We had the good fortune of connecting with Kira West and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kira, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are really two important factors when it comes to the success within my life. The first is that I’m resilient and I know how to survive. It’s not often that things work out easily on the first try especially when building anything new so knowing how to keep moving forward is key. The second is knowing when to get help. We can’t all be experts at everything so I’ve found asking for help to be a huge part of my success because it allows me to lean into the things I excel in.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I do many things which is beautiful but always a challenge. I work full time in tech and travel, create content and build community on ByKwest as well as run all facets of MadebyKwest (my jewelry business). I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to do multiple things and couldn’t do it without help. Success for me is really defined by impact so it’s wonderful to be able to make an impact in so many ways. MadebyKwest is unique in so many way but the most important to me beyond the overall design and quality is that each piece gives back.
The most concise way to summarize how I got to where I am today is really that I worked hard and kept trying. I never wish it was easy although sometimes I wish the challenge were less challenging, I appreciate the journey, because I have learned SO much. Overcoming challenges isn’t easy and there’s no one formula that has worked for me every time but having faith that things will work out is helpful. It’s also helpful to remember that there are multiple paths to success and perhaps the one you envisioned initially hasn’t worked out but there are so many more ways to still reach a goal. I’ve also learned that while things may not work out the way you envision, if you allow yourself to stay open to the possibilities then they could work out even better.
The top lessons I’ve learned:
1. Stay the course but stay open to the possibilities.
2. Don’t be afraid to pivot.
3. Embrace change, it’s a constant.
I’d love for the world to know how much love, sweat and purpose was poured into my brand whether it be MadebyKwest or ByKwest. Each piece of jewelry and each post is really intentional. Every person who supports is also SO appreciated.
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?
I’m going to write this for New York City although I just moved to Chicago because NYC is the city I know best and it was home up until a few months ago.
There’s so much to do in NYC you’ll need longer than one weekend but if that’s all you’ve got I hope it’s one with really nice weather. I’d kick off with coffee, there are so many incredible coffee shops but Birch and Happy Bones are great. There are also so many cute ones you’ll stumble upon just walking around. I’d eat a bagel, you can’t leave NYC without one and Best Bagel near Madison Square Garden was my absolute favorite. For dinner, wow, I don’t know if I could choose just one place because there are so many I love but Park Slope and Williamsburg have lots of great options. While you’re in manhattan I’d stay downtown, there are so many gems. If you’re in a formal mood The Fulton is incredible. If you’re feeling a little less formal Malibu Farms right around the corner is great.
I’d make sure to go to a rooftop bar or two, NYC has so many great options and I’d hang out downtown or in Brooklyn because that’s where the fun happens. I’m a huge lover of walking so I’d walk the Brooklyn bridge (earlier in the morning to avoid crowds). I’d take it all in and not be afraid to try the fun looking hole in the wall spot that’s probably got the best food you’ve ever had.
There are tons of fun speakeasys and just unique things to do in NYC! I’d definitely try to get a workout in and NYC really does have it all. I’d go to Harlem Cycle or Spiked Spin as two really awesome options. I also love Brooks Pilates, New York Pilates and a great megaformer class. If you can go to studio like Box+Flow that is unique to NYC that’s always fun. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a huge shoutout to the co-founder of ACTIV-ISM, Taylor Rae Almonte. We became friends honestly by accident but she’s challenged and supported me in major ways. It’s incredible the impact someone can have in such a short time. Meeting her was truly life changing and it’s an honor to continue to work with her on so many things in life.