Y21 Woman #3 / Kelly Misa
Y21: Why did you decide to strike out as a content creator?
Kelly: I didn’t really consciously seek out this job, to be completely honest. I sort of evolved into it. From being a commercial model, I shifted to publishing as a writer, editor and beauty columnist, then moved on to blogging, then learned to edit and vlog, and now I concentrate on creating content for Instagram and sometimes Tiktok. I think I slowly adjusted to the times, rather than seeking out this job. I’m very happy though that all my past jobs help me so much with what I do now.
Y21: What does your typical day look like?
Kelly: Lately, or since the pandemic happened and kids shifted to online classes, my mornings are devoted to my son’s schooling. We wake up and I have to help him prepare for school, eat breakfast, catch up on his lessons and projects, then proceed to his online class. I leave him alone for the most part, but there are times when we needs me to help him set up for a learning game, project or experiment. Then I’ll have to be within earshot.
After that I plan and create content for my social media accounts. This includes setting up, doing my hair and makeup and shooting myself (with a tripod) on video or photo. Then I will need to edit, until my son and husband call me to bike with them in the late afternoon. Afterwards, we have dinner and settle down before bed. And my day starts again.
Y21: What challenges do you face in your day-to-day life?
Kelly: It’s really time management and planning ahead. Most days it feels like there isn’t enough hours in a day. But I try to remind myself that I can’t do it all in one day, and anyway, there’s tomorrow so I try not to stress about the lack of time. But it’s hard when I have deadlines. Definitely planning ahead and shooting ahead helps, but editing can be super time consuming. It’s a difficult job but I can’t think of doing anything else really!
Y21: Where do you look for creative inspiration?
Kelly: Since I worked in a newspaper and magazine back in the day, I try to apply what I learned when creating an article or story. I try my best to answer a problem (it could be simple ones like how to tie a trench coat belt or create a no makeup look), and show solutions. I try not to just post whatever on my feed. I always feel like it should have substance and it should help someone with that particular problem (could be fashion, beauty, travel or parenthood). I try to find creativity in the mundane, everyday things. And think — what solution can I provide to make it less boring or repetitive?
Y21: What's your personal style?
Kelly: I love effortless style that’s fashionable but put together without looking like I’ve tried too hard. It’s a classic style for sure, but I put priority on fit and comfort. Being a mom really changed my way of dressing. It pushed me to be more creative—to dress well without showing skin and being uncomfortable.
Y21: What makes you happy?
Kelly: An organised closet makes me happy. Seeing all my beloved things looking all pretty, colour-coordinated, all in a row makes me smile.
Y21: What does freedom mean to you?
Kelly: Freedom is being able to express myself authentically without having to worry about what others think of me or having to self-doubt myself. I love being in my own skin and owning up to my actions without having to explain to anyone.
Y21: Any tips on maintaining a healthy work life balance?
Kelly: Make a list before sleeping, like all the things you need to do the next day, set your alarm, forget about it and really sleep. Then try your best to accomplish all the things on the list, whether it’s just a small task or a big one, be proud you did it. For big ones, I break it down to smaller tasks so I don’t get overwhelmed. It’s really hard to focus when I know I have big projects looming over my head. But when they’re broken down, they don’t seem so hard anymore.
Y21: You’re both a mum and a content creator. How do you balance your time between the two?
Kelly: I make sure my content includes being a mom, so I can work and be with my family at the same time. It has worked for me so far, as I’ve been able to travel with my family and shoot campaigns with them. Of course work is so much easier when I’m with my family and we really try to make a day of it. We have fun with it!
Y21: What advice would you give to new mums?
Kelly: Being a new mom is so hard, but it’s all worth it seeing your little one grow up before your eyes. Take it one day at a time but cherish it, because as the saying goes, the days and long but the years are short. Time really flies, especially with kids. Take photos and videos and be present. This time won’t come back and you’ll want to make the most of it and never regret missing out on these wonderfully crazy hard and fun years.
About Kelly Misa
Kelly Misa-Fernandez remains to be one of the most recognised faces in the Philippines, having been a model for nearly two decades. Her work has brought her numerous jobs in Hong Kong, China, and Thailand, and has opened doors for more than a few hosting and acting gigs.
Follow her on Instagram, @kellymisa.