Getting To Know Kaelah Bee

Kaelah of Little Chief Honeybee is hands-down one of the most inspiring people I have ever been fortunate enough to interview. I don’t even know where to begin to give you a brief idea of how marvelous she is. One of her blog goals is to make others feel beautiful. She runs an Etsy shop to raise money for her bulldog’s eye surgery. She has tattoos, but wears feminine, frilly dresses. I could ramble on, but since I did interview her I suppose I will let her speak for herself….
You write the blog “Little Chief Honeybee;” where does that name come from?
To be perfectly honest, I have NO idea. I think I just made it my Myspace name one day before the ultimate demise of the site. The honeybee part came from the fact I go by Kaelah Bee (short for Beauregarde) and I guess it just fell in place from there. (I could come up with something totally genius and fantastic, but that would just be misleading! Haha)
Please tell us a little of your background.
I was born and raised as an only child in rural Tennessee and have spent the past 4 years earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design at a teensy little art school just outside of Nashville. At this very moment I am working at my 2nd consecutive summer internship at BUST magazine in NYC. I'll be graduating in December and then who knows where I'll be going from there (Ideally it'd be back at BUST but we can all dream!) I just know that I'll have my wonderful boyfriend Mike and my sweet fat little English Bulldog, Georgia, to accompany me on the journey! It's going to be a good one…I can feel it.

How would you describe your style?
If I asked five different people to describe my style, I can guarantee you all five would say something dramatically different, except they may all say "surprisingly feminine." If you simply look at me from afar, you may be lead to believe I'm something so much different than what I truly am. I'm a redheaded, heavily tattooed gal with several piercings (and I'm actually incredibly shy!). This instantly portrays a certain persona and evokes a lot of judgment from some people. However, I basically like to dress as though every day is a tea party. Every day is a reason for a celebration. I wear a dress every single day. I don't even own a single pair of jeans (or shorts!). My friends even coined me the Tacky Floral-Print Lady (a title I've come to love and cherish). I just make it a priority to look and act (and feel!) feminine 100% of the time. Maybe I'm just a big walking oxymoron… Regardless, I wouldn't have it any other way.

What would you say your blog mantra is?
You are beautiful. You are loved. You are irreplaceable. I know my blog's focus is mainly my own personal lifestyle and such, but it's all part of the grander scheme of things. I've always felt drawn to a line of work that can help promote positive self-image and empowerment. (This is why I've always wanted to work in women's publication. I feel like too much emphasis is put on the less important things in life like the size on the tag inside your jeans.) I just wanted a free place to say that YOU are the most fantastic person on the planet, no matter who "you" are, you know? And I also think it's important to celebrate the little things in life.

You sell sweet accessories like flower brooches in your Etsy shop, is that a passion of yours? Do you think you’ll always be a creator?
I wouldn't necessarily say that my Etsy would be a passion as it really started after the flood in Nashville that took our home and I was left living at my parents' house for a month with absolutely nothing to do. I began it as a way to help pay for my sweet Georgia's third eye surgery and the reaction was great. I AM passionate about creating though. Anything and everything. Whether is simple crafting like my accessories, building bird feeders out of tea cups, or making album art on my computer for my weekly mixture downloads… I love to create things. I feel like my main mission in life is to make things pretty… and to make people feel pretty, whether that's through my words or my designs.

What are some of your other passions in life?
Something else that may be a bit surprising to people is that my number one passion in life is sharks and shark conservation. I can't even begin to tell you how nerdy I get about sharks! If you want a gal pal to hang out around the house and watch back to back DVDs of Shark Week and Nat Geo, I'm your girl! I've always said that if art didn't work out for me, I'd go back to school for a degree in Marine Biology (sadly those jobs are few and far between, too). My number one life goal is to free dive with a Great White. I'm also very passionate about design, adoption, and world travel just to name a few.

