Hobbies to Livelihood

Hobbies to Livelihood

At fifteen years old, I created my own e-commerce website called K. Gift Baskets, started a nutrition blog called NutriNerd back in ‘08, and started a little greeting card biz with my sister where she wrote heartwarming poems inside and I drew the artwork on the outside. I’ve always had that go-getter, entrepreneurial spirit instilled within me for as long as I can remember. Above all, in a quintessential nutshell, I loved creating and loved playing by my own rules. I knew what my strengths were (and my weaknesses), and I had a vision of what I wanted my life to look like, but I didn’t know how to get there.

That was the exciting part of it all. I  always loved storytelling, documenting, sharing experiences, and opening my world to the rest of the world. When social media emerged, I was hooked. Funny enough, ever since I was a little kid, my dream job was to be a journalist. I loved being in the know and keeping up with current events. Instead of watching Nick Jr, I’d watch the news with my parents. I found it so fascinating how the journalists would tell the stories and I loved knowing what was going on locally or around the world. As I got older, I felt the pressure of figuring out what I wanted to do with my life career-wise. I embarked on a variety of internships and jobs before and during college and  I was constantly networking everywhere I went. It didn’t matter where I was, I would leverage my story and share it with whoever I met. Longest story short, after college, I took a corporate job and halfway through it, I began to freelance for an online food and travel site (which became possible through my networking) That networking made my life and career come full circle, but that’s a whole story for another day!  Since I  always documented what I was up to and my adventures, (whether it was hanging out with friends or checking out new restaurants in the city), I was consistently uploading my experiences.  And this was way before “influencers” were even a thing. My interests organically aligned with today’s social media space.

One day a friend reached out to me and said, “Kimia, I’m so surprised you never started a food blog! You go to the best places to eat.” That’s when the light bulb moment happened — I rebranded my social media from my first name and last name and specialized it to be more specialized niche. I still have the notes in my phone, where I was brainstorming quirky names to rebrand myself such as, “Hungry Heart,” “Feels for Feels,” the list goes on and on. It was my cousin Parisa who came up with “Kimia’s Kravings” and she told me that when I grow, the term “Kravings” will still align beyond food, and boy oh boy, was she right. My rebranding occurred 2 years ago and I can’t begin to explain the endless opportunities this journey has brought for me. And as much as it has brought on, I’m extremely humbled and grateful for all of the incredible, mind-blowing, indescribable experiences, endeavors, lessons, and people this journey has brought to me. I am beyond excited for what’s yet to come. This all started as a hobby and now it’s part of my livelihood. I still pinch myself to this day and quite frankly, it never gets old. I built content for the fun of it because I’ve always genuinely enjoyed it, but now it’s a mix of pitching myself, getting selected for opportunities, and working with my agent to lock in deals, sponsorships, and meaningful partnerships.

 

Above all, I’ve learned that putting yourself out there, networking nonstop, and sharing your story with others is the catalyst to success and comes in handy in the next phase of my life as well.

Kimia Kalbasi

Connect with Kimia!

LinkedIn: Kimia Kalbasi

Instagram: @KimiasKravings

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