The Benefits of Hiring a Creative Agency
 

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Hiring a Creative Team

Most startups and established companies hire creative agencies to execute their marketing. Think of the big brands like Apple, Coca-Cola, and Nike. There's a team of marketers, account managers, and creative professionals that produce the numerous ads and marketing content for these major brands. With the help of agencies, these brands have invested decades of branding, advertising and marketing that has elevated their products and brand values into household names. 

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At Nature and Intent, our services and offerings are a fraction of the price you’d pay for a traditional agency because we are consciously seeking to support the emerging and established brands with the intention in creating a meaningful impact. We believe that you don’t need to be a venture-backed startup with millions in funding to create a positive ripple effect for the collective good.
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Here’s a visual of how it works:


In summary, a brand hires an agency with a team of creative/marketing/production professionals that create content to deliver via different media channels targeted to the brand’s ideal customer/client/community.

As you can imagine, this is a lot of work. But it’s important to note that when you hire professionals to execute your vision, you are investing in creating the legacy of your brand.


Benefits & Investment

  1. High Quality Production & Meaningful Impact

A creative agency consists of a team (creative director, photographer, producer, content creator, brand strategist, project manager, & more) with years of experience & refined skills to CONCEPT. CREATE. PRODUCE. & LAUNCH your brand vision or creative project. You receive the support of a team to deliver QUALITY production that aligns with your vision, intention, brand objectives, and target community.

To communicate visually and through intentional messaging the essence of your brand is an investment that can create the most impact. 

2. Save Time & Focus on Your Offerings

Outsourcing the content creation for your brand can feel uncomfortable if you’ve been D.I.Y.ing your branding and content for awhile. But creative agencies exist so that you can focus on building your small business and serving your clients or customers not spending time creating visual assets and content (especially if that is not your forte).

3. To Look, Feel, & Be Professional

Do you remember the day you got your Fictitious Business Name or Business License? How about when you launched your website with a dedicated domain name? 

This same exciting feeling of accomplishment is how you would feel working with an aligned creative agency. It is an investment and conscious choice to uplevel your brand. With this choice and action, you are creating an internal and external shift that will empower you to not just look professional but to be and feel like you’re building a business that creates a meaningful impact.

 

 

NATURE AND INTENT is a creative agency and consultancy offering content creation, holistic branding, marketing, and experiences for conscious brands and individuals. Our intention is to elevate your authentic essence and purpose so that you can create a meaningful impact.

 

Kristine Lo
How to Build a Conscious Business
 
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Written by Kristine Lo.



I've shared this many times over that building a conscious business and supporting brands in creating a meaningful impact is a challenging but rewarding endeavor.



With that said, I've been observing + practicing how I can ease my ego-based expectations and tendency to know it all and do it all. When you've been a one-woman show for years, learning to delegate tasks and give up some creative execution is incredibly difficult. I admit to being quite a perfectionist and control-freak.



But to create the meaningful impact I desire means practicing what I preach: To have a conscious + compassionate perspective on my experiences.

  • Started practicing looking at my work and offerings in a new light. Asking the right questions.

  • Sought the advice of other experts on how to refine our offerings and improve our strategy.

  • Even asked my team how we can improve our current systems and workflow.



Entrepreneurship is a continuous learning experience. Receiving expert advice and business consultation from others has always made a significant impact on our business growth. At the root, it started with me dropping my ego, seeking out help, and cultivating a different perspective.



This is how I'm building a conscious business that supports others and also nourishes my own nature and intent.


Nature and Intent exists to support Conscious Brand Owners.

We’re currently offering limited FREE CONSULTATIONS this month to elevate your brand.

 
Kristine Lo
How I Manifested my Dream Career.
 
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Career journey has been on my mind lately. For many people, this is a huge part of our daily life and intentions. So I wanted to share how I manifested my dream career.

It started when I was a fashion designer and built my first business before I turned 20 years old. You learn a lot from building & bootstrapping a brand from the ground up. You learn how to be resourceful, work with vendors & customers, manage yourself, refine your messaging & marketing to align with your sales objectives and most importantly understand that entrepreneurship is one of the most challenging endeavors.

