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Meet Kara Elyse of Mindful Media in Austin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kara Elyse.

Kara, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I received my BA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Multimedia Broadcasting from the University of Pittsburgh. I self-designed the major, becoming one of only two students to do so at the time. I recently completed my MA in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. My concentrations were in Photography and Digital Media. My academic pursuits align with the core interests and passions I have had throughout my life: the multidisciplinary arts of singing, performing and creating written and visual stories.

After my second to last semester at UT, the idea for Mindful Media was conceived. I had been participating in a series of photoshoots as a model (a version of performing). It was a fun and easy way to earn some extra income. During these photoshoots, I noticed that most of the individuals behind the camera, those hired by brands and entrepreneurs to create content and campaigns, were white. This observation gave me— a black female photographer with an entrepreneurial spirit — pause to think.

Throughout the semester, I continued accepting modeling gigs while simultaneously working on both academic and personal projects. Many of the projects focused on conveying experiences and challenges of black people in Austin. The topics of my work often led to conversations and discourse with entrepreneurs in Austin who either had horror stories about people they’d hired to create content for their brands or recognized a need for engaging media to aid their new budding businesses. These factors coalesced and strengthened my desire to create a new narrative of who is chosen for these opportunities.

It wasn’t long before I knew my next step, my purpose. In December 2019, I registered a limited liability company that would generate opportunities and access to talented individuals in industries and spaces where they had not previously ventured.

And so, Mindful Media, LLC was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
No. The road to entrepreneurship has undoubtedly been paved with challenges. The original plan was to launch Mindful Media at the end of March. However, that plan was disrupted by a global pandemic. The onset of COVID-19 and the implementation of state and national restrictions canceled campaigns and projects that were on the books. So out the gate, business and revenue earning opportunities were postponed indefinitely.

The launch of the company website was also delayed for more than two months as the first developer I hired failed to meet the deadline and project specifications. This resulted in my hiring another developer, which cost more time and money. An incomplete site delayed my ability to share content with clients.

Though exacerbating at the moment, these challenges were great learning experiences. The additional work time needed to complete the website allotted time for several endeavors, including expanding the company’s portfolio and determining what is required to conduct business on the federal level.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our mission statement aptly introduces who we are and what we’re all about:

“Mindful Media is a boutique creative agency that specializes in digital content creation. We offer a variety of services, including photography, videography, graphic design, and illustration. The company is a small but mighty collective of vibrant movers and shakers with one driving force: to offer exceptional, high-quality digital content for our clients.

Members of the Mindful team bring expertise in different facets of media, as well as diverse experiences, which, combined, allow us to see the same project from various angles. Whether developing content for an individual, organization, or brand, we aim to convey the message engagingly.

‘Creativity without limits’ is more than just our catch-phrase. It’s always at the forefront of our minds. We aim to be genuinely free with our creative process. Free from fear, unconcerned with bias, never being hampered by conventions. We are fearless in our pursuit of the best creative ventures, and encourage our clients to do the same when presenting us with their ideas.

We work with clients across various industries. We enjoy showcasing beauty from all walks of life, creating meaningful and impactful content for brands, presenting fashion in a form that challenges tradition, and capturing the critical moments of an event that result in memories that will last a lifetime.”

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am excited for the company to pick up where we left off. I recognize things will be different and that we will likely need to rethink how we approach securing clients and business in this new era of COVID-19. That said, I am a firm advocate of responsibly reopening the economy in a way that ensures the long-term safety of all. When that time comes, I intend to soak up every moment and opportunity.

I revel in the fact that I don’t see or feel any limits as far as who Mindful can produce for. I’m excited to see what kind of doors that willingness to step out on faith— without fear— will open.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photo of me: Rudy Arocha
Mindful Media

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