The Fun Foodie Mama joins the 2023 Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival as new co-host

Popular local blogger and social media influencer, Kiva Williams, will join the 2023 Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival as the new co-host Feb. 18 at the Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S, St. Petersburg.


ST. PETERSBURG — Kiva Williams left corporate America to become one of the most popular bloggers and social media influencers in the Tampa Bay area. In 2015, after spending 15 years climbing the corporate ladder, she quit to discover her passion and follow her dreams.

In 2018 she created her first blog, Pursuing Happiness, and has since changed the name to The Fun Foodie Mama.

Williams chose that name because it combines all the elements at her life’s core: her love of food, being a mom, and at this stage in her life, she is happy and having fun.

The influencer is set to begin her next chapter as co-host at the 2023 Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival main stage.   

Williams graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in dance. Still, she said her family — like many other parents — do not acknowledge a degree in the arts as a path to success. Her mother would call her every month and suggest minor degrees to pursue.

“Societal fears stopped me from going into the arts as a career,” she said, explaining why she joined the corporate structure. “I was looking at their terms of success.”

She married her college sweetheart, Nathan Williams, and started having children. At that time, she joined the ranks of corporate America, where at one company, she was a senior financial analyst responsible for the reconciliation of accounts with the Federal Reserve.

Williams also added the extra pressure of returning to school to pursue her master’s degree. It was not long before she became overtired and overwhelmed.

“I was in a job I didn’t care about,” Williams explained. “I was in a rat race because my company would not hire the [additional] help needed at the job. I was falling asleep at my computer at home doing both work for my company and school.”

Feeling overwhelmed with work, school, and children, she voiced her concerns to her husband, and he encouraged her to quit her job.

“He’s always been supportive,” she said of her husband. “He’s a realtor, so his schedule is flexible, and he always steps in to help with the kids. He’s turned into a Mr. Mom.”

In 2018, Williams pursued her entrepreneurial dream by creating her family blog. She had always been a social media enthusiast, so developing her blog was seamless.

“My friends always told me I should start a blog because I always had updated news about what was going on in the community,” she laughed.

She started blogging on Instagram around 2016, created her YouTube Channel in 2018 and then launched her blog. combines cooking tips, recipes, community events and showcasing new venues for families to experience.

She first started blogging about cooking because she said cooking is her “love language.” 

“I come from a family of cooks,” she said with pride. “My mom, Grandma Vivian Conner of Atlanta and aunt — all of them were great cooks. Before vegan [cooking] became popular, my mom would make vegan dishes that tasted so good.”

Williams showcases recipes on her blog that combine her recipes and a recreation of classic dishes with a twist.

At first, to find information on events, she read the local newspapers, magazines, watched news shows and perused social media. Now it is easier because many people submit information to post.

“For restaurants, I am reviewing the menu options, pricing and the overall feel of the place or its ambiance,” she explained. “For family entertainment, I am reporting what type of venue or experience it will be for a family to enjoy.”

People come to Williams for resources on where to find the best place to dine, take day trips, date night activities, family vacations and community resources, amongst other things.

To begin her new adventure, she first had to learn how to operate the technical equipment that would be needed. She started doing blogs on her phone but soon advanced into using equipment such as a tripod, webcam, stabilizer and proper lighting by observing and reaching out to others.

“I have been blessed by the kindness of others,” she stated. “I seek them out for information and feedback.”

Her advice to burgeoning bloggers is to “start where you are.” 

“I thought I needed all that fancy equipment, but I didn’t,” she advised. “Do what you can at the moment. Just keep creating.”

She encourages new bloggers to be patient because building a brand takes time, and you must post regularly.

Twice Williams has been a finalist at the Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival Cook-Off, but this year she’s taking on a new role at the festival. She is looking forward to joining the team as one of the co-hosts on the main stage. She thanks the founders, Boyzell Hosey and Samantha Harris, for this opportunity.

“I am happy to support them, and I am excited to be joining forces with them to help amplify their mission of giving back to the community.”

Check Williams out on the main stage at the 2023 Annual Collard Green Festival on Feb. 18 from 10-5 p.m. at the Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Ave. S, St. Petersburg.

Can’t wait until Feb. 18? Visit her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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