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Life and Work with Kiara G. Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiara G. Johnson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Courage is how I got to where I am today. In life’s ever-changing moments, I say a prayer, trust God and take a leap.

I was born and raised in Dallas, TX. After high school, I took my first major leap outside of the familiar and left the state for college. I attended the University of Miami (FL) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in finance and management science.

Interning with Procter & Gamble (P&G) in college, I experienced the beauty of working with products that directly improve people’s lives. Following graduation, I prepared for a major change. This time, it would be an almost 1,800-mile trip to Minnesota for a full-time position with P&G. During my time in Minnesota, I learned a ton. From marketing to strategy development, it was a position that continuously challenged me. I grew to be the most excited about the use of data, the stories it can tell, and the changes it can inspire. I then knew it was time to dig in and evolve my career path.

Ditching all my heavy winter gear, I made my next big move to Atlanta to join Georgia-Pacific as a business analyst. Atlanta, THE-lanta! I was so excited to move here. I had that “right” feeling in my gut. It was here in Atlanta where I really explored data. Forecasting, budgeting, and leading new data visualization efforts for a $2 billion-dollar business. I obtained my Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP®) certification and started to think about how I could transform everyday life using the power of data. I soon decided to take a chance on myself and leave my job to start my company Salt & Kepler to use analytics to help people, small businesses, and local communities thrive.

Planting roots in Atlanta turned out to be my best decision yet. Atlanta became home and would be where I would meet and marry my best friend and new business partner. I aligned my passion for hands-on analytics with my husband’s vision of creating spaces that positively impact the lives of others, and we decided to start a business in our own backyard of Atlantic Station. By analyzing the needs of our community and combining it with our personal passion for wellness, we birthed the idea of ATL Kula.

ATL Kula Wellness Studio is dedicated to cultivating a wellness lifestyle for all who live in, work in, or visit Atlantic Station and the Greater Atlanta Area. Set to open in 2019, we will service the community with the offering of yoga, Pilates, and barre classes and many nature-inspired, holistic wellness events.

I am grateful for the leaps that led me to where I am today – leaps from a spirit of courage to do a new thing and the faith to believe in it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not always been a smooth road. I have had circumstances that have attempted to challenge both my self-worth and my dreams. However, moving with the belief that my life can be beautiful and prosperous and trusting God to take care of my steps has seen me through every challenge.

My biggest piece of advice would be to believe for the best in life and to act on that belief. No matter where you are on your journey, no experience is random or wasted. Even if you do not know exactly what to do, I say tune in to the slightest positive desire in your heart and do something. Do it fully and believe in it. You will be amazed at where your leaps will take you.

Please tell us about ATL Kula Wellness Studio.
I am the owner of ATL Kula Wellness Studio with my husband Corey. I am an analyst at heart, and I find purpose in transforming information to insight and using that insight to positively impact everyday life. Joining my husband to create ATL Kula is the perfect culmination of our entrepreneurial spirits. Together, we discovered the need for a dedicated space that would serve as a holistic wellness resource for Atlantic Station residents, employees, and visitors.

We chose the name Kula to emphasize our focus on community and how self-love should flow into loving others. ATL Kula will have yoga, Pilates, and barre classes and events that reinforce our focus on holistic wellness. A wide range of events from a group Stone Mountain hike to inviting industry leaders to the studio for special workshops will be a big part of our journey. What sets us apart is our commitment to all dimensions of wellness, our focus on the many beautiful lessons nature has to offer, our diversity, and that we plan to have A LOT of fun. It is a dream come true, and we are blessed to be building this studio for the Atlantic Station community in 2019.

Were there people and/or experiences you had in your childhood that you feel laid the foundation for your success?
Watching how my parents lived their lives and the lessons they instilled in me played the biggest role in setting me up for success.

My dad has always been about reaching past the stars. His work ethic is incredibly strong. He is constantly growing and forever learning. When he took me to school, he always remembered to tell me “knowledge is power” – one of his favorite sayings. He sent me on many adventures like Space Camp in middle school and the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar in high school. When I wanted to play sports as a kid, he would say I could be like Serena Williams, Lisa Leslie, and Mia Hamm. He is the reason I want so much out of life and why I believe I can do anything.

My mom’s heart is huge, and her charisma is unmatched. Growing up and going on grocery runs with her, I watched as she moved through the store knowing everyone’s name and life story. She knew no stranger. Congratulating people on their recent news or offering words of wisdom in tough situations was a regular occurrence. Bringing friends her homemade cheesecake and serving those around her was her normal. She also has this zest for life and gets a kick out of trying new things. My journey into playing piano and exploring theater through high school are because she always wanted me to find and prioritize what I was passionate about. She is the reason I put my heart into everything I do.

I would say my mom and dad have been the perfect yin and yang in shaping my journey to success.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ryan Adkins with iLLUSiONÀGE Productions

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  1. Willie Frazier

    October 26, 2019 at 3:41 am

    Congrats Kiara,
    What an amazing journey which shows strength, determination, and most of all faith. Ineda and I are proud of the vision that you and Corey have implemented. I know that when you put and keep God first, all other things will be granted. We wish that you prosper even as your soul prospers.

    • Kiara

      November 21, 2020 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks so much! I wish the same for you two 🙂

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