Spotlight Series: Influencer turned Entrepreneur Kianna Lawrence

Kianna talks VoxBoxes and how they led her to where she is now.

With every post, Kianna Lawrence makes us dream about spending our twenties in New York City. This Afro-Latina creator regularly shows off her stylish outfits on Instagram and TikTok with fresh content. Her motto, “Inhale Fashion Exhale Style,” will make complete sense when you see her excellent handbag collection. This proud vegan also recently launched an eco-friendly boutique, so we were keen to know more about that—and everything else.

 

Tell us about your journey as an influencer. How did it start?

Influenster was actually the space that helped me start this journey without any experience and following. With this platform, I had the opportunity to grow my media skills and work with amazing brands. People started seeing me as an influencer because of the names I got to work with. Later, I also joined the College Fashionista which is another community I love to participate in. 

 

Kianna showing off her makeup look signed by Fenty through a recent collaboration. Source

 

Nowadays, you create a lot of videos for TikTok. How has this platform changed the way you create digital content? 

I spend a lot of time on TikTok for personal entertainment and as an aspiring influencer. TikTok has been #1 since the pandemic and it continuously grows. With it, I am able to produce more content but it sometimes requires more editing and planning. Overall, I love it and actually prefer it over Instagram!

 

You studied at the first degree-granting Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) in the United States, with a history dating back to 1854. Tell us about why it was important for you to study at a place with such a powerful legacy.

I knew I wanted to study at an HBCU because of how much experience you can gain in addition to the usual college experience. I struggled with my identity and attending an HBCU like Lincoln provided the resources to help me learn about my own history. I also wanted to feel comfortable around my peers and celebrate my culture freely. It was the only way for me to become more spiritually connected and enlightened within myself. 

 

It's Black History month; what does this period mean to you? 

This is a very important time not only for me but for the world. This is a time to celebrate the brave people who fought for our freedom and our equality. It’s a time for literacy and an opportunity for black voices and achievements to be spotlighted. It means there’s progress! 

 

Kianna and VoxBoxes: An ongoing love story. Sources: 1, 2, 3.

 

Your online boutique, Gloria and Diana, opened in July 2021. What pushed you to start your business at this point? 

I had the idea in my head for quite a while but I was scared to get started. I did tons of research—sourcing and branding and took a leap of faith. I ended up starting Gloria and Diana last summer because I felt like the universe was telling me it was time. I would think about it all day and I knew it was the right time to start, no matter what happened in the end. 
 

You named your store after your Puerto Rican grandmother and mother. What are the most important values these women have instilled in you? 

The biggest one that stuck with me is the value of giving. Puerto Ricans will open their homes and hearts to anyone who needs it—especially when it comes to food! As I got older, another value I developed was spirituality. My family is really spiritual and in my current life, it’s something I feel more connected to. I believe that these values will remain in my family’s upcoming generations, too. 

 

Your boutique is committed to offsetting carbon emissions from every delivery. Tell us more about how that works and how it aligns with your philosophy.

I wanted my boutique to be sustainable in some way. I was an intern at a climate change company and it was the best experience I’ve ever had. Today, I am a big advocate for Earth and Mother Nature. I can’t save the world but anything I can do to make it better is a start. Gloria and Diana is currently funding the Acapa - Bajo Mira y Frontera Forest Conservation Project in Colombia by contributing the offsets from shipping orders. 

Kianna wearing one of the outfits from her online boutique. Source.

 

You grew up in the Bronx and regularly create content around New York City's aesthetic. How do you think the city influenced your fashion style growing up?

Speaking from experience, it all started when I had to go to school with a dope outfit—fashion was a way to connect to my peers. Trying to show up with a great outfit every day forced me to focus on my style. NYC is definitely a place of creativity and as I got older and discovered my personal style, I started to notice the fashion around me and dipped my toes into different elements I liked.

 

One last question for the road: What's on your radar for spring 2022? 

My goal is to release a new collection for Gloria and Diana and create a ton of content for my social channels. I plan to work with more brands this year in general. I’m hoping that my following doubles by this spring!

 

Our favorite content from Kianna:

 

Do you prefer TikTok over Instagram like Kianna? 

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