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Meet Kelly Serrao

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Serrao.

Hi Kelly, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
After spending three years after college working at iHeart Radio HQ in NYC as a designer, I impulsively decided to quit my 9-5. I then spent the next three years helping build a start-up marketing agency, NOX Media, from the ground up and developing a successful freelance career.

In 2021, I spent four months interviewing for my dream job only to make it to the final round of interviews and not get the job. Ultimately, this made me make yet another impulsive decision and decided to move to Nashville without ever even being here, just got on a plane and moved into an apartment.

Fast forward to March of 2022, I have left NOX, and am now building my own Nashville-based creative studio, Kaize Kollective.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. People like to glorify start-up culture and the hustle without realizing how much work it actually takes. After quitting my 9-5 to help get NOX off the ground, I was trying to afford my upper east side apartment without a stable income, so 18-hour days became the norm.

I missed weekends with friends to focus on building something special and other parts of being a 20something living in NYC, which I had to put on the back burner in order to make it work. I now find myself in the same situation building something from scratch again.

You have to make sacrifices as an entrepreneur that not everyone wants to make. You’re gonna have to work 100-hour weeks minimum, it’s gonna suck but if it’s something you care about and really want to happen/something you really believe in, it will be worth it in a few years’ time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am an art director and graphic designer who has founded my own creative studio called Kaize Kollective. I specialize in music and entertainment as well as health and wellness.

I do everything from event branding to cover art to social content to email design and more. Here’s a full list: branding, cover art, creative direction, design & development, e-mail design, marketing design, merch design, packaging design, photography, print/OOH, social content, short-form video, videography/production, and more.

What separates me apart from others is my wide variety of experiences. I feel like most creatives find one niche instead of trying multiple things. Another big thing for me is that I really get to know my clients/artists I work with on a personal level as I feel that is the best way to produce the best work.

I am most proud of my new company and for taking a leap of faith to start my own thing by trusting my ability and knowing my passion.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
The quality that is most important to my success is both my work ethic and passion for what I do as well as my confidence and belief in myself.

I hold myself to a high standard because no one else is going to do that for me, and I think my ability to push myself to try to constantly do the best work I can is what has helped my career be as successful as it has been thus far.

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