We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristen Koskella and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristen, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Hard work & consistency factor up my success. I spent years working on projects I wasn’t passionate about because frankly I needed the money and to build up my resume; which in every freelancers career, you’ll have to do things you don’t want to in order to get to where you belong. When I got to a place in my career that allowed me to step away and focus on the type of career I wanted, I started to only accept the jobs I want and only posted about the projects I loved being apart of. It forced me to go in a more specific direction that is much more beneficial to myself, the career path I want and my brand. At first, this took a hit on my annual salary, shrunk my contact circle, and gave me way too much time–BUT I’m headed to exactly where I want and without hard work, persistency, consistency and a ton of personal strength, it wouldn’t have happened.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career was nothing short of easy. I spent years working a 9-5 job which had its benefits, like a consistent income, a 401k, paid vacations and covered health insurance; it just wasn’t what I was meant to do. I went to beauty school right out of high school but wasn’t confident in myself to be a full time freelancer, so, I chose to do it on the side when I could. It definitely had its pros and cons, but like anyone that young, comfortability took charge. I worked for my dads grip & lighting company, so I had the opportunity to learn about the film & entertainment business but it did come with a few disadvantages that made it difficult to set myself apart, like a well known last name. I’ve never been ashamed of my family and I give them most of the credit to my work ethic; but it has also brought some negativity from countless people (honestly, people who don’t know me or my family personally), assuming I only have a career (and everything in between) because of who my father is. I’ve learned plenty of things from him and his business, but where I am in my career I can honestly and confidently say is because of me and my own hard work. I did not accept the offers from the big-wigs to jumpstart my career. I wanted to build my legacy on my own. I didn’t want the handouts, I didn’t want the “red carpet” laid out, I wanted to make a name for myself on my own that can be respected and honored. In taking the long road which so graciously comes with the unsteady income, weeks of no work and self doubt; I’m at a place that makes me happy. I’m working on projects that I’m proud of, athletes that I admire, photographers I respect, producers that are just as passionate as I am. I still have slow weeks, anxiety is still something I struggle with, but I know for fact that my work is true, it’s genuine, and it’s good. I firmly believe that if you always create, you’ll always love what you do. Whether its being creative in your career, your home life or your hobbies, it needs to be consistent. I still do test shoots on days off because I don’t want to stop creating. I want to keep challenging myself, I want to continue to push myself in new creative directions. I want to work with new faces and new brands so I spend time researching new looks I want to try and new beauty & skin care products. At home I try out new recipes to cook for my recipe blog and I’ve spent months (and months) trying to perfect sourdough bread that’s become my Mt. Everest or even simply coloring to help ease my anxious mind and hands. Whatever it is that I’m doing, I want to stay creative. I don’t want idle hands, and I never want to become complacent.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I’m a homebody, I’ve never loved city life, but if I was showing someone around I would take them to local farmers markets to see the charm. I would drive to the mountains for fresh air and finish off with sunsets on the beach. I would cook them dinner, or go to a brewery a throw a couple IPA’s back. Or my most favorite, smash a cheese board and bottle of wine (aka two) at The Cellar in Old Town Pasadena.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Honestly, it sounds cliche, but it’s my dad. He has been my best friend, biggest support, strongest relationship and my mentor in all things business, life and love. He ran a multi-million dollar business for years and its where I worked for almost 10 years. He taught me how to work hard without expecting anything in return. I started from the bottom at his company working as a filing clerk out of high school and ended in Operations and Sales/Marketing. Working for him taught me how to run a business, read contracts, negotiate terms & rates, financing, marketing & sales–all which GREATLY help me to confidently freelance, work for myself and have my own career. Aside from business, he has been married to my mom for over 35 years and loves her wholeheartedly and shows the upmost respect always. Watching him love her has shown me how I want to be loved and how I want my future to look. Its nothing short of hard work, passion, trust, and confidence; everything I want for myself, my career and my future.