Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Erickson.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Santa Rosa and grew up playing all kind of sports and spending time outside and in nature more often than not. When I was 13, my family moved to Scottsdale, AZ where being active and warm, sunny weather is even more consistently accessible. So, being conscious of how I was using my body and the importance and focus on energy input and output was part of my awareness from the start. I loved sports but was also intrigued by more creative pursuits like writing, acting, photography, and art as well and stood out in my own family and in classroom settings because I was always eager to learn as much as I could. But, I was also always a people pleaser who wanted to fit in and quite a perfectionist, which were way more harmful traits than helpful in the scheme of things. I went on get a degree in media production and film studies from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA and after an incredibly brief stint in entertainment took my first full-time job in broadcast television ad sales in Los Angeles. This job taught me so much, but I often felt like an animal pacing in a cage and felt there was so much more I was really meant to be doing with my time, energy, and talents that this position did not allow me to come close to tapping into.
I got the opportunity to help the company’s DC office during the 2016 election focusing on political ad sales and then chose intuitively to be transferred to the NY headquarters. I kept in touch with a good friend, Ben Rolnik, who was putting on events in LA called the Conscious Family Dinners through his company Integral Fitness. I was so impressed and intrigued by his mission and these choose-your-own-adventure “spiritual house parties” that we spoke about how it things got started and were operating, and before I knew it I was being handed the reins to plan them in NYC. The first CFD NYC took place in Dec 2016 and it truly opened me up to the path I am on now. I planned one CFD a month while living in NY, collaborating with various teachers, speakers, healers, like-minded brands, studios, and organizations.
It was the most fulfilling incredible work to me to pull these experiences together in co-creation, see them manifest, and hear the impact they were having on the community. I was also doing various consulting jobs with different companies in the health and wellness space simultaneously ranging from building partnerships to brand development to project management in coordination with executive team members. At the same time, I was given an incredible opportunity to co-found and create an incredible event and movement called Well-being in the Modern Age or WITMA. We had our foundational event in September 2017 in NY and just had our first LA event in March 2018.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There’s been a lot of struggles – personally, professionally, financially, mentally, physically – all of the struggles! It’s hard being the kind of person interested in so many things because I felt like I could make any path work and didn’t want to close off any opportunities. So, I would say yes, yes, yes to everything and find myself completely depleted and not supported in the ways I needed to be to operate in my full potential. I let myself worry incessantly about things entirely out of my control and often felt like I was a self-destructive roadblock keeping myself from my best life. I think this is a never-ending struggle, but the person I am now because of the experiences I’ve been through is completely different from who I was. I still struggle with feeling limited by various circumstances and am always learning how to let go of the need to control. I am constantly trying to master how to truly enjoy life and trust the process no matter how badly I want to label what I go through as good or bad, and letting go of how I imagine my actions and words are perceived by others.
Well-being in the Modern Age (WITMA) – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Well-being in the Modern Age is a live event series that currently takes place bi-annually in NY and LA touching upon topics that are necessary for us to discuss as conscious beings living on a planet going through massive shifts of all kinds. We feature panels with leading voices in creative, media, spiritual, wellness, and really all industries who know conversation and empowering individuals within the community is what is going to help make change happen. The events also feature a space for like-minded companies to set up tables in order to offer even more tools for our audience to further educate themselves and give them the opportunity to have an immediate touch point in their own transformational process. To do this, we have to be highly intentional and our intuitive guidance has to be on point so we can feel out who is authentically in alignment with the mission of our movement while also building this from a business standpoint. We are different because we aren’t really just an event, or a conference, or a seminar. It’s a full experiential immersion with sound, movement, music, art, technology, and all of it is to help each attendee be their absolute best in their own version of power and truth. I am so proud of what my business partner Anna Lundgaard and I have created thus far and the challenges we have worked through and are working through to keep WITMA sacred and impactful, while also still growing as individuals ourselves.
I also have my own company through which I produce workshops in collaboration with companies and individuals with a focus on topics in the same realm as WITMA and offer other creative services. I am currently planning a retreat in Ibiza with my NYC partner-in-crime Dasha Alekseyeva, who runs Sputnik Yoga. I love the ability to learn and grow my personal business alongside WITMA and see it transform in tandem with what is going on in my life. I’ve already had to rework and refine my focus and I’m sure it’s going to be a continuous journey of learning through trial and error, much like any startup faces. I like to work with this kind of fluidity and grace.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I am most definitely the proudest of Anna and I producing the most recent WITMA LA on March 24th at Neuehouse Hollywood. The day itself was incredibly special and the care with which we operate and make decisions translated into the event. We are also so blessed to be surrounded and supported by so many talented and inspiring individuals and companies and wouldn’t have been able to make WITMA happen without them. To see the community come together and show up in the way that they did, from the presenters and performers to our brand partners and volunteers to the attendees themselves, was truly magical. I’ve always felt and said that there are a divine power and force in this movement and still have no doubt in that fact.
- Website: www.witmalive.com, www.karaerickson11.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @witmalive, @karaerickson11
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/witmalive/, https://www.facebook.com/kara.erickson1