Today I’m featuring CoChic Cool Chick Karianne Wardell, founder of Lofti, a strategy company for small to mid-sized businesses. Karianne has the best enthusiasm and energy; you can tell she is truly doing what she’s meant to do when you’re speaking with her (and reading her interview below!). Karianne recently made the (sometimes scary) leap from her corporate job to entrepreneurship, and she’s already seen success!
An opportunity to work with Karianne and Lofti is right around the corner! Lofti and CoChic Styling have teamed up to offer half-day workshops to help individuals elevate their personal and professional brand:
Dedicate time and space devoted to build or evolve your brand. Spend a half-day with our team of branding experts. Build a strategic message platform, hear expert advice on how to link your personal and business brands, dive into visual storytelling or work on your in-person networking story and style. You’ll leave with clear next steps to grow your business brand. Enjoy a healthy meal to recharge mid-session and network with like-minded business owners.
Thursday, October 26th, 5 pm – 9 pm OR Saturday, October 28th, 9 am – 1 pm
LifeWorking Coworking in Lake Forest, IL
If you are new to CoChic Cool Chicks, welcome! CoChic Cool Chicks is an interview series, featuring inspirational women entrepreneurs who I am lucky enough to have in my girl boss network. These women are doing great things and whether you aspire to be an entrepreneur or not, I hope that they inspire you to do great things, too. I encourage you to check out their businesses, websites, and social media. And reach out to them, ask them questions, say hello. They’d love to hear from you!
Tell us about your business!
Lofti helps individuals and small businesses strategically grow their brands through storytelling. We help our clients elevate their messaging through one-on-one coaching and live events.
Follow Lofti: getlofti.com
What made you decide to start your own business?
After a 13 year career in the corporate marketing world, I wanted to apply my skill and energy to more meaningful challenges. Over the last few years, I have been inspired by a number of my friends who had the courage to start their own business and I found that I was most alive professionally when I helped them with their brands and marketing strategies. I started Lofti to provide accessible brand development options to small business owners and corporate high-performers looking to define and elevate their brand. It was a bit terrifying to give up the comfort of a corporate job but I wouldn’t trade the ability to be my own boss for anything.
Who is your ideal client?
High-performing individuals. They might be growing their career, building their side hustle, or already finding success for their business. My ideal client is looking for a smarter way to engage their audience and consistently tell their brand story. They are inspired by like-minded professionals and are motivated to build a smarter plan for their brand with the support of an expert team.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The freedom it provides for how I live my life. I am no longer tied to set working hours, internal culture, or strict guidelines for what career success looks like. I am able to define my path and mindfully live my best life!
What is the most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The biggest change moving from the corporate world is no longer having a built in team of colleagues to collaborate with. I am very team oriented and learned quickly that I needed to build a new support network to serve as my “team” and help strengthen my ideas.
What has been your proudest moment in business so far?
I recently kicked off a series of workshops for small business owners focused on creating brand messaging. We start and end the session by having each person share what their business does in front of the group. At the end of my first session, every single person had a more confident and clear way to articulate what they provide for their customers. I was so proud of what they were able to accomplish – that is what drives me to do what I do – helping others be at their best.
What is your best piece of business advice?
As it relates to branding, I advise clients to start with their audience in mind. Understanding your customer is a requirement for building a long-lasting brand. In addition to demographic data, it is essential to understand what your audience thinks, feels and believes – who they are as people. In our technology driven world, people buy from people they know and trust. Small business owners can take advantage of this through storytelling that speaks in the language of their customer and clearly communicates how their product or service solves a real problem for their audience.
Do you have any tricks of the trade you could share with us?
When you are thinking about how to engage and motivate your audience, whether you are looking to move up in your career or want to reach your customers in new ways, I recommend these three initial steps:
How would you describe your personal style?
Approachable, quirky and professional
What does being CoChic (Comfortably Chic) mean to you?
I feel my best inside and out and am living life to my full potential.