When is the last time you took a chance, threw caution to the wind, and followed your passion?  The up-and-coming fashion/ lifestyle/ travel influencer, Kara Harms, did just that about one year ago.  Her dream was to move to San Francisco to start a new life, and blog about fashion.  In just under one year she has amassed nearly 15k followers as a social media influencer, 9.5k followers on Instagram alone.  Not a small feat for someone new on the blogging scene.

Although Kara may not say it herself, I would attribute her quick rise to success in social media to a lighthearted approach to fashion (and life), her precious nod to vintage style, and the unbridled way she heroically shares fashion for all, not only for women who are a size zero. Because let’s be honest, so many fashionistas out there are size 0, 00, or smaller and we all need a good Marilyn Monroe throwback role model today – Kara’s all about inspiring women to love their curves.

Thankfully Kara had a moment to spare in her busy life to sit down with me for an interview about living her dream, and becoming a fashion influencer.  Here’s what she had to say:

ZJ: Kara- It’s hard to not be drawn to your unique, lighthearted, “whimsical” IMG_2950style and way.  Naturally the name of your website tells us this, but your articles and images speak volumes.  Can you share more about why you chose the name, “Whimsy Soul”?

KH: The definition of “whimsy” is a thing that is fanciful or odd and that notation has always stuck with me. I’ve always been that type of person to see happiness adventures everywhere because it’s good for the soul. I’ll wear a dress because it makes me happy, not because it’s on “trend” and if you want to take an impromptu road trip across the state one weekend, I’ll say yes in a heartbeat. The name came together and I felt like it summed my mindset and lifestyle up perfectly.

ZJ: You have an impressive Instagram page that compliments your blog really well.  Do you find more enjoyment in one over the other?  Do people engage with you more on one platform (and if so, which one)?

KH: Thank you! With the social nature of Instagram, I have more conversations with readers on that platform, but there isn’t one that I enjoy over the other because they go hand-in-hand together. The blog component will always be the core of the Whimsy Soul brand and social media is an excellent way to get the word out there and share daily moments that don’t have a place on the blog.

ZJ: Although we see glimpses of your life, can you please share with us what a “day in the life” is like for you?

KH: Each day starts at 7am for me so I have time to answer Whimsy Soul emails, do last minute edits on that morning’s newsletter, pin images from that day’s blog post, etc., before I run off to work (I currently work full time as the Marketing Director with Margaret Elizabeth, a jewelry boutique which is so much fun). I usually get home around 6pm, do some yoga, cook dinner because I love cooking, and work on anything else for Whimsy Soul that needs to get done. In the summer when the light lasts into the evening, I use this time to snap blog photos.  Otherwise weekends are dedicated to photographing content for posts and writing them. I think I’m a workaholic – I have a really hard time just sitting and doing nothing, which is one of the reasons I love blogging so much. There is always something to do or share!MG_7160

ZJ: Where do you get your sense of fashion?

KH: I gather my style inspiration from other bloggers, Pinterest and friends. Sometimes even TV shows – I’ll see how a character is styled in an outfit and be like “I love that. I need to try that in real life”. While I love having statement pieces and unique outfits, my core sense of style is actually pretty sensible. I think it stems from my Midwestern roots – whenever I get dressed I always think about how cold I’ll be sitting in the office with that skirt on, or how far I have to walk that day and adjust as needed. I don’t think I’ll ever shake that.

ZJ: What does it mean for you to be an influencer?IMG_8273

KH: I love being able to connect with real girls and help inspire them. I think sometimes people feel like they need permission to do something – whether it’s shaking up their beauty routine, trying a new style, even cooking for themselves or traveling, and I love being that person who shows them they can.

ZJ: As an influencer are there particular brands you work with now?  Which brands would you like to be working with?

KH: Over this past year I’ve had the chance to work with a lot of really great brands from fashion to beauty to travel. This year I’d love to establish some longer relationships with brands instead of one-off projects. I also really want to expand into more travel, so forming partnerships with hotels and fashion brands that value influencers who create content while traveling is on the top of my list.

ZJ: Do you have specific blog/ social media influencer aspirations, and if so what are they?

KH: I’d love to be a full-time blogger, it’s my dream job to be able to create something every day and run my own business on my own schedule. My main focus for 2016 is to keep growing and to keep putting out great content so that dream can be a reality.MG_8426-crop

ZJ: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

KH: As I mentioned, I want to expand my travel content, so maybe today 5 years from now I’ll be checking emails from a Paris cafe before heading off to a shoot. I like that idea.

ZJ: Favorite quote?

KH: “Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that, that is what life is” – Amy Poehler. Moving to San Francisco last year to start a new life (and blog!) was hard and scary – I read this quote a lot.

ZJ: Would you please share with us one fashion prediction you foresee for 2016 – either mainstream or alternative?

KH: I foresee slow fashion brands becoming more prominent. In my opinion, some fast fashion brands are getting way too fast – once I bought a sweater that was just launched by a brand, and 2 weeks later it was sold out and they had no plans to restock it because they were onto the next trend. After two weeks! I think consumers are going to start valuing slow fashion more and more.

IMG_6356Find and follow Kara:

  • Kara is one of HireInfluence’s Elite Certified Members.  Visit her profile and reach out for a member contact if you would like her to feature your brand’s product in an article or post.
  • Blog: www.whimsysoul.com
  • Instagram: @ThewhimsySoul
  • Twitter: @TheWhimsySoul
  • Pinterest: /whimsysoul
  • Facebook /thewhimsysoul
  • Snapchat: @TheWhimsySoul
  • Announcement:  I’ll be doing more travel content this year and have some exciting trips in the works!