Rise’s Radical Renegade is a monthly series featuring interviews with trailblazing career mavens. Today we talked to Whitney Berkowsky, CEO of Otto & Berk – a company for the modern women seeking to create memories through bold and beautiful cards.
I hope to show him that with passion and hard work, anything is possible.
Why did you start your company and what motivates you every day?
Originally I started my business as a creative outlet while I was working my 9-5 job. Making my son proud is what motivates me each and every day. I hope to show him that with passion and hard work, anything is possible.
What are some of the major lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Weddings aren’t for me. It’s okay to try new things within your business, that’s how you find your niche.
Tell us about a setback you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
My fear of failure has been a huge setback. I have been working a PT job for the last 2.5 years so that I don’t have to put pressure on myself to bring in income for my family. A recent scare of possibly needing to leave my PT job showed me that my passion for my business is so much stronger than I originally imagined and that I am capable of being a fearless entrepreneur.
What advice do you have for women who feel stuck in their careers?
Follow your passions and work will follow.
We all know how difficult work/life balance is. How do you draw the line to create separation in these two spheres?
This has been a huge struggle for me as I work from home with my 2 year old. At the moment, I don’t have a balanced life. Some days I spend most of my time with my son and get a little bit of work done once he goes to bed, and some days I hire a babysitter so I can get work done. I am hoping to create more balance in my day to day but for now I am okay with the ebb & flow.
We love to support women-founded ventures. Is there a company/product that you’ve come across recently that you think more people should know about?
Emily Roggenburk is a clothing designer based in Cleveland, OH. She has a weekly “One of A Kind” Collection where she screen prints on used clothing from the local thrift store. She sells out every week!