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Conversations with the Inspiring Kinya Claiborne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kinya Claiborne.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kinya. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
• Both my mom and dad had aspirations of becoming a fashion designer as a kid, so it was almost destined that fashion would play a key role in my career path. I always had a passion fashion with a finger on the pulse of the latest trends. Eager for independence to save up enough money to buy my own car and indulge in weekend shopping sprees, I got my first job at 15 years old working at Macy’s in the Women’s Shoes Department, where I learned that fashion, is more than just clothes and shoes trends. It’s about creativity, confidence and creating your own personal sense of style. Balancing both work and school full-time from high school through college taught me the importance of work-life-balance, strong work ethics and the importance of setting personal goals.
• I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from California State University, Sacramento, and began working within radio, TV news and print publications before transitioning into corporate communications, and later launching STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine in November 2013.
• Accustomed to working in a fast-pace environment managing multiple priorities, I wear many hats! I am the founder and editor-in-chief of STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine, a style influencer, TV host, entrepreneur and fashion expert with a major passion for all things communications-driven! I launched STYLE & SOCIETY as an online platform to share news-driven content about entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, travel, food and red carpet events on a global platform.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
• The hardest part of starting a business is actually starting the process. I had a vision to create a platform that was multidimensional, represented diversity and covered the best in entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, food & drinks, travel, events, and philanthropy. It started out as a creative passion, then turned into a successful business.
• When launching STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine, the most challenging part was coming up with my business name and finding a domain that was available. The internet is so saturated with content, most of the initial business names you will probably think of, may already be taken. It took me more than a year to come up with the business name STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine. In the business name, STYLE represents more than just fashion….it’s about LifeSTYLE and defining your own personal sense of style. The SOCIETY is how we interact with one another through food, travel, entertainment, and more. Once I had the name secured, I created a logo, built the website and populated the site with content I had created over the past two years.
• Without a roadmap, mentorship or guidelines to follow, I researched how to start of business and learned how to build the STYLE & SOCIETY brand as I went through the process. There are so many free resources and tools available to help kickstart your business. A few resources I used when starting STYLE & SOCIETY includes GoDaddy for the domain and hosting, Freelancer for website design and logo, WordPress to build the website and DBA 4 Less to register DBA (doing business as) filing for business and trademark. Once you have all the essentials in place, maintaining your website for your business will become turnkey.
• People tell me all the time how envious they are of my lifestyle and the success I’ve been able to achieve. I tell them to turn their passion into a business and create life you want to live. Success isn’t measured by the amount of instagram followers or the money you make. Success is measured by setting your own personal goals, your happiness and the impact you make in the lives of others.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into STYLE & SOCIETY Magazine story. Tell us more about the business.
• With the continued rise of digital media, it’s importance to stay current on multimedia trends for our target audience of trendsetters, tastemakers, influencers and millennial opinion leaders. I had the vision of growing and expanding STYLE & SOCIETY into multiple platforms when it initially launched and now, a digital editorial video extension of STYLE & SOCEITY, I also co-executive produce and host “The StyleList,” which premiered June 2016. Now in our third season, the TV series delivers the latest fashion, trends, travel and pop culture in a fast-paced and entertaining format on ONX, an online platform featuring the best in video content for the multicultural millennial.
• Both a tastemaker and award-winning content creator, I’ve built a platform that allows me to do what I love while traveling the globe working with brands, hotels, and tourism boards on special events, editorial coverage and influencer programs.
• One of my proudest moments was my nomination for the 2017 Los Angeles Business Journal Fashion Award in the Influencer / Trendsetter category for my work with STYLE & SOCIETY. The awards acknowledge the top apparel companies and individuals that drive tremendous economic growth in Los Angeles. Most recently, I was also nominated the 2018 Los Angeles Business Journal Women’s Council Award in the Founder/Owner/Entrepreneur of the year category, honoring achievements by powerful women who make a difference throughout Los Angeles.

Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
A moment in history that empowered me as a woman of color was when Michelle Obama became the First Lady. From the moment Michelle entered the White House, she captured us with her flawless style, inspirational speeches and commitment in the promotion of healthy nutrition and the right to women’s education. One of the most progressive first ladies of our time, she made her mark coloring outside the lines of past traditional roles of first ladies. She is stylish, intelligent, passionate about her beliefs and taught us–when they go low, we go high.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Johnny De La Mora, Megan Duffy, Craig Blank, Evan Jackson, Marselle Washington

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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