We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiah McBride and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiah, what’s your definition for success?
Success is one of those words that require a certain degree of introspection, for it means something different for everybody. At one point I may have defined success as reaching a certain level in my career, having a certain amount of zeros in my bank account, or being able to live a lifestyle that I never want a vacation from. And while those things can be byproducts of success, I ask myself once I achieve those things, then what? The ebb and flow of life shows us that what’s given can be taken away. The only thing we can control is how we handle ourselves in times of great achievement, and in times of despair. So I now deem success as being able to maintain my peace no matter what’s going on around me. Because from that place I can continue to give, create, build, achieve— or at the very least find reasons to keep going each day.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I was blessed with the gift of writing at a young age, and it’s something I’ve worked hard to cultivate over time. Whether it was in the form of interviewing talent for features articles, helping businesses and brands tell their story, or sharing my thoughts and perspective through my own creative ventures, I’ve always jumped at the opportunity to develop my voice and perfect my pen. While I’ve achieved what some may deem as success with my professional writing career, it’s my creative one that I’m most proud and excited about. Write On Kiah (the blog) was started as a creative outlet. At the time I wanted to speak on topics related to personal development and growth in the areas of life, relationships, and career, but I wanted to do so in a way that was more introspective as opposed to telling people what to do, or how to do something. I believe everyone’s journey is their own and without knowing another’s story I didn’t feel comfortable giving advice, nor did I feel like I was the best person to give it. I was (and still am) still growing, still learning, still figuring out my own life. So I focused on my own journey and wrote in such a way that was more personal, real, and raw while also allowing me to explore my voice and writing style. I wanted the reader to feel like they were reading a magazine, so I initially started five years ago with sourcing photos from photographer friends, and then later evolved to being in front of the camera and creating a more editorial experience to go along with the narrative. My blog was the first time I had a chance to really see the impact of my words. It’s opened up so many doors and has touched people in ways that I couldn’t have even predicted. While writing was always my passion, it wasn’t until the last few years that I felt like it really had a purpose beyond my personal desires. It’s that purpose that pushes me to keep going even when it gets tough. The creative life isn’t an easy one. I’ve often had to put my own ventures on the backburner as I took on other opportunities, sometimes for financial reasons, or had to deal with whatever obstacles I encountered along the journey. But knowing that it’s not about me, it’s about the mission, and serving those who I’m meant to serve is what drives me every day. And though I’ve been doing this for years, I’m really just getting started. I have so much to say in so many different ways, and the story is unfolding as I write this.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
In my opinion, the best time to come to Atlanta is in the summertime. The weather is warm and the vibes are like no other, especially on the weekends. On Friday we’re starting the day with a climb up Stone Mountain to clear our minds and prepare for the weekend festivities. Or maybe we’ll “Shoot the Hooch” and take a lazy ride down the Chattahoochee River in our kayaks. On the way back, we’ll stop at Desta Ethiopian Kitchen for injera and tibs. Later that night, we’re hitting the rooftop bar at Whiskey Blue for beautiful views as the DJ spins the night away in the background. Saturday we’d grab brunch and mimosas at 5 Church in Midtown or Negril Village if we want more of a Caribbean vibe. Then we’d head over to whatever day party or festival is happening and enjoy good music and good company. We’ll have dinner at Nakato’s before going out on the town–the night has endless possibilities. On Sunday after brunch at Superica on Krog Street we’d hit the east beltline for a stroll to Piedmont Park. On the way back we’ll grab some Jeni’s ice cream and enjoy the graffiti art in Krog Street Tunnel. Then hit the W Hotel for their rooftop pool party. The weekdays are a little more chill, so it’s the perfect time to be a tourist. We’d hit Edgewood for maple oat lattes at Chrome Yellow coffee shop, then walk over to Auburn Ave to tour the MLK Memorial, admiring the murals of Stacey Abrams and others along the way. On our way back we’d show respect and flick it up at the Nipsey Hussle mural, before grabbing a King slice at Edgewood Pizza for lunch. The Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and World of Coca-Cola are always options for those who’ve never been before, just as long as you don’t miss out on getting a view of the Atlanta skyline on SkyView. There’s so much to do and this is just a small taste of what a week in Atlanta can be.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, so many people have been a part of my journey. I’m greatly loved by close family and friends, and that love can look like them serving as support systems, cheerleaders, wise counselors, therapists, or confidants who keep it real with me even when it’s hard to hear. I’ve not yet had a formal mentor, but I’ve been able to learn from those ahead of me and around me through conversations and observation. And I certainly appreciate those like Necole Kane (Founder of xoNecole) who’ve given me opportunities even when I was still learning how to do the job. Beyond life experience, books have always been my greatest teacher and, perhaps, YouTube lol. Also, I’m grateful for the support of those who’ve never even met me in person. Those who encourage me through their emails, feedback, or sharing of my work. Every bit of support no matter in what form it comes is always appreciated, and I certainly wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without all of these people.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.