We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimesha Malone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimesha, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I am from downtown St. Louis, MO (the Show-Me state). Growing up in the city and attending public, Visual & Performing arts schools early on in my childhood definitely inspired the creativity within me. Unfortunately, my biological father lost his life when he was 28 and I was only 10 yrs old. I felt like I had to make a decision in life: To go down the negative, vengeance route of the streets or turn tragedy to triumph and flip the script. Dance, writing, and music were therapeutic outlets for me. The stage became my best friend (well, aside from God of course). My pen became “mightier than the sword”. Seeing my mom & stepfather work hard everyday and receiving so much love and support from my grandparents really ignited the flame for me to shine like the star I was born to be. But there was always a feeling of needing to do more to help people, so upon graduating high school, I had to make a choice: either risk being a “starving artist” or have guaranteed work and the reward of serving others by becoming a nurse. Though I chose the nursing path, that did not stop my other talents and creativity. 2020 was the biggest reminder that life is not guaranteed and to do what you love in the moment. That year motivated me to do something out of the ordinary and not give up but push all the way to the finish line, especially when it came to writing a children’s book. Overall, my background & upbringing impacted who I am today by making me more resilient, resistant to rejection, and to push beyond stereotypes of being a product of your environment.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What keeps me busy professionally is balancing my career as a director level corporate nurse while tending to the needs of my children’s book and keeping up with my parenting blog. My 4 beautiful children inspire me to work tirelessly as I strive to show them that anything is possible with faith and hard work. From working a full day to preparing book shipments at night to volunteering or being a vendor for author events on the weekend, I am forever grateful for this “good kind of busy”.
For my professional career, achieving director level status was no easy feat. What sets me apart from others is that I continue to push the envelope, exceed expectations, and always appreciate what I have while peeking at the next blessing God has for me. Before shifting into high gear in the corporate world, I submitted over 18 applications before finally getting the golden opportunity. Life has been like a chess move where you have to make your next move, your best move. I have passed the Nclex on the first try, earned a number of certifications, performed on many stages, but nothing compares to the joy I felt when I saw my names published on a printed book. It certainly takes a lot of faith and courage to try something new but it is necessary if you want to achieve a dream and to expect a change. I want the world to know that I am living proof that the underdog can still win & shine in the end. I’m a true believer of “it’s not how you start but how you finish” and one word of motivation that I like to give people is “sometimes you have to take an L in order to get a W”. Sometimes you may Lose a little, you may fall, you may fail that test, you may not get that job that you thought was “the one”, but there is a huge Win waiting for you whenever you are ready to receive it.
For my brand, Yo! Mama’s World, I would like it to be represented how you feel when going to your grandparents’ house where you feel safe, feel like you can share anything, feel like someone can relate and that you are not alone, and leave full whether it be from laughs, something you learned, or even some ideas or gifts to take with you.
For my book, I wanted it to reflect something out of the ordinary. African American characters are not found in the majority of children’s lit books, let alone a lead character in fairytales. When you think of the Tooth Fairy, most are depicted as a certain ethnicity. Tairy the Fairy also wears glasses in my book and I wanted to use that to connect with children who also wear glasses or have visual impairments to show that not every magical character is flawless and sometimes they may need a little extra help in some areas. My other characters are ethnically ambiguous especially the family in the story to be representative of the fact that not all families look alike. They could vary in complexion, dynamic, culture, etc. Overall, this book is created to be an inspiration for my children and those all over the world to feel a sense of pride, representation, and empowered. As a fun fact, my kids helped to write the book, which demonstrates that there is no age limit to success or fulfilling your dream.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a best friend was visiting, I would take them to Hollywood Blvd to the Walk of Fame, followed by Madame Tussaud’s. I really enjoyed take a van tour of celebrity homes as you get to see some beautiful scenery along the way in addition to gorgeous views of the Hollywood sign. Then for some added fun and laughs, we most definitely would have to take a ride on the TMZ tour bus. And you can’t end the day without going to at least one game show from Jeopardy in Burbank to either Price is Right or Let’s Make A Deal. I was previously a contestant on Let’s Make A Deal and it was sooo much fun to dress in costume having so much energy for the recording. And right before sunset, we could take pictures in front of the Beverly Hills sign.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would love to shoutout my husband for supporting me throughout my entire career and the endless amount of love given over this 20 year ride of friendship and 13 years of marriage with me.
I have to shoutout my villagers who are my closest friends, always there when I need them, and have been a constant in my children’s lives, from birth, to performances and games, to celebrations and challenges.
And my last shoutout goes out to those who left the earth too soon, my grandparents. They instilled in me some pretty core values and poured love into me that I am able to pour back out to others.
Linkedin: Kimesha Malone
Youtube: Yo! Mama Mesh