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Meet Trailblazer Heather Traska

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Traska.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been interested in performing and fashion for as long as I can remember. When I was 16 years old, I have gifted my first computer, a MacBook pro, and became obsessed with the internet, namely YouTube. Shortly thereafter, I began creating videos on my own channel. That following Christmas, I acquired a software called Final Cut Express and began teaching myself how to edit videos. By the time I was 18 years old I had created my first viral video, “One Woman A Cappella Disney Medley,” combining my love for music, a cappella specifically, beauty, fashion, and of course Disney!

Thanks to the success of that video I gained new friendships, incredible experiences, and a rather notable following. As incredible as my new success was, it came at a rather tumultuous time in my life. I experienced a lot of criticism, bullying, and harassment from my fellow classmates. These experiences impacted me immensely and helped me transform into the woman I am today. I am very passionate about mental health advocacy and plus-size representation, among other things.

Following the success of my YouTube channel, I was presented with the opportunity to study music in college on a very generous scholarship. I learned so much about music, a cappella, and most importantly myself. I am constantly striving to challenge myself, a trait that is very rewarding, but also quite exhausting.

Soon after graduation, I relocated to Los Angeles. I firmly believe this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am constantly surrounded by people who uplift me, challenge me, and invite me to hang out with them at Disneyland. What more could a girl ask for? Over the past year, my Instagram page has been my primary focus, on top of my time-consuming and intricate YouTube productions. I’ve really enjoyed having a platform to showcase my sense of fashion on a more casual and lower-production scale.

I once read a quote that had such an immense impact on me that I carry it with me daily. I am forever striving to “be the person you needed when you were younger.” I felt as if I never saw a pop star, princess, or model who mirrored the little girl I saw in the mirror. Today I try my best to be all three.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am learning more and more every day that the periods in my life where I have struggled the most have equipped me to handle the opportunities and adventures that immediately follow those dark periods. Though perhaps my life would have been easier had I not struggled through difficult circumstances, I don’t think I would change it. I am so proud of the strength I have built — nobody handed that to me. I earned it. I suppose in a way, what I am saying is — don’t be afraid of that darkness. Even if you don’t see the light and you’ve forgotten what it looks like, I promise it still exists. You will find it. Or perhaps you are the light, and you just need to turn it on.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about your business – what should we know?
I am well known for my One Woman A Cappella Medleys on YouTube. Most of these videos take me anywhere from three months to two years to create. I incorporate my love of singing with my love of fashion and pop culture. My favorite of this series is currently my “Evolution of Girl Groups” video, where I pay tribute to some of my favorite girl groups throughout the ages to create one massive Girl Power anthem. I arrange, perform in, edit, style, and produce each of these videos myself. From conception to release, I painstakingly obsess over every last detail, especially when it comes to hair and makeup. My videos are a bit of a marathon, and I am always so proud when I finally make it to the finish line on release day!

Which women have inspired you in your life?
I am a culmination of the women who raised me, befriended me, and inspired me. Women have been the greatest source of encouragement and inspiration in my life. I believe in intersectional feminism and am so grateful for all of the women in my life who have taught me what it means to be a woman.

From the moment I was born, my mother began teaching me that I was powerful. I’ve always been incredibly independent, and I owe that to her. She expected nothing less. The women who have befriended me taught me that no matter how much society tells women to pit ourselves against each other, we are always so much stronger together. Women who I have been finding great inspiration from most recently include Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Michelle Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, and Gina Rodriguez. This list changes frequently, and if I were to list every woman who has inspired me throughout my life, this article would be far too long (but a great read).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Cole Jenkins, Natasha Polis, Jessica McDonald

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