“Don’t Quote Me” - Katerina Kriticos on Coffee, Connection, and Community

July 11, 2018

In an age where every moment seems to be stylized and polished, Katerina Kriticos of Rock, Paper, Style, Chic is ready to help those of us who want to bring that visual appeal to our events but aren’t sure where to start. A self described, “Human Pinterest Board”, Katerina uses her aesthetic knowhow as an event stylist and her intuition to cut through the social media noise and gets to the heart of what you want. It doesn’t hurt that she makes the whole process fun. It was a pleasure to hear about her process and how she has seen the Babes in Business Community grow from its inception to what it is now.

Rock, Paper, Style, Chic - Event Design and Styling

 

“I do all the bits and pieces of the event, signage, favors, little gifts and trinkets for your bridal party...that you would usually get from a bunch of different places, I can do everything and that way it’s all cohesive. Also whatever budget you’re looking for.”

 

“I like to start with what their roundabout budget is and what they’re kind of looking to do, is it a big extravagant event? Is it a smaller event? Then break down prices because nothing’s going to cost the same depending on your material, depending on the time of year.

 

“I try to see what they think they want, and then try to wrap that up in a little gift for them. And 9 times out of 10 they’re like, ‘Oh my god, this is it, this is perfect!’ Every now and again they’re like, ‘No that’s not what I was talking about,’ so we’ll break it down more and you realize that when they said blue, they actually meant yellow. Once you get an idea of who the person is, you can decipher what they’re saying, in comparison to what they’re trying to say.”

 

How Did You Get Started?

“Some days I feel like a really legit business and others I feel like I’m just crafting away like a little kid. It kind of just grew organically over time where I would have friends throwing parties, and they wanted me to create something for them and creating that one thing turned into doing the whole party cause I could. I got really excited about whatever theme it was or who it was for and that just kind of escalated into doing everything. Everyone around me was like, ‘Hey why don’t you make this a thing?’”

 

“I was never very conscious of ‘I am starting a business, right now and this is what I’m going to do.’ It’s really nice to be doing events and parties for people you know cause you get to add in these extra special details and it makes it such a pleasant process. It never feels like work which is like the dream, to be working but not feel like you’re working.”

 

How do you feel about social media? How much has it influenced your business?

“In this day and age, everything’s so instant and nobody’s necessarily going to go hop on to your website. So Instagram really becomes sort of a mini portfolio, not only for my event work, and styling, but also to kind of get my personality. Now I feel like when you meet people instead of exchanging numbers you exchange Instagram accounts. It’s really just the perfect way to stay connected with everybody! You’re kind of just sharing yourself via internet….which sounds really weird when you say it like that….so...don’t quote me.”

 

What Inspires You?

“My inspiration is all things old and like vintage. I feel like I’ve always been drawn to that. I have a very serious obsession with the 1920s. I just love all things old. I love when things were made from very real materials and the music was amazing!

 

“When it comes to flat out inspiration, anything old and vintage, and also just color. Color and texture. I love color and texture so much, even though 9 times out of 10 I’m dressed head to toe in black with some kind of pop of lipstick.  

 

Why did you join Babes in Business?

I had the lucky experience of working with Jenn at Anthropologie. I remember when she started talking about this whole thing and it was just this idea she had. It’s been so amazing to see it grow into what it’s become. Maybe a few days before the first babes meet up...I remember her saying something along the lines of, don’t quote me on this, that if 30 people showed up that would be great and it’ll probably be 30 of our friends but that’s super cool and we’re just kind of seeing what this is. That first night, it was at the Moto Club, and I think there were over 60 people. People were standing up in the back because there weren’t enough chairs. It was just this mind blowing moment of just, ‘Wait, what? Look at all these people who are here! This is something people want and need. You’ve hit a nerve.’”

 

What is your favorite thing about the Babes in Business community?

“I think the best part is, usually nobody does the same thing. I think people assume that, ‘Oh it’s just for creatives. It’s just for people who are designers or photographers or just the creative field,’ but it’s not. It’s for everybody. Everyone is so supportive. They’re supportive even if you don’t have a clue what you’re doing. I think a lot of us are in that situation where we have our full time job or we have what we do with our day. What we go to Babes for is our side-hustle or what we’re trying to figure out. Everybody’s like, ‘Yeah you got this! I’ll support you, I’ll regram your stuff, I’ll like your stuff, I’ll spread the word!’”

 

“Babes is making such a positive difference, and in such a simple way. It’s just a meet up, in the back of Porta and everyone just talks and gets together and bounces ideas. It’s just like this very cool atmosphere and I love it.”

 

What is one piece of advice you’d give others trying to start a business?

This question illicts a noise from Katerina that is difficult to turn into an onomatopoeia.

“How do you write that out?” She laughs, “Just put like, a gif of I Love Lucy in there. That’s my advice”

 

“I would say, make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, that you enjoy. There’s going to be a part of starting a business and being involved that you’re not going to like (which is usually the business end, at least a for us creatives). We want to focus on the pretty and the making and all the fun stuff, and when it comes to, oh you have to do your taxes and you have to invoice people you’re like….nooooooo. So at least if your business is what you’re focusing on, what you’re passionate about and you enjoy, I think that’s a big part of it. Also, having a support system around you.”

 

While we may think of a support system as close friends and families, Katerina expands on the benefits of support from other entrepreneurs, “not only because they get it, but because you guys can bounce ideas of off each other, collaborate together or support each other in a different way. That’s what Babes has done for so many people and so many businesses.”

Katerina’s Recommendations:

 

Favorite thing to do in the Summer in NJ:

I’m a Jersey Girl at heart, I’m at the beach any time I can be. I’m Greek so I like to bake in the sun. I love to eat and drink outdoors. That’s kind of as outdoorsy as I get.

 

Favorite Food Place:

My mom’s cooking in the backyard. Rich’s Ice Cream [in Toms River] is my favorite ice cream for the summer. They have strawberry banana swirl which is AMAZING! Sometimes they have soft coffee, which coffee is life, so that’s my choice.

 

Favorite Apps:  

The Asbury Parking App. It’s life changing. Also, One Second Video. It’s a one second video of everyday for a year. It’s meant to be these random moments of your day, something as silly as cracking an egg in the pan or shutting a car door. It doesn’t have to be an event because, let's be real, most of us aren’t doing events everyday (at least I’m not, if you know anybody who is, send them my way, let’s be friends).

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