After several years of solopreneur burnout, I made one of the toughest decisions and chose to end my small business. I ceased my DTLA studio office lease and applied for a "real job". The job I landed was as an Administrative Assistant position that became a Finance Manager role at a Photo Agency in Venice.

Through my fashion brand, my passion was always sharing visual stories which I had expressed through ready-to-wear clothing & jewelry collections.

Even though I would crunch numbers and create artists earnings reports behind a computer 9-6pm Monday - Friday, the experience working at a Photo agency representing talented Visual Artists worldwide was the inspiration and catalyst to build a career where I could 'Create for a Living'.

To develop my skills and make my dreams a reality, I took Photography, Film, Advertising, and Marketing courses in the evenings. On the weekends, I would edit and schedule shoots. I built my portfolio and started shooting fashion look books & campaigns with brands I loved and also created content on retainer for emerging brands.

Since 2014, I've worked with over a hundred clients ranging from agencies, brand owners, influencers, and conscious companies. With 4 years of Full-time Freelancing, I still pinch myself that I get work on my passion of capturing and telling visual stories.

If you've been following Nature and Intent for some time, you already know that the icing on the cake and Finding my Purpose has been through this company. Nature and Intent exist to not only create content and elevate your brand. Our creative services and experiences support you and our community to create a meaningful impact.

My intent to share all of this is to hopefully inspire you to continue dreaming the life & career you desire.

It might take years or weeks to create your dream life.

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But you can start today (this moment) just by tuning in to that inner voice (your intuition) and feeling gratitude for all that you currently have. I'm still working towards bigger dreams but I strive to always listen to my intuition and ask myself:

“What can I learn from today?”
"How can I grow to support my dreams?”


Keep on working towards and creating your dream life because one day you’ll wake up living & having all that you’ve always wanted. ✌🏼💫


Want to Manifest your Dream Freelance Career? 👩🏻‍💻📸🤳🏼✈️🌴💁🏻‍♀️💫

We’ve been developing a workshop to support creative freelancers and (soon-to-be freelancers) on how to create a career that aligns with your lifestyle & dreams! If you’re interested in attending our upcoming “Creating for a Living: Creative Freelancers Workshop” to learn the steps on how to create your dream career and lifestyle a reality, sign up via this link.


Written by Kristine Lo.

 
Kristine Lo
HOLISTIC BRANDING WORKSHOP
 
WMNSpace | Womens Center | Conscious Creative Workshop with NATURE AND INTENT | Kristine Lopez
 

As a conscious company, we strive to be mindful not only in elevating our brand and careers, but to also nourish our personal development and self-care.

WMNSpace | Women Center | Conscious Creative Workshop with NATURE AND INTENT | Photographer and Consultant Kristine Lopez
Simple Tonics

This is why we continue to offer business and creative workshops as well as nourishing gatherings and experiences!


On June 27th, we offered the Holistic Branding Workshop to teach a group of lovely female business owners our holistic approach to branding, content creation, and marketing!

Special thank you to PLNT Blend for providing nourishing drinks.

WMNSpace | Conscious Creative Workshop with NATURE AND INTENT | Photographer and Consultant Kristine Lopez | Women Gathering
How a Female Boutique Owner in Topanga is Creating Community While Supporting Women

Nature and Intent Journal is a digital container featuring inspiring original content and profiles of conscious business owners because we believe that the humans behind brands create a meaningful impact through living their nature and intent.


Moona Star Collective Topanga Store

Monica Zaidman is the founder and designer of Moona Star Collective, a Topanga boutique that lives up to the movement of “women supporting women”.

Monica has come a long way on her journey to becoming a designer - from designing clothes as a child for her dolls to working at various corporate fashion companies. She’s the Founder and Owner of Moona Star Collective, a fashion brand, artist collective, store and gathering space based in Topanga.

We interviewed Monica’s passion and career journey into making her dreams a reality, her conscious approach to fashion sustainability and how she’s co-created a community of women supporting women.

Read on to learn more about Moona Star Collective.


Moona Star Collective Topanga Store
Monica Zaidman, Owner of Moona Star Collective

What sparked your inspiration to begin working in fashion, design, and eventually launching Moona Star? What is your intention behind Moona Star?

