This month's featured #bloomgirl is Marielle Kraft! We are so inspired by Marielle's passion, energy, and positivity! Read more about her below!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I’m an adventure-seeking, coffee-fueled, song-writing, people-loving, 23-year-old Rhode Island native. In 2017, I graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Education, and grew leaps and bounds as a classroom teacher the following school year, teaching 6th grade English in Maryland. All the while, my passion for songwriting and performing crept to the forefront, and in June 2018 I leaped into pursuing a full-time music career. Self-taught on guitar and honing my vocals daily, I fall into the indie-pop lane alongside artists like Julia Michaels, Shawn Mendes, John Mayer, and Taylor Swift. Now, my CR-V is my best friend, carving out tour routes across the country and teaching me the importance of risking security to seek what I love.
2. How/when did your music career start? What challenges did you face along the way and how did you persevere?
It wasn’t until high school that I found my love for music when I was surrounded by incredibly talented friends who taught me basic guitar chords to John Mayer and Taylor Swift songs when we’d hang out on the weekends. Slowly, I began to try my hand at songwriting and really started to develop as an artist in college at the University of Delaware. Dorm room jams turned to small campus events, which eventually led to playing in front of five thousand people on the Bob Carpenter stage at UDance. However, my plan was always to become a teacher, and I entered the field of education in the fall of 2017 as a 6th grade English teacher in Maryland. I soon realized that teaching every day, coaching every afternoon, and traveling every weekend to play shows wasn’t a sustainable lifestyle and made the difficult decision to step away from teaching at the end of the school year to pursue music full time in June 2018. Since then, I’ve moved back to Delaware, embarked on my first 3 tours, and poured myself into creating new music. My support system has been crucial in rebuilding confidence and encouragement to persevere through the difficult days, rejections, and exhaustion. I learned that it’s important to lean into them when your strength is lacking - that’s why they’re here.
3. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My students. Even though I’m not currently a classroom teacher, my 82 middle school rockstars last year still serve as my inspiration to be the best version of myself that I can be. Young people are constantly studying their older influences. They watch our actions, pick up our vocabulary, emulate our attitudes - it’s so important to me to be a positive role model. If I can be a representation of working incredibly hard to pursue what you love to the next generation, regardless of the fame or fortune or failures, then I’ve made it in my book.
4. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, personally or professionally? How have you overcome it?
In the last 9 months of launching my music career, my biggest challenge has been honing my self-discipline on my less hectic days without a show, meeting, or commitment set in stone. My schedule as a teacher was routine, structured, and filled for me every single day. Now as my own boss, it was initially really hard for me to decide when it was time to work, for how long to work, where to get it done, and how to follow through without excuses or excessive breaks. It’s made me realize how vitally important accountability is. Surrounding myself with other driven friends has given me extrinsic motivation to keep consistently productive, and structuring my days around lists and goals have grounded my intrinsic motivation. Every day won’t be the same like it was when I was teaching, but I’ve been working on finding a balance of investing in my creative, business, and personal aspects of my career regularly.
5. If you could talk to yourself 5 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Five years ago I had just released my very first collection of original songs and was beginning to find the courage to perform on stages bigger than my dorm room at UD. I would tell 18-year-old Marielle to never be afraid to take up space. Especially as a young woman in the music industry, there are so many outside voices and intimidating forces trying to convince you against becoming someone. They claim you aren’t original enough, or experienced enough, or talented enough, or pretty enough, and if you’re not careful, it can diminish your drive to become great. Five years ago, I wasn’t confident that there would be room for me in the seemingly over-saturated and superficial music business, but now I am learning that there is no one else who can be a better me than I am. We, especially as fierce and gifted women, cannot be afraid to take up the space we have earned and deserve. The world will make room for you if you claim it confidently.
6. What are some key learning experiences that have helped shape you?
I spend a lot of time alone - writing, driving for hours on end, sound checking, and even performing most of the time solo. As an extrovert, this sudden shift into solitude shook me severely. With time, I’ve turned my 8-hour driving stretches into opportunities of self-reflection, time to connect with friends over the phone, and space to dream new ideas. Initially daunting, the time alone has given me balance to rediscover who I am without the distractions and influences of others. Learning to embrace this new flow has been a breakthrough for me in my artistry.
7. What are your favorite bloom products, and why?
Due to my self-made schedule, I LOVE the To-Do Lists. They keep me on track with my ever-changing tasks and productivity, and I especially love the section dedicated to daily gratitude. As a songwriter, the Mini Lined Notebooks are so easy to bring on the road. I’m constantly jotting down verses, ideas, concepts, titles, and reflections in these cute pocket notebooks! Finally, I’m not sure I can ever have enough of the Tribal Thank You Cards. Living predominantly on the road means I am reliant on the hospitality of family and friends to allow me to stay in their homes, and I always write thank you notes to them in appreciation of their kindness. The tribal card set are my favorite ones to write!
8. Where can we find your music and how can we support you?!
My music is available on any platform that you use for stream or purchase (i.e. Spotify, iTunes/Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.)! Everything is under my name, “Marielle Kraft.” On all social media, you can connect with me @mariellekraft (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), and you can keep up with my touring schedule and other updates through my website, mariellekraft.com. I have new music and exciting announcements coming soon, so hop on board! Thank you for your support!
We hope you loved getting to know Marielle! Do you have a #girlboss story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be our next featured bloom girl!
the bloom team