I first met Kayla Short early last year during the fall/winter fashion season at World MasterCard Fashion Week (Toronto's former fashion week). I had been a reader of her blog, Short Presents, for quite some time so it was nice to meet the person behind the blog. As expected of a fashion blogger and on-air style expert, she was dressed impeccably, mixing on-trend pieces with the classics and naturally capturing the eyes of street-style photographers.
It's easy to remember all of this over a year later because she really made an impression on our first encounter – Kayla is probably one of the kindest people you will ever meet, she was friendly and engaging and truly enjoys getting to know people and sharing pieces of her life with others. We recently got together for a video chat, and not surprisingly we had lots to talk about; our conversation flowed easily and more than an hour had passed before we realized what time it was! I was happy to learn more about this fascinating woman, blogger, teacher, and all-around Kindness Ambassador so that I can share her story with you.
There's a quote from Diane Von Fürstenberg that Kayla has always related to: “I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I always knew the woman I wanted to be.” Kayla has always loved helping people, and always wants to share the things she's passionate about with others. A love of learning came naturally to her early on, and in true Rory Gilmore fashion she knew the exact university she would one day attend – at just 11 years old! So even if she didn't know it in her early years of university, a love of learning and wanting to share knowledge naturally led her towards a career in teaching – first receiving an English literature post-secondary degree before moving on to a degree in Education. Kayla eventually found herself holding several teaching- and development-related jobs at one time – she held a position as a teaching assistant, she tutored and babysat, and worked in a daycare. As if all of this didn't keep her busy enough, she was also writing for a magazine and had dreams of publishing a cookbook, always scribbling recipes everywhere, on napkins and scraps of paper. Cue the segue to how she started her blog in 3...2...1...
It might surprise you to learn that Kayla didn't create her blog – it was created for her as a surprise by her boyfriend. He knew she loved creating recipes and thought that a blog would be a good place for her to store them. He created Short Presents, posted a photo that Kayla took of a favourite restaurant; surprised her with the site and the rest is history. What started as a place to create “short” little blurbs on her favourite topics has become a resource for a large audience of readers, especially those looking for advice and information on food, beauty, fashion and travel. The reason it's become such a trusted resource is because Kayla employs the same mentality to her blog as she did when teaching – she wants you to learn something and take something away from each post. If she's sharing a recipe she wants you to know about the health benefits of certain ingredients; if she's sharing a style post she'll deconstruct an outfit and share why it works, as well as reveal the sources so you can recreate the look. In other words, the teacher in her is still active. As she says, “I'm still teaching, it's just that my audience is the internet, the world.”
Want more? Here's what #WeWantToKnow about Kayla:
I can't start my morning without...Setting an intention for the day. Before I grab my phone or a cup of coffee both of which are entrenched in my routine I always think about the day ahead and set one small intention for what I want to accomplish or how I want to approach what I need to do that day.
I have a weakness for...Potato chips. I'm a pretty healthy eater about 95% of the time, but I've never met a kettle chip I didn't like. Most Friday's I get a bag, and they rarely make it to Sunday. My fave right now are the dill pickle crinkle chips. Ahhh soo good. Is it Friday yet?
Most people don't know that I...Taught belly dance for four years, and still dance quite regularly but unfortunately my schedule just doesn't allow for enough commitment for me to teach. I'm happy to not be the one planning though :) it's nice to just show up, and do my thing.
Currently reading... "13 ways to look at a fat girl.” I just received all 6 of the Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees and of course I picked the shortest one first. I love that it's a Canadian setting because I've actually been there, and I can perfectly picture the places in my mind. I was also kind of a chubby kid in junior high, so I can totally relate to the storyline and all the bits about body image and self esteem.
I want...everything and nothing. I want to experience everything and expect nothing. When you expect nothing there's no disappointment, and when you want everything you never know where life will take you.
Many thanks, Kayla, for participating in #WeWantToKnow!