Welcome to Do It Scared™ podcast! In every episode of this podcast, we’ll talk about how to face your fears, overcome obstacles, and create a life you love! Today’s guest is the inspirational Katie Driscoll, founder of Changing the Face of Beauty. Katie has changed the way that the beauty and fashion industry thinks about including people with disabilities in their advertising campaigns.
As a mom of six kids, Katie is used to thinking about future opportunities for her children. When her final child (and first daughter) was born with Down syndrome, she found that she needed to create those opportunities rather than look for ones that already exist. She did this through advertising! Almost seven years ago, Katie pulled out her camera, got in touch with small Etsy vendors, and started taking promotional pictures for these vendors featuring her daughter.
Katie noticed during this process that the disability community was nowhere to be seen in back-to-school advertising campaigns. That’s how Changing the Face of Beauty was born! The company advocates for the inclusion of the disability community in advertising. Katie explains how this is a win-win for both the disability community and for small businesses, who have the opportunity to tap into an enormous consumer base. In fact, the disability community is the largest minority in the world.
In the beginning, it was a struggle to get companies on board. In 2015, though, Katie managed to convince over 100 companies to commit to featuring at last one person with a disability in their advertising. While this was a fantastic first step, many of these companies withdrew their support once they were asked to contribute financially. With just four company partners left, Katie needed to rebuild.
Katie used to think that if something didn’t go the way she wanted or expected, it was a failure. Recently, her perspective has completely changed. Life, she points out in our conversation, is about failing forward. Each “failure” offers a gift, whether it’s creating connections, teaching you that you need to do something differently, or even making you a stronger person and a better leader.
Tune in to learn about all of these topics, as well as the pivotal moments that have assured Katie that she’s on the right path, why it’s so vital to surround yourself with cheerleaders who will keep telling you that you can do it, the most valuable piece of advice that Katie has ever received, and much more!
[04:47] – Katie introduces herself and explains how she got into doing her work in transforming the beauty and fashion industry.
[06:42] – We hear more about Changing the Face of Beauty, and what it does. Katie also talks about when and how she started the organization.
[11:43] – Katie’s daughter, Grace, was in an advertising campaign by Walgreens.
[12:47] – How have the media, other people, and families with kids who have differences responded to what Katie has been doing?
[15:03] – Katie talks about whether there was a specific moment that she decided she was all in with this purpose.
[17:52] – We hear about the second pivotal moment in Katie’s journey.
[20:06] – After having over 120 companies participating, the list dropped all the way down to four once financial commitment was involved.
[21:04] – Ruth has heard very often from moms who write in and say that they just don’t know how to start a business or turn their passion into something more.
[23:04] – What would Katie tell someone who has an idea or passion, but doesn’t know where to start?
[25:14] – Katie talks about some of the hardest lessons that she has learned throughout this process, and her perspective on failure.
[28:25] – Ruth shares some words of wisdom from her husband: “even if it goes badly, it won’t be the worst mistake you’ve ever made.”
[30:11] – What is Katie working on right now that has her really fired up?
[32:47] – Katie talks about whether there’s resistance to what she’s doing from talent agencies, and where that resistance is coming from.
[34:49] – We hear more about Katie’s headshot clinics, as well as an event in San Diego.
[37:31] – How old was Katie’s daughter when Katie started working on all of this?
[40:27] – Katie shares the best piece of advice that she has ever received, and why it was so powerful.
[44:04] – Does Katie have any final words of wisdom? Also, where can people find her?
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