We had the good fortune of connecting with Kaylyn Kontras and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kaylyn, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
There are many habits I have adapted over the years that have contributed to my success, but the most impactful (by far) is actively practicing mindfulness and intentionality. By exercising these ways of thinking, it has created a habitual mindset that allows me to bring more purpose and meaning into my design, therefore connecting with my clients more and creating projects that I’m truly proud of. When designing, I am consistently asking myself “why”, establishing context and significance for each element in that piece. Along with this habitual mindset, I have entrusted the simple organizational tool: task batching, which helps me utilize my time most efficiently. When grouping similar tasks together and allowing certain time during the week or day to complete these items, my focus is much better, and in turn, my work gets completed in a more skillful and productive manner. This requires planning in the beginning, but is definitely a valuable system to start habituating.
What should our readers know about your business?
Pirouette Paper started in a small corner of my bedroom that was shelved to the ceiling, with those shelves packed full of essentially every art supply I ever owned. When I think about when I started my business vs. where I am today, I cannot help but simply feel grateful. It was not easy to build a six-figure calligraphy and stationery business, nor did I ever think that was even possible at the time, but remaining adaptable and resilient is what got me there. What I learned from my challenges is that we must be patient with ourselves, give ourselves grace, and remind ourselves of our potential. I often recall the quote: “There is nothing in nature that blooms all year long, so don’t expect yourself to do so either.” I always intend to lead my business with as much patience and kindness as I can, creating meaningful connection with my clients and audience. I feel this makes my work that much more fulfilling, and in turn makes me incredibly grateful to be doing what I love every day. Looking into the future, I am very excited to be creating more beautiful wedding invitation suites, brands and logos, as well as educational resources for other industry creatives!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since moving to Napa in late 2019, I haven’t been able to drive along the coast, viewing the incredible Southern California beaches, so that’s how every day would start! I’d take advantage of all of the delicious LA-owned restaurants, especially the ones like Honey Hi with an amazing gluten free menu! Beach days would be a must, and I’d bring a little taste of our life in Napa with some naturally sugar free Dry Farm Wines!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My business wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of so many different people. When first starting Pirouette Paper, I took a workshop through Copper Willow Paper Studio called “Pen to Press” where they essentially taught me what I needed to set up my stationery business. This workshop seemed like a huge investment at the time, but the information I learned in the workshop was more valuable than anything. Since then, I have always made a conscious effort to find workshops, online courses, ebooks and more resources that may be worthwhile investments to keep growing and adapting.
Olivia Marshall Photography