the moment I’m creating a business plan and trying to get all the nitty gritty done. My lack of design posts on Instagram is because of that! Ya gotta do all the important stuff first!

Anyway, I must dash, business-y things await!

Sending all the goodness to you, and as always- keep real! x

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #8

Hello my lovelies! Man, this week has been rad so far! I’ve been having such a wonderful time and there’s so much to be getting on with. Here’s what I’m excited about lately and some updates on my adventures.

I got a beautiful little email this afternoon from Rethink Mental Illnesscropped-wpid-img_20150525_132636.jpg, saying that they are going to publish my post sometime next week! I’ll keep you informed when it is up on their page so you can check it out! It’s all about my experiences with anxiety and how it is possible to come out of the other side. It is possible to break through those barriers you feel you have ❤ I thought to share my experience so it could hopefully help some folk. Plus, I’m training for my fundraising with Rethink- so I’ll be posting up a JustGiving page real soon!

Plus some exciting news concerning my garment and goods brand Keep Real (follow on Twitter and Facebook). Designs are being finalised and selected for the brand new collection. I am so excited about these dotwork illustrations!! I able to tell you that the new collection will be called ‘Brotherhood/Sisterhood’.cropped-wpid-img_20150608_1012111.jpg It’s all about feeling real good, doing good and celebrating the bond we all have with each other. We all stand together. We shouldn’t be tearing our friends down or making other people feel bad because they are on different paths- we should be supporting each other and pushing ourselves and everyone around us to be the best they can be. We are part of a brother/sisterhood and collectively, we all have the ability to stay true to ourselves and be humble in our walks of life. We gotta keep real. 

I will keep you all up to date with my ‘Keepin’ Up With Kimberley’ posts- so have those lovely eyes peeled in your inboxes or wordpress readers!

P.s it would be awesome if you could fill this quick poll in for my blog ❤ Sending you all the love and posi vibes!

 

Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #7

Helloooo lovely people! Sorry for the lack of posts- but it was my 21st birthday yesterday (woo!). So I’ve been out celebrating the last few days and spending time with the family. Very blessed to say the least ❤ wpid-img_20150711_092915.jpg

So apart from that what have I been up to!? I submitted a piece for Time To Change as a ‘StoryShort’ which is a little post about my experiences with mental health. My little post may be up at the tail end of Summer, so I’ll keep you posted on that! I think it’s important to share such things, as even an experience like mine could help someone feel not so alone. Anxiety used to be quite a big part of my life in college, but now I feel more confident than ever. Mindfulness has helped a lot, if you’re feeling a bit stressed or find it hard to calm down your day- check out Frantic World.comIt’s a simple form of meditation that can make you feel wonderful inside and out.

With Keep Real, the designs have kicked into overdrive lately, and it’s been such a wonderful experience seeing the collection come together in quite an unexpected way. My style has definitely come through, I am so pleased with the outcome. I have a lot of planning to do, but the designs are grounded and are 80% ready to go! After I’ve posted this, I will be taking down the online store so I can focus on building up a rad as hell site.

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Also with kimmykeepfit, I have been planning my runs and exercise to really go for it. It’s been quite hard lately with the weather, as well as my celebrations too! But it’s important to be patient and be kind to myself. Incorporating mountain bike riding will also help. I used to go mountain bike riding quite a lot in my early teens, so my Dad has offered to go with me as he’s so passionate about it himself. I love how my family push me to do whatever I set my mind to!

Anyway, that’s it for now! I hope this post finds you well.

Keep Real xxx