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Sydney Mines woman carves out online niche with beauty, food and fashion

Kayla Short is making a name for herself on the Halifax blogging scene. The Sydney Mines native has repeatedly been named best blogger by readers of the Coast Magazine and was chosen as one of Huffington Post's top 50 Canadians for helping spread positivity, kindness and confidence.
Kayla Short is making a name for herself on the Halifax blogging scene. The Sydney Mines native has repeatedly been named best blogger by readers of the Coast Magazine and was chosen as one of Huffington Post's top 50 Canadians for helping spread positivity, kindness and confidence. - Contributed
SYDNEY MINES, N.S. —

A Sydney Mines native has fallen into a dream career of documenting everything food, fashion, beauty and travel.

If you are somewhat in touch with the Halifax blogging scene, you’ve likely heard of Kayla Short, the creator of Short Presents media pages.

But few may have realized that Short actually grew up in a former mining town in Cape Breton.

Young graduated from Memorial Composite High School in 2004 and pursued her dream of become a teacher.

She said the parachute into blogging was somewhat of a happy accident.

In 2010, while studying to become a teacher at Mount Saint Vincent University, Short was writing some feature stories for a few publications in and around Halifax.

She wanted to share her writings online with her family back home, so she started a secret blog.

She soon realized that her side project — not the classroom — was her passion.

“I loved writing and reading stories and just liked everyone having a different opinion,” she said.

“It just snowballed — I started doing more things in the city. I started writing for Stylish Canada, because I kind of got noticed for talking about style and how to put together outfits.”

Short said her freelance work with Stylish Canada turned into a four-year franchise column with the Huffington Post on seasonal fashion trends and beauty tricks.

She now runs her own website and social media pages as a full-time digital influencer.


Bio

Kayla Short

  • Age: 32
  • Occupation: Digital influencer and on-air lifestyle expert
  • Hometown: Sydney Mines
  • High school: Memorial Composite High class of 2004
  • Education: Dalhousie University (English degree) and Mount St. Vincent University (education degree)
  • Online: Instagramshortpresents and www.shortpresents.com
  • Philosophy: “To inspire confidence always. Whether it's through a healthy recipe, a simplified skincare routine, putting together an outfit, or planning a big trip I really want to extend any knowledge I can to make my followers' lives easier, so they can face their day with confidence!”

Short said her longtime boyfriend created her website and also regularly photographs her adventures.

“He surprised me one day and put together a website he was like ‘Here you go — the world’s your oyster, go for it’, which I always say was the best gift anyone could have given me because it totally changed my life in the most amazing way possible,” she said.

Current topics on Short’s blog include a first-person piece on trying hypnotherapy, musings on the Canada Food Guide and Valentine’s gift ideas.

Short said she could have made the leap to full-time blogger earlier but was afraid of taking the risk.

She said anyone wanting to launch a career online needs to be authentic, open, honest and flexible in their pursuits.

“You have to find what you’re passionate about and be really passionate about it, because no one is going to thank you for what you’re doing for a really long time,” she said. “You need that, so you can take the punches and keep your momentum going.”

For her work, Short often receives payment for testing products, along with writing reviews or promotional pieces.

She said it’s similar to the way magazines make money — by acting as a middle man and letting people know what they like about certain products.

Short said she’s careful in the products she selects for her website, straying away from the trap of promoting casinos and diet pills.

In the nearly 10 years since she launched her blog, Short said a great deal has changed in how the public consumes their information.

She often relies on social media to connect with her audience, including an Instagram page with 19,500 followers.

Short said there is a downside to working from home and being so exposed on social media

“I love my job, I love my life — I wouldn’t change it for anything but there is a sort of loneliness that comes with it and I know that that’s sort of ironic,” she said. “It can be a one-way street. You’re putting things out but not necessarily always getting things back and then you spend a lot of time by yourself.”

Despite its challenges, Short said she’s made a lot of connections with people through her social media pages. She also speaks at workshops on how to make the most out of social platforms.

“When I was a little girl reading fashion magazines that world seemed so far away from me,” she said. “It felt like you had to be in New York. or Toronto or Paris, Milan, but because of the internet, because of blogging and social media, that world is so much closer to us than we realize.”

Short admits she doesn’t know what the next decade will look like in the blogging world. She believes, however, that no matter your location, there is a channel for finding people who share similar passions or interests.

“I think you can blossom wherever you are, you just have to make the most of it,” said Short. “A lot of people are like ‘Oh you know there’s nothing to do here’ but they’re just not looking. I think if you’re looking and working on it, you can do anything wherever you are.”

Short Presents can be found online at www.shortpresents.com.

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