Carina is a Pittsburgh based ceramic artist with love for her cat and earth tones. I posted my special pre-launch services for personal branding, and she quickly reached out after a matter of minutes chatting back and forth I knew personal branding was going to be perfect for her.
Carina knew she was ready to up her online presence but wasn't quite sure how to do it - this is where I came in. We met in a local coffee shop and spent over an hour and a half talking about the vision for her business, how she wants her audience to see her brand and ways to best capture that.
A key component in successful personal brand photography is effective communication between the photographer and client. Personal brand photography is unlike any other photography service out there because every session is completely customized to the needs of the client's brand. Planning every photo shoot takes a great deal of prep to ensure that everything aligns.
For Carina's shoot we spent the day capturing the full story of her work from creation to her carefully crafted pieces finding their forever home to snippets of her daily life.
In this post Carina shares how she got started, her advice for other entrepreneurs just starting, and her vision for her business in 10 years.
Carina started her business Carina Kooiman Ceramics in 2016. Her work is beautiful, timeless and is easily enjoyed daily. She hopes that her customers feel appreciated and valued every time they use one of her pieces. She says "I couldn't do this work without the many people who support me, value my work, and spread the word."
How do you want people to see you and your business in 10 years?
Carina sees herself as an educator at heart saying "I find so much joy in sharing, encouraging, and teaching. Because ceramics can be an insular world sometimes, I take particular pleasure in being an artist and brand that is more about sharing than secrets. I hope to create a business that is about supporting and growing other artists and businesses, not just my own."
Advice for someone starting their own business - "No matter how much you love what you do it's not going to happen on its own. Treat work as work."
"Building a business is hard work, especially one built around a creative practice. And I'll be honest; my own progress has been slow. I'm very much still learning, and building, and growing. But the most important thing is to treat work as work. You can't just wait for inspiration to come, you've got to put in the hours. No matter how much you love what you do, it's not going to happen on its own."
The hardest/ best parts of running your own business
"There just aren't enough hours in the day for everything I want to do! In addition to my artist practice, I also work full time and love both. I'd rather do fewer things really well, than many things at average quality. But narrowing the number of things I'm working on can be downright heartbreaking. And then on top of that, reserving time to maintain a personal life! Yikes, this is obviously not something I've solved yet. Working on it..."
"I love seeing my work out in the world! Folks are always sharing their stories with me about how they've incorporated my pieces into their lives, which is so special. I feel honored to be making things that are cared for by so many people. This has also been an excellent way to meet people and make new connections.
Concluding thoughts -
Owning your own business is tough work, but with resilience, passion, and commitment you can live a life that feels full. When we first start in our entrepreneurial journey, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and like you are failing. In the online world, we see the culmination of one's work, and it can seem almost to appear overnight. Were disillusioned by the "sudden" success and we don't understand why things aren't happening faster for us. BUT, the truth is these people have spent years building what we are now just seeing.<