#SWW: A Conversation with Kayla Hollatz

I had the pleasure of speaking with my colleague, good friend, and soul sister Kayla Hollatz live on Google Hangouts. I came to her in June with an idea I had been mulling over for a few months: a video interview. I confessed to her that I had been scared to write this email for weeks but I knew this could be a magical beginning to something much bigger than both us, a much needed conversation. Keep reading to get a peek into some highlights of our conversation and then watch the video, you won’t regret it.

Cydney Irby: Who is Kayla Hollatz? Not who the world perceives you to be or what you believe because society says so, but who you are down to the nitty gritty?

    Kayla Hollatz: I feel like that’s a really big question, but I’m going to try to do it justice. Professionally, I help creative business owners with building community centered brands. My heart is really grounded in community and I’m so lucky to do this full time, on my own now. I’ve always been a multi-passionate person and we all have different facets of ourselves. There is a part of me that is totally entranced by poetry. I’m also really big into passion projects, anything that will allow me to creatively play. Self-expression is so incredibly important to your sanity.

Q: I stumbled across where you had sent in an application to our internship. I forgot about that! Is that how you originally found us?

    K: I know I had applied to Dream On Youth and although you had your fill of people, you reached out asking for us to stay in touch with an opportunity for future collaboration. Now I see you as a soul sister, a very good friend. It never would have happened if I hadn’t put myself out there. I’m glad we were both able to keep in contact with one another and I’ve now been a part of the Dream On Youth family for a very long time.

Q: #SelfWorthWednesday is all about celebrating people individually, as they are, at least in my opinion. But what does #SelfWorthWednesday mean to you?

    K: The biggest root of that is self worth. In order to understand the movement, you have to understand what self worth means to you. The hashtag started as a weekly thing on Instagram for about a year, and so, before this call, I looked over my own posts to see how they changed. I started posting on Instagram for Self Worth Wednesday by discussing the physical things like my eyes and my hair. As it progressed, I started highlighting things that I had been really self-conscious about like the hereditary dark circles under my eyes. I started realizing the things you zero in on aren’t necessarily the first things people see about you. The people you surround yourself with are going to find the beauty in you, even in the dark circles. There is always a way to feel beautiful, you just have to look within yourself, and accept the way you are.

    I had a lot easier time with this in college, when I met you, but this got a lot harder when I go out into post-grad life and I put an extra emphasis on work. I’ve always been work centric but I think it’s easy to let self care go to the wayside. If I don’t do it for myself, I’m not going to be the best leader I can be.

Q: Are there any core values that you take from #SelfWorthWednesday? Or anything that helps you with your own self care practice?

    K: I do have a lot going on but the only thing that keeps me sane is doing things in batch days. This means blocking off certain days for certain processes, like podcasts or calls. I like putting all of my coaching calls in one day so I can be on it but I also make sure they don’t go on too late so I can do something on my own. I need that time to read, journal, whatever after those calls. Just some time to be by myself. 

    The muse doesn’t always come to you so if you can get her down on the page, it’s a really good thing. That’s why I like to schedule days to invite the muse into my life. And I know we’ve talked before about “Big Magic”, which is a book by Elizabeth Gilbert that is recommended reading for just any human being really. She talks a lot about how inspiration comes to you.

Q: You had a #createlounge chat about the book and I cleared my entire night to attend because “Big Magic” changed the game for me. My biggest assumption was “it’s probably going to make me so much more fearless.” Gilbert started talking about living with fear, and it made me throw the word “fearlessness” out because I believe fear is also excitement. Knowing who you are and writing down what you want in life, even if you don’t take action just yet, is going to make you anxious. But guess what? It’s there in front of you. You wrote it down so you’re going to keep thinking about it!

    K: I think this conversation right now is so important. She also talks about “you can let fear be inside the car but you can’t let it drive.” Put it in the backseat, let it whisper in your ear. There are some good fears in your life that do protect you. Don’t kick fear to the curb and leave it there forever, learn to live with fear in your life and don’t let it control you. Have the confidence to say “I hear you” to your inner critic but “I am going to do it anyway.”

Q: Fear likes to bring up those things that you’ve pushed to the background. We try to live fearlessly and ignore it and keep things in the dark. But we forget, fear can spark something new, like collaboration. If you don’t think you can do something on your own, reach out! Fear just means you are human.

    K: Whenever you’re creating something, know you are worth it and understand that what you’re creating is allowed to take up space. You don’t have to live for the final result. You can live for the enjoyment of doing what you want.

To listen to the rest of the interview and see some hilarious moments, watch the video below:

I am a self starter extraordinaire with a knack for empowering women and inspiring men to live their best lives. I love cooking, roadtrips, sipping tea while I sit in my window seat, and making people smile. You can usually find me at the bookstore with my mom, eating brunch with my besties, at Target, or taking way too many snaps of my cat, Peanut.