But Catrinka and its brand has existed since 2013 and stepping into an existing brand is really challenging. A brand evokes a lot of connotations and relationships that as a new leader you weren’t previously a part of, but are absolutely in charge of preserving. It also puts a lot of pressure to not tarnish a brand presence that you’re still onboarding to.
My goal in taking over Catrinka is to set out to take Megan’s vision to the next level where we grow our impact by having more women globally making products earning a fair wage, bringing a sales network to fruition, contributing to life skills mentoring of Mayan girls, and by changing the retail landscape with purchases. I was raised by a strong single mother and I always thought that my life’s work was meant to give back to women opportunities globally the way that my mother has to me.
Over the last few days, I received a harsh lesson in how important it is to have constant oversight into everything that goes public for your brand.
We had an unfortunate Instagram incident that was very against what we aim to stand for, which is authenticity and representing cultures appropriately. We showed an image of a culture different from the caption which described the impact we give toward. The image and the caption were on polar opposites of the planet almost.
Admittedly, the posting professional had intended for a beautiful Unsplash image to accompany an awesome message, without recognizing how the two really need to go hand-in-hand, as your message/caption is lost when the visual is inappropriate. It would be as if posting an anti-cause message and then posting an image that is the exact opposite of the sentiment.
The hardest thing about being an entrepreneur is delegating and trusting that you can when you consider your business your pride and joy and a part of you. It’s hard not to envision that the brand could be destroyed without negative intent.
This year, I decided that I need help to be successful, and marketing is the weakness I need the most help with. I finally came to an agreement in the last month with a marketing agency who will ensure we approve everything that goes public prior to being posted. They start next week (7/15) because the onboarding of our brand goals has taken weeks to communicate.
In the interim time while I was traveling and sourcing our amazing women-made products, I used 2 freelance local women to assist me with managing the Instagram so that it could continue to exist. I tried to explain the ethos and intent, but there are elements of ethical fashion and intent that being removed from the retail world you may not know. There’s a cultural honoring and respect that very much goes with what we aim to embody. There’s a global perspective that we’re trying to lead and inform with.
We will absolutely going forward aim to not let this disrespectful mistake happen again, and strive to be a leader in the ethical retail and global goods space. Please feel free to always give us honest feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org where we want to know when we need to improve. Our goal is to be the change we want to see in the world and we appreciate everyone’s help to make this possible.