Finding success at early age is by no means an easy feat, but finding what you're interested in and pursuing your passions is just what Kara DeLost did to find her early success in digital marketing.
Kara DeLost is a digital media and marketing extraordinaire finding success at an early age of 24. The University of Louisville graduate is quickly climbing the ranks of digital marketing in her home state of Kentucky. Kara is a recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Hot Ten Award, which recognizes young professionals demonstrating professionalism beyond their years. Kara is currently a digital strategist for Power Creative, a Louisville advertising agency that has recently gained recognition for its accomplishments at the American Advertising Federation’s Louie Awards. On the side, Kara serves as the Vice President of the Crane House Young Professionals, a professional organization formed to bring together and provide career development to the asian community in Louisville. Kara has also been featured in Today’s Woman magazine and Forbes for her expertise in digital marketing and fashion sense.
We chatted with this determined young woman about her drive for success and her incredible taste for fashion and great food.
GRACESHIP: What attracts you to digital marketing?
DeLost: The fact that it humanizes brands. I love shopping, love fashion, love everything about it. Digital marketing, especially with social media, has found a way to humanize brands and be able to speak to people on a one to one basis as opposed to just a mass production of marketing and sales. I think that’s what brought me to it the most.
GRACESHIP: One issue a lot of women have is breaking into the workplace for entry level marketing positions. How did you get your first job? How did you get your foot in the door?
DeLost: Networking for sure. It’s kind of cliche answer, but I was sending out my resume and applying, doing everything that school had taught me to do, but i just wasn't getting anywhere. I found somebody that had been in advertising for years and I said, “Hey can I follow you, can I shadow you? Can I come work for you for free? Anything that you're doing, I want to be there!” I worked five hours at his office on a Saturday, stapling packets. I was doing whatever I could just to hear and learn what he had to tell me. That is what really helped me get my first job.
GRACESHIP: How did you become successful at such a young age?
DeLost: It’s not being afraid to try stuff and to overstep my boundaries in a gracious way. That’s one of things that’s most intimidating is that you're afraid to ask questions or afraid to ask what you don't know. I started asking a lot of questions that were outside of my job role. Those were the kind of things that pushed me to success early on. I was just doing everything I was asked to do and then some.
GRACESHIP: What is your best piece of advice for women trying to start a career in the marketing or advertising field?
DeLost: Start with yourself. That is the most important thing that a lot people in our generation don’t do; branding themselves as experts. Find something that really interests you and go for it.The Internet is now everyone’s first tool. That’s through your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; through all of the social media properties that you’re already on. I'm constantly talking about food, fashion and social media. When I apply for a job, they're going to look me up and see it in all of my social properties.
GRACESHIP: Where do you frequently shop and how would you describe your style?
DeLost: I have been shopping a lot more at flea markets and local boutiques. You can find some really unique pieces. I still go to places like Forever 21, H&M and Gap; some of the places that have just really great basics that you can kind of dress up. My style is kind of organized chaos. I always describe it as kind of tomboyish with a girl flare.
GRACESHIP: What is your favorite online store and why?
GRACESHIP: What is a beauty product that you can't live without?
DeLost: Benefit Erase Paste. I don’t really wear a foundation so it’s kind of like a little concealer. I’ve used it since I was in middle school but Benefit cosmetics has just recently revamped all of their make up.Their powders, their erase paste, AWESOME!
GRACESHIP: Whats the best professional advice you've ever been given?
DeLost: Always think two steps ahead. Everyone has always said to take one step ahead. That’s great for a lot of times but stepping into a kind of, dare I say, second tier of young professionalism, is that you have to take two steps ahead.
Think okay, is this step going to help get me to my next next step? It’s looking long term into finding a goal and working towards it. It’s like hopping into the car on a full tank of gas with no place to go. You'll run out of gas and have no idea where you are at. So, you kind of have to set up that road map for yourself.
GRACESHIP: What would your dream job be?
DeLost: Well, besides to be a world pop star, I would have to say more realistically, working for a major brand like Dove that really has a secondary mission beyond just the products they sell. I think they do an awesome job of promoting women's beauty and confidence as well as selling their products.
When you think of Dove, you don't necessarily just think of soap right away. They've done a great job of branding themselves as a company that really supports women in every shape, in every fashion. Working for a company that cannot only sell a product but also motivate people to love themselves and to see the world differently is a dream job for me.
GRACESHIP: What words do you live by?
DeLost: I pretty much speak in fortune cookie. My favorite is “Adapt, adjust, and improvise.” That comes from my dad growing up as a navy brat. He's always told me you can make a plan as much as you want to, but most of the time, it doesn't go down that way, so you have to be able to adapt to your situation, adjust to what’s going on, and improvise on your feet.