Keva Epale
Keva Epale, founder of Keva Epale Studio. (Credit: Courtesy of Keva Epale Studio)

Keva Epale spent 5 years working as a graphic designer before she decided to start up. She also lived abroad in Copenhagen for a time, where she immersed herself in the startup world of another country. Once she returned home to Paris, Epale combined the knowledge gleaned from her time away with her knack for crafting compelling imagery to launch branding and storytelling firm Keva Epale Studio – and she hasn’t looked back. Today, the French founder offers brand consulting services to businesses, and storytelling courses that creatives and solo entrepreneurs can participate in, so they can one day take on the work themselves. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

Within my studio, you will find content creation that thrives in digital spaces. I also offer brand consulting services, which more directly address the pain points brought forth by creatives and entrepreneurs. 

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Organizing the FieldTrips event for Creative Mornings. It was a great success – I received many positive responses – as well as a significant surge in my email subscriptions and product downloads – that confirmed the relevance of my work in this competitive market. 

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

Getting more clients. The solution is emphasizing that I have the ability to serve many with a single tool. I already have a sales process and system that enables people to purchase my design work without requiring any additional effort from me. And by being more visible, people can more easily discover my work.

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?

Switching from culturally focused work to branding and storytelling was not an easy task. My previous identity as a graphic designer, and the work attached to it, both had to shift. What I do now and what I used to do is night and day.

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Put money aside, if possible. You can start building a side hustle while working in a 9-to-5 job. Then, once you dive in, find a mentor as soon as possible, and relocate (if you can) to an environment that will support your growth. And, surround yourself with people who understand what you are doing.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

Past victories and comments from clients or readers help. But mostly, I read “The Vision” by Tom King daily!

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days? 

I have two: “Doin’ It Right” by Daft Punk and “Congratulations” by Ada Ehi.

Who is your most important role model?

My higher self. Also speakers, entrepreneurs, and creatives who have achieved levels of success that I aspire to, such as writers Bob Proctor and Zig Ziglar, Dutch designer Irma Boom, Swiss explorer and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard, and Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of MindValley. ◼

Instagram: @kevaepalestudio

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