Kamie Crawford (Photo Credit: Louis D’Amato)
Kamie Crawford is a model, television host, and entrepreneur.
In 2010 she became the first Miss Teen USA from Maryland. She fully immersed herself in the digital beauty space by starting a YouTube channel featuring tutorials on how to get her go-to beauty looks.
The enterprising beauty earned her degree in communications from Fordham University. While in college, she created the lifestyle brand NOX, which sells an assortment of goods, including name necklaces and T-shirts.
Now 25, Crawford divides her time between New York City and Los Angeles where she pitches, produces and guest hosts segments in fashion and pop culture.
Crawford spoke with us about fearlessly chasing her dreams.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to stop worrying so much. I was such a worrywart, always planning years ahead instead of just living in the moment. I’m just now learning how important it is to just be present and take each moment as it comes. You don’t always have to have everything all figured out.
Why is it important for women of color to lead or work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
I can’t stress how crucial it is for people of color, and even more, women of color, to be in boardrooms making and signing off on big decisions. As women of color, we are so exposed to so many different obstacles. We have the unique opportunity to see life in a different way. We have everything it takes to serve in these high-level positions. We just want to be empowered and respected by our counterparts to be able to do so.
Why is important for seasoned and experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
I think that as a culture, we often get a bad rep for being so focused on getting ourselves to the top that we forget to help the community. It’s so important for us to lift each other up and pave the way for our sisters. We will all face similar obstacles, but we don’t have to go through it thinking we’re the first to have done it. We’re so much stronger together.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition? What qualities or values do you deem indispensable in your business partners or collaborators?
I’ve never been someone who competes with other people. Even when I competed at Miss Teen USA, my eyes were never on anyone else but myself. I’m always competing against who I was yesterday, and who I can be tomorrow, so to me, it’s a no-brainer to have fellow content creators and storytellers by my side versus making it me against the world kind of thing. You have to have that support system, and who is going to get “it” more than those who are doing it right alongside you? When I’m collaborating with my peers or even brands, I want to partner with people who have similar values to me. People whose brands align with me and what I’m all about. It has to make sense and it has to be genuine. You could be the biggest brand in the world with the most followers, but if we don’t vibe, I’m out. It’s not worth harming your spirit to partner up with people who don’t share your values.
What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
Risk is my middle name. I am super impulsive when it comes to making big decisions but in a good way. Instead of overthinking it, I’m like, “Let’s do it.” I’ve moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for a year when I was 18, and now I’m 25 and moving across the country from NYC to LA. I think the biggest mistake you can make in life is not doing something that you had the ability to do. Everything in life is an experience. Most mistakes are really just lessons you need to learn in order to become the person you’re meant to be. As long as you’re not hurting anyone or yourself, make the mistake.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity, peace of mind, etc?
Family. I am in constant contact with my family. I try to go home as much as I can, just to realign my spirit and remind myself where I come from and who I am at my core. My family is everything to me — they’re my biggest support system.
Falling off the grid. Sometimes I have to just disappear. “Me time” is crucial, it keeps me sane. I always know when I’m feeling overwhelmed or unusually stressed it’s because I did not take time to just be with myself, by myself.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
Other than my mom, of course, right now I’m really inspired by anyone who speaks out against the lack of inclusion in the digital, beauty and fashion spaces. I’m very passionate about representation. I love having conversations with people who are just as fired up about it as I am. When I see their comments and active public resistance, it inspires me to keep using my platform to speak out too.