Kiya Cole & Skai Jackson
Child star, teenage role model and emerging style-icon all define actress Skai Jackson. Her number one fan and stunning mother, Kiya Cole, is with her every step of the way. This mother & daughter duo open up about a budding career, fashion inspiration, and what their close-knit family relationship is like off screen…
On a perfect Sunday…
You always start the morning with?
Skai: Making breakfast, going to church, grabbing lunch and then hanging out with my friends to catch a movie! Sunday is such a chill day so I'm either with friends or relaxing at home.
Kiya: Going to church, followed by brunch, then coming home to relax and get ready for the week ahead. I always start the morning off with a glass of water. It releases toxins and gets your body ready for good things to be put back in.
You're working, traveling, or sleeping in?
Skai: Sleeping in! It's very rare that I am working on a Sunday. I love those days when I do get to sleep in because sometimes I just don't do that enough!
Kiya: Like Skai, I’m definitely sleeping in.
We'll always find you wearing...
Skai: A romper because they are so easy to throw on! They’re perfect for those days when you don't feel like putting a full outfit together!
Kiya: I’ll pick a romper any day! The older I get I just like to feel comfortable.
You get an afternoon to hang out with friends/family. What's on your agenda?
Skai: If I am hanging out with my friends, we usually go see a film, go out to dinner, or walk around and shop at The Grove. We always have a great time together and do a lot of fun activities.
Kiya: I love going to afternoon movies with family or friends. If I’d rather stay in, I love having people over to watch a good movie.
Who is the most adventurous? Laid back?
Skai: I would say my mom is more adventurous. I am definitely the one who is more laid back but is also down for anything.
Kiya: I think I'm more adventurous and Skai is more laid back.
Skai, when it comes to Hollywood...
What was the first movie that made a lasting impression on you?
The Pursuit of Happiness. It taught me to always help others and be grateful for what I have. It has always been one of my favorites and has an amazing message.
Most memorable celebrity encounter?
My most memorable celebrity encounter was when I met Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie! They were so sweet and fans of my show, which was pretty cool! I also got to meet their kids who were very sweet.
Words of advice for an aspiring actor?
Never give up. If you really want to do something in life, don't let anyone’s words get to you! Something might not happen right away, but something great will happen for you!
What would be your dream career if you weren’t where you are today?
Probably to be a fashion designer! I've always been into fashion and creating a clothing line is something that I've wanted to do! Hopefully I will achieve that someday.
Favorite character you’ve played and/or that you relate most with?
My favorite character that I have played so far is Joetta in The Watsons Go to Birmingham! The film took place in the 60’s and it was really fun to dress in that time period and see all the old cars they had on set!
Who is your role model?
My role model is definitely Oprah. She is very involved with charities, sticks for what she believes in and acts, directs, and produces.
On Kiya’s experience moving coast-to-coast and motherhood…
You moved from New York to Los Angeles. Do you have a favorite city?
I would take parts from New York and parts from California and put them together. Then I wouldn't have to choose.
Where are your favorite places to hang out in LA if you have a day to yourself?
I would hang in my bed watching TV, all day long, if I had the day to myself. I'd probably sit in our backyard all day too.
Any exciting travel plans coming up this summer?
Right now there are no immediate plans for summer travel. It all depends on Skai's schedule. But if we can't get on a plane to travel, we always take weekend getaways.
Has life changed for you since becoming a mother?
Of course life has changed since becoming a mother; you don't look at life the same. It's not just about you anymore; your decisions are now based on what's best for your child.
You’ve found that parents are actually as big of fans of Skai as their kids are; how does this make you feel?
It's a nice feeling to know it's not just kids who recognize Skai, but also the parents. When parents tell me that Skai has been a good role model for their kids to look up to and that I’ve done a good job raising her, it makes me so proud.
How did you decide this was the right path for Skai?
