Kara Pendl is the owner and artist behind Karacotta Ceramics, and the co-owner of BFREE YOGA. When she's not blissfully covered in mud, you can find her practicing handstands, reading in the sun, drinking coffee and chatting goals & strategy with other female entrepreneurs.
She earned her Marketing degree from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, before moving to her current hometown of Austin, TX in 2009. As her entrepreneurial career began to unfold, she cut her community-building teeth with brands like lululemon athletica and TOMS Shoes, by supporting new retail developments across the US. During a 200-hour yoga teacher training program in 2011, she co-founded a software start-up called The Yoga Recipe, which created custom class sequencing for fitness professionals. After a series of soul-searching events in 2014, she decided to pursue her life-long passion of creating ceramics, while concurrently flexing her business acumen with the yoga studio operations and marketing.
Kara is inspired by real-talk, believes everyone is a creative at heart, chooses friendship over networking and is most alive when she's in close proximity to an ocean or body of water.
What rocks your bliss?
Creating and making things! One of my all-time favorite quotes is "To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it." - Kurt Vonnegut- and I believe it so powerfully! It doesn't matter if you show your art to everyone or no one, or if your art is cooking, painting, raising a toddler, running a yoga studio, etc - there are a million ways to express creativity and it need matter just to you. The most important thing is that you recognize you are (as everyone is) a creative cosmic gem-stone and you lean into that on a regular basis.
Describe your perfect day.
I wake up in a love cocoon next to my twin-flame with no alarm and ocean waves in the background. We kick off the day with a light breakfast, reading, meditating in the sun then I'm off to create in my airy, light-filled, super-organized Karacotta home studio. After I'm satisfied with my creative output, we bike ride to an outdoor adventure with friends. The afternoon wraps up with a margarita, live music and deep belly laughs. Dinner is under the stars and full of fresh, organic produce, delicious wine, close friends and real conversations. The evening ends with a full heart, snuggling at the campfire, and giving thanks for this radiant day!
When do you feel most creative and alive?
Logistically, I feel most creative and alive in the earlier morning and late evenings, so I try to get to the wheel by 8a or after 6p. Since I know that about myself, I try to structure my days with creative, tangible output before lunch, and then admin/email in the afternoon, and when I'm really in the flow or inspired, I'll go back to throwing after dinner.
Spiritually, I feel most creative and alive when I'm throwing for fun and not for a commissioned project or to fulfill an order - although I love that piece too -keep the orders coming! ;) - sitting at the wheel with an open agenda and playing with the clay...something about the fact that it's a natural material of this earth, and you can truly feel that energy....I never know what's going to be produced and that is so exciting and beautiful.
Share a huge goal you are rocking.
Phew - this is the year of goals on goals! Here we go: I work at Karacotta full-time by Dec. 31, 2017. This may not seem like a lot as it's a short sentence, but quite a few pieces need to fall into place for this very-special transition to happen, and nothing sounds better to me than fully supporting my life through my art!
If you could get on a plane right now, where are you going?
Do I get extra seats? I do love traveling solo and think everyone should, but I'm also a HUGE family person and would love to grab my best friends and lover in Austin, then jet-set up to Wisconsin to scoop my whole family and take off for a giant house on a beach where we can just hang and laugh for the weekend.
How do you handle setbacks?
I can be stubborn, so I will sit alone with my emotions until I can really articulate what I'm feeling, then I like to hash out the situation with a few trusted ears and/or a journal...I'm an advocate of staying solution-focused, so I usually make my plan to move it forward relatively quickly and then slay that.
If that logical approach doesn't work, I have yet to find a problem that seems as bad after a heavy sweat-session, glass of wine and night of sleep.
How do you come home to yourself?
My mom taught me HALT when I was little - it's an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Late or Tired to help you identify what might be going on if you're feeling off and I use it all the time. If I catch myself complaining or getting irritated I run through HALT and more times than not, I just need a nap or a snack, which is really just self-care in the most basic way.
What are 3 ways you rock the self LOVE?
1) I really listen to my self-talk and monitor that shiz! You gotta be your own best advocate.
2) I'm a lady who loves a good spa day, so I've built that into my week and budget - it's not the whole shebang every week, but once a week, usually Tuesdays, I'm definitely getting a mani/pedi, having acupuncture, getting a trim, taking an hour for a latte and a fiction novel, etc.
3) I surround myself with loving, creative, badass women - the saying is true, you are the company you keep!