In our next Spotlight interview, we chat to Katie Knapp, of The Rebel Girls Club about the project, and plans for the future.
What is your mission statement?
So, The Rebel Girls Club is very new, but it’s something I’d been thinking of setting up for a while now. The blog is inspired by women and the creative community in Hull. Over time, I would like The Rebel Girls Club to feel like an inclusive space online where people can share and engage with one another.
My ultimate goal is to spread positivity and to encourage women to talk about some of the challenges they face and share their stories, dreams and even strategies for self-love and self-care. I would also like to give Hull brands, local businesses and entrepreneurs a platform where they can promote themselves and in turn, inspire others to do the same. Basically, I just wanna keep spreading those positive vibes around Hull and beyond, to show what our little city is all about!
What sorts of things motivate you personally and professionally?
Equality is a big motivator for me, as you can maybe tell from The Rebel Girls Club. It’s just really important to me, both personally and professionally. My day job is as a Teaching Assistant in an Special Needs School and my pupils inspire me every day to be positive and treat people with respect. It’s the best job in the world, and I also get school holidays, which is amazing (sorry, not sorry!) because I get that extra time to hang out with wonderful people who inspire me.
Being creative is a big part of my life too. I did a Textiles degree and I love bright colours and bold prints, which has definitely inspired the aesthetics of my blog/insta. In my spare time I’m the Co-Host of a podcast with my best friend, it’s called Our Strange Girlhood and we have a lot of fun recording it. It’s basically a hobby that’s got out of hand haha, but we enjoy talking about all the weird stuff we were into as kids and how it’s shaped us into the “grown ups” we are today.
What are the biggest challenges you face, and how are you working to overcome them?
I guess my biggest challenges so far, have come more from society’s expectations of me as a woman, rather than from anything else. I have found this bothers me more the older I get and I guess this was one of the main reasons I started The Rebel Girls Club, to share those feelings of self-doubt so that other women know they’re not alone and can feel empowered.
We all face our own challenges and sometimes these can be a result of other people’s ideals. What we should have achieved by when etc… I guess this has caused me some anxiety, especially during my twenties, when I was trying to figure out (like most) who I was and what I was all about? Now that I feel more comfortable and confident, I would really like The Rebel Girls Club to help others feel the same way.
What are your goals for the future?
My main goal is for The Rebel Girls Club to be accepted and enjoyed by anyone who comes across it really. I have no major plans for world domination! I am really enjoying running the blog and interacting with people.
I would like to do more interviews with Hull women, attend events and carry on supporting local businesses in our city. The blog has already opened lots of doors for me in a really short space of time and shown me a side of Hull I didn’t realise was there. We live in such a friendly, vibrant city and I really want people to feel connected to that and be part of a positive, creative and open community.
What are your Top Five Tips for a good Self Love strategy?
Any tips I can offer are based on my own personal experience really. I’m always really aware when writing my blog that we are all so different, so what works for one person might not work for another. I also think it’s really good to share, as the best advice I’ve ever been given has come from friends, family or even strangers.
What you say to yourself matters – This is a motto I try to live by now that I’m in my thirties! It’s not ok to look in the mirror and criticise yourself or beat yourself up over a decision, or way you’re feeling. You wouldn’t let someone else talk to you like that, so why accept it from yourself?
Cultivate Kindness – This is another big one for me. No-one is perfect and it’s hard to put others first sometimes, but kindness costs nothing and an act of kindness just feels so good. It’s a win-win really!
Remember, it’s ok to say no – I used to be a ‘yes’ person, even if my heart wasn’t really in it. Now, I take pride in saying no! I know that I’ll be no use to anyone if I’m tired or stressed, least of all myself… Saying no more has helped my relationship with myself and with my friends and family too. Sometimes ya can’t do it all, you’re only human. It’s that simple.
Do what makes you happy – After starting my own podcast with by BFF and then setting up The Rebel Girls Club blog, I’ve realised how amazing it is to do what makes you happy. It’s such a confidence boost, just caring enough about something, to take time out of your normal routine and enjoy being YOU!
If the going gets tough, ask for help – Sometimes, it can feel like worrying about self-love is really far down on your agenda… But no matter how hectic your life gets, you still matter. Asking for help whilst I was going through a stressful time, had a hugely positive impact on my self-esteem and helped me rebuild confidence in myself. How we feel on the inside can impact on every part of our day to day lives, so tackling those feelings was by far the best thing I ever did for my own self-love.
For more information, visit The Rebel Girls Club on Instagram @therebelgirlsclub!