If combining PR with Hawaii living sounds like a dream, this post is for you! I recently chatted with with former Central PA native turned Hawaii resident Kait Hanson, of CommuniKait. She has been featured in outlets such as POPSUGAR, The Today Show, and Style Me Pretty, and talks about the challenges of freelancing, advice for bloggers, and the best part of living in Hawaii . She also has the cutest chocolate labs on the islands in my opinion.
Meet Kait Hanson, of CommuniKait
Aloha! My name is Kait. I’m a freelance writer and the visionary behind CommuniKait. I’m formerly from the east coast, and after working for the NFL and meeting my husband Dane, I swapped leather boots for Birkenstocks and now live in Hawaii! I’m equal parts sassy and smart-assy – always dishing out a sarcastic comment! I’m a margarita fanatic, serial jet-setter and a lover of classic Ray-Bans. You can usually find me playing with my dogs, trying a new recipe, online shopping or watching football. My goal is to use CommuniKait to inspire people to take great care of themselves; get more sleep, take more hikes, eat amazing food and spend more time doing the things they love!
How did you pick your PR blog niche?
I think my blog niche picked me! What began as a senior project morphed into an online journal to keep my family up-to-date on my life when I moved to Detroit to work for the Lions, and from there has become a creative space for me to share what recipe I’m making, how I spent my weekend and everything in between. I guess if I had to put it into a niche “bucket”, it would be a lifestyle blog but I focus mainly on food/drink, travel and life in the tropics
What did you do before you began CommuniKait? Did you always envision going solo?
I think CommuniKait has always been a part of me and sort of transitioned as I went through different parts of my life. I will say that I never thought or dreamed that blogging or freelance writing would be my full time job. Since I started cataloging my life in blog form, I have been in media relations, public relations and teaching, but writing from home with my two chocolate Labrador assistants is the best fit for me and offers me the most professional satisfaction.
What has been your biggest challenge and triumph?
I love when someone reads my work and comments or notes that it evoked any kind of emotion within them, which is challenging to accomplish, but seriously triumphant once achieved! Outside of actually writing, it was initially really difficult for me to work from home. I was constantly thinking – oh, I need to do the dishes, or straighten up my room, or countless other things you think about when you are in your house and not a cubicle. It was then I knew a dedicated space to get sh!t done was necessary. I’ve had an in-home office ever since!
Best part about living in Hawaii?
There are so many amazing things about living in Hawaii, but I think being able to go to the beach 365 days per year ranks pretty high. Though I will admit, it gets frustrating when people assume that just because we live here, we are always at the beach, surfing or drinking mai tais! Sadly, we have to pay our bills and go to the grocery store just like anyone else
Can you share your proudest career moment to date?
Wow – that’s kind of a tough one! I have had so many moments along the way that have meant so much to me both personally and professionally that never would have happened without CommuniKait. This fall, my husband and I are going on our dream vacation to Tahiti as part of a sponsored trip, which would have never even been a blip on my radar without my blog, so that is probably my proudest moment most recently! I would also say that blogging (and social media) has brought so many unlikely friendships my way that I hold so dear.
I’m grateful for the sense of community that blogging brings, despite the thick skin it sometimes requires.
One digital skill all #BossBabes should master?
Networking! One of the best things I ever did for myself was start replying to ever single comment I got on my blog. Reaching out, meeting people, learning about them and forming genuine connections. You honestly never know who is out there reading or who you might meet, so be open!
Any advice for future bloggers?
Have thick skin within your online presence. The internet is a big, big place and there are bound to be people who don’t like or agree with you, what you represent or what you do. That’s just the nature of the beast and knowing that going into it is a huge asset in the long run. I remember the first time someone made a derogatory comment, I felt gutted. It is almost laughable now, but I wasn’t prepared for the negativity the web sometimes brings along with it. Let yourself be upset for 5 minutes and then brush it all off.
Ready to CommuniKait?
If you want to learn more about Kait Hanson or CommuniKait, or live your Hawaiian dream vicariously through her, find her on Instagram at @bykaithanson.
All photography courtesy of Caitlin Schlabach Photography.