Monica Zaidman: Wow, it has been a lifetime journey! I have been designing and creating clothes since I was a child, cutting up my own clothes to make clothes for my dolls. My Mom used to watch Romeo and Juliet along with other period pieces, and I would obsess over the costumes and all the details that went into each piece. Looking back, I think this inspired my love for lace and all things romantic. Throughout high school and college, I continued to thrift and re-create clothes out of whatever vintage pieces I could find. After going to art school and fashion school, I started my first label, still making clothes out of vintage in a small studio apartment in San Francisco.

Moona Star was born after I moved back to California from New York and started a family. I had transformed into a different person after becoming a mother and had a new calling. The name “Moona Star” has so many layers. When I first met my husband, he added me to his phone as “Moona”. My Hebrew name is Emuna - which means faith. The name Moona Star is a reminder to live by the cycles of the moon and having faith to follow our stars, and always finding the light in the dark.

What are some memorable moments working in large corporate fashion companies (or the fast fashion industry)? What have you learned in those roles or experiences that inspired your approach to sustainable manufacturing?

Monica:  I’ve worked for many corporate brands including opening and running stores, merchandising, designing, training and managing teams. I became disenchanted with the unsustainable and exploitative aspects of the fashion industry in general and fast fashion in particular.

I remember feeling sad about the sheer quantity of everything being made, knowing how unsustainable it all was from the fiber and labor conditions to the amount of waste. I also remember working with a team on adding organic cotton to the season. Many of us worked very hard on this style, but in the end, it was dropped from our line plan because none of the big department stores ordered it. That was when I knew if I was going to design, I would strive to do it sustainably.


How do you implement a sustainable manufacturing process for Moona Star?

Monica: I implement a low-waste manufacturing production process when I design with Hector, my partner in creating patterns. We design pieces on paper first, and then make the markers to the fabric so that almost every bit of fabric gets used and whatever fabric is left gets incorporated into pieces that are designed specifically to make use of it. I'll add or take away a cuff just to save fabric or use fabric that is left over.

At the very end, if there are any scraps left, I use them for small projects such as scrunchies or bags for shipping. I have also recently started giving small scraps to other designers who use them to make eye pillows, scarves or other small pieces. I also design clothes that don't require too many samples. Finally, I make limited quantities of all pieces and sizes, so that most of what I make is gone before the season is over.


Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC
Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC
Moona Star Collective Topanga Store

What are the three personality traits or core values that embodies the Moona Star brand?

Monica: At our deepest core, Moona Star is intentional, sustainable, comfortable, wearable and above all, beautiful.

Can you share your experience in supporting women's co-ops in Mexico and Peru?

Monica: When I was living in New York, I had a small clothing line that was all about supporting and empowering women. I had the opportunity to work with a non-profit that sent me to Ghana to help teach a community of women basic pattern-making and how to market their designs to ‘the western customer’. We created patterns and catalogs so that they could make pieces to sell in stores and to customers anywhere. I designed some one-of-kind pieces with their batik fabrics and produced a fashion show in New York to fundraise for their community. Today, a lot of these women have jobs making uniforms, and even a small shop. This was a life-changing experience for me because I was able to help women who really needed the support and inspiration.

I also had the privilege of working with women in Mexico and Peru, using the embroidery in my designs. Having access to an international market is not only empowering to these true artisans, but the amount of money they can make for one embroidery order can help support them for an entire season. I dream of going back one day to continue creating and designing with them and to do my small part in helping to keep these beautiful traditions alive.  

As I look back, I suppose I have always been called to work with groups of women who help support one another. When I opened Moona Star Collective, I knew I didn't want to do it alone and I also know how powerful women can be when we work together. I love that I have co-created and that I get to be a part of a space that continues to support women emotionally and spiritually in their creative and professional pursuits, and in business.

Clothes hanging at Moona Star Collective Topanga Store

Who does the Moona Star collective comprise of? How does the collective function in your boutique in Topanga?

Monica: At any given time, I have a group of designers who each contribute toward the store’s overhead and inventory. They also work one day each week. In exchange, they earn 100% of the sales of their products so everyone feels and IS invested in each other and in the collective's success.

The current group includes two clothing designers Camile, Victoria Keen, a jewelry designer Michelle Perez, a tea master Cynthina, and a textile designer Courtney Konuch. We also have a resident tarot card reader, Amalia, and other healers who use the space to offer their gifts to the greater community.


