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Rising Stars: Meet Kamisha Walker of Frederick

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kamisha Walker.

Hi Kamisha, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Kamisha Ni’Chelle Walker (she/her), and I am a 24-year-old Beauty Content Creator based in Maryland. 

I’ve been creating beauty related content for almost about three years now. However, I’ve been a content creator for much longer I’ve created content across several different platforms off and on for several years. It wasn’t until COVID hit that I became a beauty content creator. 

Well, when everything was locked downI had a lot of extra time on my hands. I was enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I was earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism. Due to the pandemic, we had shifted to a virtual learning format for our classes. So, I was no longer commuting to and from campus by shuttle (which was extremely time-consuming), and I wasn’t going anywhere after classes. I wasn’t doing extracurriculars anymore. I could only see my friends virtually. So I had quite a bit of free time to fill and I ended up enrolling in a summer session course called “Becoming a Social Media Influencer.” 

It was very interesting. It was taught by a woman who ran social media accounts for her pet golden retrievers and they were actually quite popular. Our assignments for the course were all practices for building a social media presence, and we were responsible for posting at least once a week and regularly tracking our engagement. That was when I decided to start my beauty page – @glaminichelle. I had always had an interest in makeup that I had never been able to explore as a child, for a multitude of reasons. So when I made the account, I really just wanted to document my journey as I practiced makeup and learned how to do eyeshadow looks on my eye type. That summer session course and the lockdown allowed me the freedom to start practicing. And since, it has turned into a form of self-expression and it’s a part of my identity. So I’ve continued to do it. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been an easy path, at all. Being a beauty content creator or a content creator of any kind requires you to either have free time or make free time. For me, since starting this account, I’ve been in school full-time or working  full-time. So, in order to create the content I do, I have to carve that availability out of my daily schedule and prioritize makeup over social life, over sleep, over other things.  Many content creators live like this and have to find a work-life balance that will enable them to remain consistent as a creator. That’s something that is not easy to do, by any means. But it’s especially true for anyone who might have other outside responsibilities to manage.

Respectively, I’m still a very small creator. I am at a point where I make a bit of additional income from what I do. However, I do not make enough to support myself or quit my job so that I can become a full-time content creator. Imagine if I did, though? Things would be so much different.

For instance, as a small content creator, something you need to learn quickly is how to negotiate and advocate for yourself with brands when discussing opportunities. It’s no easy task. It’s actually one of the biggest challenges I face as a creator. I’ve struggled with getting brands to pay my worth or getting brands to understand that what they are offering is far too low for the amount of work or content usage rights they are requesting. It can be extremely frustrating at times., I’ve gone back and forth a hundred times with a brand just searching for common ground, only to then be ghosted. I’ve walked away from deals with brands I’ve always dreamed of working with when I’ve felt like the opportunity was unfair or the brand was trying to take advantage of me. If I was a full-time content creator – If I was bigger and able to support myself off of the income that I earned from social media, then it would be very likely that I’d have someone around me who could negotiate on my behalf and essentially alleviate the stress that comes from that and allow me to focus that energy elsewhere. Focus it into the content, into engaging, into being more consistent across my platforms. Anything. The world would open up in a way. But instead, negotiating is another layer in my job description. And it can be draining, especially in the months where the work just doesn’t come or it seems like everyone “loves” the work but has no desire to pay for it. If you’re not careful, it can cause you to burn out. I feel like that’s something that isn’t talked about enough AND I feel like that’s partly why it is so important for brands to pay creators of any size for their work. Because regardless of following, engagement or whatever other number these brands want to reduce us to, at the end of the day, it’s still our time and that time is valuable and it isn’t something that everyone has readily available or at their disposal.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
Thank you so much. So I am a content creator who has been creating within the beauty community space since June 2020. I specialize in cut-crease or editorial eye looks, often paired with a matte, full-coverage base and a nude or vibrant lip. Personally, I feel what sets me apart from others is that I tend to be for the creator and I am pretty forward on my platform. I work hard to create opportunities, not just for myself but for others, as well, and I fight avidly for influencer rights by educating others within the space on how they can negotiate with brands and informing them on how to spot if/when a brand is trying to take advantage of you. There is no standard for anything in the influencer marketing space. That’s dangerous. I think that if we ever want to get to a place where there is a standard, creators have to be willing to have open and honest conversations like these with each other. We have to educate each other and do our best not to gate keep information that could be helpful to others. 

What are your plans for the future?
So, I am currently still coming off the heels of an incredible opportunity. I recently partnered with a developing beauty shopping platform called Qortor to plan, organize, and execute a weekend-long brand trip to Detroit, MI.Seven beauty content creators journeyed to the city for a party sponsored by the Black, woman-owned brand, The Lip Bar, a professional photoshoot, and a weekend worth of fun. It was an opportunity for people with long-time online relationships to meet each other for the first time. We had people from several different areas of the U.S. and even someone from Canada come out for this. It was really incredible. We were all housed in an Airbnb for the weekend, which was great. We didn’t end up having a lot of spare time, but when we did, we just hung out with each other and did whatever we wanted to do. City exploring and all. I was really proud to have planned that opportunity with Qortor, and more importantly, to build the bonds of our community that much more with this opportunity. That’s what I’m all about. Outside of that, I am in the process of planning something else really big with Qortor and another mutual creator. I’m not quite sure when we’ll be able to divulge what we’re working on, but I promise, it’s revolutionary. So, definitely stay tuned.

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