Hey, I’m Kristina. I’m twenty-eight years old, I work for an advertising agency in Miami, I have a cool cat named Cecil, I’m training for I just ran my first half marathon I’m training for my first marathon and I listen to Spotify a lot. Oh, and I’m really into startups and online marketing.

Why I Love Startups

In 2004 my best friend and I were seniors in high school and we wrote our first business plan which we presented at state competition for the Future Business Leaders of America. We came in second place. Five years later we came up with an idea that we thought would change the world, and once again we found ourselves writing a business plan together.

My best friend and I
My friend Barbara and I on one of many flights we took to pitch VCs.

This time, instead of presenting our business plan to judges we were pitching it to Venture Capitalists (VCs). After only a couple months of pitching, we were invited to join BetaSpring, a TechStars Network accelerator for startups. Along with our invitation came $20,000 in funding plus mentorship from a variety of VCs, angel investors and successful entrepreneurs.

techstars network logo
We were invited to BetaSpring (part of the TechStars Network) and offered $20k.

Unfortunately due to personal reasons we had to turn this amazing offer down. We worked on the business for another few years off and on before we eventually closed our virtual doors.

While you might say my first startup was a failure, the experience was a total and complete success in my eyes. I made a lot of amazing connections, I learned from awesome entrepreneurs and I got to experience the unbelievable buzz of working on something that I was so passionate about I couldn’t sleep at night.

Plus, when I think back to leading a pitch in a roomful of VCs with my best friend at my side I still have to pinch myself. Did that really happen? (It did – multiple times!)

Although my first startup is no more, I have a list of about fifty other startup ideas I’d like to test out someday. The one I’ve just kind of fallen into at this time is Lilypad Candles. I started making candles as a hobby and received incredible feedback on their quality (so proud of that). I then learned that the candle business is a $2 billion dollar industry and each household spends on average $10/month on candles.

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This led me to start thinking about opening a candle business.

For a few months prior to making candles I had been thinking about what kind of retail business I could open that would allow me to test some theories I have about content marketing. I wanted to enter a tough industry with stiff competition because my content marketing ideas require being able to compare my results against a variety of competitors.

My top two choices were the stationary industry and the t-shirt industry, until the idea of candles literally fell into my lap.

[ Lilypad Candles remained open generated a small profit for just over a year before I closed shop due to time limitations. More on that HERE. ]

Why I Love Online Marketing

I really love content and social marketing. I’m only twenty-eight years old but I’ve already built a pretty successful career out of being able to produce outstanding business results using these two marketing channels.

type of internet marketing
I love all aspects of data-driven marketing, but social + content is my fave.

I love the data-driven nature of online marketing in general (if I can test it, I can optimize it!) and I super love the fun nature of content + social.

And that’s me in a nutshell.

This story is unfinished!