This story is part of our 1,000 stories campaign. What’s your story?
Name: Kim Richards
Business: KDR PR, a PR firm connecting and promoting arts, sciences, and education organizations
Industry: Marketing & PR
Location: San Diego, California, U.S.
Reason for starting: I started KDR PR in March of 2011 because I was pulled to explore my passions for arts and education more deeply and to find ways to connect them with my career. After many months of networking in San Diego, I found that I could continue with my expertise in science communications and combine them with arts and education through an emerging movement in education known as STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math). I focus all of my work in education now and find that it’s an important niche in PR that is underserved. I never thought I’d become an entrepreneur and now I can’t imagine being an employee again.
How do you define success? Success means finding the balance between skill and passion in a career that is fulfulling and meaningful. In my mind, success does not equate to a certain dollar amount in a paycheck, but to the impact we create in the work we do. I have found in the 3+ years building KDR PR and STEAMConnect.org that if we let our passion lead the way, the rest will follow.
Related: STEM Entrepreneurship – Where are the Women?
Biggest Success: My biggest successes have been building my reputation as an expert in STEAM through my work at KDR PR, and growing STEAMConnect.org into a soon-to-be sustainable organization that has potential to expand all across the US. I didn’t set out to start a nonprofit organization when launching KDR PR, but in following my passion for the connection between arts, science and education, I discovered a need for deeper connections. STEAMConnect provides a much needed platform for STEAM related information and resources.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? My top challenge has been how to manage steady growth. Once I determined my focus in education and STEAM, it made identifying new business straightforward, but managing the growth and fluctuation in client base with employees and contractors is a continuing challenge. I’m fortunate to be a part of a supportive network for women, Hera Hub, where I’ve received advice from many different women, which collectively has helped me push through the challenging times and find creative solutions to move the business into a new level.
Related: Read about Felena Hanson of Hera Hub, another 1,000 Stories Entrepreneur, here.
Who is your most important role model? From an entrepreneurial standpoint, Felena Hanson has been an incredibly important mentor for me. She’s founder of Hera Hub and the one who gave me the push to get out of my former agency and start my own. Whatever challenge I come up against, she’s determined to help me find the resource of solutions to make change. I watch her continue to grow Hera Hub with very specific goals and it’s inspiring. It’s important for all of us to have mentors like her who push us to new levels.