About Me

“A good story knows no strangers.” – Wm. Paul Young

Hi there! I’m Kara Kemp and I am a speaker and storytelling coach for visionary leaders who wish to leverage the power of their personal narrative. For over two decades I have facilitated off-the-shelf approaches for strengthening work cultures and creative leaders. I have crafted systems for companies and individuals in non-profit and for-profit sectors. I work with organizations and leadership teams on how to harness the power of storytelling to maintain momentum in their field. I am a firm believer that communication and collaboration are the keystones to effective work cultures and to encourage bold choices that expedite success.

I am a Tennessee native with an eclectic career history in management as a managing director of a theatre company, hospitality crew chief for touring bands, and General Manager of one of middle Tennessee’s largest Aveda Lifestyle Salon and Spas—named a top salon in the nation ten years in a row. Appointed as the 2023 Murfreesboro Performing Arts Laureate, I am the founder and producer of a national, award-winning storytelling event, United We Style, benefiting United Way, as well as co-creator and producer of The Bloom Stage, a multi-genre storytelling platform.

Education, Training and Experience

  • Brene Brown Dare To Lead, certified trained
  • Brene Brown Courage Works
  • Qnity Tools Certification
  • Qnity for Leaders with Tom Kuhn
  • Neill Corporation Culture and Leadership Training
  • Red Chocolate Coaching with Virginia Meyer
  • Structure and Cultural Development
  • BA, Theatre, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Managing Director, Actors Co-op, Knoxville, TN
  • Dega Catering Crew Chief, Nashville, TN

What Other Folks Say



“Knowing Kara personally for years, she is amazingly talented and gifted in personal communication.  She can be truly authentic with herself and others, and she has a strong desire to build in others their best self.  She is engaging, personable and dynamic, and she wants to make a true impact in our community through collaborative retreats and storytelling.  Intrinsically, I reached out to her to create and to tailor a self-care & leadership retreat for my staff.  My team left motivated and energized, standing in their power stance.  Her passion for life and for others is infectious.  I stand in awe, watching her bloom and flourish.”

-Ericka Downing, Executive Director, Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center



“Kara’s goal-setting workshop in 2021 was invaluable to Rutherford Arts Alliance as the non-profit entered year three.  With a robust membership and numerous project ideas, we badly needed help in setting our direction.  Kara was that help and made the planning of the workshop so easy, even though it was delivered via zoom.  Kara’s was the trusted, objective voice that we needed to move forward with a clear sense of purpose.”

-Dr. Lucy Langworthy, Assistant to the Dean, College of Liberal Arts, MTSU



“When preparing for storytelling events such as the National Storytelling Festival Slam, The Moth Grand Slam, or an appearance on PBS’ “Stories from the Stage” Kara has been my go to coach. Her experience as an actor, storyteller and life coach not only helped me hone my skills as a storyteller,  but gave me the personal confidence to perform my stories when the stakes are high!” 

-Mark Lamb, Professional Storyteller



“Kara J Kemp is a remarkable woman with a tenacious outlook on life! Her zest of spirit and advocacy for “Big Magic” are the motivating factors for helping others see their story, find their purpose, reveal their vision, and provides tools to lead them in new and unchartered directions. Kara’s love of life and compassion for people seeking a helping hand make her the best charismatic coach on the block! Both professionally and personally, Kara helps you celebrate each milestone and moment as you grow and develop. She is authentic, straightforward, and kind. My sessions with Kara helped me through the toughest of life’s challenges. By setting goals, celebrating victories, and providing inspiration, Kara’s luminary guidance helped me do the work, and experience amazing outcomes!”

-Wendy Nash Remick, Teacher and Artist