NetwerkHER: Kareracter Creative Studio
Meet one of our 2019 Partners, Karen Spears, the Creative Mind behind Kareracter Creative Studio
Our 2019 N2N tour was definitely one of the most fulfilling and monumental projects we’ve ever done. One of the most exciting parts of our tour was the partnerships we were able to form with boss babes, like creative Karen Spears, the brains behind Kareracter Creative Studio (and our logo!). Read our interview with Karen below to see some of the highlights of her career, her destressing methods, and her advice for women currently building their businesses!
What first inspired you to launch Kareracter?
My first successful creative hustle, The Korean Pears, was a precursor to Kareracter. From 2013-2015, I painted and sold quote canvases on Etsy and Instagram. In high school, a good friend of mine gave me $16 to make a canvas with her favorite Dr. Seuss quote. With a surplus of paint and canvas, I began to promote my offerings and soon, it turned into my first business. The acknowledgement of my skill from my peer was an incredible feeling, but it did much more than just feel good: it propelled my drive. It fueled my ambition. And on top of all of that, I got paid! I realized I could really do this for a living. I had talent. I had people supporting me during for that talent. The confidence I’ve gained from having them having faith in my work is nearly indescribable. Then I became a full-time student and between studying and attending class, paint time became limited. I transformed my skill of hand-lettering digitally and taught myself Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. My junior year of college, I officially launched Kareracter and ever since, I’ve been helping small business owners and individuals build their brands with personality.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Attending the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit as a peer advisor for the Obama Foundation was definitely a highlight. I was one of 20 young leaders chosen to advise the youth programming for the foundation. As a surprise and thank-you, we got to personally meet President Obama. It was a life-changing moment for me because in a way, he validated that I was on the right path. During the summit, I was interviewed by Teen Vogue too! Not only was the summit so informative and amazing to take part of, but I really got to connect with so many leaders and creatives who all had fantastic, proactive ideas and goals of their own. It really affirmed for me that the work I’m doing will make a difference. Whether it be to a whole community or to even just one person, it pushes me to keep striving for change through creativity.
What’s one career goal you’d like to accomplish?
One goal I’d like to accomplish it to expand opportunity for women in design and entrepreneurship through signature Kareracter programming. I believe that small business owners deserve access to quality graphic design and designers should have clients that align with their taste and style. Branding plays a huge role in businesses earning potential. We want to not only produce affordable and accessible design for our clients, but also develop the next leaders of innovative female designers.
What do you do to destress?
If I’m stressed in the morning...
Coffee is the first on my list. Once it’s brewed and consumed, I’m usually fine after that.
If I’m stressed in the afternoon...
I hide all my devices and fill my space with soothing aromas. I have sage that I let burn time to time. I have a pouch of lavender that I like to sniff, and eucalyptus in my oil diffuser! Essential oils and herbs are so comforting to me. Pro Tip, try burning sage OR add fresh Eucalyptus in your next shower.
If I’m stressed in the evening...
A glass of wine gets me right. Pinot Grigio please!
How has being a full-time entrepreneur changed your outlook on networking + building relationships?
It’s really taught me to value who a person is, as much as what they can do. I’ve learned to never force a connection while networking; it if it’s the right project and the right peer, they will gladly open the door for you, rather than you trying to knock it down. Also, I’m open-minded to what all a person can actually do. Have any other ideas? Feel like you can get more done? Go for it! There is no limit to creativity, and I certainly don’t put a limit on any of my peers.
One piece of advice surrounding professional relationships for women building their businesses?
Think like a designer. The first step in thinking like a designer is prototyping. Prototyping allows us to test our ideas quickly, make a viable example of our product/service, and iterate early in the development process. The first draft will never be perfect. With that understanding, it encourages you to keep iterating to create the best version of your product or service.