Kiea Houston owns her own consulting business is currently a stuntwoman and has stunt doubled for Fox “Empire”. She has also worked as a casting director, producer for theatre, and as an acting coach. We’re profiling Kiea and her impressive career today on Paperbeau, and you’re not going to want to miss out on her story and her advice. Read on to learn more about Kiea and her amazing career!
TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CURRENT BUSINESS. WHAT ARE YOU DOING EXACTLY?
The name of my business is Film Doula. It is a not-for-profit designed to help women bring their stories from concept to script. While it is a consultation based business, we are fundraising and producing a film entitled “Seven”. “Seven” is an action short that focuses on domestic violence and the ways in which we survive.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH YOUR BUSINESS IDEA?
I come from a very creative family and storytelling is an essential component to the Black experience. There is something about listening to a woman tell her story that just sits right with me. To put these stories on screen is fulfilling the purpose of (a) representation of diversity in women’s voices (b) inspiration to get through the monotony, challenges, and triumphs and (c) a call to live your best life and live authentically. I see a ton of stories from the male point of view and have enjoyed those stories as I LOVE a good action film. I am starting to see female directors and producer make art. This is where I belong.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE THIS, AND IS THIS YOUR FIRST BUSINESS?
A whole host of things: I worked as a casting director, producer for theatre, an acting coach. I also worked with Fork the Man and Crash of the Rhinos producing quality independent content. I’m currently a stuntwoman and have stunt doubled for Fox “Empire”. Basically, working on things that align with creative arts.
WHAT SPECIFIC ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR YOUNG WOMEN WHO WOULD LIKE TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Understand the ups and downs of your chosen profession. Take breaks but don’t quit. No matter what people tell, if you have a burning desire to change the world, you are going to have to go for it and surround yourself with others like you.
MY GREATEST OBSTACLE AND HOW I DEALT WITH IT:
My greatest obstacle was experiencing a mentally and physically abusive relationship. I deal with it by healing any issue that comes up. My lifesaver has been Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jiu Jitsu competitions and training with the best partners and coaches, meditation, coffee with supportive people, and of course dogs!
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT:
Competing in Jiu Jitsu. Still be able to look back and know that no matter what, I’ll be alright. Also, the last film I helped produce is nearing fifteen festivals and inspiring people to keep going.
HOW I BLEND LIFE AND WORK TO CREATE THE LIFE I WANT:
It is a constant juggling act and I just make time for self-care as well as becoming an excellent long-term planner.
I AM INSPIRED BY:
People who overcome trauma and thrive.
WHY I CHOSE THIS CAREER:
This career chose me.
HOW I PREPARE FOR SUCCESS:
In every situation, I try to be the most prepared person in the room. I also think through plans A-Z and always have a backup plan. When something goes wrong, I just try to remain solution oriented.
DID YOU WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN? WAS IT AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR YOU?
I did. It was effective but the business plan was not as effective as applying for a grant. The process of grant writing helps you clarify your ask.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES TO BEING A WOMEN BUSINESS OWNER?
It depends on who you work with. I think this is the biggest advantage. You get to put together your team and lay a strong foundation for what you hope to achieve. I don’t see any disadvantages to being a woman business owner once you understand the ups and downs and develop financial literacy.
MY FAVOURITE BUSINESS TOOL IS…
Tailor Brands. It helps you create social media posts and branding
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE I HAVE EVER BEEN GIVEN IS…
Don’t ever give up.