At Melanin Girls Club we fangirl over any womxn that uses her gifts to elevate those around her. Mother, wife, stylist, and owner of Kiarra Logan Looks is apart of the #MelaninGirlsHustleClub following her passions, living her authentic truth through fashion, and pushing past societies barriers of ageism following your dreams while doing it.
Tell us about who you are and where you are from?
I was born in Kokomo, Indiana but lived majority of my life in Indianapolis, Indiana. In college, I majored in apparel merchandising and wanted to be a buyer. I spent time at the Abercrombie headquarters with an internship in product development where I created apparel which was great. After college, I secured a job with Altria, as a Territory Sales Manager in Columbus, Ohio. I was making really good money, but I wasn’t in the fashion industry and in turn was miserable. I ended up getting pregnant with my daughter Kylee after being an Altria employee for almost two years, and at 7 months pregnant decided to quit. I went from working full time to being a stay at home mom. I knew that because of my husbands, then boyfriend, career at the time that it was best we raise Kylee together. So I packed up and headed to Europe full time. I gave birth to our second child, Dallas in 2014, and we got married in 2015. A backwards way to do things for some, but it was perfect for our family and our traveling lifestyle. I can’t imagine not traveling the world with the 3 of them.
I see you travel a lot. Does travel influence your style in any form? Traveling through Europe influenced my style definitely. I also pay a lot of attention to style in Asia. At one point, while living in Tel Aviv, I had a designer that made custom clothes and would bring somet my visions to life. Until living there, I never really thought of Tel Aviv as a fashionable place, but it was pretty cool.
Tell us about your brand and why you started?
I was always helping to dress other people. Friends and family would call me asking what to wear, and I knew I was good at helping them. I also felt like this was something different than a boutique or online store, which I had considered in the past. I am really enjoying what I do and it makes me happy. One day I will open a store, one day.
Were there any hurdles you faced in the beginning?
Mainly fear. I had not done anything outside of my home in years. Am I too old? Should I have done this earlier? If I had loved myself and believed in myself enough to do this earlier, where would I be? Are other people going to see this and not like this? I may not be a stylist for everyone, but I will be for someone. My own fears were my biggest hurdles in beginning my brand.
How do you stay motivated as a brand owner?
I know that God would not have given me the talent if he did not want me to use it. I felt like this was finally my way to use my natural talents and make money at the same time. Getting paid to do something I love is a dream come true.
Do you believe age or timelines matter in following your dreams? Do you believe ageism is a thing?
Not at all. Now that I’m here, I don’t. I don’t feel old. People work until 65 or older, and then retire. I still have time to decide that if Kiarra Looks is not what I want to do I can go to the 9-5.
There can be a lot of stigma about who needs a stylist. When would you suggest someone could use the benefits of a stylist? Do you need to have a certain budget to use one?
No, there isn’t a certain budget to use. I am trying to work with anybody that wants to look good, feel good about what they wear, and improve their style. I know that I will not be the perfect stylist for everybody, but my goal is to be the best stylist I can be for anyone who decides to use my services. My job is to eliminate the stress of planning outfits, and it does help when client are open to trying new styles.
What would be your best advice to someone who wants to dress nice but feels the pressures of not having the largest budget?
You can look good at any budget, and take pride in what you wear. Some of the most stylish people I know don’t wear designer at all. I take pride in being able to say that my client has pieces that are from forever 21 mixed with something from Saks. There are so many people that have large budgets for outfits and end up looking crazy. A budget has nothing to do with looking good. When your budget is small you have to learn how to remix pieces. Social media has people so skewed that they think they can only wear things one time. I love outfit remixes.
Have you ever encouraged someone to try a look that was outside of their comfort zone but they ended up loving it?
If they are not open to doing something new it's limiting to your creativity, and some people are not open. I have always had a passion for this, and of course studied it in school so my hope is that people trust me. When a client doesn’t want to listen to me at first, and then they do, it ends up like “I see the vision”.
Everything happens for a reason. What can you say looking back on your journey was intentional about beginning your brand at a later stage in your life? What growth did that space allow for in yourself to influence who you are now?
I feel like it allowed me to realize that I deserve to do something for myself. I am still learning as I go. Learning that I deserve to have happiness both as a mom and as a career woman. Mom guilt is real, but I’m learning to balance things and feel good about all the roles in my life.
How do you practice self-care and giving love to yourself while being a mother, wife, and business owner?
One thing is working out. I realized that I feel better and am a happier person when I’m in shape. I am a better mom when I take the hour of time to myself for working out. My mood sets the mood of the house. If I am feeling good, my home is feeling good. Even when I was overseas and it would be only me and the kids, I would do workouts at home. I know that taking time to work out so that I can be the best version of myself is absolutely necessary.
What would be your best advice to someone who doesn’t feel they have found their purpose or feels lost?
Work on it a little bit each day. Give it 20 minutes each day. 30 minutes each day. Do the work. My hope is that my work ethic translates into clients. If I can only give Kiarra Looks an hour each day,, then that’s what it gets. At least I gave something. Give your dreams some of your time!
Number one fashion DON’T right now?
Tying purses around your waist! When I moved to Spain with Kylee belt bags were in and that was years ago. Europeans are some of the most fashionable people. I met wives from all over and this lady had a Gucci fanny pack that was good for moving around with a small child. I paid 400 euro for it in 2010. Everybody has been wearing them since the Gucci revival. Some people have such an urge for this fanny pack look that they are wrapping cross-body bags around their waist to make it a fanny pack. It's so tacky. Don’t tag me if you’re wearing that!
The fashion industry can impose many beauty standards on women.How do you encourage your clients to exude their confidence from within with their looks?
You have to figure out how to dress for your size and look your best at whatever size you are at. Why torture yourself based off what society says? Forget them, and look your best at your size right now. I want to use my knowledge to help people look their best at any size because everybody’s shape is different. I’m not going to put something on a client that doesn’t feel good. I can’t feel good about myself if my clients look a mess. I share my personal style to give people insight into who I am, but it's also hard because sometimes people want to make my look for them. I really try to explain things that look good on different shapes and builds.
One thing you love about yourself?
So a while back I decided that I was going to start being thankful for random things that I would just dismiss. I used to focus on things I hated so much, that I would just ignore the things I love. For example, I love that I have long eyelashes. So randomly one day I was like “Thank you, God, for these lashes”. I know that sounds silly, but people pay for them. There are more things I love about myself, but I’m learning everyday to just be thankful for even the small things.
One thing you are learning to love?
I am learning to be okay with being sensitive or telling people that something hurt my feelings. I can ball my eyes out and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that I’m weak or vulnerable.