From a young age, we are taught that we need to decide what we want to be in life and work towards it from as early as our school days. Whether we are encouraged to have grand ambitions like a rocket scientist, a brain surgeon, or the President of the United States, an idea is instilled in us that we must choose our vocation and stick to it.
But now more than ever, that idea is changing as we are not only encouraged to have side hustles, but changing careers is something looked upon with admiration and respect of the bravery required to take the leap.
For one business woman, choosing just one professional or creative outlet wasn’t an option. Los Angeles based brand owner, entrepreneur and singer Ekin Ozlen has firmly established herself in the worlds of both business and music, not independently of each other, but in a fusion of creative forces.
Ozlen is the founder of the beauty brand Keracell, a hair and skin care line that uses human stem cell extract and CBD, the only brand putting these into one product. But the business owner found herself almost accidentally in the beauty world. She started making the Keracell products in an attempt to cure her step mother’s ailments, but in this process she discovered a formula that was currently unmatched in quality and unlike anything else available in the beauty industry.
However, the Turkish born, Florida raised brand owner actually first found her feet as a prestigious Ford model in New York, starring in high profile campaigns including branding for Target. But soon she discovered modeling had a shelf life that would require her to transition into another career. “It was wonderful, but I’m an artist, I’m a creative person,” she explains. “I really needed somewhere to drop my creativity. And modeling wasn’t really giving that to me.”
After this realization she would dabble in the music world, finding herself inspired by the poetic lyrical abilities of Brooklyn based hip-hop artists. She taught herself how to sound engineer and used a personal book of poems to explore her own experimental sound. Her first song, ‘Turkish Delight’, featured well-known Turkish rapper Cihan Ozdemir.
After the realization that music was where her heart was at, her venture into the business world brought some uncertainty. But Ozlen soon discovered what she cites as the most interesting thing that’s happened in her career. “I didn’t need to stop doing music to be a business owner and to have a successful and thriving beauty business, I was able to converge the two and to make them successful and even more successful together than they were separately. That’s been, I think, the greatest realization and the greatest shock or surprise to me.”
This was a turning point in Ozlen’s career when she discovered that her hard earned success in these respective industries had gifted her with the potential to create her own personal brand as well as a business one. Not to mention, she also has a psychology degree to add to her impressive resume. Ozlen started to feature her Keracell products in music videos, a way to market her brand in a combined package of music and performance.
In 2019 she released the song La Noche featuring Grant Kempt, Black Mattic and Idrise, and featured Keracell’s liquid gold enriching elixir. And just a few months ago she released “Where You At” with acclaimed Mexican singer and actor Vadhir Derbez, featuring world renowned DJ & rapper Roxy Ferrari. She sponsored it with her own line of CBD hand sanitisers, aptly filmed in downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the pandemic.
In life we are all striving for balance and contentment. Investing too much emotional energy into one thing often leads to burn out and leaves us wanting something different. We all know the dangers of all work and no play, but one simple way to ensure joy and long term happiness is taking advantage of all our skills, passions and interests – working both sides of the brain and engaging in the analytical and the creative. As Ekin Ozlen said of her own dual passions, “I didn’t know how to separate the two, I only thought of them as being joined and they would be stronger together.”