What was the process like starting a boutique collective in Topanga?

Monica: The process was a total miracle. If you believe in manifesting your dreams, this was it. Since I was in my 20s, I have been writing in my journal about how much I wanted a store - and not just a store, a collective. The collective is not just a designer’s collective, but a space for classes and gatherings with beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces.

I must have written this down at least once a month for twenty years! That’s about 240 times that I wrote out my vision and my dream! When the space became available, my husband (who is the sweetest human I know) and I began reaching out to the landlords right away. We also started to envision how it would all work - the store, the collective and the community space. I also prayed. It has been one miracle after another, starting with the invaluable help of family, friends, neighbors and the collective power of an incredible group of women that got us to where we are today.


So grateful to feature an inspiring human and conscious business owner leading with her nature and intent.

Follow Moona Star Collective on Instagram @moonastarcollective.

Photos and interview by Kristine Lo.


OUR INTENTION
 
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NATURE AND INTENT is a conscious creative agency, consultancy, and community container founded by Kristine Lo.

Since 2014, Kristine has worked with over a hundred emerging and established brands, agencies, influencers, and conscious-driven companies creating visual assets, providing brand and business consulting, and producing curated experiences. As a photographer, she’s developed and refined her ability to capture the essence of brands and individuals. Her passion is sharing authentic and unique stories through visual storytelling. Through her collective experience and expertise, she’s developed a unique holistic approach to brand, content, and community building which formed the foundation for NATURE AND INTENT.

As the CEO/Creative Director, she consciously leads this company working with dream clients, aligned projects and connects with a supportive community while creating a meaningful impact.

You can read more on her decade long entrepreneurial journey to find her career purpose and ‘professional dharma' that led her to start Nature and Intent here.

Since the launch of Nature and Intent in 2018, we've come a long way working out of coffee shops to now working at the most beautiful women-focused workspace, the Wing, among other female entrepreneurs and women-led startups. Other major company milestones include: becoming a separate business entity (S-corp), expanding the team and offerings to include HOLISTIC BRANDING. Not to mention, our team and community of creatives are equal parts passionate and compassionate.

Nature and Intent exists to elevate the nature and intent of brand and individuals.

Our mission is that our work and partnerships create a meaningful impact for the collective good. Our creative agency + consultancy consciously partners with emerging and established brands with creative, marketing, and production services that supports others.

With the abundance of creative agencies and sea of businesses offering similar services, our niche is in providing a conscious approach to support brands and individuals. Our creative team supports brands and business owners in fashion, holistic, lifestyle, and wellness space.

Through a holistic branding, marketing, and community building approach, we elevate your digital presence so that you can create a meaningful impact.

If you align with our intention and interested in our creative services or joining our elevated experiences, we’d love to hear from you!

 
Kristine Lo
Akasa Community on Making Wellness Accessible for All

Nature and Intent Journal is a digital container featuring inspiring original content on conscious brands and individuals.

Our belief is that your unique background, perspective, and experiences shape uour authentic ‘nature’ which connects us to our purpose or ‘intent’.


Akasa Community Brand Feature on Nature and Intent | Gardening | Food Health

Akasa Community is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit providing a diversified wellness curriculum in partnership with public schools in low-income communities throughout Los Angeles. At Akasa, both students and families have access to healthy, affordable food options and education to best care for their bodies.

Established in 2012, the concept of Akasa stemmed from the growing inequality of access to healthy food in different neighborhoods. With a team of four including Ashleigh, the Founder, Veda Romero, Director, Nina Anakar, Lead Chef, and Amanda Beattie, Lead Gardener, Akasa aims to provide a preventive health model for the local Los Angeles community.

We interviewed the diverse, all-female team behind Akasa who educate and empower students and families by making 'wellness more accessible’.


Ashleigh Parsons | Akasa Community | Gardening
Ashleigh Parsons Quote | Akasa Community | Nature and Intent Feature

Ashleigh, can you share your background in food, education, and wellness? How was your experience at Harvard and working at an after school program in San Francisco?

