DCFunemployment: Tell the people – Who are you?
My name’s Kimberly Kong, and I’m the lifestyle blogger behind Sensible Stylista. I first started blogging in 2011 because I wanted to learn more about social media (DCF: Way to take the plunge right in!). I had just graduated from Juilliard with my Master’s degree in Piano Performance, and I felt like my career needed a pick-me-up. I was trying to, in essence, become my own manager by learning the ropes firsthand. and I knew the internet was where the party was at. After posting for a solid month or so, I started to really get into it! Fast forward 5 years, and here I am posting about life + style at least 4x a week.
DCF: What does being funemployed mean to you & what was your path to funemployment?
KK: I’ve always been about funemployment. Like I mentioned above, I’m a musician so I feel blessed to practice art on the daily. Blogging is simply yet another creative outlet for me! Passion is everything in my opinion (DCF: Amen sister!!) . I wake up excited to tackle the morning every day because I absolutely love what I do. I really can’t see it being any other way. Life’s just too damn short! (DCF: Couldn’t agree more!)
DCF: Who was your first cheerleader?
KK: I know I probably should pick one, but I really can’t decide between my mom and my dad (DCF: nor should you have to!!). Both of them have been so supportive over the years. They’ve been there for me through thick and thin, providing inspiration and pumping me up at every turn. They’ve just always been amazing role models – my father’s a world champion martial artist and my mom was a beauty-queen (Miss Korea + Miss Asia) and fabulous opera singer so I feel like I have a lot to live up to. (DCF: I imagine you had a very interesting and awesome childhood)
DCF: What experiences in your life prepared you for where you are now?
KK: I feel like I’ve been prepping all my life. I’ve been playing piano since I was 5 so I’m used to working long hours. I put in a good 6-8 hours daily for years, and I still practice that much when I have concerts coming up. The work ethic I developed definitely helped me blog consistently (DCF: Consistency is everything!).
DCF: Where do you get your inspiration and/or motivation?
KK: This is going to sound super cheesy, but my dreams keep me motivated. I have a inspo board with photos of items/people/events that inspire me, but when I feel super dejected, I think of my parents and the many sacrifices they’ve made for me – it helps me get back on my feet because I want to make ‘em proud.
DCF: What does balance mean to you and how do find balance?
KK: Balance – what’s that? Haha, just kidding…ish. I stay balanced by exercising regularly and spending quality time with my family and my adorable Maltese pup. Honestly, I spend the majority of my time working, but that’s what makes me happy because work for me is basically play. I do binge-watch Netflix shows while gorging on Chinese food once a month to stay sane though (DCF: So glad to know that we are not alone in this!). Unhealthy delivery food is my Achilles heel!
DCF: What sacrifices did you have to make to get here?
KK: I’ve sacrificed my social life for sure. I try to go out as much as possible, but it’s tough because I juggle three jobs + doctoral degree. My friends are super understanding though! (DCF: Good support is so important). They may not see me as often as they’d like, but they know I got their backs when it comes down to it.
DCF: What struggles have you faced as a women in your industry?
KK: I’ve definitely struggled with various misconceptions. Many believe that fashion bloggers are spoiled princesses who like to brag about their “enchanted” lives – they hate on the free swag we get and assume that everything’s handed to us. What they don’t understand is how much work goes into what we do. (DCF: PREACH!!!).
DCF: What is the early advice you didn’t listen to that you wish you had?
KK: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” When I was younger, I spent a good deal of my time comparing myself to others, and it depressed me to no end. I’ve learned to focus on my journey and my journey alone! I mean, what’s the point anyways? There’s always going to be someone out there who’s better than me at whatever if is I’m doing, and their achievements don’t diminish my own.
DCF: What was your greatest failure and what did you learn from it?
When I was 9, I played a HUGE concert for a gigantic audience (5k+ people) and messed up pretty badly. I totally freaked out and contemplated running off stage, but I regained composure and kept going! Even though it’s been a bajillion years since, I still get panic attacks thinking about that performance. I’m glad it happened though. It helped me realize that mistakes were inevitable, and that I wasn’t a lesser person for making one. It’s about how you pick yourself up, not how hard you fall. Am I right?
DCF: What is your proudest moment?
In blogging, hosting a v-day segment for Fox News and in music, soloing with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center.
DCF: What’s next?
I’m super excited to be one of the faces for Trollbeads’ “Hello” campaign this upcoming Fall. I also have a ton of other really cool collabs coming up on Sensible Stylista! I’ll be partnering up with ModCloth, Steve Madden, Bobbi Brown and more.