We had the good fortune of connecting with Kasie Hayes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kasie, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
My name is Kasie Hayes and I am a multidisciplinary creative entrepreneur. While I wear many hats in the creative world, photography and videography are the main external services that I offer. Prior to having kids, I thought that I would not be able to pursue my creative dreams if I had children. Now, after getting married and bringing two beautiful babies in the world, I see that my children were the catalysts that forced me to bet on the creative gifts that I have to offer the world. As a parent, I realized that the best thing I could ever do for my kids is to be the best version of myself possible. To give them the opportunity to see their mother use her gifts, is to to give them sturdy shoulders to stand on as they discover their own. Leaving my corporate job and my job as a teacher to stay home with them and forge my own path towards success has been so impactful on my family as a whole. More specifically, as I watch my daughter, a child born with Down Syndrome, flourish in creative environments (especially in the visual arts arena), as I watch my son experiment with playing the harmonica at the age of two, I see that my pursuit of the things that fill me are also filling them.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Man, I could talk all day about my art. I would like to say that I am first a visual artist turned photographer. When I became a parent, I couldn’t risk having paint and canvases laying around to get trampled afoot by tiny toddler toes. So, I shifted to a digital means of creating and it has opened up a whole new world to me. I started in the arts from a very young age. I took my first art class in the fifth grade and I was able to attend an arts magnet middle and high school. Needless to say, the principles and elements of art and design are permanently ingrained within my person. I aim to technically execute anything that I put my hands to with excellence. My perspective as an artist permeates and informs my photography and videography as well as my graphic art.
While I am at the beginning of my career as a creative entrepreneur, right now, the thing that I am most proud of is all of the technical knowledge that I have acquired that accentuates and expands my raw abilities. I went from doing everything with my hands to learning to use a digital camera, learning to fly a drone, obtaining a remote pilot’s license with the FAA, learning to use a gimbal and gaining more understanding in the audio engineering world. I have pushed myself beyond the comforts of brushes and canvases and have embraced new tools to creatively communicate.
I am where I am today because of the support of my family and friends and because I have bet on myself. I have researched, planned and executed my way to discovering ways that I can maximize my time with my family while also doing the things that revive my soul while simultaneously providing income for my family.
This journey has definitely not been easy. I want to quit often, I second guess myself often. I suffer from imposter syndrome OFTEN. Although, its been hard and I constantly question whether or not this is the best pursuit for my family, at the end of the day, I believe there is a seat for me at the table. I believe that there has to be a space in the world for my gifts to forge a pathway of generational wealth and change for my family. What helps me push past feelings of defeat is the fact that I don’t just want to exist. I want to leave every gift I have on the field of life. And for me, the only way to do that is to create forward.
There are three lessons that I have learned thus far:
1. Progress is progress. I had to stop comparing my journey to the next person. My life looks different. Most entrepreneurs may not have some of the challenges that I have and that’s okay. Keep it moving. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Progress is progress.
2. Fail forward. Failure is inevitable. It’s what you do with those failures that will define you. It’s actually not a failure if you learn from your mistakes. It’s only a failure if you quit because of your mistakes.
3. Do it afraid. Courage isn’t the absence of fear. It’s having the grit to move forward in spite of fear. It doesn’t matter if you wake up afraid every day. All that matters is that you move forward in spite of your fears.
I want the world to know that my daughter, who was born with Down Syndrome, changed my life. I want the world to know that she matters and that there is a place in the world for her and people like her if we could just embrace the things that make us different – while seeing all the ways that we are more alike than different. My baby girl put a fire in my soul to push that I never experienced before (and I was passionate before becoming a Mom). Watching her fight for every milestone motivates me to know that if she can overcome her obstacles, so can I. Seeing her defy odds teaches me that I can too. Seeing the beauty of her differences helps me to see the beauty in mine.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take my best friend to this coffee shop off of Singleton Blvd. called Soirée in West Dallas. It is the cutest black owned coffee shop that pays homage to some of the greatest singers and musicians. The coffee is amazing, the interior is so dope, they have live music and entertainment and the customer service is phenomenal. I would also take them to JTaylor Studios for a tour of her new photography studio set up! I would also take them to Abide Women’s Services to showcase the work that they do there to bring maternal and fetal justice to black and brown women and babies by providing top care and resources to low income families while amplifying the voices of black and brown birth workers and caregivers.
Lastly, I would take them to eat of course! Dallas food is so good that you can’t really go wrong, but one of my favorite spots is Don Taco!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I want to shout out my husband, Eric Hayes. He has been the best support in the lowest of moments. Every time I have ever questioned myself and my abilities, he has been right there reassuring me, encouraging me and pushing me to keep going. His belief in me as a person and his love and sacrifice for our family, fuels me more than anything. He is a motivational public speaker and what he does for others, he does for me every day. It’s so awesome journeying with him through this thing called life. I also want to thank my Mom, Sharon Elston and my brother, David Elston II. Before I had a husband to cheer me on, these two were my main sources of encouragement and support. From financially supporting my endeavors to physically attending shows and events, they have never wavered in their support of me. Finally, I deeply value and appreciate every client who has ever trusted me to capture their moments!
Professionals that I owe homage to for every creative jolt, every boost of encouragement and every piece of practical wisdom include Kiara Walls, Soluto Uba (Uba Law Group), Jessica Taylor (JTaylor Studios), Temi and Afritina Coker (Coker Studios), Marcus Crawford (The LC Lifestyle), Monica Johnson (Monica Johnson Photography), Laveta Beavers (Laveta Rochelle Photography), Tasha Scott (Maximize Growth, LLC), Olivia Smith and Wisteria Warren (Wisteria Jade Photography). I don’t have enough space to name everyone who has contributed to my journey but you know who you are and I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart!
Facebook: Kasie Hayes Photography
Youtube: What The Hayes – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2Ni4HLZi_r3vkwOJlQn7lg
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