You've got a lot of really interesting passions, but let's expand on world travel for a moment. Where have you traveled and what places to visit are on your "bucket list?"
I've done a fairly extensive amount of traveling in Europe (well, by extensive I mean only 11 countries, but that was quite a whirlwind for me when I was only 20!). Budapest, Hungary and Amsterdam were two of my most favorite places. Switzerland was incredible, too! We went to the highest point in Europe (Jungfrau Joch in Switzerland!) and I got a terrible case of altitude sickness, but nothing in the world could beat the view from up there! It was just my friend Ashleigh and I so we managed to hit up a ton of places for not being there for too terribly long. I've gone to most of central and Eastern Europe, and I really loved Austria and Belgium as well. My number one place on my list to go in the future is Poland though! I have a very rich Polish bloodline and I know it would tickle my Nana if I were able to visit. I'd also like to venture to Tokyo (who wouldn't!), South Africa (Seal Island! The only place in the world where Great Whites actually leap out of the waters in pursuit of their meals!) and the Isle of Guadalupe in Baja Mexico so I can cage dive with Great Whites! (Is my obsession showing?! Haha).

You also said you're passionate about design, what facet specifically and how would you like to be involved?
I simply think good design is good design. I can admire architecture, package design, a nice logo or a well thought out dress... It started as fashion design but as I realized it wasn't for me, I wanted to do graphic design. Print had always won me over and I loved (and still love) holding a glossy magazine and cutting from the pages. I took several classes in package design and I definitely enjoyed it. I think it could be a fun job to have working in packaging at a fun cosmetic company (Think Too-Faced or Benefit even!). It's amazing to look around and realize that someone has designed absolutely every single facet of our lives. Industrial design is also incredibly interesting, though I doubt I'll actually delve into that realm. Ideally, however, I'd love to work my way up to Senior Designer and then Art Director at a publication such as BUST. Heck, even visual merchandising, such as window displays, is fascinating!

You’re very gutsy in the topics you tackle on your blog and you answer questions honestly—where do you find the courage?
I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. It's been a long time coming and I've fought with bouts of self-doubt, self-hate, heartbreak, etc. It took a lot of "experiences" to get me to where I am today. But my entire mindset changed after a huge breakup with my boyfriend of 3 years…I decided to just…be positive. To be honest and to never cheat myself of something I truly felt. And I guess when I found that "inner voice," I thought other people could benefit from it. Like I said earlier, I've always wanted to be involved in something that empowered females, made them rethink everything society has thrown their way, and made them really truly love themselves. I've found that by being 100% honest with who I am, where I've been, where I plan on going and all of my intentions, I've accomplished just that. I finally feel that I'm perfect the way I am…the awkwardly shaped pear figure rocking a size 12 and tangled hair with the not-so-perfect smile…I just wish other girls could feel that way, too.

I think you've done an amazing job of being positive and honest with yourself and I think it's something we all struggle with. Do you have any tips for other girls on how to think and be positive?
Thank you! I think it really all starts with simply stating to yourself that you want a change in your perspective. It's a conscious thing at first. You have to think about it day in and day out. If a negative thought creeps up, it's your duty to acknowledge it and move forward. After a while it just starts to become second nature. That's not to say I don't get some pretty crap feelings about myself at times (because I do!), but I just remember to acknowledge and keep going. Something that really helped me was printing out a typographic poster I had made in class one day with Max Erhman's Desiderata on it. The entire poem is absolutely brilliant but the best lines of all went: "You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars, You have a right to be here" I currently have one version of the poster hanging over my bed and the other in my bathroom. I see it and recite it every single day. Positive affirmations are so incredibly powerful, yet so undeniably simple.

You give a lot of great advice on your site, but what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
My mom always said "Just be you." I guess it's in line with the oh-so-famous Dr. Seuss line "There is no one alive that is youer than you". Makes sense when it's put in the context of middle/high school and always wanting to fit in. I think we all struggle with that at one point or another. It's so simple, yet so incredibly profound.

Can you remember the first blog you ever read, or what blog got you hooked on blogs?
I've actually been "blogging" online for about 8 years now! (Since I was 14… heyyyy LiveJournal!), but I think it was Gala Darling's whole thing that got me really pumped to be out there on my own platform like I am now. I really like what she does. She's down to earth, relatable, and always for female empowerment.
Quick Fire:
Heels or flats? Flats! (I wish heels! I walk like a lopsided penguin in them!)
Movies or books? Movies (or books that translate into girly romantic comedies! Anna Maxted, all the way!)
Rice or noodles? Rice!
Summer or winter? Summer!
Dogs or cats? Dogs (English Bullies! or Sharks! haha!)

For more of Kaelah visit her blog Little Chief Honeybee.


to top