January 14, 2022
Happy new year, Shop Good fam!
We’re kicking off 2022 with a team favorite – Kelsey Kotzur! She’s been all over our feeds, on TikTok and Instagram, and her endearing + witty candor has been suuuch a refreshing update to the curated influencers of yesteryear. Keeping in line with our January theme of REFRESH, Kelsey and I chat about restoring her relationship with alcohol (who else is doing #dryjanuary?), reviving our work routines for maximum creativity, and remaining grounded through it all – especially jumping into full-time content creation in her late 20s.
Read on for our ‘GOOD TALK’ + interview with Kelsey.
Hi Kelsey! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself + how you made the transition into full-time content creation? Was it hard for you to leave your ‘traditional job’?
My name is Kelsey and I am a 28 year old content creator living in Brooklyn with my fiancé and two cats, Pablo & Gigi. I make fashion and lifestyle based content with a sprinkle of fashion related comedy. I have had a job since I was 14 years old. I worked in a bakery, at Old Navy, summer camps, etc., but working for myself was always the goal.
After college I worked in wholesale fashion, marketing and PR but was miserable through it all. I knew from a young age that working a “traditional” job wasn’t for me. I quit my job in November of 2021 with no back up plan. I gave myself until January to do anything with content creation because I had never given myself time to do it without working a FT job. I wanted to give it my full focus for once. January came and nothing happened so I was applying to jobs. I even had a few interviews lined up and then in early March, I had a video go viral and that video changed everything for me. I was finally able to be a full time content creator.
You have such a down-to-earth approach with sharing your life. How did you find your style with creating content + remaining positive online?
Thank you!! I think a lot of my down-to-earth attitude comes with age and experience. So many influencers are gaining a huge following in their early 20s but I was 27 when I finally got a following. A lot changes for a person in your early to mid twenties. For me, I’ve been through a lot personally so reading a mean DM or rude comments doesn’t affect me as much as I think it would if I saw those comments at 21. I don’t think young Kelsey would have handled TikTok as well as 27 year old Kelsey has.
When I was starting to make videos, I wanted to be someone who wasn’t trying to be someone else. I think Instagram warped my brain a little bit when it comes to seeing the full story – you don’t really get to see a person for everything they are in a photo, but with video you can hear their voice, their laugh and see their mannerisms. I always thought my personality was better than how I portrayed it on Instagram but didn’t know how to showcase it. I want my videos to come through as authentic as possible so people get a sense of who I really am. It’s much harder to do with a photo.
@kelsey_kotzur like…. I should just skip the foundation n concealer? #rosacea #blush #rarebeauty ♬ my own summer by deftones – ꩜
You’ve spoken about how taxing quarantine can be on your mental health. What rituals allow you to feel like the best, most refreshed, version of yourself?
Quarantine was so rough for me. I am a very busy person. I like being busy! When I wasn’t able to do anything for months at a time, I was really losing my coconuts. I was so stressed out all of the time. I was seeing a ton of content creators really thrive in their home environment – so many people blew up because of the content they were making during quarantine.
I was really struggling. My creative juices were non-existent and I tried everything. I tried making YouTube videos, dancing TikToks, cooking etc. I just could not find a spark in me to create anything I liked. I think a lot of my stress came from my job too. It was all very repetitive: wake up, open my laptop, work until 5, eat dinner, go to sleep…and repeat Monday through Friday. When I quit my full time job, I finally found my creativity again! Quitting my job and being able to be creative every day on my own terms really helped me improve my mental health.
You’ve recently given up drinking. Can you share what led to that decision and how you’ve become more in-tune with your body? Have you experienced any emotional obstacles or pressure from friends or your online audience from quitting?
I did! The past 2 years have been really stressful and I was coping by drinking. During lockdown, I would drink lots of wine or make margaritas and it was really taking its toll. I gained a ton of weight and just didn’t recognize myself anymore. I was unhappy and more anxious than ever. With my TikTok following came a lot of events and those events are always open bar. I was anxious to be meeting people and didn’t think I could do it without a drink. I was also so excited to be out in the world again! Both of those things led to a lot of drinking.
I got engaged this summer and I look back at those photos and I was so bloated and puffy. I haven’t changed my diet so I knew it was the drinking – I lost 10 pounds of what I think was water weight and bloat in 31 days. There is a history of alcoholism in my family and it just hit me one day that maybe I should take it slow. I don’t think I had a problem by any means but I was just scared of the idea that one day I wouldn’t be able to stop. That’s why I decided in October to not drink and when November first came around, I just didn’t want to drink. I haven’t drank since and I feel amazing.
Surprisingly everyone has been so sweet and receptive to me decision to quit. It’s a personal choice! I don’t expect all of my friends to do it with me but they have been so great during this. In terms of my following, I was shocked how many people felt the same way. So many young women have messaged me with similar stories to mine and that made me feel like I wasn’t alone.
What does a typical day look like for you? From content planning, shooting on film, planning your wedding, etc.
A typical day for me starts with coffee and hanging out with my fiancé and two cats. I’m a morning person but I like to take my mornings slow. I spent so much of my life waking up at 7 am to go to work and rush to the subway, so now that I work for myself, I like to take my mornings a bit slow. I’ll answer some emails, respond to comments/DMs and eat some lunch. I don’t have a content schedule for either Instagram or TikTok. I think putting a schedule on content puts too much pressure on my creativity! I have a loose idea of what I want to do or need to do, but I take things as they come. I’ll get ready, go live and do my makeup, which I love to do and then start making videos! It usually starts as an OOTD video and morphes into something else. I love experimenting with sounds and music on TikTok so I just wait to be inspired! After my room looks like a tornado has come through, I usually go on a walk with Jared and snap some pics on the way to the grocery store. Once I get home, I’ll answer DMs or comments again and maybe put a show on. I have a lot of events to go to throughout the week so I really love my downtime at home. Then it starts again the next day! Content creation is really a 24/7 gig.
You’re getting married later this year – congrats! What’s been the hardest part of planning it all?
Getting started has been hard!! No one tells you where to begin. I don’t have a clue on where to start planning!
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What are your 2 favorite products you can’t live without
Supergoop! Glowscreen and RMS Cream Luminizer in Living!
Okay – just for fun: If your best friend came to visit you, what would your ideal day look like showing them around NYC? Give us your dream itinerary for the not-so-touristy spots!
I am so lucky that my best friend lives 10 minutes away! But if she didn’t, I would start the day with bagels from Bagel Point (blueberry with cream cheese) and coffee. Greenpoint is such a fun neighborhood for thrifting so I would take her to all of my fave spots like Beacon’s Closet, Awoke Vintage, Tired Thrift and hopefully snag some fun pieces. In this scenario, it’s a warm spring day, which would include hanging out in the park. Sitting in a park on a warm day is such a NY thing to do and I recommend it to anyone who is visiting. Get take out lunch and just hang out and enjoy the energy around you. Then it’s dinner time. Can you tell I revolve my day around food? Obviously it would be pizza at either Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint or Emmy Squared in Williamsburg. Then end the night at Ponyboy for some cocktails (or mocktails in my case)
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