As part of RAZZ’s SHAG Week, Caitlin Barr had the privilege of interviewing creator Kia, the founder of the queer owned UK business Nudes By Kia, which turns “people’s own nudes into wearable art”. Caitlin and Kia spoke about the genesis of their business, and why they think that reclaiming and celebrating your body is so important. Their discussion follows:
You started Nudes By Kia in lockdown – what gave you the inspiration?
Honestly, it all came from a complete coincidence. I took a good nude one day and had coincidently decided to try some shrinky style earrings that evening. I thought it’d be fun to try drawing that nude and when it came out of the oven I fell in love. I put a picture of it on my story and had orders that same night, and I can’t forget one of my videos blowing up on TikTok with one million views. You could say that helped. Molly, my partner, was actually the brain behind tees and totes, who has now joined the business!
Why do you think people find your work empowering?
I think it just lets people take back their bodies. Particularly women are constantly positioned as objects of pleasure in today’s society, so people are empowered by being in control of their own image and sexuality. I had someone ordering earrings because she had her nudes leaked and she just wanted to go in owning them herself. There is so much power in owning that for yourself, and I feel so so proud whenever I hear stories of how our products were a part of a story like that.
Our business is also completely queer run, and I think this kind of business coming from the LGBTQIA+ community creates a safe space for bodies of all types.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about your work during lockdown?
Honestly just to be grateful for all of the support people are willing to give to small businesses. And not to be scared of self-promotion. The amount of love I have received is incredible, but I definitely didn’t get to this point without getting myself out there and being shameless.
What advice would you give to others looking to marketize their artistic talents?
The initial growth past just reaching people I knew was really difficult, but you just have to keep going, and getting yourself out there on as many platforms as possible. It can be hard to keep invested when it’s not going well and intimidating promoting yourself, but chances are, most people will be right there to support and push you. Creative and innovative ideas deserve the attention and your biggest advocate is you.
You make products based on very diverse bodies. Why is it important to you to have an actively body positive outlook surrounding your business?
Reclaiming your body and loving the shit out of it isn’t just for white, skinny people; that story is overplayed and boring. It’s so important to normalise bodies that look different because that’s what actually represents society. I don’t know about you… but I’m sick of Instagram banging the same drum and pushing white, skinny creators up the explore page. This is why I always share content on my platforms from creators who are doing amazing work to fight this and push diverse work with the community I’ve created online.
Your business does a great job with helping people to celebrate their bodies. What else do you think people can be doing to love themselves more, especially during a pandemic when we can’t be in close contact with others?
Honestly, it’s not something we can achieve overnight, unfortunately it takes work, but the benefits of putting in the time is beyond worth it. Once a week I grab a glass of wine and take a load of nudes in my bedroom with my favourite playlist on (linked below) and it just helps me to realise that my body is mine to do what I like with, and it’s a fucking work of art. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, doing something like this, but I honestly think that we should all have our own version of this, and have little rituals we do when we are having days where we just want to hide under the covers and throw out every mirror in sight.
Another thing I have found super helpful for me is just changing the language I use surrounding my body. It’s not just here to be looked at, and my body does amazing things for me every single day. I’m a super busy person, and my body gets me through all of it – meetings, workouts, dance and cheerleading to name a few. I just want to be grateful for that, you know? And by talking about my body in a way that appreciates more than just its look I feel so much more positive.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
Everyone who buys from us is an absolute icon and that’s a fact.
Our business is obviously 18+ for all personalised nude products, and it’s a super discreet service. We take extra measures to make everyone is comfortable and feels safe, because that is so so important to us! We ship internationally and offer earrings, keyrings, illustrations, tees and totes.
– Caitlin Barr
Featured Image Source: Nudes By Kia