We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiara Mone’t Banks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kiara Mone’t, how do you think about risk?
I’ve always been a risk taker. I’ve always believed in jumping first and assessing after. Risk taking is literally what led me to some of the biggest opportunities in my career. What I didn’t realize when I was younger was how important it is to take CALCULATED risks, and how important it is to weigh those risks with your heart AND your head. Once you’re able to establish a risk vs reward balance, you will discover your own unique strategy that helps you to build your empire.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I told my mom that I wanted to be an actress at the age of 6. After begging to go to classes and auditions she finally enrolled me in The Company Acting Studio at the age of 15. From there I began to audition for plays and even got a chance to audition and get a callback from Disney! However, due to a lack of resources and connections, for a long time my acting career was just a hobby. I went through high school being featured in plays and even directed my first sold out show, and eventually I was offered a journalism scholarship to go to Georgia Southern University. It was there, that I realized my path was going to be unconventional. I realized school wasn’t for me, and I dropped out and moved back home only to find myself miserable working dead end jobs. After quitting my job as a bartender, I found myself homeless sleeping in McDonalds. From there, I realized that I was literally at rock bottom and that with God I could elevate and rise above my circumstances. This birthed my career and my drive to build something special. Now I’m just walking in my purpose and trusting that the fruits of my labor will not only feed me, but others around the world as well. I want my brand to represent for the people that had to overcome painful experiences but ultimately leveled up in the end.

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?
I love Atlanta! You can literally find something for every mood! On a perfect day I would probably take my bestie to Del Frisco in Buckhead for brunch, we would then hit up a few places like Ponce City Market or Little 5 points for the vibes and pictures, then head somewhere to network and create content, have dinner at Cafe Intermezzo followed by a nice evening at an upscale lounge.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The list of people that have helped me on my journey is beyond measure. There’s not enough time or space to express my gratitude. From my mom who taught me to be tough, to the friends that slipped me gas money to get to an audition or a meeting, to the legends in the game that gave me encouragement, it all shaped me to be the creator that I am. I’m so grateful for everyone that has ever supported me.

Instagram: @Kiaramonetbanks and @theblueprintison

Linkedin: Kiara Mone’t Banks

Twitter: Str8todabanks

Other: Be sure to listen to my new radio show “The Blueprint” every Sunday from 2pm- 3pm on ATL Talks Radio and Iheart Radio. Also follow the radio page @theblueprintison

Image Credits
Max K Visuals, Jelisa Raquel

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.