Ashleigh Parsons: I’ve been interested in education from a young age and during college, when faced with my own challenges in health and wellness, I was drawn to holistic practices that involved mind, body, spirit. I began practicing yoga for physical pain and quickly realized the positive effect it had on me. Soon after this experience, I began instructing yoga and fell in love with the practice of teaching. Upon graduating college and being unsure of what I wanted to do, I enrolled in an intensive yoga teacher training in San Francisco. For me, one of the most empowering tools gained during that training was the realization that these wellness practices were fairly simple and with the right training, could be done on your own at a very low cost. Eating well, moving the body, meditating - these practices that became integral to my own personal wellbeing can and should be accessible.

With an interest in psychology and education, my first job after college was working as a Program Coordinator at the Tenderloin Afterschool Program -  a free after school program for youth ages 5 to 18. At that time in 2009, the neighborhood was known for its high crime, drug use and prostitution and our job at the program was to provide a safe haven for our students. Our center was often described as a family and it felt that way. During my time in the Tenderloin, I learned a lot about the importance of community. During that time, I also became intensely aware of the disparity and injustices that existed in our food system. As a white, educated female living in SF, I had access to an abundance of the most beautiful produce growing in the country, whereas my students living in the Tenderloin didn’t even have a grocery store within walking distance. The closest food was found at corner stores where Cheetos and soda were more affordable than water and a piece of fruit. At that moment, I understood the work that needed to be done in this space and felt inspired to work in this field but wanted to gain more experience and knowledge before pursuing anything on my own.

My experience at Harvard studying Human Development and Psychology was positive and there, I was able to study and examine the many ways in which people learn. I became more interested in how we can create environments that set up youth for success in our schools and after school programs. During my program, I also became the Principal Investigator on a research study at Harvard Medical School investigating The Efficacy of Yoga in the Schools - a research study that examined the positive outcomes of yoga for high school youth. This experience made me become deeply interested in studying the benefits of holistic practices for youth specifically focused on low-income youth that may not otherwise have access to practices like these.

Ashleigh, what does “Akasa” mean? What is the significance of this name in alignment with the mission and offerings?

Ashleigh:  It’s pretty simple. The name is Pali for “sky” or “limitless being”. The idea is that we as an organization are providing a space where students and families feel safe, supported, nourished and able to be themselves. The goal is to encourage and empower them to be agents of change in their communities and pursue their own dreams and passions.

Ashleigh Parsons | Akasa Community | Nature and Intent Feature

Veda and Ashleigh, what inspired you two to conceptualize the current AKASA program to offer a wellness curriculum promoting cooking, gardening & mindfulness for low-income youth & families?

Ashleigh: The program is always evolving and this year has been our most successful year to date. The most important piece for me is that we’re always listening to the youth and families that we serve and addressing their needs. For example, we’ve had more parents attending our parent workshops led by Veda, so we’re working on increasing the number of parent workshops we offer. Often, Nina will create a recipe that’s inspired by something a student requested in a class or Amanda will plant a particular item that students want to see growing in their garden. It’s important to me that we listen to the needs of our community and create programs and workshops that address those particular issues.


Veda Romero: Since joining Akasa over 2 years ago, through conversation with the community, I have been able to witness the need for this program. Students and parents attend programs eager to learn when they step into the classroom.  We as a team work hard to make sure that the healthy food movement is accessible and achievable for all. I want to empower the community by giving them the tools to live healthier lives and empower them to make informed decisions about their overall health and wellness.

Veda Romero Quote | Akasa Community

Nina, what is your favorite thing about being a Lead Chef at AKASA promoting healthy lifestyle and cooking to students?

Nina: I get fired up about the idea that wellness doesn’t have to cost as much as those who market it to us often make it seem, and that there are simple ways in which we can use the nature around us to feel good inside. I get really excited about the simplest ways in which we can feel nourishment and health, like cooking a simple vegetarian dinner for the smallest fraction of what you’d pay in a restaurant. I feel lucky to have learned from women who are very resourceful when it comes to cooking for their families, so sharing that information feels like a practical service that I can offer to my neighbors in this city.

Amanda, when did your passion about the importance of food and education begin?

Amanda: I started cooking for the joy of it in middle school. it was a tangible avenue into other times and places, which is one reason I loved and still love food & cooking. But it was in college that I was first introduced to the injustices embedded in our food system: the myriad ways our food system exploits both people and land to the detriment of us all. I grew a lot as a fellow for Harvard's Food Literacy Project, a group of peer learners and educators that dealt with everything from nutrition to social justice issues in the food system. That was when what was previously just an enjoyable activity (cooking & eating) and my desire to do my part to address oppressive systems fused for the first time.


