For our fourth installment of Profiles, we met with Ani Chivchyan! Based here in San Francisco, you may know her as the blogger and poet behind @YoursTrulyAni. We got to talk about poetry, self-care, and life itself!
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CE: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Ani: My name is Ani and I’m a San Francisco-based Lifestyle Blogger, Poet, and Poetry Workshop Leader. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, and I’m a first-generation Armenian-American.
On my blog, I share about my day-to-day in the city, from my favorite restaurant to my fashion finds as well as my travels. I have eczema and love wellness and skincare, so I’ll also share about skincare and beauty products that I’ve tried and love, as well as my nutritional/food tips.
From a young age, I’ve battled with anxiety and depression. But after experiencing breakthrough during my prayer and meditation time, and with the help of God and my amazing community here in SF, I started writing my way towards freedom from mental illness. Now, I help women by empowering them through self-love, body-positivity, and positive-affirmation focused poetry. Some of my poems are also about family and spirituality. I’ve workshopped at Outdoor Voices and ModCloth in the City. If you’re reading this and are interested in having me workshop, please message me! :)
My day job consists of supporting and building a community of artists and designers for a startup called Wescover. Working for a startup full time and blogging is not easy, but I love what I do and all the amazing creative entrepreneurs I get to meet because of it!
"I help women by empowering them through self-love, body-positivity, and positive-affirmation focused poetry."
CE: What usually goes on at one of your poetry workshops?
Ani: I start my workshops with some relaxing music and lead with a meditation which involves considering at least one good thing about yourself. As someone who has dealt with depression, I understand that sometimes, it’s hard to think of things right away, but the mediation exercise helps in that regard. The whole idea of the workshop is to expand on that goodness and turn it into self love and self acceptance. We do a quick free write, then I share different examples of self-love poems that I’ve written, and finally participants have time to write their self-love poem. It’s basically writing yourself a love letter in poetic form.
CE: Do you have any advice on how to build an Instagram following?
- Stay true to yourself and to your brand
- Create quality content consistently
- Engage with your community
CE: Is there a favorite poem you’ve written?
Ani: I don’t know if I’d call this a favorite poem, but the one that speaks to me most during this season of my life is this one:
You can find more of my poems via the hashtag #PoetryByYTA.
CE: Who would be your favorite poet?
Ani: So many! I would say this also changes depending on the season of life I’m in. If I had to pick one I’d say Paruyr Sevak. He’s an Armenian poet and he’s also my dad’s favorite. My interest in poetry actually sparked when my dad started reading Paruyr Sevak’s poems to me years ago. You can read some of his poems translated in Armenian online. He wrote about love, family, heartbreak, Armenian culture, and more. I had the pleasure of reciting his famous poem “We Are Few But We Are Called Armenians” in college. That poem makes me cry!
CE: Do you have a favorite snack?
Ani: Trader Joe’s Plantain Chips and Garlic Dip––hands down! For something sweet, I love the CompletEats Cherry Almond cookie. Yay for paleo snacks!
CE: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Ani: To not worry so much. To have fun and enjoy the process. I would also tell my younger self that I am valuable and loved just as I am, and that God does have a plan and purpose for my life.
CE: Where can people find you?
We hope you all enjoyed this installment of Profiles. Please enjoy 20% off on your order with code YOURSTRULYANI on CompletEats.com now until Sunday, 6/30 at 11:59pm!