Published on November 13th, 2012 | by thevyne0
Entrepreneur Spotlight: Kathryn Finney
Twitter handle: @KathrynFinney
Roles you play in life: CEO, TBF Group, LLC; Founder, DigitalUndivided; and Editor-at-Large, Blogher, Friend, Advisor, Wife, Storyteller
Education: Yale (MPH) and Rutgers (BA)
Tell us about your journey as an entrepreneur. What led you to strike out on your own? I seem to have been destined to go down the entrepreneur’s path and it was always in relation to reaching a specific goal. I started my first business, a lucrative friendship bracelet business, in 5th grade, because I wanted an Esprit cloth tote bag, which was like $50. Within a few weeks, I was pulling down $40-$50 a week and I ended up with 4 or 5 of those bags.
Describe Your Business: The Budget Fashionista has been around since 2003 to provide tips on living one’s life’s best for less. We’re one of the first fashion blogs and has been featured in every major publication from New York Times to Essence Magazine. Personally, I’ve been on the TODAY show 11 times.
digitalundivided is a company that develops programs, projects and forward-thinking initiatives that bridge the digital divide. Our first project, FOCUS100 Pitch BootCamp and Symposium, held in Oct. 2012, had a reach of over 3 million people with 47 million impressions that resulted in several angel and venture funding deals.
What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned from being an entrepreneur? ALWAYS take time out to enjoy your life.
What advice would you give someone thinking about starting her own business? Be yourself. An entrepreneur’s journey isn’t a race, but a marathon. It’s just so much easier to compete if you’d just be yourself.
What is the most gratifying thing about being a business owner? I like to run things, so the boss in me loves being in charge. I also love that I can travel when I want to travel, work when I want to work. It’s that freedom that I love the most.
What is the most challenging thing about being a business owner? Staying true to oneself. I find that most of the learning experiences I’ve had involved a time when I wasn’t being true to myself.
3 words that describe you:
Favorite travel destination: London and Patagonia, Chile.
Favorite beauty product: Vaseline. It has 1,000 uses (from cheaper paraffin treatments to moisturizer), and my Grandma Doonie swears by it. When an 90-year-old wrinkle-free woman tells you that a beauty product works, it really does.
“To feel more centered I…”: swim. I am working on my lifeguard cert.
One item you cannot live without: My blackberry.
Who have been some of your style inspirations?: Michelle Obama. I salute her for doing extremely well in the fashion department even when she’s under scrutiny by the entire planet. She has done a lot for up and coming designers, plus she makes Budget Fashionista chic look so good!
Words you live by: To thine own self be true.