Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Christina Kilmister, Author of Passion, Fashion & Heart

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Today we are interviewing Christina Kilmister about her non-fiction / self-help book “Passion, Fashion & Heart.” 

Describe your book, “Passion, Fashion & Heart: Discover the unique ways to feel fabulous in your skin!,” in a few sentences.
It is about following your heart, finding and living your passion in life, and discovering how to dress and style your own body shape. 

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Women that are any age and from all walks of life, who don't have the time or know how to dress and style themselves. Women that don't enjoy shopping for themselves because they don't know what to buy. Women who would love to discover an easy way of defining and enhancing their body shape so they look and feel fabulous. Or simply a fashion lover who would love to hone their styling skills, or just enjoy reading about the personal journey of a fashion obsessed designer chasing her dream! Lastly, of course any woman who loves fashion tips, secrets and backstage fun.

What inspired you to write about your journey in the fashion world?
My inspiration was drawn from my desire to help women feel beautiful inside and out, and not just with their closet but in their life as well. To show them that they too can be doing what they love. I wanted to share the highs and lows, experiences, and challenges from my journey, so hopefully the readers could relate too. Whatever they were passionate about it, could also become a reality for them as it did for me.

One of the major turning points in your life was when you left the black-and-white corporate world. Can you tell us a bit about compelled you to make this change?
It was taken out of my hands to a degree and started with a deterioration of my health, which came from working too hard in a stressful role. The day came when it took it's toll, and I was taken to hospital after collapsing at work. From that day, my eyes were opened to how totally miserable I was in my career. That I was inside a "black and white" world that felt like I was on a spinning wheel, just going round and round, when all I was really craving, was a world of "colour".

I didn't want to spend the rest of my life building someone else’s dream, someone else’s business, and if I didn't walk away, I would lose myself altogether.

A great strength of your book is that you follow five women from all walks of life as they share their personal stories and learn how to dress. Why do you feel it is important in the fashion industry to share the perspectives of such a diverse group of women?
It's important because that is the reality, we are all different, individual, we all come from different backgrounds and upbringings. That every single one of us was created with a totally unique body shape. By discovering how to feel good about yourself through fashion, is something that really can change you. People may say, "But how can just putting on a pretty dress make that much difference?" It does, and believe me I have seen it first hand myself, time and time again. It is about the way it makes us feel. I wanted to share these perspectives, to let women know it is OK to look after you. To make sure you feel great, you look great, and that no matter what your body shape is, love it or not, there are ways of highlighting, enhancing and embracing your own body shape. I always say, if you feel amazing you are amazing.

For women just getting into learning how to dress yet are intimidated, do you have any tips for them?
Yes- read my book! Haha but really the first step is to simply discover your shape, find out what you should be wearing, start wearing things that make you feel special, beautiful. Leran how to shop for yourself the right way, the easy way, it really can be fun! When you know what to look for, you won't be trying on a hundred things that only make you feel yuck about yourself, because simply, they are not for your shape. You will shop with no more exchanges and refunds. A step at a time, tick it off and move to the next.

What advice do you have for someone who is just getting into fashion for the first time?
Push away the doubt, push away the fear, push away others opinions of what they think you should be doing. Go with your gut, it always has your back. A really important thing, is to be resilient, that's the advice I was given once and it is so true. Just make the first move, don't look at the "big picture" that can daunt you. Baby steps, You've got this!

Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? Or was it something that developed over time?
Well, from a young age I was surrounded by it and also adored it. My mother loved fashion and was always making beautiful clothes for me and my three sisters. Our dolls and ponies too for that matter! I would watch her sew for hours, go with her to the fabric shops and play immersed in fabrics, designing dresses for my dolls. My grandmother was also a great fashion lover and would design and make her own garments. So I am the third generation of fashion obsessed women. That may have something to do with it!

What was the most interesting thing you uncovered while following the stories of the five women in the book?
One of the most interesting and also most surprising to me, was that they all thought it was selfish to have time spent on themselves. They thought that somehow wanting to look and feel good wasn't important, Especially the women with families, that once you became a mother you lost the right to care about yourself as a woman, your loves, your desires, your body, your closet, pretty much you. Yet when they finally did do it, it was actually, and literally life changing for them. Even they couldn't believe how different they felt, how even the little things in their everyday life now seemed happier, better in some way.

Did writing the book take you to unexpected places or reveal things you hadn’t thought about before?
It revealed to me that since I've started writing  I never want to stop. That my writing was another way I could help and guide women through my passion for fashion. I could share my own experiences, advice and tips through words. Through my book. Through sharing a part of my life. Before I started writing, my only option for helping, was being a fashion designer and creating beautiful clothes for women to wear. 

When I now look back at what I have achieved since launching my brand, and all the amazing opportunities that have come to me,  made me see that  no matter how scary it felt at the time, walking away from my corporate career to follow my true love-fashion, had definitely been the right thing to do.

What do you hope readers will gain from reading your book?
I dearly hope that they will gain a love and confidence in their body, shopping and most importantly for themselves. They will now know it is absolutely, and more than OK to have "me" time, to do things for themselves, to take care of them. Also that it can be easy and effortless to dress and style, if you just discover how. Life is too short to settle, and they too can be doing what they love in life.

How have readers responded to your book so far?
Wonderfully, amazingly and in a way I had only dared hope for. I feel incredibly appreciative of every person that has read my book and allowed me to share my journey with them. More and more I am receiving such kind feedback and stories of how it as helped and inspired them, and how they are really feeling great about themselves, how things are changing for the better. 

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
Well, it is all under wraps at the moment but I will say, I will be embarking on another amazing adventure in the near future. There is so much to look forward to and I am super excited, there is definitely another book on the cards!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
You are in for a bit of a ride, some laughs, some tears and some moments when I'm sure you will be saying out loud " Oh no, what an earth was she thinking?!" Mostly I hope when you turn the pages, you will feel the love and passion that I wrote this book with. That I truly do want you to feel beautiful inside and out in yourself, and in your life. Thank you

More Information
Visit the author’s website. 
Buy the book on Amazon.
Follow the author on Instagram. 
Like the author on Facebook. 

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