Born on the beautiful island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, 23-year-old Kyra James is taking over the internet, LITERALLY. With a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, paired with everything she’s learned along the way, Kyra is the Marketing Specialist for Foster Home Recruitment and Retention, at the lead Child Welfare Afency in Central Florida.
When she’s not at work serving foster families, she spends the rest of her time as the content producer for ‘Kickin it w/ Kyra‘ (@kickinitwkyra) and editor in chief for The Buzz VI (@thebuzzvi) which is a Virgin Islands-based magazine that features all things locally creative.
Over the past few years Kickin it w/ Kyra has become a familiar name in the Virgin Islands community and it’s a project that Kyra is very proud of. “If you’re not Kickin it w/ Kyra, then water yew doing?” is the popular slogan attached to her brand. Currently, the brand’s Facebook page has 3.8K followers, their most watched video has 83K views and the launch of The Buzz VI has attracted thousands of readers as well.
Kyra is a content creator both on and off the clock. “When I’m not at work creating content that compels and comforts people in Central Florida, I am at home creating content that informs and celebrates members of my community back home in the Virgin Islands.”
“What motivates me the most is the effect my content has on people. Media has the ability to influence and bring about change,” she explains, “so I try my best to use the content I create for good. Through Kickin it w/ Kyra I get to showcase the things that are important to me with no filter or hindrance because it’s my brand. I promote worthy campaigns, encourage people to own up to their social responsibility and I also show off local talent. My aim is to make a positive impact that leaves people feeling both inspired and seen and the feedback I receive tells me that I am doing just that.”
I can definitely vouch for Kyra when it comes to her content. Whether it’s comedic or serious, there is always a positive message behind whatever Kyra puts out. She has the amazing ability to make everything super relatable but inclusive as well. Which is kind of ironic because even though she has her Bachelors in Communications, she wasn’t always a COM major.
“After doing well in the science classes in high school, I decided to pursue a degree in Biology. During my junior year in college, I sat in a Botany class questioning my purpose,” she explained, “I had no idea what I was created to do at the time but I knew that it had nothing to do with pinecones. I spent that semester doing a lot of research based on my natural ability. I eventually discovered a major I could complete at the University of the Virgin Islands that aligned with what I love doing and I changed over the following semester. Every semester after that was filled with nothing but A’s. The information was exciting for me and it hardly felt like school. There was NO doubt in my mind that I found IT.”
Well, that is a blessing within itself, because I know tons of people, including myself, who didn’t find their purpose or their passion until WAAAAYYYY after the fact.
So what makes Kyra special? Here’s her answer! “I think my originality has played a key role in my success. A lot of the things I’ve done, no one else was or is currently doing and I believe people were just happy to find a source of VI inspired content” she explains. “We (Virgin Islanders) have always had to find ourselves in everyone else’s content. When we find it, we connect with what we can and leave the rest, but when people watch my videos or read my posts they finally have something that they can connect with 100% because it was made by someone like them, just for them.”
And that is EXACTLY why Kyra is a visionary, and part of the reason she inspires me, but her answer didn’t end there.
“I also put A LOT of thought into my content and it shows. I’m not the ‘let me do a quick google search, save and post’ type of person at all. Everything I do is detailed and personal and I think people just enjoy seeing something that well thought out and calibrated.” she continues. “I get a lot of compliments on the quality of my work. These samples help me in my professional life as well because I use it all in my portfolio.”
As a full-time hairstylist and blogger, I definitely understand the desire for having original content. It’s important for me to produce things that I can call my own, and that sets me apart from the rest. But with that also comes the pressure of my content or my work being “good enough”. So, of course, I asked Kyra if there was anything she struggles with on a daily basis and this was her response. “Low self-esteem is something I struggled with for a long time and although I overcame most of it there are still times where I feel like my content isn’t good enough or I’m not pretty enough to make videos.”
I know what you guys are thinking, “don’t talk about yourself negatively like that Kyra”, but I applaud her honesty. Transparency heals. Being able to recognize where you are and acknowledge your weaknesses is important. “I have learned recently that negative self-talk is something that may never go away, but it is something I can push through with the right coping skills.” she continues.
“Sometimes your mind tells you things out of fear not necessarily hate, and you have the power to reassure it by addressing those fears with positive reminders.”
Kyra was also very honest about what she was afraid of and just like most people, her biggest fear is failure. “At times my fear of failure can be a hindrance, but I try not to let it keep me down for too long. Whenever I “fail” at something I feel like I should probably stop.”
“Many times I’ve wanted to give up on KWK, but if I did, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
“The next time I feel that way, I give myself the same reminder.” Strong words from a strong person. Kyra inspires me because of her love for all things Virgin Islands. The fact that she loves to showcase others, makes me want to showcase her even more. She is a super talented content creator, with an amazing mind and heart. I pray that she continues to be a good example and an inspiration to not only the people of the Virgin Islands but to whoever comes across her work. If you’re not already following her on social media, make sure you do at @_kyrajay.
Until next time babies…💕