We had the good fortune of connecting with Kerrie-Lee Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kerrie-Lee, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve always been passionate about helping people. Maybe that’s why I became a journalist. As a writer, you can give a voice to those who don’t have one in ways people never imagined. It’s invigorating to see people’s faces when an interview turns out better than expected—and they heal from the experience; or a published article tugs at the heart strings of readers. It fills my soul. Makes me smile. Gives me hope in humanity. I learned how to tell other people’s stories in journalism school; but as a health and wellness advocate, I learned to bring out messages that needed to be heard. From running my own consumer magazines and contributing to hundreds of international publications; to mentoring aspiring writers and spending time as a television health expert—I’ve always tried to bring what I’ve learned to the table. Ironically, I had originally planned to write a book to help women balance their work and home while I was commuting on the train from my magazine job in the city. Day in and day out, I was grinding in the concrete jungle to make ends meat and prove to the world that I was good enough to compete in the media industry. (Turns out, I was good enough all along. I just didn’t see it.) Until one day, my body literally told me it needed to stop. At age 39, I had a heart attack and was diagnosed with PSVT, a congenital heart condition which was getting worse as I got older. Doctors say stress is what most likely caused my body to start to shut down. And I tend to agree. This was my wake-up call. I was given another chance. So, I decided to start making myself a priority. I changed my entire way of thinking about self-care. Not just doctor’s orders, but also my own. And, I knew this message had to be included in my story. As a result, I wrote a guidebook/memoir called “My Heart, My Self – A Heartfelt Guide for Women Who Do Too Much” (available on Amazon) to help educate others on heart health. My book comes in print and digital copy, and includes “10 Signs You Need to Slow Down”; as well as practical self-care tips for women at any age. So, ultimately, I wrote my book “My Heart, My Self” because I truly felt my story would help a lot of people. That is still my mission today. With that being said, I’d have to say my book has now become a catalyst for everything I do in my personal and professional life. I am a storyteller. I help people. I am passionate about what I do. As an evolution to my book business, I decided to launch my business called RedLily®. You can log on at Redlilylife.com to sign up and learn more. RedLily® is a wellness and lifestyle brand for women who crave more from their core. There’s no BS or celebrities; just heartfelt content from women like me and you. Because YOU are true warriors and your stories matter. RedLily® is simply a radiant “positivity portal” where “real women” can share their stories of struggle and triumph to learn, heal, and grow. We will also cover holistic health, spirituality, wellness, heart health, beauty, events, giving back, and travel. Anything that is heartfelt content. I’ve also just launched my RedLily® wellness line for those who want to lead a healthier life. During my last position as the executive editor at a national parenting magazine, my dream was to one day take my storytelling to the next level. I envisioned creating a platform to help people tell their stories—so together we could inspire and build something for the world to love and learn from. Now, here we are. The purpose is to help turn your mess into an important message. I learned from writing my book that your personal experiences (health or otherwise) can indeed help others. This is ultimately why I wanted to expand my storytelling platforms. Redlilylife.com is a global platform that has been designed with you in mind. It’s time to show the world that every person’s story matters. Not just those who have access to popular media outlets, big-time publishers, photographers, or agents. RedLily™ is for everyone who has a story to tell. The URL is http://redlilylife.com/
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Professionally, I am a seasoned magazine editor and journalist turned women’s wellness author, advocate, and entrepreneur. As a trained reporter, I love being a voice for people who may not have one. I enjoy helping people, bringing awareness to different causes, and of course giving back. I have always worked hard to make an impact in some form or another.
From running popular consumer magazines (most notably as the editor-in-chief of Oxygen Women’s Fitness, founding editor of American Health & Fitness, and executive editor of Today’s Parent magazine) to managing and mentoring aspiring writers, editors, and creative teams—all of my roles have shaped me into the business leader I am today. I will be forever grateful for my time spent in the competitive media landscape, because it allowed me to grow, survive, and thrive. I also learned to never give up.
Eventually, I moved from publishing to the corporate world where I built a diverse marketing and communications division from the ground up. As someone who is obsessed with writing for a living, I also continued to freelance and wrote articles for 100+ magazines worldwide in the areas of heart-health, business, real estate, sport conditioning, nutrition, beauty, motivation, branding, and celebrity profiles.
I also made appearances on various television shows, such as: E!, EXTRA, The Montel Williams Show, The Social, Breakfast Television, The Marilyn Dennis Show, among others. After my husband and I made the big decision to move from Toronto, Canada to Denver, Colorado to pursue other business opportunities, I became the co-owner of Action Brands LLC.
Today, I offer creative content and editing solutions to global clients, executives, and VIPs. I also teach women about the importance of self-care and listening to their bodies after a heart-health scare at the age of 39. In 2013, I had surgery to fix an electrical issue in my heart. I also found out (just before the age of 40) that I had been living with a congenital heart condition since birth. This was my huge wake-up call. So, I decided right there and then that I had to start making myself a priority. I changed my entire way of thinking about life—and started realizing the importance of self-care. As a result, I wrote a memoir called “My Heart, My Self – A Heartfelt Guide for Women Who Do Too Much” (available on Amazon) to help educate others on heart health.
My book also includes “10 Signs You Need to Slow Down” and practical tips for women at any age. I realize now that my health scare was meant to help me dig deeper on a personal and professional level. Hence, why today I want to make an even bigger impact.
I am currently evolving my heart brand into an exciting new digital platform for women (coming Summer 2019). On that note, I hope you stay tuned to my social media profiles @KerrieLeeBrown for more on this new project. My goal is to help women tell their heartfelt stories in ways the industry has never seen before. As well as running my own wellness business, freelance writing for various publications, and guest speaking—I am also the executive editor of Denver Life Magazine and Colorado Home & Garden.
For more on my media background and professional services offered, visit www.KerrieLeeBrown.com.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Shoutout is to all of the women who have contributed to my RedLily® storytelling platform since its inception one year ago. I currently have over 50 contributors around the world who are brave and bold women who care to share their story to help others. These women are moms, wives, business women, stay-at-home moms, journalist, artists, creatives, survivors, influencers, and all-around beautiful women inside and out.
Website: www.RedLilyLife.com and www.KerrieLeeBrown.com
Instagram: @KerrieLeeBrown and @RedLilyLife
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KerrieLeeBrown and https://www.facebook.com/redlilylife
Other: If you’ve got an inspiring story that you’d like to share on Redlilylife.com, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a pitch or article you’d like to write? Email email@example.com. Also, make sure to Sign Up for future messages from the RedLily™ team and follow us on the following channels: Facebook @redlilylife Link: https://www.facebook.com/redlilylife/ Instagram @redlilylife Link: https://www.instagram.com/redlilylife/ Twitter @redlily_life Link: https://twitter.com/redlilybrand Pinterest @redlilylife Link: https://www.pinterest.com/redlilylife/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!