Women crushes, we all have them. To inspire you, we use our Wednesdays to interview women we admire and share their amazing stories with you. This week we're crushing on First Born Daughter’s Cora Kessler. She's a major force of nature — an writer/artist, life + business coach, wellness advocate, Tarot reader, and founder of the feministy support group First Born Babes. Inspired by her advocacy and ability to create safe spaces for women, we wanted to learn more about how Cora became the badass babe she is today.
Tell us a little bit about First born Daughter and what inspired you to create this platform?
A lot of my ideas start with one big idea and then I break it down into bite sized pieces so that I end up with something more manageable. I had coffee with my friend in New York and we decided to hole up and draw for awhile. We both ended up with feminsty sketches and I thought it would be great to turn our work into a grand coffee table book. Hopefully that book will still happen but the basis of that hunch was that I wanted to connect with women about feminism in a deeper way.
I feel like really effective feminism starts with self love, then translates to a love for others (other women and other people in general). My blog is my attempt to give women the space to be themselves through journaling, authentic style, wellness routines that are not aimed to make you stick thin but rather more centered. I also really try to be non-judgmental when I write and acknowledge that the most important growth comes from the trying. I think a lot of blogs, especially wellness blogs promote this perfectionist mindset and I’m aiming to walk the line of providing resources without presenting myself as perfect or imposing the idea that you will have a “perfect outcome” by listening to me. It’s more about acceptance and the feminism comes in because I think accepting ourselves leads to accepting others. #sisterhood
The creative process is beautiful yet painful at times. Can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced during this process?
When I first started out I wanted First Born Daughter to only exist as a blog that discussed issues women are facing today. Though I contemplated offering tarot readings, the blog felt important to keep as a shared space because I didn’t want my life to be the central character. I loved the idea of having guest writers and creating a community of women that wanted to support each other on a journey of growth through self-reflection.
I went back and forth and it really was a scary decision for me to decide to put myself out there to do tarot readings more publicly. I’ve been doing them for my friends for years and I learned from my mom but it’s also felt like such a private thing. I’m so glad I’ve started to do that because the private facebook group, First Born Babes, has doubled in a week, I feel like the tarot is an anchor to develop this wellness and spiritual brand around, even though I do still want the blog to be a space for everyone’s stories, not just mine.
We recently had our minds blown during one of your live tarot sessions!! When did you first discover that it was something you had a knack for?
Haha! Thank you! I’m so glad that it resonated for you. I first discovered tarot when I was 12 or 13. My grandmother gave me a deck and I didn’t take it too seriously. My mom was also into tarot and would bring out her deck now and again so she got me into it. At first it was a party trick, then I started to take it more seriously when I became interested in all aspects of the esoteric arts. They all really connect (chakras, auras, meditation, yoga, numerology, sound healing, etc). For example, I have a better understanding about chakras now, and the colors in different tarot and oracle cards refer to those as well. I have a basic understanding of numerology and sometimes consider the symbolism of the numbers on the cards. It all comes down to what jumps out at me intuitively for that specific individual.
FBD’s empowering content is infectious and the community you have created in such short time is impressive, What are your hopes for FBD’s future?
Thanks! I do have to remind myself that I’ve only been serious about this for about six months now because I have a lot of big goals I haven’t reached yet. I really hope that First Born Daughter grows into more of a movement and continues to gain traction. Eventually, I would like to write a book, currently working on publishing an intention journal, and would love to hold retreats and generally host more gatherings! I’m working with my friend Liz Sykes, an event planner and filmmaker, to develop an early morning ecstatic dance party called Rise so hopefully that will happen in May or June.
What is your personal definition of success?
When someone seems successful to me it’s because their truest goals are being realized. Not society’s expectations of them but the dreams that make them feel passionate about life and ignite their creative world. I don’t equate success with money, but when people follow what excites them, and do it well, I think they will be supported.