Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Karina Bonitto.
Dr. Bonitto, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My burgeoning brand includes and extends beyond beauty, and is a reflection of everything I enjoy: health, beauty, womanhood, sharing and caring. My website (coming soon) and social media accounts are a supportive space for patrons to partake in content that is enriching, encouraging and engaging.
My story starts in 2014 when I began documenting my beauty and health regimen for my own benefit. I would make lists of what I was eating, my workouts, and skin and hair products I used. I was looking for correlations between what I was putting in and on my body and how I looked and felt. I did this for a few weeks but quit when I got distracted by school and discouraged by the absence of meaningful results.
Then, in February 2015, I cut off my 20+ inch relaxed hair in exchange for a teeny weeny afro – or TWA as it is affectionately called in the natural hair community. At that point, I saw myself more clearly… there was nothing left to hide behind. I took a look at myself and realized I needed to care for myself better and decided to take my health more seriously. I started working out, eating healthier and trying different styles with my hair as it grew. Playing in my hair was the most fun, and the longer and bigger my hair got the more interest it generated. Eventually, I found myself regularly answering questions and having lengthy discussions with strangers about my hair and even dispensing health/beauty advice.
In 2016, myself and two friends started blogging about our natural hair on instagram and youtube but it was incredibly hard to coordinate because we were all in graduate programs and lived in different states and so we decided to stop blogging. In late 2018, I decided to start blogging regularly and more intentionally again, this time integrating more of my health expertise.
It’s been great so far because I have received a lot of love, opportunity, and growth rather quickly. I hope to educate and inform my audience about the importance of healthcare as self-care. I’m incredibly excited about what the future holds, both known and unknown.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overwhelmingly, I would have to say yes it has been a smooth road, but I think that has more to do with my perspective than what has actually occurred else. Of course, there are ups, downs, and obstacles, that is the natural beauty of life, but I firmly believe that everything that has occurred in my life has been for my benefit. I may not see it at the moment, but it is always clear and obvious later down the line. This belief has made life feel easier.
Sometimes, it feels like I have two full-time jobs. I do not take the services I provide lightly and so I am very careful about what information I share because I want my audience to feel confident in the information and recommendations I provide. People will spend their money and put things in and on their body because of what I say and because of that, I have to be responsible… I owe it to them. I spend a lot of time researching and it can be difficult to manage at times but I will not sacrifice the quality of the information I share for the sake of growing my platforms.
My greatest challenge, though, has been living away from family and friends. I moved to Miami from NYC in the Fall of 2017 without any promise of a job or the comfort of my family and that was tough… It is tough. I miss my family intensely. Plus, it really sucks not having girlfriends to go to brunch with , haha.
My advice to women who are starting their journey is to be radically honest with yourself about your motives, intentions, and expectations and then extend that honesty to the people you work with and that support you. That is a major key! It’s how you ensure that everything is in alignment with who you are and how you maintain peace. Secondly, be kind, compassionate and patient with yourself because there will be times when things feel impossible or you may not be where you thought you’d be and that’s okay, just keep doing the work and moving forward. Lastly, focus on solutions, not problems that is the only way to move forward. Focusing on problems will only make things seem more dramatic and more impossible. Just keep going forward.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I like to say I’m a pharmacist by night (I work overnight) and a health and beauty advisor by day. As a pharmacist, my specialty is complementary and alternative medicines and I intend to integrate my expertise into my blogging work. Once my website is complete and ready to be published, patrons will find information regarding preventive health measures, scientifically supported alternative therapies and supportive treatments.
There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that a lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
When it comes to networking, the best thing you can do is be genuinely interested in people, network beyond your needs – you never know when a connection will come in handy.. People can always tell when you’re only talking to them because you want something from them or you’re not being upfront about your intentions and honestly, it’s gross. It’s okay to want something from someone, but be sure you have something to offer in return, and be honest about your intentions. Always do your research in advance about people you will meet at an event or want to network with, find common ground to break the ice and let it flow from there. Pro-tip: we all love talking about ourselves, let the other person do most of the talking.
As for finding a mentor the same rules apply as with networking. You can outright ask someone to mentor you or a connection you made through networking can organically develop into a mentorship. Either way, I think the most important thing is to be clear about your goals and not expect your mentor to coddle or spoon feed you anything. People like to help those who help themselves and no one wants to be a babysitter.
- Email: Contact.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dr.karinab
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE2RrkLWYrrUBGFlf-U7Djg