It’s one thing to be empowered, but another thing again to be the kind of person who empowers others to be the best version of themselves. We met Stephanie Kalen – founder of ChicSophistic – to learn about how she faced down adversity to help other women rise up.
Name: Stephanie Kalen
Instagram handle: @ChicSophistic
Location: Toronto, Ontario
What’s your story?
I launched Chic Sophistic in July 2014, and used my blog as a way to express myself creatively! I discovered that this was truly my passion – sharing Lifestyle, Fashion tips, Food choices, Travel destinations and experiences with the world.
The goal of the blog is to show women (and really everyone for that matter) that they can feel strong and empowered if they truly believe in themselves. No matter who we are today, we can always be better. I share with others the way in which I choose to lead my life, in the hopes that I inspire them to find that beauty, belief and strength within themselves.
Staying ‘chic’ & ‘sophistic’ is not so hard and isn’t just reserved for fashion models. We all have the ability to be chic & sophisticated…it is just a matter of believing in yourself and finding ways to appreciate your own beauty.
I always have a number of exciting projects on-the-go and hope that you will continue to enjoy sharing in my journey ♥.
Choose 5 photos from your phone that best sum up your current life.
What is the toughest adversity you’ve faced on your journey to living your best life, and how did you overcome this?
I remember a time – and this was just at the beginning when I was first starting with the Chic Sophistic brand – when I had someone tell me that what I was doing was utter ‘fluff’. This individual essentially told me that the mission and vision of empowering girls and women – and doing this through a ‘Lifestyle’ social media channel – was again – just ‘fluff’. That it had no value – no future – and no purpose.
Of course I knew otherwise – but hearing those words from someone was definitely tough. There were others who also had their questions and feedback … and spoke up about them in a number of ways – but nobody quite approached those conversations like this one person did. The worst thing about negative feedback is that there is really nothing good about it – it’s just negative. There is feedback … there is constructive feedback – and then there is ‘negative’ feedback – feedback that is literally intended to do nothing good – but just ‘hurt’.
The valuable lesson that the whole experience has ‘really’ taught me – is ‘To Always Believe in Myself’ and to remember that often – when something really negative comes your way – it is not even necessarily personal. We feel – think – and believe that it is personal – because, well – naturally it is directed at us – to us – it’s ‘about’ us – but it might really have nothing to do with us. It might be a personal struggle that the individual is going through – perhaps low self-esteem or challenges that they are trying to overcome in their personal life – or heck – maybe it was just their ‘bad day’ and you happened to get caught in the crossfire. Either way – again – the lesson remains the same. You Believe in Something – Then You Go For It. Listen to feedback. Listen to constructive criticism – then make your move.
What’s your goal for the next chapter?
My goal for the next chapter is to continue doing what I’m doing – but take it to the next level. Continue to expand the Chic Sophistic brand in the social media space – touching as many people as I can in a positive way – and having as big of an impact as I can.
What I’m also interested in doing is really adding extra arms to the business – dipping into other areas – offering up tangible projects – i.e. clothing and accessories and really going further with our #ChicDining series and #ChicExperiences overall.
The possibilities are endless – the opportunities are out there and the passion and drive to inspire others – is there – so looking forward to the next 10 years – and the next 10 after that! Ready. Set. Go!