Hi Zara, how’s it going? Tell us a little bit about who you are, where you’re from and what you do!
Hey! I’m Zara Khalique, I’m 25 and I’m from Manchester, UK. I’ve been running my positivity movement and lifestyle brand Keep It Bright for almost ten years now! I live to uplift, inspire and empower. I design and run every aspect of the brand myself.
As well as running a rad lifestyle brand, you actually offer lots of different sessions and services… tell us more please!
Many people do look to me for inspiration and guidance and I receive many messages every day asking for advice and help, I reply to as many as I can, but I now also offer 1-to-1 sessions for more thorough advice and guidance of all kinds. I’ve also been running workshops and doing youth work since I was 17. my latest book, the Keep It Bright Book contains all the ways of thinking that have helped me to change my life for the better.
How come you decided to get into a career / lifestyle of internet positivity spreading?
When I was a teenager and I wasn’t in the greatest place / had unhealthy ways of thinking (as I think lots of teenagers do find themselves in due to dealing with difficult issues for the first time, peer pressure, the media and all sorts of factors), one friend that I started speaking online who was a few years older and wiser than me, assured me that things would be alright, and I began to realise that the way i think really affected my life. Once I realised that the way you think can literally change your life, and in my case, it saved my life, how could I not try to help others to do the same?! I wanted to be that person for other people, to tell them about the light at the end of the tunnel and help them to find inner peace and live happier lives.
How do you use merch to get the word out and promote your posi messages?
I use all different kinds of items to help promote positive messages; from badges and stickers with bright slogans, to prints and posters with important reminders, right through to bold clothing with big messages!
Which items of merch are your most popular?
I try to have something for everyone in my range, my Stand Up T-shirts and sweatshirts have been super popular recently, I guess in light of all the crazy shocking events of 2016! Giving people the chance to wear their heart on their sleeve (and chests!) is giving them a voice when they need it.
Do you make a lot of things yourself? Do you make custom orders for people etc?
Yes, I still make lots of things by myself! I hand-paint a lot of items still just like i did from the beginning, I embellish and sew things by hand whenever I get chance to! I used to take a lot of custom orders when I first started out but don’t really have the time nowadays!
How do you promote yourself online? What kind of channels are your most popular?
Back in the day, I started on Myspace and Facebook, but Instagram has definitely been bae for me for the past few years and is my favourite, since it’s image-based, it works really well for my brand. I also love You Tube!
You’re going to have to tell us how you’re connected with Miley Cyrus and how she became such a great brand ambassador for KIB!?
I sent Miley some stuff over and she just loved it and has been wearing it pretty much non-stop for the past 2 years. It’s safe to say KIB is one of her favourite brands as she’s spotted wearing my creations all the time! She’s the perfect ambassador for my brand as she always stands up for what she believes in, does her best to create positive changes and always wears her heart on her sleeve!
How are you going to keep spreading positivity on the internet? What’s next for KIB?
I post lots on Instagram so there’s always something there for people when they need it. I’ve done various campaigns over the years on self-harm, anti-violence, bullying etc, and would like to do more on sexual assault/abuse and other topics that hurt my heart! I definitely always try to be the change I want to see, and encourage people to do the same. I definitely want to be more active on You Tube next year and just keep expanding my book and product range as much as I can!
Could you give us three top tips for making everything a little bit more awesome?
1) I think gratitude and attitude are always gonna be joint number 1, as your perspective and mindset affect the way you see everything and are the most important thing! Be sure to count your blessings and look for the silver linings and blessings in disguise.
2) Live from your heart. be honest, compliment people, be kind, go the extra mile to make things more magic and fun and beautiful, drop your fears and begin to live more instead of just existing, be the person you want to be.
3) Just get started. If you have ideas or goals or dreams, just make sure to take the first steps, and get those plans in motion. If you don’t take the first step, you’ll never get there. Dream big and just go for it, it’s better to try and to fail than to never push yourself or try to achieve something at all!
As we’re talking about positivity, tell us about your perfect day please…
My perfect day would consist of palm trees, all of the Mexican food, preferably being in Barcelona or Ibiza or Mexico, being productive, helping people, making progress (I think progress is one of the best feelings!) and doing good deeds to make other people’s days!
If there’s anything else you’d like to add or promote, then please do so now…
If you’re looking for a place to start with positive thinking (but with no cheesiness, just realness) then be sure to pick up The Keep It Bright Book, I also have 2017 Diaries & Calendars available now to get your new year off to the brightest start! (Check this link out).