We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Berry and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had been in the wedding and event industry for around 6 years prior to starting my own business in 2015; I realized that photographing weddings wasn’t my passion, but wanted to stay within the industry and help the fellow industry professionals I had grown to have such strong relationships and friendships with. I brainstormed how I could best use my talents to offer services to others, and what would serve me as a person – what is something I would enjoy doing. I started The Dashing Ginger in January of 2016, my focus was to be a resource for wedding and event professionals that needed assistance with events; whether that was being an extra set of hands the day of an event, helping with deliveries, set up/tear down, prep work, even offering babysitting services – I found a way to become an extension of their brands, while growing mine. (Dashing = on the go seemed fitting) After two years of being a brand chameleon, I knew I wanted to expand my personal brand even further and in true transparency, create a better work/life balance. I had always been creative in all aspects, loved creating a web presence, and enjoyed getting a behind the scenes look of others’ brands. I then shift my business and created a new mission statement, one I still use three years later: my mission is to be a resource for all small business creatives that provides top-notch services, while being known for my professionalism, integrity, and originality in representing other creatives’ brands. I now focus on photography and content creation, web presence, social media, and branding for small businesses- 99% of which are women driven.
What should our readers know about your business?
When I started The Dashing Ginger, I was the only person in that industry offering professional assistance to industry creatives – I had never heard of any other business offering that type of resource, especially not a 25 year old business owner. I had to quickly learn the ins and outs of starting a brand, hiring contractors to act as an extension of that brand, and also learn the value of my services and what the worth of that looked like – what my personal worth was. While creating my brand, I was hustling and didn’t have the set income monthly to survive on my business alone; a lot of the money I was receiving was going back into my business. I worked in Andi Diamond Photography’s studio for another year and then worked in corporate for 2.5 years to be able to maintain my brand and have the funds for living expenses. I was getting overworked, overextended, and knew I needed to take the leap; I ended up quitting my corporate position in March of 2020, unknowingly weeks before Covid 19 hit the US. I then had to navigate a brand I was relying on in the hardest year possible for small businesses. I was offered a different corporate position in May of 2020 that I financially had to accept, and was laid off in September. I finally have the power to make my business full time and I almost lost it to 2020. Starting and owning a business is not easy, in fact 20% of small businesses don’t make it past a year – 50% by the 5th year. 2021 will be my 6th year in business, first year full time in my business, and I am still learning along the way – every day. As a business owner it’s ok to change paths in your business, create and set boundaries, learn new strategies, and constantly evolve. I am not who I was 5 years ago and my brand is not – age shows growth that’s empowering.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
After spending many years living in Tampa, I made to move to St. Petersburg (across the bridge) in January of this year. I had lived in St. Pete right after graduating college in 2013, but the city has significantly changed since. It is full of new businesses, recreation, art, and so much more. There is a different energy to St. Pete, it is more relaxed and upbeat at the same time. The main attraction in St. Pete is probably Beach Drive – it is close to the lovely Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, has waterfront views, and offers a long strip of restaurants and boutiques. On a lovely night, walking down Beach and popping into shops and a restaurants would be enjoyable. I would most likely dress up for a night on Beach, dine at a higher-end restaurant, and stop for rooftop drinks at The Birchwood to end the night. I tend to frequent Central Avenue – for miles and miles there are restaurants, shops, bars, cafes, and more. One could easily venture down Central every day for a week and experience something new each day. It is eclectic and easy to find a place to sit down and relax. Central is a great place to grab breakfast/coffee, spend some time walking around, grab lunch, and even stay into the night and enjoy a drink outside – one can easily spend all day there. Another lovely aspect of St. Pete – the beach! An evening picnic at Pass-A- Grille watching the sunset is a must. Between the atmosphere of beach/downtown, Central Ave, Historic Kenwood, Uptown, and the beach – one would be easily entertained for a week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I was a junior in college at USF, I was actively working towards my studio art degree and specializing in photography focus; I came across an internship opportunity through our school’s network, a local photographer was seeking an intern to assist on photoshoots, in office, as needed. As a student looking to soak up any and all knowledge about photography I could, I applied and luckily was offered the internship. This experience changed my life. The photographer was/is Andi Diamond of Andi Diamond Photography; I gratefully and happily worked for and with her brand for 7 years – she has genuinely taught me everything I know about photography and business in real life. During those 7 years we captured weddings, families, businesses, I became and official part of the team on location and in office, was an extension of her brand, met so many amazing people I am still connected with today, and gained a friend (and 2nd mother figure) for life. That opportunity taught me so much and also helped me grow into the photographer and businesswoman I am today; Andi continues to help mentor and guide me – she pushes me to be a rockstar, female business owner, and I am a part of her family. We have a bond and friendship that I am fortune to have; she is the peanut butter to my jelly.
Amber Veatch Designs, Wandering Whisk Bakeshop, Posie’s Flower Truck, Blossom and Shine, The Children’s Cancer Center, The Woman’s Group, Junior’s Cheesecake, Savia
Ashlee Hamon Photography
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.