Heyyyy! Happy Boss Babe Wednesday! I’m so excited to introduce you to Kristin Berry of The Dashing Ginger. Kristin is an awesome story-teller. Before the first drink is served at happy hour, she’ll already have you crying from laughing so hard. She’s the friend you can call when you need help, in business & and in life. She’s got big love for her friends, family, & work and I know you’ll be as charmed by her honesty & sunny disposition as I am. Enjoy her words.
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
Hello! My name is Kristin. I am 27 years old and live in South Tampa with my two fur-babies: Willow and Juniper. I am a Beyoncé fan girl, have an unhealthy addiction to milk chocolate covered almonds, and am a Grammy award-winning shower singer. Ok, two of those are true and I wish the third was. Professionally, I am a branding and product photographer. I also offer social media and blog management services and I am a wedding and event professional that provides staffing for weddings and events.
How did your business begin?
By chance, really. I graduated from USF in 2013 with a degree in studio art and a focus in photography. While there, I answered an email through our school network (this was in 2011) for a South Tampa wedding photographer looking for an intern and thought, "weddings, sure!" I ended up getting the internship and 6 years later, I am still working with that that photographer. Her name is Andi Diamond. After working in the industry for 4 years, I realized one thing was missing... quality help! The Dashing Ginger was born in January of 2016 with a main focus of providing staffing for wedding and event professionals. It takes a village to execute events and I was ready to provide the village! From there things snowballed. I have staff that are able to help with any event, including set up, tear down, deliveries, and more. With that came professionals and creatives looking for web presence help. This is something I have been managing for Andi for years, so I added that to my services as well. Lastly, branding photography allows me to not only create great product content for a business, but also help capture the essence of a business through headshots. The creator is the driving force behind a business and I have so much fun creating string, compelling imagery that encompasses a brand.
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
One challenge would definitely be all of the behind-the-scenes of a business: taxes, sales tax, bookkeeping, constant emails, scheduling, pricing... these were all things I didn't have a lot of knowledge on when starting. A business class would have been helpful! Luckily I have many industry friends who helped me along the way (and an amazing accountant) and started finding my way. I will admit, I still struggle with some of these aspects of business, but no one is the perfect business owner and I have to remind myself that. A success would have to be meeting SO many awesome people! Since branching out, I have had the opportunity to meet tons of local professionals and creatives and have created some lasting relationships and friendships. We lean on each other, guide each other, and uplift each other. I now have a great support system and I am so thankful for that.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
I have two. The first was, "get a good accountant." I DO! There's a lot of behind-the-scenes of running a business and I am so thankful to have my accountant, she has been with me for 3 years now! Second, "know your worth." It has taken a long time for me to know the value of my services. This year I have taken the steps to realize that and am now confident in charging for my time and talents. Bring it on 2018!
When are you at your happiest?
Mostly, when I am in my pajamas with my cats watching a movie and eating cookie dough ice cream... or, dancing around my apartment. I mean, that's the DREAM! I am happy when I am shooting, that's for sure. I have had people tell me I smile behind the camera and that's how they know I love my job. I never really noticed I did that until recently and now I catch myself doing it all the time.
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
I typically reach out to others when things are getting difficult. I feel better hearing motivation and encouragement from my friends rather than just telling myself, "you can do this!" I'm not a pep-talker to myself, that's just not my personality, but I do appreciate pep-talks from friends and family and feel better after a conversation.
What are you grateful for?
Where do I start? First of all, my mom; she raised my sister and I as a single parent and I attribute my independence, personality, tenacity, and handwork to that. She was a great role model and always did the best she could to raise us, even with a long road of struggles. When I was younger, I didn't realize all of the hardships my mom had to go through to raise my sister and I, but with age I have grown to really appreciate her in so many ways that I didn't understand growing up. She is my rock and the most genuine, funny, and hardworking woman I know... I love her deeply. Secondly, my family and friends, my cats, my business, and everything I have that allows me to survive and live a good life. I am grateful for everything and everyone.
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
One personal goal would be to get back in shape. As a woman, there's sometimes a stigma behind talking about weight gain and fitness and struggles with body issues. I have most definitely gained weight in the past year from lack of exercise, poor dieting, stress, and honestly, pure laziness. I am starting to get back in the gym and take control over my body again. One business goal would be to structure my business more. I'd like to create a services page with pricing and say, "hey, it is what it is!" No discounts, no bargaining, no freebies. These are my services and this is the pricing and that's it! I would also love to host more workshops for education. I have a few ideas I'm throwing around.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
On a Tuesday afternoon you will find me at the Andi Diamond Photography studio; I am Andi's part-time studio manager and associate photographer. After that, I wish you could find me at the gym, but that's something I am working on. (Goal #56)
How about on a Friday evening?
Did I mention I was a social butterfly? I love going out. On a Friday (if I don't have a wedding) you can probably find me with a drink in hand (Tito's and soda with a lemon and a lime) out with my friends, seeing a movie, dancing at a bar, anything social! Although, I do enjoy a nice night at home being lazy on the couch. The older I get, the more that occurs.
A Sunday morning?
IN BED! My favorite thing is sleep. If I can sleep in, I will. My friends even know not to text me before 10 a.m. (I will sleep past 12). Once I awaken from my coma, I like to find things around the city that are happening. Local markets, matinée movies, brunch, thrifting, anything fun!
Finish these sentences:
I love: lots. Hmmm... Publix! But, really what else? Antiques and collectables. I am a grandma trapped in a 27-year-old body. Annnnnd David Bowie. Fun fact: When I have kids I want to name my son Bowie (and my daughter Georgia). That's far away, though... LOL.
I’m always looking for: great thrift store finds.
My inspiration is: Beyoncé. She is the ultimate Boss Babe.
I’ll never: like cilantro. It tastes like soap to me. I've heard that's a genetic thing!