We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Dowd and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson. This quote is plastered everywhere in my house. In 2018 I decided to get myself physically healthy. I had packed on and carried extra weight for years. This extra weight constantly forced me into a dark headspace of unworthiness and hopelessness. Several months into getting healthy myself I decided that my calling was to lead others to physical health as well. It’s a scary business move for a successful artist but my heart was telling me to focus on the whole life aspect of my clients. GypsySoulInteriors became GypsySoulLiving and now I can help others feel beautiful in all the spaces, their homes, their clothes, their bodies and most importantly, their minds. The chain reaction that started by me sharing my story vulnerably and authentically has led thousands of people to chose to prioritize their own health. My business now is still very much creative focused, because that’s me, that’s my passion. I’m truly living the “And Both” life by combining design and healthy living. I chose to live my life out loud and let all my clients see the beautiful transformation of my life on the inside, not just through filters on the outside. My prayer is that this vulnerability unlocks the chains that are keeping other people stuck in destructive habits.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a Health and Lifestyle coach, I want to challenge my clients to really feel emotions and pain that they are numbing with food and alcohol. I don’t coach a diet, I coach and lifestyle change. I personally went through some extremely trying life circumstances and know what my clients are feeling. I’ve chosen to find a purpose to my personal pain by helping other people know they aren’t alone and they can chose a different life. Sometimes those choices are hard, but freedom is on the other side of addressing the “yuck” and moving forward. I’ve been called a little blind drill Sargent and I think it’s pretty funny. My Alabama accent coupled with my ruffle sleeves and gold accessories are pretty far from a drill Sargent, but if it’s what my clients need, it’s what they get!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ohhhhhh I love this question because I LOVE Texas! First day, we would start in Fort Worth. Even though I live in Dallas, let’s face it, Fort Worth is better. We would eat a long margarita filled lunch at Joe T’s on the patio followed by the obligatory Cattle Drive in the Stockyards. I think we would have to stop in and see Ginger Walker and Pat Greens art at GalleyWinter Gallery and hope that Pats wife Kory was hosting a trunk show next door at Local Design Studio. Then I would love to have dinner at Clay Pidgeon and go two stepping at The White Elephant after dinner! Full day huh??? In Dallas we would have to do Javiers, Jose and Dunstons and then head to Scout Design Studio and Benny Jacks for shopping. One Dallas day has to include Neimans and popovers and consommé. Then we’d pack up at head to the Hill Country! The JW Marriott Hill Country, tubing the Comal and dinner at Gruene Hall. Last day would be a day in gorgeous San Antonio! Maybe poolside at a river walk hotel, and then happy hour at Hotel Emma and dinner at Bohannon’s. Whew, that’s a lot huh???
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This shout out is dedicated to my children. My strength, drive, determination, energy and passion for my work is gleaned from looking at those little faces each day. I am determined to do all I can to show these kids the strongest mom possible and one that has will walk through fire to make their lives better and the lives of her clients. Mama decided to get healthy for y’all first and found myself as a bonus! I love you!
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Hal Samples, Photographer