Q & A with Katryn Kruger, International Model and found owner of ‘Koffie Met Katryn’
1. Tell us about yourself. Have you always been entrepreneurial? What led you to take the first step and setting up your own business?
I don’t know if I have always been entrepreneurial, but I started working full-time at the age of 16 (as a fashion model). This forced me to grow up quickly, realise the importance of networking, being professional and putting in long hours of work. These skills surely attributed to the way I manage my business now. I hosted my first Koffie Met Katryn (KMK) as a free event, almost as a type of “test run”. It was a huge success and I realised it had the potential to grow into a business and brand. It took a few months before I had the courage to start selling tickets, but once I did so KMK kept growing in a number of events as well as the type of events. It is very exciting to see the continuous potential as well as how other businesses want to get involved.
2. How did the Koffie Met Katryn brand come about and has it changed your life?
The KMK brand is almost an extension of my own brand and therefore we focus a lot on my social media, Instagram being the main platform of communication and community.
KMK itself started when I decided to host an intimate gathering for women at my own home where I would share my life story and the lessons I have learnt. I did not know what to expect, but what happened was truly magical: the women all ended up sharing their own stories, thoughts and insights. It was beautiful to see how a group of strangers can come together and be vulnerable. This showed me that we as women go through similar things in life and that when we take the time to create space for each other, we can support and empower one another through listening and sharing. And that is the foundation for the KMK brand: Build a community of women from all walks of life, no matter age or race, and through my events and social media continue to empower and inspire them.
Yes, it has changed my life. It has given me a job that I am passionate about, opened many doors and brought remarkable people into my life. I am very grateful.
3. What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
It is not what you know, but who you know. Always treat people with respect, do not burn bridges that you might have to cross again.
4. What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
My greatest influence has been my community – the women who are interested in me in KMK, my so to speak “target market”. I keep them in mind whenever I make a business decision, organise an event or even post on social media.
Whatever I do, I need to offer them value.
5. If any, what challenges have you experienced as a woman in your industry?
I have faced challenges, but I am not sure whether it is about my gender, my age or the fact that I am a model (and all the preconceived ideas that come with it). I am a young business owner and I have felt in some situations that people do not take me seriously. I then simply choose to not work with them and only surround myself with people who inspire me, encourage me to grow and who’s personal and business values align with my own.
6. What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
To recover from 2020 … In terms of finance, but also brand growth. To make up for the lost time.
7. Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
Yes! I have a very exciting Woman’s month project coming up called Vier jou Vrouwees-fotosessie (celebrate your womanhood photoshoot).
It is a fundraising event and all proceeds go to NGOs who help GBV victims.
On 21 and 22 August I am hosting a photoshoot and women can buy tickets to have their photo taken. We have a glam team that will make every woman feel like the queen that she is and we have professional photographers who will take beautiful portraits of them. The idea is to empower women through this: show them that they are beautiful, special and worth celebrating! And, of course, it is all for a good cause.
We are fortunate enough to host the event at the beautiful Lanzerac estate in Stellenbosch and we sold out in less than 24 hours. The event is still up on Quicket where people can also make donations which will also be donated.
All the images, BTS photos and videos will be posted on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/katrynkruger/)
Quicket link: https://qkt.io/wjll7U
8. What one piece of advice would you give any aspiring female business leaders reading this?
Just go for it! If you have an idea you believe in, take the first step, whatever that may be. You don’t have to have everything figured out before you start, because chances are things won’t work out the way you thought it would anyway.
Also find a support system, even if it is just one friend, who also has her own business and whom you can confide in when the going gets tough, or who can be your accountability partner and someone you can bounce ideas off of. Make sure you can be that person for her or someone else too.