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Meet Kristina Kury of Sprout Creative in Thousand Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristina Kury.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Marketing is actually my second career.

I decided to go back to school in my early 30’s to get my Marketing degree because marketing was always a passion and something I naturally gravitated towards in everything I did.

I had already gained real world experience naturally through previous jobs and getting a degree seemed like the obvious next step.

As I was getting my degree, I decided to have a part-time side job for a little extra cash. I was in Austin, Texas at the time and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf franchise was just opening up. I applied and ended up opening the very first coffee shop there.

I loved this brand, having been in California prior to my Texas time and wanted to be a part of its growth. So I wrote a letter of intent to the CEO stating my marketing interest, my love of the bean and my intent to help them grow.

Within a year, I moved from being a part-time barista to a Marketing Director (with other steps in between) and was simultaneously finishing up marketing school and running the marketing of a franchise.

It was a huge growth spurt for me and it accelerated my future. What I was learning in class I was doing in real life.

I am so thankful for that opportunity.

As I worked other Marketing Director level jobs for other companies, I started to see my peers becoming entrepreneurs and small business owners. They were so good at what they did and not so good at marketing. I always organically would help these friends casually put together a marketing plan or we would brainstorm on the back of a bar napkin and I’d send them along their way. But that wasn’t REALLY helping them so I decided to just start my own company and be accessible to giving them the right kind of help. And it’s brought me so much joy, I haven’t looked back.

As a fun side project, I launched a podcast back in July with my co-host Sara Alepin, a fellow entrepreneur.

She’s a fellow redhead who has a loud laugh to match mine. We were talking about that while still feeling the weight of covid and the pandemic worries one brainstorming call and she asked if I wanted to start a podcast where we just make each other laugh. I enthusiastically said yes and a week later, we recorded our first episode for our podcast Laughing with Gingers! We are wrapping up season 1 and heading into season 2 with over 400 listeners. Sometimes you just have to do something without thinking through all the details. We messed things up in the beginning, had mistakes, there was no plan but we’ve found our flow and it brings us joy each week to laugh for an hour.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No way has building my own business been a smooth road. I think the top 3 struggles for me were Self-doubt, General life setbacks, Fear.

The self-doubt one is hard when you’re building a business. You question your skill at helping people. Even though I had over ten years of marketing experience, I still had imposter syndrome! I didn’t feel worthy enough for someone to actually pay me and then I help them so I gave away a lot for free in the beginning. The problem with that is if people don’t pay, they are less invested and if you aren’t getting paid, you become resentful. It’s a terrible cycle and I finally had to mind shift into the thinking that even if teach them one solid marketing tip, they are better off than they were before they met me. Of course, it was always more than one tip.

General life setbacks will always get in the way. Divorce, illness, death, pandemics and other things that knock the wind out of us. Depression is something I struggle with and there are times when sending one email seems like climbing Mt. Everest. I would beat myself up for not performing at my most amazing 100% self! That just perpetuated the problem and made things even more dark. I had to admit that it is okay to take a breath, the business isn’t going to crumble around me if I take sometime to practice self-care for a few days and feel these feelings and process my emotions. The amazing thing is, when I do take a pause, I bounce back faster and more energized. My three personal self-care tips are 1) morning journaling before I consume any information (i.e., scrolling IG) 2) Meditating after journaling 3) put actual pants on (working from home doesn’t mean I should wear sweat pants all day)

Fear was something that I had to embrace as good. Fear was holding me back and I was scared to take the next steps to grow and move forward. Leaning into fear is the hardest mindset shift. But out of fear and discomfort came growth. After a few times of internal screaming and just doing something and seeing positive results, I was encouraged to keep repeating it.

I think thats why starting my own podcast was so easy and quick. I felt a little tingle of fear and discomfort and instead of letting it overtake me, I just internally screamed and took the leap.

Sprout Creative – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am the Founder and CEO of Sprout Creative. We work with small business owners who are busy running their business, are overwhelmed with marketing and whose growth has plateaued to turn their marketing into a manageable, automated and stress-free marketing machine.

Working with us, we create a no-fail roadmap that points the way to worry-free growth so you can get marketing off your plate and continue to grow your business and bring your passion to a wider audience.

I specialize in heart-centered entrepreneurs but can help a wide range of business owners who either want marketing coaching or hate marketing and want someone to do it for them.

The thing that makes me smile the most are my amazing clients. I am in awe of all their talents, their driving spirit, their relentless efforts to improve and grow. It makes me so happy to be able to clear up the murkiness that marketing can be and get them going on the right track, full speed.

My podcast Laughing with Gingers that I co-host with Sara Alepin is about two feisty redheads with loud laughs sharing crazy stories, playing games, and spreading silliness and joy everywhere. We love having guests on too. Anyone is welcome, but we make them wear something red on their heads. And yes, we know it’s a podcast where no one is seeing them it’s truly for our own benefit. We’ve had some crazy red things too. We post them on our Instagram so at least our audience can have a laugh!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I’m a creative person driven by my heart, intuition and emotions. Defining success in my brain doesn’t include numbers or stats. Maybe that’s wrong but it just isn’t how I operate.

When I get on a marketing coaching call with a client and I see immediately through their face and body language that they feel stuck or directionless. I am so eager to hold a space for them to work through those blocks together, get a plan in place, set dates, set those goals and as we wrap up our call they have a smile on their face, new energy, ready to do the thing! That’s when I feel like…”yah, you made it”.

Money helps too, I guess haha! Smiles don’t pay rent but they sure fill my heart. Sounds cheesy but it’s so true for me.

I do have tangible goals I’ve set for company for sure but what drives me to get up and keep going is the help I can provide and the growth that I see in all my clients.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

1 picture credit with title ‘Photos-from-the-Harty-Play-Big-2020-CSE-1155.jpg’ please credit Sara Alepin, website: https://www.photosfromtheharty.com/

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