Xenia is a young and inspiring woman, turned a digital entrepreneur, public speaker and an influencer after completing her economics degree.
A Swiss-Italian, based in London, the young woman has grown her own digital empire in promoting high-end fashion and lifestyle brands while acquiring a massive social media presence. Fluent in six languages, she was able to gain followers from all over the world with the end goal of promoting gender equality and woman empowerment.
She takes the readers on a practical journey to self-empowerment, covering topics such as responsibility for ones owns actions, using your own failures for success and shares her own tools to establish oneself in this world.
In the spirit of her upcoming book, Xenia has answered some of the most pressing questions in our interview with her.
Xenia, you are an established digital entrepreneur, in fashion and lifestyle. Where does your journey begin and what has inspired you to begin in the first place?
I was already working as the face of fashion and lifestyle brands in Switzerland and Italy during my studies. After graduation, I’ve tried my way into corporate finance in London, while travelling every weekend to maintain my media career across Europe. Little did I know that working so hard would give me burnout and make me end up in a hospital with inexplicable fever. That was a big wake up call for me to take a break and reflect upon my life. It was in those months that my own web-magazine idea was born. This allowed me to start my own independent digital business and ultimately led to becoming an influencer
Your soon to be published book, “Empower Yourself” , with such a motivational title. What was your inspiration behind it? Does it come from a certain point in your life, from some personal experiences, you would like to share with your readers?
I have always been a naturally “empowered” individual. From a young age, I always believed that limits to excellence are to be broken no matter where you come from, how you look like, your culture or religion, the colour of your skin, or your gender. Over the years, I for sure have encountered both quite a lot of resistance to this way of seeing things - as well as setbacks and failures. So I have developed my own ways of dealing with life’s challenges - build confidence, shake off other’s people’s opinions and societal expectations and use (inevitable) pain to my own advantage. I cannot wait to be able to share this life-vision and #powertricks with the book’s readers.
The book opens with a talk about our current global struggle - the pandemic. Has it affected your work profoundly? Or have you adapted and adjusted according to the situation, actually making the most of it?
There has been an initial shock - loads cancellations and re-valuations. I had a few months to rethink and readapt. It was interesting to see how necessity can create opportunity. I brainstormed and have started a couple of new digital businesses that are now part of my diversified income. In the meanwhile, some of the traditional brand collaborations and social media work had restarted too. In the times we live in, adaptability to the situation is the only solution: you must start thinking out of the box and understand that set-backs, even big ones, are temporary [...].
One of the chapters talks about the topic of “Gender Equality”, have you yourself, as a successful woman entrepreneur, encountered any gender struggles along your path?
I truly have equality at heart, but I encounter gender-based biases on a consistent basis. In the USA women earn $0.82 for every dollar earned by men. If a woman is sexually liberated she’s still considered “to be gone off the rails” to say the least, yet when a man boasts about his own conquests - he’s a player, he is still respected. Does this look like 2020 gender equality to you? People in the spotlight must lead by example. We must open conversations with men and women alike. Show the biases that we as a society are used to and address how they can be changed.
Why is the term “run like a girl” seen as derogative? Why do I still hear a cliché sentence that states that “behind every great man, there’s a woman”. Why is she behind? And why can’t we just all be equally respected for our own abilities that don’t have to be attached to artificially fabricated and culturally ingrained gender-clichés?
What does it mean to you, to be empowered?
To get to know your core self at a deeper level. To shake off other people’s influences on you - the media, your cultured or family’s ideas and expectations. Not because they are necessarily bad, but because it is the very best way to choose for yourself.
What is the main take away from your book?
That life isn’t perfect, it might give you lemons - some of which will be good others will be spoiled - it’s what you decide to do with what you’ve been given that truly matters. And to this, there are practical techniques and #powertricks that I have developed and I think will be useful now or in 5 years time alike.
For more visit: www.xeniatchoumi.com / IG: @xenia / tw: @xeniatchoumi