Karli Henriquez, founder of Know Alias
Karli Henriquez has reinvented her career multiple times over, each time being guided by her gut and good business sense, and her latest venture is no exception. Henriquez is now the founder of Know Alias, a multicultural marketing agency that works to change how advertisers target the Latinx community.
“I would spend a large portion of my work week with creative agency leads attempting to identify the ideal product consumer, engage and filter influencers that best complimented the products mission statement,” explains Henriquez. “My colleagues respected and valued the insight I shared on the Latinx community. I knew then that I was offering more than just a strong keynote presentation, I was now educating them on a powerful consumer — the Latinx consumer. The beauty and power behind diversity inspired me to take a risk.”
The risk for Henriquez included leaving a career in corporate media and marketing to become her own boss and grow Know Alias with her co-founder, Marc De Jesus.
Since its inception she’s learned to manager her time, energy, and expectations in more thoughtful ways.
“In the past I would overwhelm myself and take everything on,” shares Henriquez. “The work I would give clients in return was not my best which would add a layer of dissatisfaction to the pile of entrepreneurship worries. Now, with practice, I have come to an understanding that I have to take care of myself first before I can help anyone else.”
Below Henriquez shares her biggest lesson learned so far, what her advice is for other Latinas looking to start their own endeavors, and why her mission is anchored in diversity.
Vivian Nunez: What has been your biggest lesson learned since starting Know Alias?
Karli Henriquez: Since starting my business I’ve become extremely good and knowing when to cut ties with partners. By nature, I’m a very loyal person and not everyone will deserve the commitment, knowledge and experience I bring to the table.
Nunez: What have you found to be the most difficult part of your transition into leading your own company?
Henriquez: Transitioning out of a fancy Director position was filled with fear and anxiety. I’m still living in fear and anxiety, being self-employed is certainly not for the weak. If I were to share the most, out of the many, difficult parts of being independent it would be the constant battle with your own conscious. I’m my biggest critic — a critic that assumes, sets boundaries and limitations for my own success. I’m a work in progress just like my evolving business and that is okay.
Nunez: What advice do you have for Latinas who want to make the jump and start a company of their own?
Henriquez: I would highly suggest taking that time to do some market research on the service or product your business plans to offer. This research will provide relevant data and insights, identify services that may bring more profit, and even help target your customer and competitors. Taking the time to do this will only give your business a stronger success story.
Nunez: Why is it important for you to work with clients that embrace diversity?
Henriquez: It is important for us to work with clients that understand the buying power and loyalty behind our community. When clients work with Know Alias, their investment will go back to local vendors, talent and entrepreneurs that come from diverse backgrounds — which only adds value and believability to the client’s brand, product, or campaign.
Nunez: Did mentorship play a key role in you taking this step?
Henriquez: My mentor understood my passion for the entrepreneurial world and challenged me to be self-disciplined and self-motivated. I was very fortunate to have had a mentor that was raised in a completely different environment than I was. My “no’s” were my mentor’s “why not?” And knowing that everything was possible with commitment and lots of work was all I needed to fuel my dreams. Know Alias has no other option but to try it’s very best.