SARATOGA SPRINGS — Last year was a big one for Kelsey Cornell and Katy Koval with the launch of KaKe Marketing.
Their new firm aims to increase sales for clients by managing social media accounts and websites as well as designing new promotional material.
Cornell and Koval met while working at The Wine Bar on Broadway before leaving to work together once again at Sports Illustrated Play, an online sports registration software company on Division Street.
For Cornell, launching her own company gave her the ability to work for herself from home.
"I like the freedom of working on my own," she said. "I knew there was a need for our services in Saratoga Springs, and everyone was really encouraging about it."
Koval said being located in the Spa City has helped the company tremendously.
"Networking in Saratoga is unreal," she said. "The number of people you meet and make connections with is amazing."
Cornell added, "It's a big town, but it's small at the same time. Everyone knows each other."
Q: Why decide to go into business together?
Cornell: We both have different skill sets and interests, so one can offer something that the other can't. Her interests are complemented by mine, and by combining our skills we can offer clients the full portfolio of digital marketing instead of saying "I can't do that."
Koval: When we were at The Wine Bar, we were doing event planning and social media, and Kelsey was doing the menus, so this is kind of the same thing, but more diverse.
Q: What's it like working together?
Cornell: It's easy, because we're friends and we've worked together in multiple settings, so this is just a new setting.
Koval: It's been cool to teach each other all aspects of the business, so if we want to take on our own personal clients, we could.
Q: What industries are your clients in?
Cornell: It's all over the place, with everything from a boutique to a welding supplier. We thought going into it [that] we'd find our niche and focus on that, but you can't be picky in the beginning. We've gotten into industries that we're not familiar with, but digital marketing is digital marketing. Almost all of them want social media management, which is something we didn't expect. When someone calls us for social media management, it's a good segue into working on more things with a client by asking how their email marketing and website are.
Q: How would you describe the marketing industry in the Capital Region?
Cornell: When we were doing research on how to brand ourselves, we found a lot of marketing companies that are small like ours. It's nice to have small marketing firms to collaborate with and help each other out. I was surprised how many people there are like us, with one or two people breaking away and starting their own thing. How we set ourselves apart is by being a one-stop shop and offering every service.
Q: What keeps you passionate about marketing?
Cornell: For me, it's the freedom to be creative. Nothing is spelled out for you in this industry, and it takes a lot of research and coming up with your own ideas.
Koval: It's fulfilling to work so hard on a project and have a client love it as much as you do.
Q: Where would you like to see the company in the future?
Koval: Our goal is to take on more long-term clients. We've done a lot of projects, so it would be nice to have consistent work.
Cornell: I'd like to land a larger client, which would help us be able to hire our own employees. Right now, we have enough work for ourselves, but it would be nice to hire interns and other employees. It would also be fun to open another office in a place similar to Saratoga Springs that has the same local, small-town feel.