Kenty Lichtenberg

Kenty Lichtenberg is an internationally awarded blogger and brand manager, having worked with some of the biggest brands in the world (Bacardi, Neutrogena, Barefoot Wines, Mobil, just to name a few). Her ability to profile brands, connect them to local markets, and create opportunities for growth are some of her strongest qualities. Kenty has been recognized by her peers as a substantial influencer, mompreneur, and advocate for women in business. Her focus is to empower her clients (mostly start-ups by women) by building a strong and sustainable brand for their business by connecting them with the right sources and network that will increase their sales and place them in a better position as a business. In addition to this, she also uses Kerai Kreative Style, a platform where women can share their journey about inner beauty and the pressure of today’s society when it comes to Beauty Standards. In 2016 Kenty started the first ever plus size blog on St. Maarten. Coming from a small island where the concept of blogging was still very green, I invested time and resources in understanding this industry. The core objective was to educate, inform, motivate and create a platform where plus-size women could come and co-exist without the fear of feeling judged. My first paid gig was by L’ oreal; this emphasized that inclusion was necessary and that the beauty standards were being redefined by global beauty brands, even in small places like the Caribbean.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative. 

I was blessed to grow up on the beautiful island of St. Maarten, Dutch Caribbean. Growing up multicultural and multilingual built me into a strong person and also helped me build my professional career and later on my business. Reasons why building a business is never easy: Uncertainty: The business landscape is unpredictable. Economic shifts, changes in consumer behavior, and unforeseen events can all impact your business’s success. Competition: Most industries are competitive, with numerous businesses vying for the same customer base. Standing out and gaining market share can be tough. Financial Pressure: Managing finances, securing funding, and maintaining positive cash flow are ongoing challenges for startups and growing businesses. Resource Constraints: Starting with limited resources, such as money, manpower, and infrastructure, can make it difficult to execute plans effectively. Decision Making: Business owners constantly face critical decisions that can significantly impact the company’s future. Making the right choices can be daunting. Risk Management: Business ventures inherently involve risks, and managing these risks while minimizing potential negative outcomes is a continuous process. Scaling Challenges: As a business grows, scaling operations can present logistical, organizational, and financial challenges. Time Commitment: Building a business demands a significant time commitment, often requiring long hours and dedication that can impact work-life balance. Adaptability: Businesses need to adapt to changing market trends, technological advancements, and consumer preferences to stay relevant. Regulations and Compliance: Navigating legal requirements, regulations, and compliance standards can be complex and time-consuming. Marketing and Branding: Establishing a strong brand identity and effectively marketing products or services require strategic planning and consistent effort. Human Resources: Hiring, training, and retaining the right employees can be challenging, as human resources are a crucial component of business success. Customer Acquisition: Attracting and retaining customers is an ongoing effort that demands a deep understanding of your target audience and effective marketing strategies. Innovation: Businesses need to innovate to stay competitive. Generating new ideas, products, or services requires creativity and a willingness to take calculated risks. Resilience: Setbacks and failures are common in business. Maintaining resilience in the face of challenges is essential for long-term success. While building a business is undoubtedly challenging, it’s important to remember that overcoming these challenges can lead to personal and professional growth, financial independence, and the satisfaction of bringing a vision to life. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network, seeking advice from experienced entrepreneurs, and continuously learning can help you navigate these obstacles and work towards achieving your business goals.

Tell us something about your initiative/business. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?

Supporting women in business is essential for fostering gender equality, promoting economic growth, and creating diverse and thriving business communities. Supporting women in business goes beyond a single action—it’s an ongoing commitment to creating a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse business landscape. By providing resources, mentorship, and opportunities, it helps me contribute to the success and growth of women entrepreneurs.

