Katrina Clayton talks building brands over brunch

Katrina Clayton is an example of the magic that happens when women are able to rise above private ambitions and come together to support one another. As a female in a male dominated field, Katrina started her own company, The Power Brunch Club, which mentors and helps women work confidently alongside their male counterparts.

Read our exclusive interview with Katrina to find out why she started The Power Brunch Club and how you can get involved.

What experiences helped shape the woman you are today?

I am a strong believer in the notion that everything happens for a reason, both the good and the bad. There are many moments that helped shape me but my faith, mentorship and the notion of “betting on myself” have undeniably helped me propel to where I am today. I grew up in a single- parent home and my mother rooted my brother and I in our Christian faith. As a youth, I never fully understood the depth of love God has for us all. Now as a 20-something-year-old, I am more in-tune with how God shows his unwavering love for us daily.

I become a little more fearless every day, I work as hard as I can, and I jump knowing that even if I fall there is still a lesson to be learned for next time. It’s also important to know that what’s for you will never miss you. Someone who truly understands this will have a more positive perspective on life when things don’t go as planned, which they never really do. In addition to my faith, mentorship is a very important piece of the puzzle that is my life. Without any of the mentors I’ve gained or sought after, I do believe that my mindset as well as my network would be very different than it is today.

Betting on myself is another piece of my puzzle. I have my moments where I underestimate how powerful it is to affirm that you believe in yourself and to be your own cheerleader. Something this small can take you so far.

Growing up did you experience any insecurities? If so, how did you overcome them?

Absolutely. I always thought that I was too tall, too dark, my hair wasn’t long enough, my skin wasn’t clear enough, I wasn’t skinny enough, and I was always a quiet child that never really believed in myself. I knew that I was talented. I could do so many things like draw, sing, dance and sew. I had a sense of fashion and started doing my own hair at a very young age. I loved to ice skate – and although I was very independent I never felt like I had enough support for me to succeed in any of these areas.

It took me a while to get to the point where I really loved myself and realized that God made me special and different for a reason. Overcoming insecurities is a process in itself that doesn’t happen overnight. I still struggle with some of those things but because I am fully aware of my purpose to help other women, my insecurities are not at the forefront of my focus.

What I will say is that with everything going on in the world today surrounding race relations, I appreciate the platform it has given the black community to fully embrace our culture including our hair, skin color, features etc.

What helped and is helping me overcome my insecurities are 1) mentors/ accountability partners: finding people who truly root for you, have your back and want you to succeed and 2) Starting the conversation: I began a Monday inspirational newsletter where I share my thoughts on different topics. Some of which I end up telling on myself. It always helps when I get that response email from a woman who can relate to my mistake, or thanks me for giving them a Monday “pick-me-up.”

with everything going on in the world today surrounding race relations, I appreciate the platform it has given the black community to fully embrace our culture

What inspired you to start The Power Brunch Club?

The Power Brunch Club started out of frustration, in all honesty. I was in a space at a job that I was good at, but wanted so much more. In my process of looking for guidance, I thought back to the many women who embraced me with open arms and lended their advice, tips, network and so much more. This is what helped me to further my network and I realized how much power there was in giving back.

I wanted to create a platform for women who don’t necessarily want to send a cold call or email, who may be amazing at what they do, but lack the mentorship. I also wanted to stress the importance of networking across and highlighting how important it is to build with those who are in the same position and level as you are. I think we tend to overlook that at times as we race to the top.

Additionally, being from New York City, I love the social aspect of brunch. I wanted women specifically to come together and truly build with one another so that we can help each other succeed in the male dominated industry of sports and entertainment.

What’s the best piece of advice can you give our readers who desire to follow your career path?

To the women who aspire to work in sports and entertainment, the best piece of advice I have is It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. People always stress that who you know is important but honestly if that person can’t speak for you and present you and your work to someone else, knowing them means nothing. A LinkedIn connection means nothing, one phone conversation doesn’t mean anything, neither does following them on social media.

Take time in building these relationships, and stray away from one sided networking where you use someone to get you to the next step. Majority of the time, the person who they knew better and could speak for more confidently is the one who got the opportunity. No one wants to look bad so make sure you are who you say you are and can prove yourself at any given moment.

Lastly, as a woman it is unfortunate to have to say this but your reputation proceeds you. If you want you work in sports, chances are there is a man out there who automatically thinks you just want to land an athlete. Let your work and your accomplishments speak for you, and be cognizant of your professionalism around celebrities, athletes, top level executives, peers, and pretty much everyone, at all times. You never know who is watching.

What are some events you have lined up for the Power Brunch Club and how can girls get involved?

The Power Brunch Club will have free professional development workshops from time to time in Washington, D.C. We are also planning a networking brunch for millennials this Fall. Additionally, our second annual DMV Power Women in Sports brunch will be in Washington, D.C. next Spring.

To learn more about these amazing events follow The Power Brunch Club on Instagram @ThePowerBrunchClub.