Well this is the easiest “Saturday Sit-Down” intro I’ve ever written. 🙂 Meet my blogging bestie, Kait! I debated just calling her and simply recording an hours-long phone interview instead of my traditional-style interview because there are so (so so so) many layers to her blog. Knowing the wealth of knowledge she has to share made it very hard to narrow down my questions!
Having someone like Kait in your corner is such a gift. She encourages (and shares!) my blog, gives me new ideas, and offers constructive criticism when necessary. As a friend, she’s the best. She texts me when she reads something I’ve written online and senses there’s more to the story. She has THE biggest heart, and if you can’t tell, I just adore her!
So without further adieu, meet Kait!
Q: Hi friend! In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about who you are. ☺
A: Is this like my elevator speech?! 😉 I’m Kait, a Hawaii-based freelance writer and the creative stylist behind CommuniKait, a lifestyle blog designed to inspire others to live their best lives. A serial jet-setter and tequila connoisseur, I can usually be found testing out a new recipe, shopping online, planning a trip or spending time with my husband and two chocolate Labradors at the beach.
Q: When did you create Communikait, and what was your original motivation to start it in the first place?
A: This is crazy, but this whole journey began in 2011 and was born in a tiny college apartment at Penn State. My blog was actually the final project for an internship I was doing with the NFL. It was originally called “Gridiron Lipstick” and chronicled my senior spring semester working for Penn State Football and then interning with the NFL at the Super Bowl in Dallas and then the Draft in NYC. It was an amazing time in my life. I went on to work for the NFL and maintained the blog as a way to keep in touch with friends and family when I moved away to my hometown in Pennsylvania to Detroit (Go Lions!). When I moved to Hawaii to be with my husband, Dane, I was really struggling to find a job and poured a lot of time into sharing our day-to-day lives on my blog. It has blossomed into something I never quite expected, but wouldn’t change it for the world!
Q: You have (and have had) so many layers to your career! I know you worked with the NFL in some realm after college. So, so cool! Tell us a little bit about what you did and what you enjoyed most about that experience.
A: I grew up in a family that loved football, so it felt natural to pursue a degree and career field in sports. I worked in the media relations department for the NFL, so while it sounds really glamorous, I worked a lot on transcribing interviews, working on the game day programs and editing written materials for the team. I was lucky to work 2 Super Bowls (Dallas + Indianapolis), 2 Drafts (both in NYC) and make an appearance in the movie “Draft Day” with Jennifer Garner and Kevin Costner. It was filmed at the actual NFL Draft where Arian Foster (former running back for the Houston Texans) plays Ray Jennings. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss eating, sleeping and breathing football and the rush you get from working in sports.
Q: I know you’re now a full-time work-from-home writer. What are a few tasks you work on every single day as a full-time content creator?
A: I feel like so many of my days are different, so I took a full week to catalog what I did repeatedly every single day and the #1 thing I consistently do is network. I am always talking to people, getting ideas from conversations (in person and online) and then talking to editors about how those ideas can become stories that fit their editorial needs. I also spend a lot of time behind my computer free writing (good for the soul and a true brain dump), planning blog posts and looking at the big-picture of editorial calendars. Crazy to believe that holiday content for big publications is already in the works and it’s only March!
Q: What are some of the struggles of working from home that many may not realize?
A: I think that anyone who has ever worked from home can commiserate on this one – and it’s that while working from home is ideal for so many reasons, it can be hard to focus on the tasks at hand. For me, it means always having a dedicated room for me to work from. I’m not the type that can easily sit on my couch and type something up. I become too distracted with things that need done around the house, playing with my dogs, or scrolling my phone. I need a space that demands my attention to work, detail and creativity, which is why having an office is so important for productivity. I also keep myself on a pretty regimented schedule, which helps!
Q: You have a passion and talent for sharing healthy gluten-free recipes. Tell us about your journey with cooking and baking this way.
A: In college, I realized I was getting sick all the time and really couldn’t pinpoint what was going on. After numerous tests at my doctor and more allergy panels than I care to admit, I realized I was allergic to gluten. While it can be challenging, I am very grateful that it has become more common over the past 10 years, which makes ingredients easier to find in stores without having to scope them out at specialty stores or scour the internet for hours like I used to. Learning to cook and bake gluten free is always a gamble, because recipes either flourish or flop, but it’s always fun for me to come up with new and interesting ways to make my favorite things – gluten free homemade pasta is my fave!
Q: You’ve had a ton of really cool experiences as a blogger when it comes to travel, hosting events, etc. What would you say are two or three of the coolest things blogging has allowed you to do?
A: This was hard for me to narrow down, simply because blogging has opened so many doors to me that probably would have remained shut for all of eternity had I not been in a professional funk when I first moved to Hawaii. I will always be grateful to the amazing team at Island Air here in Hawaii (an airline that, sadly, folded last year) for allowing me to be an ambassador and traveling to a few different islands for weekend trips with Dane over the past 5 years. I’ve hosted events with Kate Spade and Williams Sonoma, which are two of my favorite brands and last fall I worked on a project with Le Taha’a in French Polynesia, where Dane and I got to live our dream in an overwater bungalow for a week which was nothing short of dreamy.
Q: You are an Instagram wiz! What is your #1 tip when it comes to handling a business-related IG account?
A: Ha – well, thank you! There’s been so much chatter about Instagram lately, but one thing that has always worked well for me on that specific platform is being open and honest. I think so many of us here in the “internet world” so badly crave that real, genuine, human-to-human connection that has somehow been lost along the way with the curation of life on blogs, social channels, etc. I have been an open book about my sexual assault, how I reacted after the missile crisis here in Hawaii and so many other topics that don’t necessarily fit into a “look how pretty my life is” box, which has only strengthened the relationships I have with friends there. At the end of the day, we all want a tribe of people who know our flaws and accept us anyway. That’s what makes us human. You can’t relate to someone with a perfectly clean house, nonstop shopping trips, plated and stylized meals and head-to-toe designer clothes, so just being real and true to who I am has always been a strong pillar of who I am both on Instagram and in real life 🙂
Q: Where should new readers start on your site?
Want to know more about me? The Big FAQ post is for you! http://communikait.com/2017/10/big-faq-post/
Want to hear about my unconventional love story? http://communikait.com/2015/02/i-love-love-2/
Want to step inside my kitchen? http://communikait.com/2018/02/rainbow-sugar-cookie-bowls/
Q: Where can we follow you on social media?
Instagram – www.instagram.com/bykaithanson
Twitter – www.twitter.com/bykaithanson
Facebook – www.facebook.com/bykaithanson
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/bykaithanson
And just for fun…
- Running with your dogs or without? Oh my gosh without. My dogs are the biggest dopes and have to stop and sniff every single thing!
- Prefer frequent shorter trips or seldom “big” trips? Gosh this is so hard – can I pick both and just say..give me all the trips?!
- Radio or podcasts? Radio all the way!
- Snorkeling or hiking? It might shock you to know that I actually have some deep seeded fears of the ocean, so unless I can see my feet – hiking!
Thank you so much, Kait! <3
Is this your first time to Whimsical September? Welcome!
Hello! I’m Erica, the blogger behind Whimsical September. I created the “The Saturday Sit-Down” series in January 2017 as a way to give back to the blogging community and link readers with new bloggers whom they may share similar interests with. Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured on “The Saturday Sit-Down”. I promise you – there’s some GREAT ones!
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in the summer of 2018 and would love to feature you! Please email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM and I’ll be in touch with you. It’s totally free and a fun way to bring new sets of eyes to your blog. PS: Bloggers with any-sized following are welcome to be featured!