Meet the Founder: Kathryn Elise
Hello, friends! It's been a few months since we popped in. As team KES has been growing (more on this soon -- promise!), I thought it would be fun to share a Q&A to get to know myself a.k.a the founder of KES. If you've been following our story, you may know that KES started nearly three years ago after I had been working as a PR consultant. At the time, I was working with national beauty companies on public relations, and while I loved creating strategic campaigns, I didn't love spending all of my time staring at my computer screen at home (yes, I worked from home for nearly three years before launching KES full-time).
I picked up a few freelance clients in my city (#KansasCity) and fell back in love with helping small businesses grow their brand. For me, having a relationship with the businesses I worked with made all of the difference. I also quickly realized that while PR was my background, I wanted to expand beyond that. Pitching all day was exciting (at times), but I wanted to stretch my creative energy further. I wanted to dive deeper into social media strategy, get my hands back on my camera to create content, and take charge planning unique events that enticed influencers to attend...And that's how KES was born!
Because I am a REAL person behind this growing biz, I wanted to share a fun Q&A that you could learn more about me and what my role is at the studio.
Name: Kathryn Elise (but all of my friends call me Kat)
Title: Owner + Founder of Kathryn Elise Studio, LLC (or KES for short)
Morning Routine: I wake up around 6:00 a.m. everyday. I start my day with a cup of hot tea and checking my Instagram feed. Some days, I head straight to Health House for an intense rowing workout, but if I need to go into the office, will play a podcast and get ready. I typically listen to podcasts on the drive to work, too!
Typical Work Attire: Because working out 6x's per week is super important to me (for mind + body), there are a few days where I am in workout gear all day (those are the days when I'm in the studio with no meetings!) But on a typical day, you can find me in a pair of distressed denim, mules and a comfy tee. My closet is filled with neutral tones: gray, white, cream, blush, and black are my go-to!
Drink of Choice: I often joke that I could 'drink all of my meals.' Seriously, drinks are my weakness. And I always have several on hand! There are so days where I have a hot green tea, almond latte with coconut oil, green juice, and H20 all before leaving the office. We also keep the studio fridge stocked with La Croix. #basic, but so good. For a splurge, I love a matcha with coconut milk.
What's a Typical Day Like? Truly, there is no typical day. One week out of the month is spent on content creation. That means photo shoots all day! On an average week, I am in the studio 2 to 3 full days with the rest being off-site visitng clients or photo shoots. And yes, I sometimes work weekends due to monthly TV segments and client events.
Monday's are for mapping out our upcoming week, answering emails and scheduling social media. Tuesday's are typically office days with the team. We work together on projects and brainstorm upcoming campaigns. Wednesday and Thursday are days that we book any client meetings, visits, content shoots, and anything that requires me to be out of the studio. Friday's are a toss up. I'm either finalizing projects from the week or running around to complete business errands and meetings.
What's your Role at KES? At some points, I do it all...project management, content strategy and management, strategic planning, accounting, you name it. But what I LOVE to do (and hope to focus on more soon) is the overall strategy: coming up with marketing concepts, researching and developing unique social media content, and planning impactful influencer campaigns. I'm definitely a big picture thinker. I see the vision and then lean on a team to determine the tiny steps to get there.
What are your Productivity Hacks? Cliche, but...a clean desk, a vase of fresh flowers and a big cup of tea/coffee/juice to keep me fueled is key. I also love when the office is quiet, but with an upbeat playlist playing in the background. Talking while I'm in workmode is a challenge for me, but I like to take 5-minute breaks every hour to chat with the team or send a text to a friend.
Favorite Apps: For apps & tools, I swear by: Google Calendar, Wunderlist, Dubsado, and Plan.oly. Having a set plan and timeblocking also keeps me on track as I juggle a million assignments!
What Inspires You? A good podcast, challenging workout, quiet walk outside with my pup, and being around other creatives all inspire me. What fuels my fire is working with creative entrepreneurs and business owners that understand the importance of strategic & stylish marketing, see the results and value our partnership. Nothing feels better than helping my clients experience growth!
Advice for an Aspiring Full-Time Business Owner? First, you need to determine if your dream is a hobby or a business. If you can map out a clear plan to be profitable, then you should start making steps toward taking it full time. If it's a passion project without many opportunities to be profitable, you may want to consider it more of a hobby. There is nothing wrong with having a passion project! In fact, I have launched a few of my own on the side... including a series of conferences for creatives.
Next, I would suggest networking and building a tribe of influential leaders in your community that will support you -- if and when you launch. As you build your community, I would recommend creating social media channels that share bits and pieces of your new endevaur, while being professional and polite to your current employer. You don't want to burn any bridges. You never know when your paths will align again!
Finally, make sure you have a clear business plan and savings in place. You may not start your business with the clients or sales to support yourself. I do not recommend starting a business on a whim or without thinking through each detail clearly.