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  • mint & poppy

MP Local: Kaitlyn Holbein

As local lovers and supporters, we thought it would be a great idea to feature some #KWawesome bosses. We are growing in a community that constantly lifts one another up and motivates each other to keep doing what they love. So, we thought we would shine the spotlight on those killing it in the entrepreneur world.


Our first feature is Kaitlyn Holbein, a local boss babe who has created a name and a strong brand for herself in the region. We’ve met Kaitlyn a few times and she’s been a huge inspiration to us. She’s always up for catching up over a drink and working alongside other freelancers in the community.


We asked her a few questions from personal to business to get to know more about her. So, without further ado… meet Kaitlyn:



Name: Kaitlyn Holbein

Title: Content Marketing, Recruitment Marketing + Employer Brand Expert.


Your elevator pitch:


I offer freelance and consulting services to help organizations attract customers and candidates (yup, candidates!).


My focus lately has been more so on content creation for Recruitment Marketing and Employer Brand purposes. This involves helping organizations define their employer value proposition and then create strategies to get their brand out to candidates.


The aim here is often to increase employer brand awareness and fill their talent acquisition pipelines with more qualified people!


One word to describe yourself:


Curious.


Why did you choose that word?


I’m always seeking out new experiences, ideas and adventures. I really like to travel to new places and imagine the daily lives and stories of the people there. I like to try new sports and forms of physical fitness – even though I’m uncoordinated and often not great at these new activities! This year I’m trying to learn to ski, it’s an uphill battle ironically. I’m also constantly seeking out new ideas through books and podcasts. Exploring new places and ideas keeps me happy.


Why did you start the business that you did and what was the inspiration or reasoning of how it came it life?


My inspiration for starting my own business was twofold:


1) In all honesty, I wanted more location and lifestyle freedom. I really enjoy travelling and am at a life stage where I want to be able to embrace that. I work just as well (arguably even better because of the creative input) from a cute café in southern California or western Europe, as I do from my home office here in Kitchener.


2) For better or for worse, I get bored quickly. I loved my last full-time gig but felt that there wasn’t a whole lot of room for the type of rapid growth I was craving. I wanted to continue to keep pushing myself. Working on my own means getting to juggle working with tons of organizations on a wide range of projects each year.


First thought when you officially became your own boss:


I remember feeling liberated! And also very scared. There was a lot to learn and figure out.


When you’re not hustling, what do you do in your free time?


I stay pretty busy! I like to set a lot of goals for myself outside of work. Lately running has been a real fixation for me. I ran my first half-marathon in October 2018 and have my eyes set on the 30k Around the Bay Race in Hamilton in March 2019 now. I also love reading everything and anything, both fiction and non-fiction. Lastly, I love animals. I find them really calming to be around. I ride horses twice a week and spend a lot of time hanging out with my French Bulldog Beagle cross, Winston.


Describe a day in your life:


On a typical work day when I’m here in town, I wake up at 7:30 am and take my dog for a walk. I then do some sort of exercise from about 8:00 am to 9:00 am to wake up. Usually that looks like a 5 to 10k run. From there I shower and work from about 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Around 1, I’ll take a lunch break, which can vary from 15 minutes to an hour depending on the day. Then it’s back to work until around 6 pm. I usually work from home, but twice a week (Wednesday and Friday afternoons) I meet up with a group of other freelancers and remote workers at a local coffee shop to co-work together. It helps ease some of the loneliness that can come from working from home full time!


What is your biggest accomplishment?


Honestly, I think having the courage to leave my corporate gig and start working for myself. It’s something I aspired towards for years, but always assumed would be a later in career thing… you know, when I had more experience, when I had a bigger network, etc. Realizing that the timing would never be better than right now, doing my homework, and then jumping in and managing my own work and business for the past year has been incredible.


What are your top 3 bucket list items?


I’ve honestly never had a bucket list! But if I had to list out three things that pop into my head that sound appealing to me right now, here they are:


1. Spend a month or more in Italy. I spent a week there when I was 15 and found it to be so charming. I’ve travelled to a lot of nice places since and some for more extended periods of 2-4 months, but going back for an extended stay in Italy has always been something I’d love to do.


2. Run a full marathon. Running 42 kilometers in one go scares the heck out of me but I’ll probably want to check it off the list at some point.


3. Do a full-day meditative retreat. I think this would be super tough for me, but also really rewarding to spend a full 12 hours hanging out with myself and observing my thoughts.


What or who inspires you to keep doing what you’re doing?


This might sound cheesy, but it’s true so I’m going to roll with it: my boyfriend is actually a big source of inspiration in my life. He has his own business and has always been really entrepreneurial. He’s not afraid of taking calculated risks and of walking the path less travelled. He helped me overcome some of the initial mental mind blocks to make the transition to working for myself. He also just has this incredible growth mindset that I admire – he’s never complacent.


What is your spirit animal and why?


Maybe a dolphin? I’ve always been drawn to them because of the freedom they represent in my mind. They seem like they have fun, and live lives with relatively few barriers. The caveat here is that I know very little about dolphins, so my perception could be totally off haha.


What is your daily mantra?


I don’t really have one! Maybe I should think of one for 2019.


What are some tips and tricks you use to stay motivated?


Sticking to a routine is helpful for me. I have some freelancer friends who are able to work late in the evenings and who can adjust their schedule based on workload. However, I find sticking to a 10 am to 6 pm work schedule everyday tends to keep me motivated and productive.


In terms of motivated towards bigger goals beyond just the day to day, I follow a ton of great accounts on Instagram that are pretty inspirational, and I read a lot of non-fiction that introduces new ideas for how to get things done that keep me excited to push myself further.


What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along the way?


That connecting with others on a regular basis is super important for my health and well-being. I’m a bit of a hermit by nature. I have to work hard to get out and socialize with others, but there’s always a big pay-off when I do in terms of my happiness and even productivity.


Working from home alone all the time can be really mentally taxing. To try and counter this, a few friends and I created this group called the Coworkers Collective last year. We work together twice a week. We’re growing at a decent rate and I’ve met some awesome, kind people through our meet-ups. We also have a Slack group where we can bounce ideas, questions or funny gifs off one another between working sessions. This group is so essential to my sanity! They make my work life a lot better.


What’s next for you?


2019 is really about optimizing my business. I’m really happy with my first year in business, but also learned a lot of lessons that I’m ready to apply back to make things even better for this upcoming year. I don’t want to plan further out than that though as in my experience a lot can change in a year.


How can our readers find you?


You can find out more about my work and services on my site at kaitlynholbein.com. On social, you can find me on LinkedIn and Instagram. I’m most active on Instagram as it’s a creative outlet for me. I love telling stories about my daily life and sharing snaps from my travels. You can find me there at @kaitlyn.holbein.


We are so happy that Kaitlyn was our first feature for the interview series on our blog because she is a daily inspiration to us. We think everyone has those underlining fears of taking their career and their life to the next level, so hearing from someone who’s been through it and is now living their dream life is super motivating to those in the community. We see big things coming for Kaitlyn in 2019 and we’re ready to watch her business grow.


We are constantly looking to promote local businesses and freelancers in the community, so if you are interested in sharing a bit about your life and your journey, send us a DM or email us at hello@mintandpoppy.com.






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