Kate Valasis is one-person-show who has been running her freelance business for the past 9 years – accompanied by her 5 adorable (and sometimes annoying) Pomeranians.
Making the choice to remain a small business was an important one for her because she loves giving each client individual attention. She is the go-to person for everything from branding, website development and design – to social media management, SEO and marketing.
Her goal is simple: to help create your brand in the most beautiful and natural way, offering you bespoke solutions & helping your business succeed!
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I wanted to do what I love and what I’m great at for the rest of her life. My goal is to create lasting relationships with every person I work with and to make a difference, even in a small way.
I grew up surrounded by artistic influences, my mother being the main reason I went into the artistic field. Seeing my clients happy and watching their businesses grow is my main inspiration.
Tell us about your business.
I started my business (Kallima Brand & Web Consulting) primarily as a graphic designer. Over the years I’ve expanded to offering complete packages, which makes it much easier for the client.
I specialize in bespoke business branding, custom designed & developed websites, SEO, social media marketing & management, and even signage. I create tailor-made packages to suit each individual person’s needs.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I run promos every couple of months that include various packages and giveaways. I’m currently finishing up my brand spanking new website, where I’ll be running a promo. Keep an eye out on my social media because you could win some cool designs, a website, or social media help!
- So far I’ve won 38 online web awards for custom designed and developed websites.
- I was published in the national Kuier Magazine in an article relating to web development & business, giving advice to young motivated “soon to be” developers on how to run a design business.
- I was also published in Glitter Magazine, speaking about design and Veganism (off-topic but close to my heart).
- I’ve also completed well over 70 online courses in various fields.
Where is your business based?
I’m based in a small town called Kimberley, in South Africa.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
There weren’t any planned out steps. In all honesty, I just went for it! And everything worked out for the best – of course with a LOT of hard work, late nights, constant learning, and total dedication.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
For the first few years it was mostly through word of mouth, and my website. But I soon realized I had to expand to the online world – Pinterest and Instagram becoming the main ways of gaining more business attention.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
The biggest challenge was starting the business with no advice and no one willing to help me. Maybe one of the biggest challenges was learning all the new software in a short amount of time.
How did you overcome these challenges?
A lot of learning was involved. Late nights reading up on articles, watching tutorial videos, buying a ton of useful books, and a lot of practical trial and error, especially when learning to code my custom websites. But it is all worth it in the end!
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I know as well as anyone that there are those “bleh” times that we all go through. My way of keeping motivated is to remind myself WHY I started my business. How what I do helps others and has meaning. I read through all the lovely testimonials I’ve received and that makes my heart instantly happy!
I find a lot of motivation on Pinterest, through positivity posts on Instagram, yoga, and journaling (although it’s not my fave, it is super helpful).
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I believe that as a solopreneur, I can offer something that a lot of similar businesses can’t – that personal feel, that strong work relationship, that long term solution and trust for every client. That reliability that I’ll always be there and that I genuinely want to help you succeed, consulting you along the journey.
I’m also focused on creating custom work, creations that are as unique as my clients.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
The best advice I received was to focus on working with clients I’m passionate about, and learning to say NO to the not so nice ones.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
I believe that competition is overrated. That there is more than enough work to go around, and that we as businesses owners should help each other expand, develop, and focus on giving our clients the best. To unite with one another.
Be positive, and spread that positivity to others. Give advice, support, and be yourself. I feel that you never know what someone else is going through so be the kindest person you can, and that will motivate others to succeed.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I believe there’s always something new to learn. That’s the fun of working in a creative industry. When work gets a bit too much, I jump over to freelancer.com for small job help and Fivver for things I can’t do myself – like translations into other languages. Also a long list of helpful blogs, both for design and for inspiration/motivation.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
As much as I love and thrive working on my own, at times I’ve learned that delegation is useful, delegating small jobs to other like-minded creatives, while learning how amazing it is that each person has their own unique style!
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
My goals are simplistic but real:
- To constantly learn new skills, improve on what I know so that I can offer my clients even more value added services.
- To evaluate my business regularly and see where I can improve, mix things up and know what works and what doesn’t.
- Good work speaks for itself, keeping things simple helps too.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Instagram @kallimadesign, @katevalasis, @