"How I transformed my life from depressed & divorced with no degree to a thriving six-figure business and teaching hundreds of other creatives how to do what they love for a living."

Welcome! I’m so glad you're here. I’m Beth, a writer, photographer, entrepreneur, and the creator of the award winning blog, Local Milk, my food, slow living, and travel journal. With an online community of over 1.2 million, I’ve spent the past five years teaching branding, visual storytelling, and social media marketing to creative entrepreneurs all over the world from Japan to Morocco to Paris. 

But life wasn’t always like this. The story of how I got here is a crazy one, and if you have the time, settle in with a cup of tea (or glass of wine!) and click “tell me more” to hear it all. Fair warning: I’m not going to gloss over anything, and my story might shock you. And it also might make you feel a lot better about your own! No time? Click HERE to skip to the TL;DR version—I won’t judge. 

ABOUT ME, OR MORE ACCURATELY...

visual storyteller / entrepreneur / educator 

I had a happy childhood spent swimming in the Tennessee River, cuddling our English Labrador, and tromping through imaginary worlds in the suburbs with other neighborhood kids. I started junior high in all honors classes, but what would become a lifelong struggle with Bipolar disorder hit in my teens. Undiagnosed and untreated, by my senior year, I’d run away from home twice, and then, most finally, unceremoniously dropped out of high school and got my GED my senior year. 

I went further south after high school—swamps & Spanish moss south—and even managed to get into college. I studied philosophy & creative writing in New Orleans where I had religious experiences in the form of oysters on the half shell swimming in Tabasco & early morning (a.k.a. very late night) walks by the Mississippi. 

As the saying goes “wherever you are, there you are”—you can’t run from yourself. In and out of school, failing desperately at relationships yet terrified to be alone, and eventually slipping into New Orleans’ late night drug culture—I was headed for rock bottom.


Finally, Hurricane Katrina washed me out of New Orleans, and I ended up back in Tennessee in my mid-twenties. Turns out there were many rock bottoms to come for me. In my short tenure back home I managed to marry a good friend, turn that friendship into a hell-scape of a marriage, went to treatment for depression & drugs, and got divorced.

I ran away from it all to the west cost with little more than a pair of motorcycle boots and cut off Levi’s to my name. There I attempted to drown my grief in a new relationship, very cheap vodka, and copious amounts of sashimi. I remember the sashimi fondly.

Suffice to say, it wasn't sustainable. Not the new relationship. Not running away. Not drowning my grief. Grief not only over my failed marriage, but over what appeared to be a failed life. I was now 28, and I had nothing. I found myself back in Tennessee and back in treatment. While there, I decided to believe a few things that have forever changed my life:


"OUR WOUNDS AND OUR BROKENNESS ARE WHERE

SOME OF OUR GREATEST STRENGTHS COME FROM."

So, My Story.

A native Tennessean, I was born in the south. I didn’t care for being southern, but I grew up. And when you grow up you get eyes in your head. And what I saw was myself in the South and the South in me. It’s a broken place, and its richness lies in its brokenness. And I now know the same is true about me—and everyone else too: our wounds & brokenness are where some of our greatest strengths come from.

Everything happens for reason.

01

That every day is magical, beautiful, and worthy.

02

The universe is essentially a good & loving place.

03

That there is a reason each of us is here. You have a purpose.  

04

There is always room at the top, and no one starts there.

05

I decided to go back to school and study what I always had, philosophy. That’s what you do, right? Go back to school! But shortly after enrolling, I was sitting on my therapist's couch, and I told her I didn’t want to teach philosophy or be a lawyer. And we agreed that my current path didn’t make much sense. 

Turns out a traditional path never was for me. 

She asked me what I wanted to do. I’d been following a couple of creative online entrepreneurs and bloggers, so I knew that was a world that existed. And so I told her “That! I want to do that!” Her reply was simple, “Alright, so do it!”

And so I did. 


But I wasn’t an overnight success. I had never touched a camera. Never styled a shoot. Never run a business. I didn’t even have any social media accounts! But I put one foot in front of the other, and most importantly, I didn’t wait until I was perfect to start.  I just started. And I didn’t look down. That was April of 2012.

There were plenty of fails & painful lessons along the way, but within a couple of years, I’d grown a following on a little platform called Instagram and learned the skills necessary to make a living as a full time social media influencer, blogger, freelance photographer, recipe developer, and stylist. And I was hosting creative retreats in exotic locations all over the world and teaching what I’d learned!

About three years into this new, exciting life, I met my husband, Matt. We were married within five months of meeting one another! He’s the most handsome man I’ve ever seen, my partner in adventure, and we now have a beautiful baby girl named Eulalie together. To say I’m obsessed with my family is a bit of an understatement. They’re everything.