I knew that this was the right path for Skai because of how she gravitated to being a part of the acting business. Clients she'd work for would tell me how special she was and to never take her out of the business. I knew that she had something special that couldn't be taught.
When did you know Skai was really going to make it in the industry?
It sounds cliché, but it was God! He told me and gave me signs that she'd make it in the industry.
What is your favorite part of being a mom?
My favorite part about being a mom is getting to re-live things through Skai. Seeing her go through life changes and remembering what it was like for me. It has been a great experience watching her grow and succeed.
Skai & Kiya, let’s talk about personal style…
Who takes the most risks?
Skai: My mom takes the most style risks!
Kiya: I take more risks with personal style.
If you could each have a closet full of only one designer or brand, who would it be?
Skai: It would probably be Gucci. I have been obsessed with the new designs they just released and they have so many fun sneakers with different patterns on them! Gucci has always been one of my favorite designers.
Kiya: I'd have a closet full of Free People. I've been wearing Free People since I was Skai's age and buying their styles for as long as I can remember. I love comfort and bohemian chic and don't need high fashion in my closet.
Your style icons?
Skai: My style icon is Gwen Stefani. I love how she has a tomboy chic look and she doesn't always feel the need to wear a dress or heels. She has the best looks and I've always admired her style.
Kiya: Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) would be my style icon. I loved how the costume designer, Patricia Fields, always took risks with that character’s personal style.
How would you describe each other’s style?
Skai: I would describe my mom’s style as casual, fun, and a little edgy. She knows how to mix up different patterns, prints, and can always put a great outfit together.
Kiya: Skai's go-to style is comfort. She’s always wearing a hoodie/sweatshirt and comfortable pants.
Skai – is your style at all influenced by your mom, or is it unique to you?
I would say my style is unique to me but my mom has always helped me with my outfits. She comes shopping with me to help me find really cute clothes.
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Working, traveling, or sleeping in? Skai - “Sleeping in! It's very rare that I am working on a Sunday. I love those days when I do get to sleep in because sometimes I just don't do that enough!” Kiya – “Like Skai, I’m definitely sleeping in.” Skai wearing the Neyo Top and Kiya in the Sara DressPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On the more adventurous or laid back one in the family: Skai – “I would say my mom is more adventurous. I am definitely the one who is more laid back but is also down for anything.” Kiya – “I think I'm more adventurous and Skai is more laid back.” Skai wearing the Azuki DressPhotography By Alex La Cruz
If they could have a closet full of one designer or brand: Skai – “It would probably be Gucci!” Kiya – “I've been wearing Free People since I was Skai's age and buying their styles for as long as I can remember. I love comfort and bohemian chic.“ Kiya in the Mariner Crop Pant and Skai in the Azuki DressPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On describing each other’s personal style: Skai – “I would describe my mom’s style as casual, fun, and a little edgy. She knows how to mix up different patterns, prints, and can always put a great outfit together.” Kiya – “Skai's go-to style is comfort. She’s always wearing a hoodie/sweatshirt and comfortable pants.” Kiya in the Leolani Leather Jacket and Skai in the Marru Top and the Park Skinny PantPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On style icons: Skai – “My style icon is Gwen Stefani. I love how she has a tomboy chic look and she doesn't always feel the need to wear a dress or heels.” Kiya – “Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) would be my style icon.” Kiya in the Leolani Leather Jacket and Skai in the Marru Top and the Park Skinny PantPhotography By Alex La Cruz
Skai’s words of advice for an aspiring actor? “Never give up. If you really want to do something in life, don't let anyone’s words get to you! Something might not happen right away, but something great will happen for you!” Skai in the Yaretzi B Dress and Kiya in the Gustavie TopPhotography By Alex La Cruz
On Kiya’s favorite part about being a mom: “Getting to re-live things through Skai. Seeing her go through life changes and remembering what it was like for me. It has been a great experience watching her grow and succeed.” Kiya in the Gustavie TopPhotography By Alex La Cruz