Kat Romanoff Founder of KROMAD, Kat Romanoff is dominating the design industry. Her design agency is working with some of the biggest brands within Canada and the USA. With her unique designs that never go out of style and her signature style, Kat is quickly making her way to the top. This week, we got the chance to ask her some questions about how it all began and where she sees herself going in the future.
BWR: What inspired you to go into graphic design?
Kat: My first computer, as a teenager, came with Photoshop. Out of boredom, I started playing around with the software. I eventually thought myself the basics of graphics. Needless to say that my school assignments were always the most professionally presented. In university, I enrolled in a bachelor of industrial design program at University of Montreal to become an aircraft interior designer. To make extra cash during my studies, I designed lots of flyers for restaurants and nightclubs. This side job led me to work in Los Angeles in 2011 on a Grammy after-event hosted by the late Hugh Hefner. Upon my return in Montreal, I began receiving more and more design contracts. Finally, in 2013 I opened my own branding and web design agency.
BWR: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur or is it something that just happened?
Kat: I always had a good example of female entrepreneurship through my mother, who’s been successfully juggling three businesses for as long as I can remember. I’ve seen, first hand, the pay-off of hard work and dedication, patience and honest management. I truly believe that it inspired me along the way. Founding KROMAD wasn’t an aspiration of mine growing up, but it has been the best decision of my professional life.
BWR: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment since you launched your graphic design company, KROMAD? What are you most proud of?
Kat: My biggest accomplishment since launching my business has been the realization that KROMAD has not only become a successful branding business, but most importantly a platform for female entrepreneurs helping them shape their business ideas into a visually tangible brand. Women, in particular, have been revolutionizing the online space through social media and e-commerce. I find enormous pleasure in working with ambitious people and helping them achieve their goals. Each successful business that I’ve been a part of through branding is what I am the most proud of.
BWR: There’s obviously a lot of competition in the design industry. With technology being the future, more and more people are offering their services in digital media and graphic design since there’s such a high demand for it. How do you manage to stay above competition? What sets you apart from others?
Kat: I feel like I’ve had invisible blinkers on for these past 5 years of KROMAD that prevent me from seeing to the side. I have never focused on my competition or even searched for it. Whenever I have to refuse a project due to schedule conflicts and get asked if there is anyone else I can recommend, I never know what to answer. Not because there are no other branding agencies out there. But essentially because I don’t know of any that mainly focus on female entrepreneurship. My team is also largely comprised of women. We all have faced, at one point or another, the struggles of female leadership. We can easily relate to anyone we work with.
BWR: What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them?
Kat: The most difficult task is figuring out what the client likes. Their style, what they want their brand to represent, but also suggesting variations they might not have thought of. This is when trust becomes the key element of our contract. We treat each brand we design for as our own. We deliver on time no matter what. At the same time, we try to be as available as possible for our clients.
BWR: Do you have any regrets? Is there anything that you wish you would have done differently?
Kat: I don’t have any regrets. I truly believe that everything has happened the way it was supposed to. I’ve learned from each mistake or failure, and embraced every hiccup that I’ve faced throughout the years because that is what solidified my business.
BWR: At BWR, we focus on women entrepreneurs. We understand the challenges that they face and the daily struggles compared to male entrepreneurs. Can you tell us generally speaking what it’s like to be a women entrepreneur?
Kat: I am grateful not to have faced some of the female entrepreneur struggles I hear about since the launching of KROMAD, such as pay inequality or degrading management. I have faced it during my university years though, while working with restaurants and nightclubs. Today, however, being a woman entrepreneur feels extremely rewarding and energizing, mostly because my clients and I empower each other every day. Supporting each other’s growth, whatever the market may be, raises our reign into forces to be reckoned with.
BWR: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What is your main goal?
Kat: I still want to be doing what I am doing today (with a larger team!). We currently have clients all over Canada, the US and South Africa. I would love to broaden our reach even more and work with women worldwide. This job has kept our schedules filled through word of mouth, but with the recent addition of our social media manager, Katrina, we have finally been showcasing our work on different social platforms (we’ve reached 500,000 monthly viewers on Pinterest in a month and a half). We are in the process of building a bigger team to be able to take on new accounts and more projects at a time. My goal is to keep collaborating with talented women from all walks of life.