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Meet Holli Ann

Today we’d like to introduce you to Holli Ann.

Hi Holli, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In a world (that I very much actively participate in) full of oversharing your day to day affairs across a variety of social media channels, it somehow feels self-indulgent to share a mini-autobiography with strangers whom I’ve never met…so bear with me as I struggle to find the right words to share my story with you. Also, hi! It’s nice to “meet” you.

I was born in the central United States but have considered myself to be a Midwestern transplant since moving here a little over a decade ago. I grew up in a military family (recovering Air Force brat), which meant that we got to live in and experience many places around the globe during my childhood. I’d like to think that I draw much of my passion for our global community from my roots (or lack thereof) as an avid traveler as a child. After relocating to the east coast after my parents’ divorce in the late 90’s, I ended up attending college in Virginia where I majored in International Studies with a focus on Islam and the Middle East. I moved to the metro area about a decade ago and have called the Midwest home ever since. Kansas City is my home…for a variety of reasons.

KC is the place I’ve lived the longest, the community in which I am honored to have found my chosen family. It’s the space in which I have willingly decided to raise my own daughter and the environment that’s helped me grow into my own humanity. Despite the fact that I lived in several places during my childhood, a lot of my growing took place right here in this town. I am who I am today because of the life I’ve lived right here in the heart of America.

My story isn’t simple. When I moved to Kansas City, I brought a lot of baggage with me. I didn’t have a lot in the way of material possessions at the time but I carried with me a lot of internal battles from my past. After becoming a parent in February 2011, being the best version of myself I could possibly be suddenly became a little bit more important to me. I started to unpack all of that negative internal dialogue and focusing on my overall wellness. Over the last five years, specifically, I’ve uncovered parts of myself that I didn’t know existed. I’ve dropped over 100 pounds of physical weight and shed so much of what held me back from reaching my potential for so many years. More importantly, I’ve unearthed who I am…what I’m passionate about, and how inspired I feel to do what I can to help make the world a better place.

So who am I today? I self describe as a thirty-something Midwestern transplant who loves nouns and sarcasm but I’m a lot more than that. My most important and favorite role of all time is as a single mom to my incredible daughter who inspires me every day. My daughter and I are currently in the process of welcoming her cousin (my niece), whom I will be taking legal guardianship of, into our world. By day, I earn an income doing small business marketing and taking on small projects doing ghostwriting and audio narrating. In my free time, I co-own a small-batch coffee roasting business with one of my best friends, podcast, write a blog, volunteer, and travel as often as I can. Life is chaotic, I’m constantly growing, learning, exploring, and trying to put kindness and love at the center of what I say and do. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I think it’s in our nature to be “fine” even in the moments when we’re not…right?

That’s why so many of us answer “I’m good” when asked how we’re doing.

A decade ago, I would have struggled to admit to you that my childhood wasn’t easy for me. In working through the hurdles of my past, however, I’ve come to understand how incredible vulnerability and authenticity can be in feeling connected with others. I often speak about my childhood from a rose-colored lens because I choose to focus on the good and leave the rest where it belongs (in the rearview mirror). In the interest of full disclosure, I had a rough go of things for over a decade starting in the late 1990’s. Much of my experience in that decade is what I’ve had to work through in the last decade but all of it has led me to the place I’m at now.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I often joke about what I want to “do” when I “grow up” (as if I’m not an actual grown-up in the traditional sense of the word already). My career has been somewhat of a gallimaufry edition so far but in defining myself as a creative, I’m learning that it’s okay to be a Jane-of-all-trades….at least a little bit. Professionally (and let’s use that term loosely, shall we?!), I specialize in helping small businesses find their voice through digital content and social media but my true passion exists in helping humans find their voices. It’s what I plan to dive more into as I navigate through the years ahead.

I worked for several years in digital media before branching off to do my own thing. Now I find myself earning an income working for people I respect and care about with plans to pursue my passion for writing. I’m working on a few different projects with writing: Exploring what Radical Kindness means in our modern world, documenting my personal journey through health and wellness including major weight loss, and hopefully inspiring others to make small changes that lead to greater lives. My current plans involve documenting all of this on my new website (I’ll be launching it later this summer,

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I earnestly believe that authenticity is the single most important thing when it comes to success in any situation in life.

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