“Aside from just losing work, I had no access to the beautiful city I almost always used in my content – my hometown Paris was on lockdown. I had to re-think how to continue creating relevant content that would resonate with my audience in this particular time from just the four walls of my apartment. So, while there may have been wonderfully empty streets around Paris, we stayed home to help flatten the curve.”
“My name is Ketevan (Katie) Giorgadze and I am an entrepreneur, photographer, and fashion influencer living in Paris. I have turned my passion for the French Art de Vivre into a platform of inspiration for more than 683,000 people on my Instagram page @katieone. I love sharing my travels, my passion for fashion, and beauty trends and anything really that feels good and positive in the world. I have launched my own jewelry line, as well as a photo editing app that enables anyone to create awe-inspiring photos of their own.
I was born in a small mining town in the Republic of Georgia and was raised by my aunt. To stay safe during the ongoing civil war in our country, our family moved around the country quite a bit. I was always interested in foreign languages and wanted to travel the world and my entrepreneurial spirit is what propelled me forward. After graduating high school, I applied to and was accepted to a school in the south of France. After borrowing money from friends and family to get myself there, I packed up and was on my way!
I graduated with honors in 2016 and started working for a premium French beauty company in Paris. That is when my blog was started as a side hobby. It was soon apparent that people were really connecting to what I was posting, and I eventually took it up as a full-time job to work on my blog and social media.
I was able to pay my friends and family back and, with several years of hard work and dedication, here I am. From collaborating with global brands to launching my own jewelry line to creating a photo editing app, it has been an incredible journey already.”
How has the pandemic, travel ban, lack of tourists, and everything else impacted your work as an influencer?
“The pandemic has had a direct impact on so many of the brands I collaborate with; some had to shut down all of their projects; some postponed their campaigns in order to save the cashflow and all of them had to change the way they communicate with their customers. There are a few exceptions with brands that saw a spike of interest in their products or services such as home fitness apps, interior design and similar.
Aside from just losing work, I had no access to the beautiful city I almost always used in my content – my hometown Paris was on lockdown. I had to re-think how to continue creating relevant content that would resonate with my audience in this particular time from just the four walls of my apartment. So, while there may have been wonderfully empty streets around Paris, we stayed home to help flatten the curve.”
Can you describe your current living situation, and why it might be unique?
“My husband and I live in an apartment in Paris. Before the pandemic, the city was truly my office as not only is it inspiring but provides for the perfect photo backdrops. Since the pandemic started, we did stay at home more than usual, just as most people. But it meant that I had no access to my usual “office” settings around the city, and we had to reimagine how to create from home. Thankfully, Europe is doing very well with containing the virus and we are fortunate to be able to start traveling around Europe now too.”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced during the COVID crisis?
“I used to feel anxious when I spent too much time at home. It used to lower my productivity a lot. Lockdown seemed terrible to me but it caused us to find new ways of creating content and to establish new daily routines which, in the end, lead to amazing productivity and stress-free working from home.”
Is there anything you feel that you’ve learned about yourself or the world from this experience, that you’d like to share?
“I have learned that I can get by with much less than I am used to. Maybe this crisis might be a wake-up call to simplify our lives, to focus on what really matters. At first, isolating myself for months sounded difficult and impossible. But over time, I reorganized my routine and also found new hobbies like dancing. I tried things I had never tried before. I found I had the time to do things that I never had the time for before!”
Has this experience in any way changed the way that you order your personal priorities in life?
“Obviously, the pandemic has changed a lot of our habits. It forced us to cook more at home; to find ways to stay active at home. This forced me to reconsider life pre-COVID. Now I prioritize being happy even by small things in life rather and find joy in everything. We had the gift of time slowing down… time to connect, time to evaluate, and time to just be ourselves.”
What has your local community been doing to fight the rate of transmission?
“People were not allowed to go outside other than for essential business. It was quite well-coordinated in Paris and in our district. The shops and businesses offered contactless deliveries and the people received masks, gloves, and gel from the local mayor by mail.”
“As for the content creation, I’ve completely shifted the content creation from editorial style fashion photo shoots that we were doing outside to a more educational but also light-hearted content to keep the spirits up of my followers. People need to be cheered up in this difficult time.”
What has been your general daily routine so far during the pandemic?
“Our days are going to continue to look different for a while, but some things have remained the same. Whether or not we were leaving our house, our morning routine remained as usual. Waking up, skincare routine, breakfast, and then work started with checking email and social media channels. But some things had to change, I have never been obsessed about going to the gym, but I desperately needed to incorporate healthy habits to keep my body active.
Now, I exercise a little bit every day. My favorite way to stay active is to learn new dances every day! As for the content creation, I’ve completely shifted the content creation from editorial style fashion photo shoots that we were doing outside to a more educational but also light-hearted content to keep the spirits up of my followers. People need to be cheered up in this difficult time.
All my content had to be created at home now, so we had to establish a new workflow for the day. We also had to generate multiple ideas that could have been realized from at home. Most of the workdays involved day-to-day things like answering emails but when we are shooting new content sometimes, we had to move every single piece of our furniture around to not just make more space but to transform the space we had for what we needed.”
What have you been doing to keep your spirits up on a day-to-day basis?
“Just like most people around the world, I never thought that “social distancing” would be a phrase we would use daily. I decided from the beginning not to focus on negativity, not to spend hours on news outlets, and not to over inform myself. What really helped was carving out time every single day to connect virtually with friends and family all over the globe. We also talked a lot about where we wanted to go once it was safe to travel again, and some wanderlust and daydreaming can do wonders to keep spirits up.”
Has this travel ban/quarantine situation impacted any especially important future plans you had laid out?
“We launched one of our most important projects – our editing app, Katie One, that we’ve been working on for almost a year just before the lockdown. Apart from editing tools and filters, we included a travel map in the app with photo locations all around the world. We were planning to travel a lot to unusual places to research interesting spots and content for KatieOne but we had to cancel all travel plans. The travel restrictions are just slowly lifting in the European Union now and we are looking forward to doing some short-term travels to share with our app users.”
Anything else at all, you’d like to share?
“One of the most important lessons that I learned in the last couple of months is to fully appreciate the moments of today. Live in the present moment wisely and earnestly! Let go of the past and don’t wait for the future. You never know what happens next.”
Check out Katie on Instagram at @katieone for her posts on the latest updates in fashion and beauty trends.
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