keep shining: Kori Coleman

keep shining: Kori Coleman
“That’s the beauty of authenticity. You have to ferociously seize the day using the talents and gifts you were given.” - Kori Coleman

Who is Kori Coleman?

I'm a woman who wears many hats.  For my day job I'm an Associate Creative Strategist at a brand agency - agencyEA. I help brands develop the most engaging experience for their events. I let my creative juices flow by thinking through various elements of an event such as décor to activities to provide clients with the best results.  I'm also the founder of a luxury lifestyle website You can find me around Chicago at practically every event whether it be food or fashion. I also create experiences for creatives and influencers. I currently have something up my sleeve as we speak, so stay tuned for the launch of my newest endeavor.

What makes you jump out of bed every morning?

I believe every day should have something different and unique about it. Just the prospect of looking forward to something I’ve never done before is exciting to me. I try to break out of routine so I’ll try to implement something in my day that I didn’t do the day before. It could be something as simple as reading an article about something new or trying something different for lunch. This is also why I believe in having a robust social life so I definitely include some parties/events in the mix.  You never know what can happen in a day and a lot can happen within 24-hours so the unknown of what the day will bring gets me out of the bed. I’m always excited about what’s ahead.  

How do you define inspiration?

Inspiration to me is being able to use the world as your oyster. You can find inspiration anywhere from looking at your surroundings, reflecting on your experiences and see what you can create from that.

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be and why?

The advice that I would give my younger self is the same advice that I would give myself today. I have a serious case of impostor syndrome so I’m still learning how to accept my successes and not doubt myself so much. The best advice I can give is don’t doubt yourself and be more confident in your abilities. You are still learning, you aren’t meant to be perfect. It’s ok to be a work in progress.


Who is your role model and how do they inspire you?

Anyone that goes against the grain and doesn’t abide by the status quo is an inspiration to me. I admire people who didn’t follow traditional paths and achieved success their own way on their own terms. I can probably name someone from every industry that inspires me. If I had to pick one person it would have to be Genevieve Jones. Her trajectory is one of the reasons I have a blog. I thought it was so cool that this non-wealthy girl was able to sashay her way into the New York socialite scene. Now she’s just relaxing and enjoying the high life with a gorgeous jewelry line to show for it. I feel like we are somewhat similar except I’m not besties with Marc Jacobs *smirks*

What is an accomplishment you're most proud of and why?

There’s a lot I’m proud of honestly. Major one being that I focused on being a blogger for a year in hopes that it would lead to a career. I was unemployed, didn’t like any jobs listed on career search sites at that time, and thought to myself, "There just has to be something that fits my skill set and is interesting." Fast forward to now, my blog is the reason I’m an Associate Creative Strategist at agencyEA and there’s not a day that goes by where I’m not grateful for that opportunity. I created my blog from scratch not knowing where it would lead. I honestly just wanted to go to events, network with lots of people, and live a very glamorous life on a budget. I just had a lot of faith that everything would work out and thank God it did. 

If you could share with the world something interesting about yourself, what would it be?

I realized I can't name just one thing that is interesting about me. Throughout my life I've always possessed a strong curiosity towards the world around me. I like art, I like music, I like food, I like fitness, there's so many things of interest to me. I believe in trying EVERYTHING at least once. I've risked my life on more than one occasion just so I can say I've tried something new.  For 2017, I hope to become an amazing burlesque and aerial silk performer. I can't tell you my stage name though *winks*.  I also want to up my DIY and cooking skills so I can become the next Martha Stewart.

How do you overcome fear?

I always tell myself that you only get one shot.  That’s the pep talk I give myself if I’m ever feeling fearful. You never know when opportunity will strike so you have to take advantage of every interaction and every opportunity you are given. You can’t count on having that opportunity again so I act as if I only have one shot.

What does the phrase "Keep Shining" mean to you?

To unapologetically be yourself. Regardless of how that looks or regardless of what people think, don’t ever be afraid to be you.

I am unapologetically authentic because...?

I’m Kori Coleman. There is only one Kori Coleman and there will never be another Kori Coleman. All I can be is myself. I know we can all become victims of the comparison game, but I try to see myself as no less than Oprah or Beyonce. What makes Oprah special is unique to Oprah and what makes Beyonce special is unique to Beyonce. We all just bring something different to the table. I think realizing that is what makes someone unapologetically authentic. No one has walked in my shoes, we don’t all share the same perspective, our experiences vary, and that’s great. That’s the beauty of authenticity. You have to ferociously seize the day using the talents and gifts you were given. That’s something I try to abide by each day.  


Kori Coleman is an Associate Creative Strategist at agencyEA. She helps brands develop unique concepts for their events from beginning to the end. In addition to her role as a strategist, she is also the founder of a luxury lifestyle website called Throughout Kori’s notable career she has attended numerous high profile events where’s she had the opportunity to interview some of the nation’s top movers and shakers. Kori is expanding her endeavors to include creating unique experiences for young professionals with her business The Chicagolite Presents.

Photo credit: Diahann Williams