I had the pleasure of interviewing Karine Delage, founder of Karyzma Agency.
Thank you so much for joining us Karine! Can you tell us a bit of your “backstory”?
Some kids from a young age simply have a calling. For me, it was a passion to communicate. It first became evident to me when I was only 8 years old growing up in Montreal. I started writing and reporting for the school paper and gained notoriety as the youngest journalist in Quebec. I was hooked. From that day on, I immersed myself in everything entertainment. I wrote for 7 Jours Magazine, developed a devoted following, and by the age 13, I was actively being sought out to cover important events such as the Grammys, the MTV Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and even Woodstock! I had become the little girl everyone was talking about. It was a flattering distinction, but I knew I still had much to learn. I enrolled at Concordia to study a double degree in Public Affairs and History. Ten years ago, Toronto was calling, and with it a stint at Canada’s most award winning public relations agency. This was an important move no doubt, as it provided the final foundation for allowing me to fulfill my real dream and open my own company. Today, the Karyzma Agency is a full service, multilingual public relations agency. Every day, I have the privilege of working with A-list talents, artists, and renowned brands. My experience has allowed me to delve into industries as diverse as Fashion, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Music, Film, Lifestyle, Media and Technology. And whether as a PR specialist, a Publicist, Project Manager, or Event Planner, I see my task with singular clarity: to help my clients do great things and build their brands. Just this year, I was honored to be named a recipient of the 2017 & 2018 Top 40 Under 40 award. I guess I’ve come a long way. But wherever my career takes me, I’ll never be very far from that little 8-year-old girl in Montreal who began this journey with a passion for communicating with others.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
The path chose me I didn’t pick the path. At 8 years old one day I decided to start doing an interview with talents on a rainy day and since then I just grew and never stopped. I just kept pushing to reach new goals each and every day. Almost 30 years later I’m still hustling and working on my kid dreams to make it better each and every day.
Can you share your story of Grit and Success? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
I learned everything on my own and my passion and perseverance for long-term and meaningful goals would define me. I faced tons of obstacles but I never gave up. I stuck with my vision and it’s been a big learning experience for the past 30 yrs of my life. I experienced difficulty and failure but that’s the roots of being a real entrepreneur. You never give up.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
It has to be in you. it’s easy to give up. I had that feeling a couple of times when things were not going the way I wanted. I wanted to stop everything but instead I took that setback as a learning curve and I’m grateful to have some people in my circle that have been there for me in good and hard times.
So, how are things going today? How did Grit lead to your eventual success?
As a entrepreneur I’m never satisfied so, the Grit is constant you need to have that fire that push you. Success isn’t a word that I like using because you can think you are successful and somehow you get thrown a curveball and what you thought was amazing isn’t so amazing anymore.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
No mistake is funny because it takes a toll on your ego but it’s a learning experience.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We are unique in how we do things. You stand out when you do things your own way and not do a copy and paste of someone’s business or way of thinking. I can say that Karyzma Agency has a unique thinking without holding back.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stop undercutting people and value the time and work that we all put in. It’s easy to get clients for cheaper than the competition but at the end of the day it will come back to you and bite you.
Clients need to respect you as well. You can have ten clients for a minimal price who don’t understand the work and effort that you put in which will create stress for you or you can have 5 that fully believe and understand the industry.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I learned everything on my own pretty much and many people cross my path and up to now are in my life and mentoring me and keep me grounded.
I think one of the most important things is to have people in your corner who will tell you what it is that you like it or not.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love teaching PR from time to time and do interviews so people understand the industry. There are so many misconceptions about PR because of how people portray it on social media and in general.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be ready for your life being a roller coaster, you never know what tomorrow hold
- You need to be strong mentally in order to avoid falling apart. There were times that I wanted to quit because things were going wrong and I had to have my people keep me grounded.
- There are a million people like you who want to succeed in your industry. You need to hustle non-stop, no days off.
- Have a game face at all times. You can’t show your emotions. You need to be neutral.
- It’s amazing to be your own boss but you need to be really disciplined and create a balanced lifestyle so you don’t over do it.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I want people to go back to the basics of communication and learn that social media isn’t what bring you happiness. We need to all have a more balanced life and have time for our personal life too.
In addition, I got 3 surgeries for cyst on my ovaries and women should be aware of the importance of having regular check ups.
For a long time I wasn’t taking care of myself properly and it threw me major curve balls.
How can our readers follow you on social media:
Instagram: @karinedelagePR & @karyzmaagency
Twitter: @karyzmaagency & @karinedelage
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!