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Hayley Peters
Instagram Gal Gang - Karen Vivarelli Design

Instagram Gal Gang – Karen Vivarelli

Instagram Gal Gang

August 7, 2018


We decided to start a little Instagram Gal Gang interview because we have such a beautiful community of gorgeous ladies who are just KILLING it in business (and especially Instagram). We thought it would be great to share their journey and highlight a few tips and tricks along the way!

We met the lovely Karen online probably over a year ago when we started embarking on our business journey, and we just ADORE her beautiful sense of design style, her unique ability to come up with fresh ideas and her valuable content. We couldn’t live without her monthly content calendars, they are FULL of goodies, such as International Ice Cream Day!

Hope you love the interview we did with Karen and take away as many gems as we did!

Question 1. So tell us, what was the lightbulb moment that made you decide to embark on your biz owner journey?
I’ve always been searching for that ‘thing’ that was bigger and better than what I was doing in my mundane 9-5.  I knew in my heart that I wanted to do more with my life, to feel a sense of purpose and to ultimately help people.   I suppose the real lightbulb moment was when I was made redundant from my part-time job (I was juggling babies and a city job at the time). That was enough of a push to get me started in researching how to become a VA! And wow was there A LOT of research and DIY that went into it!
Question 2. What have been your biggest struggles, and your biggest accomplishments with owning your own biz so far?
My biggest struggles would have to be the constant juggle of business and babies (or little girls now) and the fact that there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. With that said, I’ve learnt from it all and I now have a really good system in place with boundaries. I’m not a ‘yes’ person to every single enquiry, and I don’t try to do work and be with my girls at the same time.  I have to choose… I either work on my business or spend time with the girls, I can never fully commit to either when I’m doing them simultaneously!.

My biggest accomplishments are having the flexibility to work when I want to. I’m not asking anyone for time off or calling in sick.  I’m in control and that makes me happy! I’ve also met some pretty ah-ma-zing businesses on Instagram – there is such a supportive community out there – LOVE!

Question 3. What is something that you wish you could tell young, blissful early in the biz days you? Something other biz owners could learn the easy way!
Put yourself out there and meet other biz owners in real life who can relate to your biz journey.  I’ve met some amazing people from the beginning who are now so important to me. And I’ve also met some incredible people online but that I haven’t met in the flesh yet, I’m thinking I’ll need to make a trip to the other side of Australia soon.

The other thing I’d tell my young, blissfully unaware self is that it all seems overwhelming and daunting when you start but if you take one step at a time, you’ll look back in amazement at how far you’ve come. But to get started you’ll need to constantly top yourself up with determination, perseverance, motivation, drive, and above all wine!

The biggest tip I can give new biz owners is to surround yourself with incredibly supportive people both in your personal life and business life. It only really needs to be one person!  You’ll need those special people who have got your back, but most of all you’ll need to believe in yourself.

Question 4. What would you say makes your brand stand out from the noise?
I’m hoping my kick-@rse design skills on Insta – I do love getting creative for myself and for my clients.  I would also hope that I stand out as someone who genuinely cares about helping people. I get a kick out of making a positive difference in someone’s life, no matter how big or small.
Question 5. Now we specifically LOVE the way that you do your beautiful custom design, are there any tips of the trade that you’re willing to give away that might help others nail theirs too?
I use a whole suite of Adobe software to create my posts and animations.  One of the best iPhone apps to create Stories with is called Unfold – check it out. You can easily create some gorgeous layouts with your videos and photos.  I’ve also released an Instagram Stories and Lives Guide with lots of tips and tricks and apps.
Question 6. Holla to some Instagram accounts that you admire and why? We love to look for new inspo!
@jasminedowling – Jasmine Dowling has got me pretty good with every single thing she does… 😍design, colours, artwork, stories, blogs… just everything ok!

@readcity – Danielle is one of my all-time fave gals.  Not only do we do a lot of collabs together, she’s just an amazing person. Not sure what I’d do without her in my life.  And the funny thing is that we’ve never met IRL! 2019 might be a date with destiny ✨

@villamanagement – if you haven’t come across Brooke then you’re missing out. She’s so much fun and I love her crazy funny stories where she pranks Dom!😂

Question 7. What’s something that triggers you about social media?
Insta Bots are number 1 of course!  

And because I help manage my client’s social media accounts, I know how much time and energy goes into setting up strategies, creating content, crafting captions and so on…. so when I see another account ripping off someone else’s work – image and caption – that is just so unprofessional and icky!

Question 8. What’s one design rule that you think was made to be broken?
Hhhm this is a hard one!  But as they say, rules are always meant to broken and the ones who usually do the rule breaking… start a trend.  Be creative and think outside the box!
Question 9. What’s the biggest misconception about what you do and how do you address it?
That being virtual means I work 24/7 like a zombie 🧟‍♀️  Now that I work with people all over the world, it’s important to set boundaries and let them know how we’ll be working together, what my office hours are and the likely turnaround of communication.  

I have had one new enquiry come in on a Friday night while I was enjoying some downtime with the family. I didn’t respond and got several emails checking if I’d gotten their information all night long. So it’s important to switch on your email out of office and let clients know when they can expect a response.

Tip alert… if I need to reply to emails at night, I use the Boomerang app to schedule them to send in the morning 😉

Question 10. What’s the craziest request (good or bad) you’ve ever had from a client?
I haven’t had any crazy requests from clients.  I’m super lucky that all of my clients have been so lovely.  Another perk of my job and why I love it so much.
Please share the best way our lovely readers can find you:


Instagram: @karen_vivarelli

Facebook:  @karentheva

Pinterest: @karentheva

LinkedIn: @karenvivarelli


THANK YOU again for being so generous with your time! We appreciate it so much!


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