Amanda, how has your personal passion for community and creating a conscious dialogue with others align with the goals and mission behind AKASA?

Amanda: My personal approach to things like community and growth these days is to start super-duper small: in my city, on my block, in my own life. I find myself going back often to the sixth principle of Kwanzaa, which is "kuumba," meaning "creativity." More specifically, it means to strive to do what we can with what we have to leave a space better than we inherited it. I feel that my micro-size approach to problems that seem insurmountable aligns with Akasa's: we're four women trying to do what we can with what we have to hopefully be collaborators in positive growth.

Vegetables | Akasa Community | Nature and Intent Feature

Amanda, how did you start working as the Lead Farmer and Gardener for AKASA? Please share any previous experience developing an urban farm.

Amanda: I reached out to Akasa when I returned to LA after an apprenticeship on a farm in the south of Morocco. They were looking for a gardener and I was looking for gardens so it worked out perfectly!

I had helped manage a quarter-acre hillside garden in Lincoln Heights a few summers previously and was excited to get back to growing food with students in my home city.

Amanda, what farming or gardening practices did you take away or learned previously that you continue to teach and cultivate at AKASA?

Amanda: All the agricultural sites I worked on were organic and I continue those practices in the Akasa gardens. I'm also a fan of the French intensive method of gardening - practices like integrated pest management, companion planting, etc. I'm working to incorporate as much of this as possible into the schools' gardens.

Nina Anakar | Lead Cook | Akasa Community | Nature and Intent Feature
Veda Romero | Akasa Director

Can you expand on how AKASA is improving overall wellness for young people nationwide? What were the results of the Stress Reduction Research?

Ashleigh: We haven’t gotten there yet but research in this space is high priority for our organization. We’re lucky to have Professor Joel Gittensohn, PhD, Head of Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, signed on as a consultant for Akasa. He offers support in terms of research as an expert in the field of formative research and evaluation in public health as it pertains to food justice and food deserts. Thus far, we’ve gathered testimonials from students, parents, teachers and administrators in our community that suggest the positive outcomes of this program. Our goal would be to create a research study that examines the positive benefits of a program like Akasa and hopefully build a case for more programs like this throughout the United States.


Veda, what was your experience like growing up in the Rampart neighborhood? How has this contributed to your intention to support your local community through the Akasa programs?

Veda: My experience growing up in the Rampart/Virgil Village neighborhood was a lot of fun! I was born in Mexico, so moving into a neighborhood filled with people who looked like me and came from similar backgrounds felt like home. There was a great sense of community. Many nights, we spent with other families having dinner and backyard parties. Although, the neighborhood had its issues with crime and robberies, we always looked out for each other.

Being raised by immigrant parents who worked two to three jobs made it hard for them to provide dinner for our family. I’m able to relate to a lot of the stories that the students share with me. Many live in food-insecure homes so I can see the importance of the work we do with Akasa.

In regards to gentrification, it’s a loaded question because this process often negatively impacts communities of color. For a neighborhood that is mostly populated by low-income Latino people, many of whom are undocumented, it is easy for big developers and powerful companies to take advantage of them. It’s been difficult to see the displacement of neighbors, the cost of living skyrocket and small mom-and-pop immigrant-owned businesses close down.


The food system in this country is out of balance and unfortunately low-income neighborhoods are the ones that suffer the most.  When big fast food corporation target certain communities and grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods only open in wealthier neighborhoods, the disparities become clear: people living in more affluent neighborhoods don’t have to think twice about access to fresh produce whereas low-income communities are just barely able to feed their families after working two to three jobs. Priorities are different if the only two options for dinner are to eat Cup N Noodles or take a bus 20 minutes there and back simply to buy healthy groceries. The system is out of balance and my goal with Akasa is to speak up about the disparity in my community while simultaneously educating students and parents about how they can take their health and wellness into their own hands and feel empowered to care for themselves as well as their families in ways that are affordable and sustainable.

Today, how many schools and students do you work with on a weekly basis? Can you also share about your intention behind the AKASA community dinner pop-ups in Los Angeles?

