Meet Katie Lam former Miss Asian California, Entrepreneur and Positive Body Image Influencer

katie lam lounging  silk pajama set

Katie Melanie Lam is fashionista, lifestyle taste maker, and entrepreneur whose goal is to reshape how the world perceives and celebrates beauty. She has competed and won 5 beauty pageant titles, including Miss Asian California in 2017. She also the founder of Kalon SF: an e-commerce platform offering affordable luxury and formal wear for modern women

Q: What inspired you to get started in running in pageants?

Growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley, I never thought in a million years that I would be a contestant on the stage. But as life had it, my journey led to a pageant competition in 2017. As someone who struggled with a decade-long eating disorder, I went through all the cycles of low self-esteem, personal development, and depression, and then finally conquering this mental health disorder through my discovery of nutrition and focus on healthy lifestyle and self-love. When I became a health and beauty consultant in 2016, I was looking for exposure in my business and a platform to inspire young women with my health and beauty journey. With this goal in mind, I emerged from this pageant experience with more confidence and belief in myself than ever before. I realized after the competition that my worth never hinged on a crown or the titles. With or without the pageant, I knew I was a winner. I didn’t need a crown and sash for validation.

Q: What is your ultimate Dream for Yourself? for the World?

I’d like to empower as many individuals as I can in my life through my positivity, authenticity, courage, and journey through life. It would be a privilege and honor to be a role model to others when it comes to health, beauty, and entrepreneurship. I want to continue being happy and healthy, and of course inspire and empower those around me to be the best they can be. Along with all of that, my hope is to make a wonderful living for myself and be able to travel the world and afford my lifestyle.

Q: What is your definition of being authentic?

    This is such an excellent (and hard) question to put into words! But I love it.

    Everyone wants to be authentic, but living and breathing authenticity is not something to take lightly because it’s a challenging process to get there and stay there. To me, authenticity starts in the heart – it requires vulnerability, transparency, and integrity. Adam Grant sums it up pretty nicely: "Authenticity means erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world."

    Authentic people are high-character individuals that walk the walk: they back up their positive, empowering words with actions that benefit themselves and others. Being authentic means coming from a real place within - listening to your intuition, doing what your heart tells you to do, and having the courage to stay true to yourself despite negativity, baggage, fear, etc. Because when our actions and words are congruent with our beliefs and values, we can start finding our authentic selves. Living with authenticity is when you feel most alive, free, and unburdened. It takes courage to live from this place happily and accept the things you can’t control in your life.

    As Scott Stabile said: "Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren't your problems. You stay kind, committed to love and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don't doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you always do."

    Q: How do you think our outward appearance plays a role in how we feel internally? Any tips on how to feel good inside and out?

      This is literally the vision of my company Kalon SF! In my opinion, how we feel on the outside directly affects how we feel internally. What you wear makes a statement about who you are and how you present yourself to the world, so it’s important to make a positive and lasting impression. When you gain the confidence to express your individual beauty, amazing things happen. In particular, I believe that a woman’s outer beauty should be an expression of her inner grace and character in any setting – formal, business, romantic evening, or day-to-day look. I’m all about helping people achieve the confidence and poise to reveal the beauty that is uniquely yours.

      Tips to feel good inside and out:

      1. Give yourself the gift of fitness! Exercise is a great way to feel more attractive. You release endorphins and balance work, play, and self-care.
      2. Give some love to others through compliments and smiles.
      3. Don’t take yourself so seriously! Laugh and joke, always be positive!
      4. Be unapologetic about your looks and wear your power colors. For me, I feel bold and confident when I wear my favorite color red. How you see yourself can be determined by how you feel about your appearance and wardrobe choices. Go get that rush of empowerment for yourself!
      5. Take better care of your health. Health is Wealth! Get your beauty sleep. Take your vitamins. Fill your body with nutritious foods and lots of water!

      katie lam entrepreneur in more sunday silk pajama set

      Q: What are qualities that you look for in a truly sustainable brand?

