We had the good fortune of connecting with Christy Kioko and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Christy, what inspires you?
I am inspired by the beauty of life–it’s a beautiful thing we get to experience. I love hearing stories of people who lived a life full of beautiful memories, love, friendships, adrenaline rushes, and unforgettable experiences. That’s what inspires me to chase after my dreams and say yes to opportunities while appreciating life and this Earth because we only have one. I am also inspired by those who shifted the art, music, fashion, and entertainment culture that we know and love. What I find most intriguing is hearing their stories, and how they all faced various challenges as the world was in different times. Within each story, there was something that I felt could relate to. Music legends like Aretha Franklin taught me that no matter where life takes you, you should never forget where you came from. Whitney Houston taught me that when you are destined for greatness, you will face many challenges and things that will distract you–don’t let them, and more importantly don’t let them change you. Tina Turner taught me that no matter what, keep believing in yourself. These women and more, like Princess Diana and Marilyn Monroe, will be remembered for the rest of time, and their impact on the world was profound. I am inspired by that–to be an impact as well.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I don’t know where to start. I would say that my journey is not what I expected it to be–every day is something new. I am a creative based in Seattle, WA. I say creative because I love to create–projects, fashion, digital content, and music. I started with music as my first love. I’ve been singing since I was two years old and, growing up, I’d always been afraid of the gift God gave me…I guess it was because I lacked confidence and was afraid of the pressure that could come with being a singer. However, I learned to overcome that fear by singing with purpose: to spread the Gospel. I had been in several choral programs and performed in shows before I joined a gospel choir in college called Northwest Choralons, and, later, on Churchome’s worship team in Seattle. My second love is fashion. In fashion, there’s no pressure—you can be whoever you want. That’s why I love styling–I got to show others how they can use clothing to tell a story and express their best selves. When you look good, you feel good, and it shows in your work. When I started out four years ago in Via C and Individualist at Nordstrom, I remember learning about brands like Eileen Fisher, Alice + Olivia, and Vince for the first time. I enjoyed being knowledgeable about brands to make sales, which led to an undiscovered passion–fashion styling. After less than a year, I was styling people all over the women’s department in head-to-toe looks, dresses for prom, weddings, and other events. I got a second job at Tory Burch, which deepened my love for clothing and the endless inspiration that can come from a single piece. In my senior year of college, I left Bellevue Square to work from home at Amazon Fashion as a virtual stylist and started to dive deeper into the world of fashion, teaching myself everything I could about the industry.

When I wasn’t working and studying, I collaborated with various photographers to build my modeling portfolio. My goal was never to get signed but simply to build confidence, poise, and creativity. I never used to be comfortable in front of the camera, but my 2020 resolution was to build confidence by creating spaces that would push me to be vulnerable. I believe that confidence comes from breaking down fears, and one of my fears was showing vulnerability. To be a natural in front of the camera you must be willing to be vulnerable by displaying your inner emotions. The more I did that, the more natural and confident I became, which translated into my everyday interactions with others, and singing on stage. I styled and directed all of my shoots, and, over time, began styling and working with visions for other creatives. I was attending fashion events to network with like-minded people in Seattle and it was at a fashion week event that I met a fly gal named Hannah Swan, who later became a sister figure and my fashion partner in crime. I wanted to get to know creatives and fashion influencers in the Seattle area, so I decided to start a fashion blog while mentoring at Gossip & Glamour, a fashion PR agency in Seattle. Hannah suggested we interview her list of known fashion creatives in the city to write about in my blog and record the interviews as a continuation of a project she had started a year prior. That’s how Seattle Style Series was born. You can read about us on my blog, How She C’s it: https://howshecsit.com/sss/

I am blessed to have had a great headstart on my fashion career by the age of 22, to have started something in Seattle for local fashion lovers, to lead with the most talented people in music, and to have gotten such amazing support for all of my endeavors so far. I am now an Account Luxury Manager at The RealReal, an international marketplace for authenticated luxury goods and designer pieces. I also graduated this year with my Bachelor’s in Marketing from Northwest University. Looking back, I never imagined I would be here, doing what I do and absolutely loving every moment. Though I have been immersed in the fashion industry, music remains a huge part of my life. I have gotten opportunities to sing with some big names in the gospel music industry, and lead with an amazing team at Churchome every Sunday morning. We are a family– they uplift and encourage me every week. Something I have learned is the importance of having a strong support system of people who have your best interests at heart. They remind you of your strengths and encourage you to never stop believing in yourself! I am very blessed to have mine and my family. Nothing has come easy–there have been long nights and days where I’ve almost given up. But perseverance serves! When you work on a passion long enough it begins to serve you, making it 110% worth it. I plan to keep growing in both music and fashion, capturing the journey, and discovering myself more along the way. Right now, I am working on creating a community for Seattle creatives, designers, and brands, as well as building my own platform and collaborating with brands and anyone who’s down to create something special. I see New York in my future, but until then there is still so much to be done here in this city. Looking back on my story, I feel it’s been a long journey–but, in reality, it has literally just begun.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love showing people around the city! If in the summertime, we would spend the day walking around the Seattle Center during one of the summer fests and listen to local live bands, shop small businesses and eat delicious street market food. Then we would spend the rest of the day shopping: first at Red Light Vintage on the Ave, Lucky Dog and other local shops and boutiques. The next day would involve getting breakfast at Portage Bay Cafe, followed by a walk or bike ride around Greenlake. Lunch would be at Noi Thai or we would walk down to Pike Place and get fresh flowers and mac n’ cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Factory. For the evening, we would get take-out Din Tai Fung, and lay down a picnic blanket at Gasworks Park for dinner and the sunset. Seattle is a beautiful city where it doesn’t rain as much as people say it does. There’s so much to do, you would have to come up here to check it out!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out my best friend, Ryan. He’s an artist who goes by KENZ. He and I have been best friends since we were 13. He’s a hustler like me, and is extremely talented. When good and bad things happen, he’s the first person I call. He was there for my talent show audition in the 7th grade, and I was there for his first concert. Like a brother, he looks out for me and he knows I got him no matter what. This is my first interview, so this one’s for him. To many more, Kenz!

Website: https://howshecsit.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christykioko/

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/christykioko

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy8sGPzzgXWR4W4ljD18YoQ/featured

Other: Check out “Honestly” on Spotify & Apple Music: https://open.spotify.com/artist/69joNDrj4v8xG8iYIn07pB?si=5Rz0XRlES6KF3DoB5bX58Q https://music.apple.com/us/album/honestly-feat-reyne-single/1538645172 Check out “Fall” on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/fall-feat-christy-kioko-single/1480909816

Image Credits
Alex Mabrey Photography Kane Colours Claire Meyer Photography MXT Visuals Misterdee Photography

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