Name: Kalyn Chapman James
Children & Ages: Phoenix, 11 and Zen, 7
Hometown/Current Location: Lives in Miami, FL, and is from Mobile, AL
Quick Bio: Kalyn Chapman James is the Host of Art Loft. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a minor in Sociology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. An accomplished dancer and choreographer Kalyn has danced since the age of nine. She served as a television journalist on The Fox Sports Network’s show Behind the Game, and she is the first, and only, African-American woman to be crowned Miss Alabama (1993) where she placed as a top ten semi-finalist in the 1994 Miss America Pageant. She has danced professionally for the Universal Dance Association and Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney/MGM) in Orlando, Florida.
Kalyn’s been working in the arts since moving to Miami in 2003. She worked as a teaching artist for Arts for Learning Miami where she instructed after school programs in some of Miami’s most under-served communities, including Wynwood and Overtown, and at Girl Power in Liberty City. She’s performed in the MTV Video Music Awards, the Latin Video Music Awards, the Latin Billboard Awards, as well as danced and choreographed for the Univision and Telemundo Television Networks in Miami. She has worked extensively as an events emcee, a print and television model, appearing on the pages of Glamour, Ebony, Essence, Jet, and O Magazine, and has been featured in national commercials for Crocs, Hershey’s Air Delights Chocolate Candy, Old Navy and Walt Disney World. She currently teaches fitness classes at Ironflower Fitness Miami and is also the Corporate Sponsorship Coordinator for the Adrienne Arsht Center, where she secures funding to support the Center’s education and outreach programs. Kalyn also hosts her own lifestyle vlog, Fashion Style Miami! You can see art loft on WPBT2 on Tuesdays at 7:30pm or watch episodes online at www.wpbt2.org/artloft. Catch Fashion Style Miami at www.facebook.com/therealfashionstylemiami. Follow her on twitter and Instagram: @kalynjames and @fashionstylemia
Q: What is your “go to” snack/toy/show/trick when your kids start to fuss?
A: I remind them that it’s important to be kind to one another. I encourage them to read and if all else fails get out the iPod or iPad!
Q: How do you balance being a Mommy and keeping your sense of self?
A: Being a mommy is the ULTIMATE responsibility. I feel it’s important to lead your children by example regardless of your career choice. If you are a stay at home mom or a corporate executive, it is important to teach your children how to commit to and execute their responsibilities well and how to balance responsibility with a decent quality of life. In addition to being a great leader in work, you must remember to take time for yourself. Whether a walk in the park, a weekly exercise class, or a monthly massage – you must find time to recharge and show them that life requires balance. By doing the things I love – I keep my sense of self. I work in the performing arts, I host a TV show which is one of my dreams come true and I teach fitness classes which is a great stress release for me.
Q: What is your favorite piece of advice to new Moms?
A: Cherish every moment. Time passes so quickly so it’s important to hold them near and cherish each moment and every smile.
Q: How do you incorporate fitness into your daily routine?
A: I teach fitness classes a few times a week at Ironflower Fitness Miami. This allows me to work out, get paid to do it and inspire other women to feel and look their best! When I can’t work out, I try to take the stairs, take a walk on my lunch break or find a way to be active on the weekends, including playing Just Dance with my kids! It can really help you break a sweat! And, no, I don’t show my kids any mercy. I have the high score on every routine! At least while I can!! Lol!
Q: How would you describe your parenting style?
A: Tough fun love.
Q: Share your best or favorite place for a family vacation and tell us why.
A: I like Key Largo or any island destination where we can swim, snorkel and fish. I also like to see national monuments like the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls and The Empire State Building because travel is a great way to learn about your country!
Q: As a Mommy what is it that you feel you do “right”?
A: I talk to my girls about life and hold them to high standards in terms of discipline and responsibility, while still encouraging them to be kids. I expose them to physical fitness, education and culture and encourage their creativity and individuality. I give them lots of love and hugs and I apologize when I have done something wrong. They never doubt how much I love them and this builds their self-confidence. When they go places, stranger will approach me and say how well behaved they are and this means a great deal to me.
Q: Share something you have learned about yourself since you became a Mom.
A: I’ve learned that no matter how hard you try, you will never be a perfect person nor parent. You can merely do the best you can to learn, love, encourage and sacrifice to be the best mother you can be. I’ve also learned that time flies and that I am capable of juggling responsibilities and handling much more than I ever thought possible. Also, I have learned that crying is very therapeutic – and so is laughter!
Q: Describe your “Haute Mom” (fashion) style!
A: I love fashion and I take risks. This has spilled over to my girls and we have a great time deciding what we might wear to an event. I enjoy both the corporate and arts world at work so I can be more expressive and creative in my wardrobe choices. I have a fashion vlog called Fashion Style Miami and the girls often see me interviewing people about design so they understand fashion. I love designer shoes and mix high-low wardrobe choices to create a look all my own. You might see me in a Peter Pilotto for Target skirt and Chanel shoes! But more than anything, I stress that style is more about individuality and personality than it is about how much you spend on clothes. Confidence is the best accessory!
Q: What’s the best surprise you’ve ever done for your kids/family?
A: Taken them to a concert for Mindless Behavior and Diggy Simmons complete with a backstage meet and greet. Which makes me feel like I need to work on something a bit more special! Haha