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Kika Carvalho: “Starting is always the hardest”

I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible beauty, fashion, and snack brands. When the pandemic started, I wanted to do something to help essential workers. I reached out to brands and asked them if they would be willing to donate product as I was going to be doing a giveaway on Instagram […]

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I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible beauty, fashion, and snack brands. When the pandemic started, I wanted to do something to help essential workers. I reached out to brands and asked them if they would be willing to donate product as I was going to be doing a giveaway on Instagram and sending care packages. In total, I was able to send 22 care packages to essential workers located around the U.S. and it felt so good to give back.


As a part of my series about leaders who are using their platform to make a significant social impact, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kika Carvalho.

Kika Carvalho is a lifestyle influencer and blogger. She has traveled to over 30 countries and is always planning her next trip. Kika is also constantly trying new restaurants, watching the latest TV shows and movies, and trying new recipes in the kitchen to share with her audience.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have been an avid traveler my entire life. I am originally from Portugal and have lived in various cities around the world. I have also always had a passion for photography and made sure to document my trips. I created my Instagram to inspire other people to want to do the same. I feel like it’s so important to travel and learn about different cultures as it will help you grow as a person and expand your mindset. I always love when my followers message me asking me for recommendations and then let me know what a great time they had after their trip is complete.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?

Last year I was at an event in New York City and someone came up to me and asked me if I was Kika as they have been following me for months. Felt pretty cool!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

The funniest mistake I made when I was first starting was being so eager that I was saying “yes” to every brand that reached out to me. I once received a shaving kit for men and I had no idea what to do! No matter how eager we are, it’s so so important to only work with brands that are an authentic fit to your Instagram.

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

Honestly, starting is always the hardest. Most of the time we are our own worst enemy. We are so scared of starting something new because we don’t know if it’s going to be successful or not. Trust me, just start.

Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?

I have been lucky enough to work with some incredible beauty, fashion, and snack brands. When the pandemic started, I wanted to do something to help essential workers. I reached out to brands and asked them if they would be willing to donate product as I was going to be doing a giveaway on Instagram and sending care packages. In total, I was able to send 22 care packages to essential workers located around the U.S. and it felt so good to give back.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?

One of the recipients of the care package is a nurse in upstate New York who had been working 60+ hours a week. When she reached the package, she told me she burst into tears as it felt so nice to feel appreciated.

Was there a tipping point that made you decide to focus on this particular area? Can you share a story about that?

I was watching the news very closely every single day since the pandemic started. It was inspiring to see so many essential workers risking their lives and staying positive during such trying times. I also have a lot of friends who are essential workers and I just knew I had to do something to bring some light into their lives during these dark times.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

I would say the main things that can be done is support those in need with positive words, donate to the local community and recognize them for their efforts.

What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause? Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for a social good?

When I was promoting the contest on social media I encouraged all my followers to tag any essential workers that they knew. I also kept the contest open for over a week and had daily reminders on my Instagram stories.

It is always important to realize how lucky so many of us are. There are so many ways that influencers can use their social media platforms to give back to their community such as doing giveaways.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. It takes time — When I first started my Instagram, I didn’t realize how long it would take to build a large following and it was easy to get discouraged.
  2. It’s not easy — Sometimes I can take over 100 photos of the same thing just to get one that I think is good enough to post.
  3. Not everyone will understand — Influencers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea and that’s okay.
  4. Be careful what you post — This goes for everyone. We all need to be careful with what we are posting and if it can be misinterpreted in any way, shape or form.
  5. Don’t get discouraged — It can often be very discouraging when you work very hard on a photo and it doesn’t receive as many likes / comments as you hoped. You just have to pick yourself back up and keep going.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I have been very passionate about the issue of bullying my entire life. I think that life is hard enough and we all go through so much, and bullies just escalate everything to unnecessary levels. My hope is that everyone can treat each other with love and respect.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you want to be trusted, be honest; if you want to be honest, be true; if you want to be true, be yourself.”

In life it’s very easy to get carried away and try to copy someone else who is achieving what you want to accomplish. What works for someone else may not work for you. You need to be authentic about who you are and the rest will follow.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I have been asked this question several times over the last few years and my answer is still the same: Kevin Hart. I have always loved him as a comedian in both standup as well as his movies. I have actually seen him in concert a few times. I love the joy and laughter that he spreads to his audience. I follow him on Instagram as he is always trying to inspire and motivate his fans to be better and do greater things in life.

How can our readers further follow your work online ?

Your readers can follow me on Instagram @therealkika and my blog at www.KikaCarvalho.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much!

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