Akasa Community | Reach and Numbers

Nina, can you please share your experience working at Murad, Sweetgreen, and Soho House in NYC? How did this lead you to become a chef and launching Ziza Mediterranean?

Nina Anakar: I decided to make the switch to cooking full-time after growing up in a family full of hospitality professionals and home cooks. Throughout school and after college, I worked for seven years in the industry but was always in front of house, marketing and production roles. I've learned so much working for food service and hospitality experts, but a couple of years ago, I was feeling burnt out from working in NYC and started cooking more often for family and friends as a way to feel creatively stimulated, nourished and restored. A big part of my desire to become a chef was also driven by the fact that I love to spend time with nature, work with my hands, and use my senses. My food business, Ziza, came out of my love and respect for my Moroccan family’s rich culture of food and hospitality and my home of California’s bounty of beautiful year-round heirloom produce.

Nina, can you share your cultural background and travel experiences? How does this inspire your cooking?

Nina: I’m the daughter of a mother from Ohio whose parents migrated from Germany and a father who immigrated from Morocco. I spent some of my formative years living in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was exposed to the relationship between nature and food at an early age. My family eventually moved to San Diego, California, where I was lucky to grow up around a lot of beautiful local produce and comfort food, thanks to my mother (and both my Midwestern and Moroccan grandmothers’ recipes!). In my cooking, I love to draw connections between family recipes, traditional Moroccan food, California's seasons, and all of the flavor that Hispanic culture has offered to this state's cuisine. I think that having such a mixed cultural experience and heritage has really allowed me to develop a unique and specific perspective in the kitchen, and I’m constantly inspired by the ways in which food connects humans everywhere.

Nina Anakar Quote | Lead Cook | Nature and Intent Feature

How do you maintain all the AKASA community gardens on a weekly or seasonal basis? Can you share what’s currently growing this season and your favorite harvest experience?

Amanda: On a weekly basis, I try to visit the gardens twice a week for weeding and troubleshooting any issues with pests, disease or irrigation. Seasonally, things are slower in the winter. Right now, it's early spring so we have some crops that came through the winter - fennel, brussel sprouts, spring onions, kale, various herbs, snow peas, swiss chard, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, radishes. Our fava beans are flowering and we're just getting started planting carrots, beets, leeks, and more now!

Akasa Community Team | Akasa Community | Nature and Intent Feature

So grateful to feature an inspiring humans and conscious business owners leading with nature and intent.

Follow Akasa Community on Instagram @akasa.community.

Photos and interview by Kristine Lo.


How to Create Content for INSTAGRAM
 
How to Create Content for INSTAGRAM

Complimentary Virtual Workshop on Wednesday April 3rd, 2019 1:30-2:00pm PST.

Learn How to Create Engaging Content for INSTAGRAM. Led by Photographer, Consultant, and Founder of NATURE AND INTENT, Kristine Lo.

  • Content Categories & Types

  • Content Strategy Tips

  • How to Consciously Create and Consume on Instagram - IG Feed, IG Stories, IGTV, & IG Live

  • Best tips, apps, tools & more.

 
Kristine Lo
Katrina Razon on How to be a Conscious Female Leader

Nature and Intent Journal is a digital container featuring inspiring original content and profiles of conscious business owners because we believe that the humans behind brands create a meaningful impact through living their nature and intent.


Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur

Katrina Razon is an inspiring entrepreneur and a truly amazing example of an empowered female leader living in alignment with her nature and intent.

She’s been featured on Forbes, CNN Philippines, ABS-CBN, and several fashion media outlets. Katrina wears many successful hats in various industries as a VC at KSR Ventures, Director of fashion label Dear Frances, and moonlights as a DJ under the name ‘Katsu’. Most notably, she co-created Wonderfruit Festival, a conscious music festival built around celebrating diversity in a way that is carbon neutral and beneficial for the environment.

Although she grew up from a prominent family in the Philippines, she does not take her popularity or privilege for granted. Her intention is to promote social, environmental, and sustainable initiatives through her many ventures and projects that take her around the world.

Starting her career in the music industry at only 15 years old, Katrina discovered how she wanted to make a continuous impact. Read on to learn more about Katrina.


Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC
Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC | Katrina Razon Quote

What is your background and where are you currently based?

Katrina Razon: I was born and raised in the Philippines but I have been living in the U.S for the past decade. However, I am an island girl at heart.

What is the meaning behind your DJ name ‘Katsu’?

Katrina:  My friends call me Kats. When I started DJing, there weren’t many women who were DJing in the Philippines at the time. Katsu became my DJ moniker to symbolize the fierce feminine energy to break into the scene as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Growing up, I was captivated by Hayao Miyazaki’s films because each film was centered around a heroine unlike Disney movies where the storylines were typically about a woman being rescued by a man. We don’t need to be rescued. We don’t need to be told how to behave and how to play. Katsu is the heroine to my story.  

Today, there are more women in music than ever before but music festival brands and talent buyers of venues need to do a better job in making the line-ups more inclusive to women. Create opportunity wherever you go.


Can you share the inspiration and intention behind Wonderfruit Festival?

Katrina: Music festivals cause devastating damage to the environment whether by carbon emissions or plastic pollution paired with the fact that major music festivals were offering the same monotonous line-ups. We wanted to prove that a lifestyle festival can be carbon neutral yet celebrate cultural diversity.  

We seek to encourage, develop, and innovate creative solutions for sustainable living and bring together a global community to celebrate them. Our ethos circles back into using the event as a platform to catalyze meaningful and positive impact.

Across the world, we produce about 300 million tons of plastic waste every year and most of it end up in the ocean. Thailand together with four other Asian countries (including the Philippines) account for 60% of the plastic pollution entering waterways all over the world. Marine litter threatens sea life, habitats, poisons our food chain, affects human health and costs billions to abate. Plastic is a substance that the earth cannot digest.

Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC
Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC
Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC

Did you have role models or experiences that inspired you to work in music and production? What industry did you start in that led you into your current roles?

Katrina: I have always been in the music industry or hospitality industry. The two industries are very complementary to each other. I started my career as a DJ when I was 15. But, working between the hospitality and music industry, I began realizing how wasteful both industries were. Luckily, I found myself with a group of like-minded individuals who shared the same passion for the arts and the same frustrations around the environmental impact caused by large scale events. By turning to the arts as the medium to inspire sustainable living, we hopefully can inspire businesses and other events to follow suit.

As a Creative Director and VC, how do you navigate partnering with companies and individuals? What attracts you to work with a company or individual?

Katrina: With a focus that values companies beyond traditional financial metrics, KSR Ventures’ investment philosophy adopts a Triple Bottom Line (3BL) sustainability framework that evaluates social, environmental and economic impact. Each investment contributes to solving social and/or environmental challenges in inspiring ways. I want to back visionary teams that solve systematic problems.

As a busy multi-hyphenate creative and entrepreneur that travels often, how do you manage it all?

Katrina: I manage my day by increments and by importance of certain tasks. I am more analog in that sense that I plan my day out on a Moleskine planner. I am a visual person and it helps me map out my tasks best. I take an hour to either hike, go to Lagree or run. It’s important to let out the steam and come back fresh if I ever hit a mental roadblock. My lifestyle requires a lot of late nights that it’s important for me to find balance.

You experienced a physical injury last year and shared so much of your vulnerability and resilience. Can you share how and who supported you in your healing?

Katrina: I’ve learned that healing is not a linear process. Trauma recovery is a discovery and uncovering of you really are. I got up every day and made sure that I didn’t quit on myself. I choose to go through my life fully awake, allowing painful experiences to seep into my bones and difficult moments to wash over me and act as a salve to my pain.

I turned to a holistic approach to heal. Adaptogenic mushrooms gave me the energy to optimize peak performance while giving me energy to push through my long work days. My family and friends, of course, were an incredible support system. Injuries like this make you truly grateful for the amazing people in your life.

What has been your biggest learning experience thus far as a creative and entrepreneur?

Katrina: Having a big vision for yourself and your brand is important. Instead of just thinking about numbers, I thought about how I can change people’s lives.

Katrina Razon, Creative Entrepreneur and VC from Phillipines and LA

So grateful to feature an inspiring human and conscious business owner leading with her nature and intent.

Follow Katrina Razon on Instagram @katrinarazon.

Photos and interview by Kristine Lo.