Biz Diaries: Chykalophia
Welcome to Biz Diaries!
We’re going behind the scenes of women-owned businesses. One at a time.
Your Name: Ari Krzyzek
Business Name: Chykalophia, Creative Women's Co., and BrandLab.io
Instagram: @Chykalophia and @CreativeWomensCo
Describe your business in a sentence: My primary business is Chykalophia, we help businesses who want to achieve their goals with their brand through strategic positioning. We attract your ideal clients by working on your digital marketing strategies, brand strategy & design, and escalate your website for success.
What’s the best business advice you’ve received?: Niche down. You don't serve everybody!
What's one thing you wish you knew when you started?: Narrowing down my target audience and how to get in front of them.
Tell us about your journey to start company: Gosh, this can be quite a long one. I got my first job as a graphic designer assistant back when I was still living in Bali, Indonesia (I'm born and raised there btw). Right before I celebrate my 1 year anniversary working on my first official J.O.B., my husband (back then was my fiance) asked me how much do I get paid per month. I said "$250/month". He couldn't believe what he heard and recommended that I look into freelancing. I was intrigued and learned it online (thank God there's Google!). Fast forward, I ended up quitting my job and started freelancing. I always knew that I wanted to explore different areas of design, and I had found a way. By creating my own opportunities. So then my husband and I teamed up in 2011 to move to Chicago and started our business together.
What is your company’s mission?: To help fellow entrepreneurs and business owners get closer to their business goals and focus on what they do best in their business.
Tell us about your work day!: It depends on the day actually. I work out of our home office (my husband/business partner has his own office room, so am I), our team work remotely across the globe, and I also have a toddler. So honestly, it really depends on the day. Most day I would start my day sending our son off to school, then catch up with emails, hop on client/lead calls, team meeting/video call, designing, brainstorming ideas, and relationship building. I do set aside Wednesday to do my relationship building, connect with others through an in-person coffee meeting, or giving back to mentor others.
How many employees do you have?: 4
What legal steps do you take to protect the business?: Incorporating our business and getting a lawyer to help with our contracts.
What’s your biggest business expense?: Business insurance.
What’s your favorite accomplishment from the past year?: I had to take on a fulltime job with Sears in my first 2 years building my own business to help support and fund my business. After hustling for 3.5 years, I was finally able to go on my own full time. So far, this is my favorite accomplishment.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in the past year?: Underestimating how long a project can take.
What’s next for the business?: Expanding our business to SE Asia and Australia.
Share your favorite business resource: conferences, podcasts, books: Best podcasts: She Did it Her Way Podcast and Creative Women's Co. Podcast
Books: Winning Without Pitching, Girlboss, She Means Business, and Story Brand.
Magazines: Belong Magazine & Inc
Conferences: Create & Cultivate, SXSW, InBound