This week’s Hot Seat features Kenty Lichtenberg, founder of Kerai Kreative Style & Be Your Own Brand. The “mom-preneur” and fashionista tells us all about her passion for fashion, empowering women and business.
Please introduce yourself.
I am 43 years old, mom of two beautiful boys (5 and 13 years old), and the typical “mom-preneur” of these modern and challenging times when it comes to building career and business at the same time. I was born in the Dominican Republic due to my mother’s high risk pregnancy, but am blessed to have been raised on this beautiful island that I get to call home.
Growing up multilingual and multicultural built my character. I studied and lived in the Netherlands for almost 8 years, where I furthered my tertiary education with a BA in Tourism & Leisure Management, but as destiny would have it, my career took a very different path.
I am currently the Senior Brand Trade & Marketing Coordinator at Prime Distributors and the founder of both Kerai Kreative Style & Be Your Own Brand. Additionally, I have always considered community involvement and social responsibility crucial, and that is a flagship that I take with me wherever I go.
How would you describe yourself?
I consider myself to be a creative mind, and that has enabled me to thrive in creative spaces like marketing, branding, blogging, fashion and public speaking. Most people would describe me as energetic and bubbly, but also as a very outspoken and straightforward person who likes to deal with matters hands-on. I am solution-driven by nature, meaning that I do not focus on the problem but aim to find the solution as fast as possible.
As a creative, content creator and marketer, I have developed abilities to think outside the box, to generate innovative ideas, and to approach problems from unconventional angles. When I think of creating, I think of combining existing concepts, ideas, or elements in unique ways to produce something original and valuable.
Why did you start your fashion blog?
This blog is a tribute to every little girl and every teenager that has been bullied because of being over- or under-weight. It’s all about empowering, informing, and educating plus-sized Caribbean women (and beyond) like myself, to express themselves in any way they want and choose to – through style, beauty, and self-acceptance.
This enabled me to create a platform where women can find their TRUE voices. From a very young age, I knew I was never going to be your average-sized girl. Being from the Caribbean, where weight plays the role of highlighting chronic diseases, versus women’s confidence, I wanted to create a platform where it was clear that a woman’s intellect should never be defined by her size.
My mom was instrumental in helping me understand that this was the body that I had been given and that I had to learn to love it, accept it and ROCK the heck out of it! My sense of fashion and the risk that I would take as a “fluffy girl” would always leave people baffled and intrigued. They would always ask me where I shopped and how I put certain looks together as a big girl. I was bold, outspoken, intelligent, worthy, and fashionable – and I was ready to share that with the world.
Could you tell us more about your styling services?
I emphasize the fact that beauty has no SIZE. In 2020, I became a certified Personal Stylist. Understanding my niche was easy; I now wanted to be able to offer people advice that would enhance their inner confidence and project their external beauty!
As a stylist, I can work with women of different sizes. Because every woman in every size is beautiful, as a personal stylist, I can showcase that size diversity and inclusion are a MUST! We need to be able to dress and show real women, and this is what this blog is all about.
In addition to my styling services, I also recommend my most recent workshop: "How to Build Your Brand". This workshop focuses on understanding that whether it’s business or personal, how you represent yourself is an important factor to achieve success. On October 8, we had a full house where we discussed topics such as online presence, styling, core brand values and brand aesthetics. We ended the workshop with a photo session, where attendees got to upgrade their official head shots. This is always great for executives, entrepreneurs or simply to update current LinkedIn visual information.
What sort of events have you attended recently in your role as fashion blogger/ entrepreneur?
This past March, I was able to attend Cayman Island's Fashion Week in the capacity of event blogger and as a nominee for content creator. I not only got to represent our beautiful island, but I also got to meet some pretty amazing women in the fashion, hosting and women empowerment industries. I was able to be part of the hosting event, where I got to introduce panellists, event hostess, international models and America’s Next Top Model Cycle 4 Winner Naima Mora. I also met great fashion designers such as Kristen Frazer of Tortola-based brand Trèfle, Tortola; Adrian Alicea; and Paulette Cleghorn. It was an amazing experience!