Hi! I’m Karina, the Personal Brand Architect.
I help ambitious women build personal brands that are authentic, empowering, and effective.
I empower my clients to do business on their own terms and ultimately follow their hearts (and dreams!). I do this by helping them build a brand that highlights their distinctive strengths, clearly communicates their offering, and elevates them above their competition.
My clear focus is on working with women.
As women, we often feel like we have to be (or at least behave like) one of the boys in order to be successful in business or in our careers. Enough. Enough trying to fit into the ‘boys’ club’, we need to create a new ‘club’ that benefits us all.
My vision is to live in a world where we appreciate and respect each other, where we lift each other up and value the people around us, where we strive to create win-win situations. I want ‘being in business’ to be about creating a better future for everyone, not about single people or companies using others to further their own agenda or profits.
I truly believe that the way to make this vision a reality is by empowering women to have the confidence to dream big, to believe in themselves, and to take action – on their terms.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family.
Since I was about 8 years old, it was clear to me that I too wanted to be an entrepreneur and run my own company.
I went to school with my goal in mind and worked hard to get my Bachelor’s degree. After a few years of working in marketing and sales, I added an executive MBA in International Business to my portfolio. With my new degree in hand, I joined my family’s company and focused on marketing. I felt well on my way to reaching my goal.
Then, after almost 10 years at that company, the company changed owners and I lost my job. Overnight.
Not only was my source of income gone, but it felt like the future I had imagined for myself was too. I had no idea what I was going to do next. I had always been sure that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but this experience left me questioning everything.
It took all the optimism I had to look for the silver lining. I tried to see this as a hidden opportunity to follow my dream of becoming an entrepreneur.
3 months after losing my job, I gathered my courage and became a self-employed marketing consultant. I acquired my first clients and celebrated every win, no matter how big or small. But deep down I wasn’t over what had happened.
I started reflecting on my entire career and realize a few things:
I had actually been unhappy in my job for quite a while.
My unhappiness had led to me not giving 100% anymore.
Not giving 100% won’t go unnoticed; it makes people doubt your abilities.
Over time, I had actually begun to doubt my abilities as well.
Despite my Bachelor, MBA, and tonnes of experience, I felt worthless. I convinced myself that no one would ever see value in what I had to offer. I didn’t really believe I had anything to offer.
And since I had spent most of my career trying to be ‘part of the team’, I now had no idea how to stand out as an entrepreneur.
It took me over a year in my own business to realize 3 more things:
10 years in a male-dominated industry had exposed me to a horrendous amount of sexism – sexism that was so casual, subconscious and tolerated, that it actually felt normal. It was omnipresent – with suppliers, clients, even my own colleagues – and had successfully eaten away at a good portion of my self-esteem.
My newly discovered self-esteem problem combined with my self-doubts were holding me back from achieving any kind of sustainable success; they were making it difficult for me to acquire new clients and were leading to subconscious self-sabotage.
I wasn’t good at attracting new clients, at least not the ones I had been targeting (SMEs). But!The clients I was was attracting all had 2 things in common: they were women, and they were either self-employed or entrepreneurs. They came to me for help with their marketing and sales and, more often than not, their challenges were rooted in poor branding. So we rolled up our sleeves together and worked on gaining clarity, on their messaging and on how they communicated. We started seeing impressive results, and I absolutely loved working with them.