After having my daughter, I kept right on with the life I’d been living before. Working for clients, blogging, teaching in every corner of the globe, hosting elaborate gatherings & dinners. I was living the dream.

Or was I?

The truth is, by the time she was 6 months old I was working all of the time. I was burnt out. Exhausted. Terrified of failing. Our overhead was high, but our margins were low. I preached slow living, but now I couldn’t seem to stop! I felt like a fraud, a failure, and like any minute I might just lose my mind.

There had to be a better way. A way to stop trading my time for money. A way to stop working for corporate clients. A way to still make a living for my family and grow my business without sacrificing my health or relationships. A way to have abundance without busy and happiness without hustle. So the wheels in my head started turning. Slowly, but they were turning.

And so I emerged, healthy for the first time & full of hope. But I had no high school or college degree. No work experience other than waiting tables. No relationship. And no idea what I was going to do with my life. 

AND IN THE YEAR SINCE THAT MOMENT OF RECKONING, I'VE...

Decided to make all of the teaching formerly only available at expensive destination retreats available online for either free or a fraction of the cost

Doubled the business's revenue


Grown my team & created opportunities for other women

Grown my email list to 20x it’s original size

Landed the cookbook deal of my dreams

AND IN THE YEAR SINCE THAT MOMENT OF RECKONING, I'VE...

"And that’s why I’m here. To share what I’ve learned on this crazy, unconventional journey with you. Because you have a purpose. You are needed. There was a time in my life where I desperately needed someone to tell me that and believe in me. And I want to do that for you. Because I 100% believe you can build a life you love and make money with your passion, too. "

But it’s a reality not just for me but for many other successful entrepreneurs. And if I can do it, anyone can! I mean…did you read that messy story? Yeah. You see my point! 

And that’s why I’m here. To share what I’ve learned on this crazy, unconventional journey with you. Because you have a purpose. You are needed. There was a time in my life where I desperately needed someone to tell me that and believe in me. And I want to do that for you. Because I 100% believe you can build a life you love and make money with your passion too.

I'm passionate about teaching you what I learned the hard way and helping you avoid the years of struggle I had to go through. I’m passionate about fostering a community of successful creatives that lift each other up. And I’m passionate about working for you, not just corporations.


Yes, I'm a business owner. But I'm devoted to creating resources for EVERYONE. Which is why most of what I create is and always has been 100% free. I also sell courses, retreats, and resources that I'm really proud of. Resources that I know will help you put your dreams into action. Because they are the exact same strategies and resources that helped me! 

I don’t believe in overnight success. But I do believe that hard work, time, and the right tools equal success. I can’t do the work for you, but I can give you the tools in my toolbox and let you know down to the detail what habits, beliefs, and actions have led me to where I am today—happy, thriving, in a place a rest, and making six-figures a year. In profit. After taxes!


SOUNDS A LITTLE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, I KNOW.

To get you started, I’ve created a free guide to the morning habits I’ve cultivated over the years to prime me for a successful day & mindful life. Get it and join the thousands of others in our community working on making their dreams a reality! 

free downloaD

01

I dream of photographing Orcas & sharks in the wild.

I drop f-bombs like it’s my job. But never in an angry way! 

02

My favorite food is tacos. Al Pastor with extra lime, hold the cilantro. It tastes like soap to me. Which is a genetic problem.

03

HERE FOR THE TL;DR VERSION?

GUESS WHAT? I'M A REAL PERSON!

INTP. Cancer sun, Aries moon, Capricorn rising. Always ambitious, rarely on time. A big dreamer that believes all things are possible with enough time and hard work. Japanese ceramic addict. Mystic. Lover of Leonard Cohen and T. Swift equally. Would rather be cuddling on the couch with Matt than anywhere else. 

ENTP. Doesn’t know his sign. (But between us, he’s an Aquarius). Dad joke-telling beer, wine, and coffee expert. Star Wars fanatic. Devoted papa, doting husband, and avid chef with the ability to find all the secret good things in any city. Great bone structure & hair on top of it all. 

TBD. Leo sun. A sweet little hat lady with her heart on her sleeve. Excellent giver of kisses & group hugger. Aspiring acrobat. Insomniac. Tender cherub, mini muse, and a great judge of character. Mother to itinerant stuffed animals.

Get More Magic

You’ll get my exclusive, monthly newsletter on all things slow living, creative business, and living your best life plus all the free resources I create, first access to new courses & events, and more! 

PAST LETTERS BE LIKE:

JOIN THE COMMUNITY

All content and imagery © Beth Kirby 2018