      Transparency & Minimal Packaging: Love when the products I buy are made with organic and natural ingredients, whenever possible. After all, sustainable brands should prioritize safeguarding health and protecting the planet, whether that’s minimizing energy, water, and waste footprints and/or investing in green building initiatives. It’s ideal when a company goes to lengths to embrace a zero-waste philosophy too.

      Authentic Story: It’s always powerful and inspiring when a company is born out of a human story. Understanding the brand’s “why” opens the door to authentic conversations and partnerships.

      Philanthropic Heart: This is a bonus, though not a necessity. When a sustainable brand has a philanthropic initiative that aligns with their company values and vision, it’s inspiring. Even more impactful is when a quality product(s) marries a strong social impact mission that resonates with the target audience and demographic.

      Q: Can you share a time you failed and what you learned from it?

      One failure that stands out in my life is coming to terms with the realities of the direct sales industry when I was a Health & Beauty Consultant for Usana Health Sciences. As an Ambassador for Usana’s nutritional products, I fell in love with their products that helped me change my eating habits, live a healthier lifestyle, and conquer my decade-long eating disorder. Although I experienced early success in sharing the products and building a business around it, including international recognition for my business performance, I knew in my heart that the business model did not resonate with my values and long-term relationship-building strategies. When this chapter of my life came to a close, I made many realizations. Usana opened the door to my journey in entrepreneurship and pageantry. Usana gave me the strength and courage to never be afraid to share my story and put myself out to the world. Usana served as a platform to help me navigate and adapt to new challenges (such as climbing the corporate ladder and gaining experiences in many different industries). Usana empowered me to launch my latest venture in influencer marketing. To me, failure builds character. Failure instills courage. Failure teaches perseverance and resilience. Failure creates opportunity. And failure is acceptable. Without my failures, I would not be where I am today.

      Q: Can you share your proudest moment to-date?

      My proudest moment was the day when I decided to never let food take control of my life again. For over a decade, I was battling a compulsive overeating disorder which included bingeing and self-sabotaging behaviors. Through a lot of self-help and desire to change and rise above it, I’ve been binge-free since 2014. My discovery of nutrition and salsa dancing helped me reinvent myself and heal from my insecurities and broken self-esteem. I gave permission to think for myself and the freedom to be myself. It was so humbling and empowering to connect to my innermost needs, celebrate the freedom of being me, and accept who I truly am while dropping my destructive patterns. Since 2014, I’ve maintained my weight, changed my lifestyle for the better, become a role model and beauty queen, founded a fashion start-up, and now beginning my influencer and blogger journey on Instagram and YouTube! Read more about my journey here. Also, here’s a sneak peek into my latest project:

      Q: What's our typical Sunday like?

      My idea of a solid Sunday consists of sleeping in and having brunch! Love relaxing with a good book or lounging in my bed with my More Sunday Silk Pajamas, a good Netflix movie, and a glass of wine. I might also be planning my social media calendar, catching up on emails, and organizing my room to prepare for a new week ahead! Preparation is so key to success!

      Q: What's your go to way to unwind and relax?

      Unwinding and relaxing to me is watching a movie and just doing nothing. It’s important to give yourself a well deserved break once in a while. I also love to treat myself and practice self-care, whether that means putting a mask on my face or shopping online for a new piece to add to my fashion wardrobe.

      Flash Round Answers:

        1. Current book you're reading: Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figureoutable
        2. Favorite Time saving App: RetailMeNot
        3. 1 thing you need when travelling: My 15” MacBook Pro
        4. Song you're listening to on repeat: Light On by Maggie Rogers
        5. Favorite Vacation Destination: New York - the city of dreams!

      Be sure to checkout and follow @katiemelanielam  

      You can shop Katie's More Sunday look by clicking here.


      katie lam with silk sleep mask

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      "I can't emphasize how much I love sleeping, lounging and going out in my silk set. Fitted but not tight, both the top and bottom can be worn everyday...and every way. I'm obsessed! The silk is so buttery soft too."

      Ellen F.