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 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.
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.
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.