We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiara Burns and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiara, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I am a classically trained ballet dancer of over 20 years. Movement has always been my life. I graduated in May of 2018 from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance with an emphasis in Ballet. It was expected by everyone including myself that I would go straight from there and audition for dance companies, but something told me not to. I had started working at Pure Barre during college because I thought it would be a great way to make money, and I ended up falling madly in love with fitness. I was injured a lot while I was dancing. I was actually injured so much that the night before my last surgery the anesthesiologist called to ask me if I was a professional stunt woman… yikes. I was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about my body, and I was determined to make it powerful, strong, and full of grace. I graduated, moved out to Los Angeles and immersed myself in group fitness as well as one on one training. When the pandemic hit, everything I was doing so passionately came to a complete halt, and I pivoted without hesitation. I developed my own fitness platform, kiaraburns.com, where I offer a diverse library of workouts for any human and any body. My platform is intersectional, women empowered, queer empowered, and body positive. Each month, my platform is aligned with a different social justice initiative, because I believe when we dig deep physically we become a more centered and grounded version of ourselves that is able to extend further outwards. Connecting with individuals from all backgrounds lights me up from the inside out, and I work to guide people through whatever kind of movement they may be feeling each day through workouts that range from 3 minutes to 50 minutes. We deserve to make time for ourselves even on the days where it may seem impossible. There is a 7 day free trial for everyone with no pressure or obligation. It is a journey through movement that I am ever so grateful to be on!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I have had many different jobs since the time I was 14. I have worked in the restaurant industry and for many women owned fitness companies and I have taken an immense amount from those experiences. I honor what it is like to be a woman in business and have seen the triumphs and challenges that come along with it. I have proudly left places of work that I found to be taking advantage of my time, my energy, encouraging working for free in support of the company. I cherish those experiences because they have shown me how to treat people I work with, how to compensate people for what they are worth, and how to stand my ground. As a woman and a business owner I have never looked back on standing strong and I am probably louder than I should be in a lot of instances but I believe wholeheartedly in a level playing field for all people, and we have a LONG way to go to get there. I use my platform to raise and donate money that I otherwise would not have been able to on my own. Since September, my platform has donated over $700 to various organizations such as Black Table Arts, Sanctuary Soledad, Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and the Barstool Fund through subscriptions and live classes, and we are only getting started. It is empowering and quite honestly thrilling to have complete control over the choices I make for my business, and I have an undeniable drive to use my passion to incite change.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live right in the heart of Hollywood and I absolutely love it here. As an artist I find immense comfort in being amongst an eclectic group of people and you certainly get that here! Boardner’s is one of my all time favorite bars, and when I first moved to LA I was a server at a bar on Hollywood Boulevard so I love walking around there and reminiscing. The beach is an absolute must for anyone visiting me. Driving down the PCH with all of my windows down, blasting music, to get to Will Rogers State Beach to grab a sandwich and a hot pretzel is heaven in my mind. I am originally from the east coast so I pretty much just brag about the weather the entire time. I have so much more to experience in this city, and it is what keeps me continually enamored by it. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My family and friends have been instrumental in where I am at today. I have been surrounded by so much support, encouragement, honesty and love throughout my life and I am eternally grateful. Those family and friends are now able to move their bodies with me no matter where they are in the world and knowing that is a major source of my motivation and inspiration.
Photographer: Selo Turner