Link to Issue—-> http://bit.ly/2foKlJF
1. Audrey, many people know you from the very beginnings of your social media journey. How did you start and what inspired you to put yourself out there?
It is very strange to think so many of my followers have grown up with me from middle school to adulthood. In all honesty, it has been just a creative outlet for me. I felt so trapped in adolescence and when the internet came about, it was like a blank diary or canvas for me, so to speak. I never put anything online because I was attempting to capitalize on it. It was my own form of therapy. I still believe it is today as well.
- Who was Audrey back when you started and who’s Audrey Kitching now?
She is the same person, just more refined. More grown up. I never followed the rules or the crowds and I always did whatever I felt I needed to do. I made a lot of enemies back in those days – but always through strong virtue. I remember when companies first started flying me to LA and paying me for work. I had basically been homeless and living in motels, skate parks and vans prior. I was very out of my element. I had no idea about trends, pop culture or that money lifestyle. I didn’t even really know it existed. I had never experienced people that would simply just use you as a stepping stone and feed you self-serving propaganda to gain something in return. I was born and raised in Philadelphia, a city where that lifestyle couldn’t survive a day. I went through this really explosive period for a few years where I would completely lose it on companies and industry executives when they would treat me as a tool or an object to gain money. To put it simply I burned a lot of bridges by standing up for myself in those days. I’m still exactly that same person, but these days I no longer find myself surrounded by these type of people or situations. I have left that lifestyle and those people far behind. I focus much more on creating what makes me feel better rather than what will make me money. I needed to experience both sides of the coin to really see the truth.
- How do you think social media is changing our lives, in terms of communication, business, and lifestyle?
I think social media is a double ended sword. I find that can be such a powerful tool for spreading creativity, knowledge, and inspiration- but at the same time, it can also be a drug for the ego by spreading hatred and self-serving lifestyles. I was trained in branding and media for a long time when I worked with Spin Media. I was getting over 3 million views a month on my blog because I understood how to tap into what people wanted. To go from posting only for views to posting only what I feel needs to be seen says it all. 3 million views a month to under 1000 likes on an image on Instagram. It’s such an interesting experiment really when you think about it. I know what people want, but I’m only going to give them what I feel they need. With that being said- I do love that I can google any word throughout the day and learn its context, find a recipe while I’m at the grocery store, in minutes and connect with like-minded individuals while in the bathtub who live a world away. Social media is a double ended sword indeed, but each of us has the power to choose which end we prefer to use.
- Who is your icon?
I really embody and love the archetypical female badass throughout history. Joan OF Arc, Lilith and Persephone just to name a few. Women who were warriors, who stood alone without fear. I think those are the women that girls should look up to – in exchange to a Pop-Star on stage with 400 people behind their carefully curated image. We need more powerful women who are honest, raw and real.
- What are the things that you’re trying to communicate?
Any message that you’d like to spread? I just want people to understand how much power they have in simply just being who they are. Every time you pretend to be something you are not you become weaker by the minute. Embrace your differences. Be who you were meant to be. There is only one YOU in the entire universe. That is powerful.
- Tell us a bit more about your company, Crystal Cactus and vision behind it.
Crystal Cactus is so special to me. I really wanted to create a lifestyle shop where people could buy spiritual items that promoted knowledge, personal power and healing without feeling tacky. I wanted to present these items in the way I feel that they should be represented, with beauty and power. I’m really focusing on empowering the divine feminine with bringing in very specifically guided products that work with the sacral chakra through healing. Female sexuality has been so repressed and exploited throughout history and it’s time women learn the truth and take back their power through self-love and respect.
- How do you see yourself within few years?
I have an idea, but it’s hard to say. Life has such a destined path for us carved out already and all we can do is walk it.
- The biggest inspiration and biggest flop in your life?
My biggest inspiration has just been my own personal experiences. My knowledge and pain and wisdom learned. I look back at my life and every single thing I have lived through was so important to me becoming who I am today. I don’t believe in failures. I see them as lessons to point you in a better direction. Those failures, we experience- they are more important than the triumphs.
9. How does spirituality translate into the style in your case?
Self-expression. My style has always just been about creating what I feel. I think the human body is so beautiful. It’s a big canvas to create what you want to say with.
10. What are the things you’d never show on social media, assuming that nudity is not controversial to you. Where is the limit that Audrey Kitching has?
I have a Scorpio Moon with a Leo Sun in astrology. Those are two of the most opposing sun / moon signs. I am such an open book who says everything and puts it all on the table- but at the same time I am the most secretive person alive and no one will ever really know who I am. I feel my limit is when I can no longer express what I feel in words or images. I will express everything I can in human form, but some things can only ever be felt. That is my limit. Feeling.
11. What do you think of collaboration with Mess Magazine?
These days I only work with people who let me be myself. Mess allowed me to be who I am, style myself and invoke the mood with my creative partner Brian Bruno. To me there is nothing else I would ever want from a feature. It was enjoyable in every sense of the word.