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant challenges and changes for businesses worldwide, including those led by women entrepreneurs. Many of us had to adapt swiftly to new circumstances. Some of the changes I had to evaluate for my own business and personal life were: Digital Transformation: With lockdowns and restrictions in place, businesses had to pivot to online operations. Women entrepreneurs focused on building or enhancing their digital presence through e-commerce websites, social media, and online marketplaces. Remote Work: Many businesses transitioned to remote work to ensure the safety of their employees. Women entrepreneurs embraced technology to enable efficient remote collaboration and communication. Product/Service Innovation: Some entrepreneurs adapted their offerings to meet new needs arising from the pandemic. For example, clothing manufacturers shifted to producing masks and protective gear, while restaurants introduced takeout and delivery services. Diversification: To mitigate risks, entrepreneurs diversified their revenue streams. Women entrepreneurs explored new markets, expanded product ranges, or ventured into complementary services. Virtual Events: Many businesses transitioned their events, workshops, and meetings to virtual platforms. Women entrepreneurs continued to engage with their audience through webinars, online seminars, and virtual networking events. Customer Engagement: Maintaining strong customer relationships became vital. Entrepreneurs engaged with their customers through personalized communication, addressing concerns, and offering support. Community Support: Some entrepreneurs took an active role in supporting their communities. For instance, women entrepreneurs initiated fundraisers, donated products, or offered services to those in need. Resilience and Mindset: Building a resilient mindset was crucial during this challenging period. Entrepreneurs embraced challenges with determination, creativity, and a focus on long-term goals. Planning for the Future: While navigating the crisis, entrepreneurs began planning for the post-pandemic future. Women entrepreneurs strategized for recovery, growth, and potential shifts in the market. The pandemic challenged women entrepreneurs in unique ways, but their resilience, adaptability, and innovative approaches allowed them to weather the storm and emerge with valuable lessons that will continue to shape their businesses in the years ahead.

What has been the response of the users/consumers towards your venture?

I love that our business is not only about products/services but also about connecting with Our customers on a personal level while building a network of women and uplifting their business.. It’s refreshing to see a woman entrepreneur succeeding and making a positive impact. I like to think that my brands represent empowerment and strength. As a fellow woman, I’m proud to support other women in business and be part of the community that together we have created.

How has your life changed because of your initiative/venture?

Entrepreneurship has the potential to be deeply inspiring. A successful entrepreneur’s journey can serve as a source of motivation and empowerment for others. Entrepreneurship is not just about profits and business success; it’s also about creating a positive impact, pushing boundaries, and serving as a beacon of inspiration for others. Sharing the journey, lessons, and successes of entrepreneurs can motivate individuals to believe in their own potential and pursue their dreams. This has always been my objective when I thought of exploring beyond the “9-5” framework.

Do you have anyone who is the biggest support system in your life? Please let us know.

It’s wonderful to have the support of your partner in pursuing your dreams. Acknowledging and appreciating their support can strengthen your relationship and further motivate you to achieve your goals. So I am blessed to have a strong partner, supportive family and friends and of course clients that continue to believe in me and uplift me. The person that I am today, I owe it to my mom, to her resilience in ensuring that I explored my full potential as a woman. I will forever be grateful for believing in my vision and standing beside me as I work toward achieving my goals. Their presence in my life is a constant reminder that I am not alone on this path / journey.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity? OR Share a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.

Dear Women Entrepreneurs, You are a force of inspiration and change. Your courage, resilience, and determination light the path for others to follow. Remember, every step you take, every obstacle you overcome, is a testament to your strength. Embrace your uniqueness and embrace your dreams. Let no limitation define your potential. The road may be tough, but your spirit is tougher. In the face of challenges, you rise, adapt, and thrive. Your ideas have the power to transform industries, empower communities, and shape the world. You have the ability to create your own destiny and rewrite the rules. Trust in your vision, trust in your abilities. Don’t be afraid to take risks, to learn, and to evolve. Mistakes are stepping stones to growth, and setbacks are opportunities to come back even stronger. Remember, success is not just about the destination but also the journey you undertake. Surround yourself with a support network that believes in you, just as much as you believe in yourself. Lift each other up, share your stories, and learn from one another. In those moments of doubt, remember why you started. You are a visionary, a trailblazer, and a creator. Your dreams are worth every ounce of effort, sacrifice, and dedication. Keep your fire burning bright. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Stay committed, stay focused, and let your passion shine. You are capable of achieving greatness beyond measure. Never underestimate the impact you’re making. Your journey inspires not only those who witness it but also generations to come. Keep pushing forward, because the world needs your innovation, your determination, and your unique perspective. Stay relentless. Stay bold. The world is waiting for the mark you’ll leave on it. With unwavering belief in you, Kenty Lichtenberg Founder Kerai Kreative Style / Be Your Own Brand

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Linkedin: Kenty Lichtenberg

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