We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Chaiane Dalapossa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen Chaiane, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My content creator and influencer career started very organically and it was a slow process. In 2016 I started sharing my life on Social Media, back in the days on Snapchat and then migrated to Instagram. I started working with small brands through influencer’s platforms and later on my following and work started growing to the point that in 2020 I quit my full time job to work with Social Media, modeling and my own company. I started getting booked to work at events as a brand ambassador and doing more modeling gigs. My entrepreneur life started when I opened my small business VL Swimwear in 2020 during the pandemic. In a conversation with a friend she told me her swimwear brand was doing really well in Brazil and she wanted to start exporting the brand to the US. I immediately told Valentina I would love to open a business and it would be great to have this partnership and keep her name on it since I was a big fan of the brand. We had a meeting and planned and opened the whole business in a month. It was overwhelming and fun and then in less than a year of operation we became wholesale sellers to a big company called Ignite.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Content Creation and influencing is all about creativity. I was always a person who did not like having a routine nor being stuck in an office. I always wished I would have more flexibility and put my creativity to work. When I decided to start sharing my lifestyle and my trips on social media I felt like I was finally being able to show my creativity such as taking good pictures, putting my outfits together, planing my trips and it made me feel good about that. Creative people feel the necessity of putting their minds to work without pressure and some days are too hard that we have to take some time off to clear our minds. It was not easy at all and it still isn’t, it’s a lot of work on the behind the scenes. Modeling is also challenging because I never know when I am going to be booked next, so looking good is part of my job. This year I was invited to walk for Forever 21 on NYFW and I couldn’t believe it. It was such a great experience that I would never imagine I would make my teenager dream come true. And on the other side I am also an entrepreneur who has to be on top of everything in the small business world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I go out I normally go to restaurants. I love eating and some of my favorite restaurants in town are Gibson’s Italia, Gioia and Au Cheval. If I am showing Chicago to family or friends who are visiting me I take them to downtown, to see the views, the river, and have a drink, normally at the lounge on the 96th floor at the John Hancock Building. I also like taking them to have some local ice cream and of course the famous deep dish pizza.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am grateful for the education my parents gave to me. My husband who is always by my side encouraging and giving me strength to continue.
Two photos with the white shirt and sunglasses: photographer Sean Carlo Martini The other pictures have the credits on it.