Kayla | From Marketer to Artist Curator
By Eleni MEraki
I grew up in Virginia Beach with a passion for design and photography. I taught myself how to use a camera and how to code websites when I was in middle school. After tasting my way through over 15 countries and graduating with a marketing degree from Virginia Tech, I moved to New York City in 2011. I came to NY for a marketing internship at a photography agency where I spent over 5 years working in artist management. I ended my tenure as the Creative Marketing Director of the agency.
5 THINGS ABOUT
LAVENDER PURPLE . TIME TRAVELER. ARTIST. LOVER. A FOREVER STUDENT.
LEAP OF FAITH
I started to see time pass as I had been making the same commute to the same office for over 5 years. I loved the work that I was doing and enjoyed the challenges but I felt like I needed change. I didn’t know how and so I focused my energy on improving myself through yoga, meditation, building community, and bringing mindfulness into my life. It took me 2 years of personal development before I took my leap of faith.
Una Volta Studio
... works to elevate artists through marketing efforts, content curation and beautiful design. I work on branding, portfolio curation, graphic & website design, newsletters, printed promotions, custom PDFs & concepting. The nature of my work allows me to work from anywhere but my target market of photographers, stylists, fine artists and artist representatives is primarily based in New York and LA.
The photo and fashion industry is full of freelancers and it wasn’t until after I branched out on my own, that I began concepting a business. Marketing and design were what I knew so why not do it for myself. I created a brand identity, logo, website, social feeds, mood boards, contact database, organized a launch party and my creative consulting agency was born. The truth is that I loved every part of it. To have the creative freedom to sculpt an identity and business to my aesthetic was the spark I had been missing. It took me 3 months from conception to launch.
My business took off running and I landed several clients within the first few weeks. New York and the people in it hustle hard and projects can move quickly if you do. I had a buffer of savings for a year of living and low start up costs as I did all of the leg-work, marketing and design by myself. Having a marketing background has helped me immensely because it's ingrained in the way my mind thinks. It's my specialty and combined with design, these traits give me the flexibility to do things myself. When work is slow, I focus on a passion project or pick up additional graphic design freelance work.
THE TOUGH TIMES
I didn't make the first year in business easy on myself. Just 1 month after launching Una Volta Studio, I started working on another project of mine and spent 60 days on the road exploring, camping and hiking in America’s National Parks. I was doing the road trip with my partner and we had a few obligatory visits along the road so I had no other choice than to go for it. In this period, I was running Una Volta Studio remotely, which was not easy. Upon returning to NY after the trip, I gave up my Brooklyn apartment and spent the next 2 months bouncing around at friends in the city. Not having a home base and living out of a suitcase for over 6 months takes it's toll. At times I craved a quiet night alone in my own space. The time away slowed business but gave me the best summer of my life and allowed me to publish a book of stories and photographs from the trip, Daytripper: 60 Days on the Road Exploring America’s National Parks.
5 INSIDERS TIPS
1. Be honest. Be positive. Be humble. Be kind. Be here. These are the words I live by.
2. Get rid of imposter syndrome. I still have it and remind myself often that we’re all just trying to figure this thing called life out.
3. Prepare to think of creative ways to hustle. I started planning more events and parties to bring people together.
4. Facilitating mutually beneficial connections brings good karma and allows you to add value.
5. When in a rut, go outside. I feel the most like a human being when I am connected to nature.
Written By Eleni meraki
Eleni is the founder of Guts & Tales. She lives in Athens and enjoys roaming the world as much as she can. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with big dreams and a big mission; to empower you to live a life you truly enjoy living.
Click on the About Eleni tab to read her full story.