It's hard to describe Kit Graham in a few words -- she's a mentor, boss lady, killer cook and travel aficionado. And it just so happens I'm lucky enough to call her my boss/mentor. She's taught me so much about what it takes to be self-motivated and how to turn your goals into tangible success. Not only is she the voice behind the popular Chicago-based food blog, The Kittchen, but she also runs The Windy City Blogger Collective which is a company focused on creating a positive community for bloggers in the city. Naturally, I wanted to share with you all a little bit more about Kit!
How did you get into cooking?
I was always around cooking. Growing up family was always in the kitchen. My sister and I would often play around inventing recipes after school when we were in high school. The Food Network was constantly on. As an adult I started to research and learn how to cook, and then my friends started loving my recipes. I started out making lots of birthday cakes for friends.
What's your worst kitchen mishap?
I split boiling water on my foot and had to go to the Emergency Room. Other than that - lots of small burns.
Favorite recipe you've ever created?
I love my Molten Chocolate Brownie S'mores Pie. I have a big sweet tooth and I love how indulgent this dessert is.
What are your goals for the Kittchen?
At this point I love what I am doing. I want to write more and more travel content. And of course I would be happy to grow my reader base.
What are your goals for Windy City Blogger Collective?
To create more paying opportunities for members. I want bloggers to get paid for their work. I think bloggers are super talented and that they provide genuine and effective marketing for brands.
Proudest career moment so far?
Landing on the cover of Crain's Chicago Business. I never ever thought I would be on the cover of a business magazine. I have never even taken a business class.
Will you be opening up a quiche food truck in the near future?
Watch Kit's Steve Harvey segment for a little background on the question:
Umm no. I love what I do because every day is a little different. Some days I cook, some days I write, other times I am traveling. If I had a food truck I would be stuck in Chicago doing the same thing every day. Also, I am a terrible driver.
You're big supporter of woman run business -- what is your best piece of entrepreneur/blog advice?
Surround yourself with people will be cheer you along. Being a solo entrepreneur can be lonely. It's really important to realize that even if you are working alone most days (like I do) you aren't the only one out there. Create a little community of colleagues and learn how to help each other.
What made you move to Chicago?
NYC was too expensive and honestly, my bosses were so nice that I was scared I would get too comfortable in my job as a paralegal and never create a career for myself. Also, I had friends here and Chicago is way more affordable. I had this idea that by the time I was 25 I wanted to be on the path I wanted to be on. But, then the recession happened and I was unemployed when I was 25. Life throws you curveballs, things might not turn out the way you planned, but that is ok. Things turned out totally differently than I planned, but I am happy to be in Chicago doing what I am doing.
What do you love most about the city?
This is hard to answer. It's become my home. I feel like you can really make a life for yourself here. It is affordable, you can have a nice quality of life. But it is also so much smaller than New York, I feel like it is easier to meet people in your field and make a name for yourself here.
What do you miss most about Maine?
Being by the ocean. There is something so magical and yet humbling about the ocean. I also love the sense of community. I run into someone everywhere I go when I am home. There is also this sense of simplicity that I love. People aren't as obsessed with social media or the internet. They go outside and have real experiences. It's just a very different way of living. I feel like going back there grounds me.
Check out The Kittchen for more delicious recipes and killer travel tips!