In this episode of Mompreneurs, host Nancy Redd welcomes rapper, model, actress and business owner Karlie Redd for an intimate conversation. The two discuss how Karlie got her start, how to stay in the game in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and the power of a mother’s love.
Many people know about Karlie’s 2022 chart-topping single Werk, but what they don’t know is this accomplishment was a long time in the making. Karlie has been on the performance track since she was 10 years old, when her mother started taking her to casting calls and auditions. Karlie was booking, too, and would beat out hundreds of other kids and teens for gigs. Then, a brief rebellious period that resulted in a teen pregnancy threw a baby-sized wrench in plans, but Karlie knows today her daughter’s existence gave her the drive that’s behind everything she does.
“No one works harder than a mom who has a child and she doesn’t want that child to want for anything.”
Just when Karlie’s life could hardly take one more bump in the road, her daughter’s father went to jail. She would have been on her own, but her mother stepped in and offered to help. Karlie was in nursing school, working a marketing job and still going out to auditions. This period in her life, Karlie says, is part of the inspiration for her top single Werk.
Providing Normalcy In Chaos
No matter what was going on in Karlie’s career, it was always important that her daughter had a support system around, and that she could experience a normal childhood. When Karlie was on Scream Queens, she had to live in a house with the other cast members. During that phase, she called upon her village and made sure that she had a friend or family member looking after her daughter – staying with her and driving her to and from school – every day.
Later, when Karlie Redd got on Love & Hip Hop, she did not instantly allow the cameras around her daughter.
She wanted to give her daughter the option to have a life outside of the industry if that was what she wanted.
Karlie Redd Shares How To Release Your Potential
Patience. That would be the key word behind Karlie’s success. Once you understand her resume and background, you see that Karlie has been working for over three decades to get to where she is now. She recently took her family – including her mother – to Times Square to see her billboard. For Karlie, it wasn’t about seeing the billboard – it was about seeing her family’s faces and telling them, “I did it for us.” Her family provided the support she needed to keep going, and her family was the reason she did it all.
Beyond having a family one wants to provide for, Nancy asked Karlie what else she can tell fellow moms who have a dream that’s taking some time. The top thing Karlie advises – and something she still does regularly – is write down your dreams and break them down into small steps. Then, do three things every day towards your goals. This is a method she instills in her daughter, too.
Karlie, like many other moms, has multiple goals and areas of ambition, between running her chicken and waffle restaurant Johnny’s, to having a clothing line to performing. Nancy asked Karlie how she chooses what to prioritize. Karlie explained that what needs to be prioritized has a way of presenting itself. For example, if a song of hers tops charts, it’s time to ride that momentum and tour with that album. And Nancy notes there’s nothing wrong with having multiple areas of ambition – “It’s like your stock market portfolio – while something’s not popping, something [else] is doing really well.”
The Right People And Perspective
Having a great team around you is also crucial, says Karlie. She recently fired a manager who she realized wasn’t helping her towards her goals. Only keeping those around you who push you is key, she explains. Nancy shares that her mom put it like this, “You want to make sure you’re around high minds.”
With all of this, the top thing Karlie attributes her success to is her unwillingness to take no for an answer. “I decided I am not gonna let anything make me give up on my dreams.” She always stays positive, and when one plan doesn’t work out, she looks for another way. And that’s a perspective she hopes other moms pick up.
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