Apr 11, 2017
In this episode, Kevin meets with Kristen Harris, co-founder of Portfolio Creative. They talk about how the business got started, working with a compatible business partner, as well as where they hope to grow in the future. Kristen talks about some key aspects of EO that have contributed to the evolution of their business, as well as some ways members of EO can get involved in more of what the organization has to offer.
[0:38] Kristin shares her lifeline: her parents were very entrepreneurial as Kristin was growing up, and she didn’t feel like that was what she wanted to do. She went to school for retail advertising, and worked for Limited brands for several years in the marketing departments. Events aligned to create the best time for her and her co-founder Catherine to start their business, Portfolio Creative.
[4:44] She and her business partner had worked together previously, but they knew each other as coworkers. Because they are opposites, they are very complementary of each other as business partners.
[6:33] The idea of their business is to help companies find creative talent, and to help creative people find more opportunities. In her experience as a hiring manager, she noticed that there wasn’t really a central hub to find people. They have evolved as the creative industry (as well as marketing and advertising) has changed, and they’re now working with very large companies.
[9:27] The early years: Kristen talks about the early days of their company and getting started. It was helpful that they had contacts at Limited brand and they knew it was working, when they started to hiring other people (besides themselves). The evolution from being self-employed to being an employer has been a very cool, humbling thing for Kristen and her team.
[12:13] Portfolio Creative does pursue a lot of awards and recognitions as part of their marketing strategy. Kristen shared the hard work of going for these types of things, but also how they can be rewarding and motivating for the company’s growth.
[15:08] Kristen talks about their use of EOS in the company. It has been most beneficial in providing a platform to discuss everyone getting on the same page and moving the same direction.
[17:19] How did Kristin get started in EO? In between people sharing about their personal experiences with EO, and the mentorship chair reaching out, Kristen reflects a bit on what her being in EO has done for their company.
[19:46] Portfolio Creative is part of Goldman Sach’s 10,000 small businesses program, a program that encourages growth in small businesses, by hiring more people and contributing to the economy. It is a lot of thinking and researching about their company, but it has been good for re-discovering some things about their business.
[25:36] What’s the next thing for Portfolio Creative? As a really small business that works with really big businesses, they are exploring more opportunities of other types of work and services — trying to utilize some of the strengths they already have to help their clients in different ways.
[27:18] What were some of the big impacts from mentors on Kristen and her business? The EO Mentorship program has always been a part of her business and personal life, but she really feels that the mentors she’s connected with have been wonderful.
[31:14] How can Kevin or the EO chapter help Kristen in her business endeavors? Kristen already feels very fortunate to be surrounded by so many interesting, knowledgeable people, that she feels like she can ask if she needs anything. Kristen encourages people to get involved in the EO Mentorship program, and hopes to see more people participate in that.
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