We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalpana Ravulapati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalpana, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
“Your smile is your logo, personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” ~ Jay Danzie My brand is dedicated to encouraging women to pursue their utmost desires and passions and to never give up on their dreams despite any obstacles. Be true to yourself because the beauty and power are yours! I learned from a very young age following the example of my parents who sacrificed and provided so much support for the family whether they had loads of money or not. They groomed me as the eldest of three siblings to lead by example, to give to others genuinely from the heart, and serve the community. As a child, I felt this was overwhelming and a high expectation placed on me that I didn’t want but as I matured through personal life experiences, it all clicked in a blink of eye everything my parents prepared me for one day, it all made sense. The most joy I feel is when I make a positive impact to inspire others, even if it’s one person, to me that’s success. I want people, especially women to not be ashamed of their past mistakes or history and to stop apologizing for being true to who they are or what they want. Instead, I want women to embrace their individuality, their inner superhero, their true potential, and own their power within. I want women to realize that they were already born equal and the sky is limitless with endless possibilities. I want women to forgive the patriarchy that came before us, and fight for inclusivity of both genders, together we will prosper. I want women to look at me and see that I’m just like them, human with flaws, who has struggled and experienced traumas, but still persevered and conquered her fears with an unwavering belief in herself, which gives others inspiration to do the same. I love helping others who seek support to achieve their life’s full potential and purpose. It makes me truly happy when I uplift others and see them succeed. When creating a legacy, it’s how you react after the failure that matters, I’ve picked myself up time and time again especially when I’m starting a new thing, you fail your way to success. I believe that if you don’t get out of your own way, your comfort zone, you won’t learn, grow, and evolve. I would rather take a risk than regret giving up after one failed attempt. I want people to remember me for having the grit to follow my passions and create a legacy for my children, husband, family, and friends to be proud of my accomplishments for leaving this place better than it was yesterday and setting a good example for future generations to come, that’s my endgame.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hi, I’m Kalpana Ravulapati – Lifestyle & Travel Influencer, Beauty & Fashion Enthusiast, and Entrepreneur, determined to speak positivity into the world and help women like myself live their best life. I started my blog Koco Travels back in 2014. Koco Travels is dedicated to inspiring women to conquer their dreams, venture beyond the borders of their comfort zones, and look fabulous doing it through tips on all things fashion, lifestyle, travel, and wellness. It’s my mission to empower you to get out, have fun on new adventures, create extraordinary memories, and experience the unique journey to discovering yourself – even if you’re traveling solo. What sets Koco Travels apart from other content creators in similar niches is that I’m both an influencer and entrepreneur of South Asian descent primarily focused on sharing my personal journey and experiences of my struggles, traumas, and successes that is relatable to my target audience afraid to speak up to share their truth, it’s not about the destination. I resonate with the everyday woman by being authentically myself imperfectly since there is no such thing as a perfect human. I’m most proud of finally having the courage to be vulnerable and vocal on my platform by sharing my story that really touched a lot of women with similar challenges and traumas. I felt for the longest time that being vulnerable was a weakness but soon found out that it’s my greatest superpower and that is how I can make a positive impact in the world. It has been a long journey professionally pivoting from industry to industry. I received my bachelor’s and MBA in Accounting and my first job out of college was in the corporate world doing payroll auditing, I soon realized I didn’t want to be tied to a desk number crunching all day with no social interaction within the company, it wasn’t the right fit for me and I wanted more. I then transitioned into Trade Shows/Conference Event Planning, then jumped into Real Estate Property Management, Network Marketing, and finally found my true calling as a Blogger learning how to monetize my influencer business. It wasn’t an easy or straight path, like most people, it took me many detours and self-discovery to figure what I’m truly good at, what I’m genuinely passionate about, and who I wanted to become. To overcome the doubts, fears, and insecurities, I decided to invest in myself by working with mentors and coaches for personal development in all aspects of my life for the past 7 years, and continue to do so which has been worth every cent to heal past traumas and become the best version of myself, but it’s still a working progress, it never ends. I want people to remember me and say…”because of you, I followed my dreams and didn’t give up until I succeeded.” I want people to realize the power has been inside them all along, they just have to harness its full potential. But I know I’m not the only one who’s been held back by fear, societal standards, and comfort zones. So, go on! Be Bold. Be Daring. Be Different.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend comes to my hometown Chicago, I would become a tourist for the week with new pair of eyes curious and excited to explore uncharted places within my own city and share the experience with someone near and dear. We would stay at the Hotel Felix which is a super chic and quaint boutique hotel, right next door to the Godfrey Hotel, the perfect spot nearby the River north area where all the bars, lounges, cafes, and restaurants are located. I would take her to Tao for the best sushi and drinks, Siena Tavern for the most delicious Italian meal, and Summer House Santa Monica for apps and drinks. During the week we would hit up some of my favorite rooftops with the best views of the city like I/O Rooftop, Celeste, Cindy’s, J. Parker, London House, and end at the largest outdoor rooftop bar with incredible views of the entire Chicago skyline, Offshore Rooftop & Bar. Each one has its uniqueness and they all have their own vibe. I felt like I was in another city at each venue as if I wasn’t even in ChiTown. The ambiance, food, drinks, and energy are just our style. I’d take her to see the best galleries at the Art Institute and history at the Field Museum and Chicago History Museum since we love art and culture. We also love to shop, so a visit to the boutiques on Magnificent Mile, Oak Street, and State Street is a must-do. For the best brunch spot, I’d take her to the Hampton Social. It literally feels as if you’re in the Hamptons and the ambiance is spectacular! The frozen rose is divine and the food is uber delish! We would end our week in regal style, of course, have a three-course delectable fancy feast at the Chicago Cut Steakhouse, and reminisce about the new memories and experiences we’ve created together while catching up and having deep meaningful conversations. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my mentors and coaches who have inspired and helped me along my journey and with my success so far… Gwen Lane, Loren Trlin, Diipa Buller-Khosla, Sazan Hendrix, Matthew Hussey, Jay Shetty, and Alpa Rama.
Other: TikTok: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMJno9LVL/