Pearl Spotlight: Kara Pendl

I am an artist and an entrepreneur! I believe those two things can coexist in a way that nurtures both, and I’m passionate about showing others how to build a thriving, creative business.

Next up in our Pearl Spotlight series is one of our Pearl Partners—Kara Pendl. Get to know her a little better with gorgeous photos by Jessica Santiesteban of Ideology Photography.

How do you define community and connection?

To me, community means genuine relationships, it isn’t something transactional, which is what traditional networking feels like. I believe you build a strong community by continually showing up in service of others, asking how you can help with their goals, dreams, and pursuits. Consistently showing up that way, will positively impact your life ten-fold. In my life, true connection means not having a boundary between work and personal life - being allowed to show up as your whole-self and accepted “as-is.”

How has being a member of the Whiskey & Pearls community impacted your life?

Ahhh, how I adore the Whiskey & Pearls community! This group of women epitomizes connection for me. When you join the community, there is an immediate acceptance from the collective, and a genuine interest in who you are and where you’re going. I can trace back huge leaps in my business to Whiskey & Pearls connections, and also on a personal level, where I have gotten some of the most support and encouragement for tough life experiences. There is something truly kismet and unique to this group of women, and I am honored to be a member!

You recently celebrated one year of working full-time on Karacotta Ceramics. What do you think has been your greatest lesson from this first year?

Hang in there! The first year was tough, I’m not going to lie, there was plenty of crying on the bathroom floor and questioning It was also beyond my wildest dreams exhilarating and fulfilling. I think it’s important to set the expectation that your first year is going to an emotional rollercoaster, and remember, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. The greatest lesson though, is to stay in the game, do not quit, even if you have to take the teeny, tiniest baby steps. I believe consistent persistence is possibly the only thing that separates success from failure.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I find a lot of inspiration in nature! That is where my current color palettes (Ocean & Desert) are derived from.

What has been the greatest advice you’ve received about running your own business that you have taken to heart and live by?

The greatest advice is from my dad, who always the famous battle cry “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead.” Essentially it means, it doesn’t matter what the competition is doing, you do you, and do you at 100%. I think this is super pertinent in the social media age, where it’s easy to get caught up in what other people are up to, and comparing where you’re at. But at the end of the day, it’s doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing - focus on your mission and goal. It also reminds me that every moment I’m looking at what someone else is doing, is one less moment I can spend strategizing and supporting Karacotta. Eyes on your own page!

If we get dreamy for a minute, what do you envision for Karacotta in the future?

I want to teach other artists how to have a thriving business. My strategies are thoughtfully and intentionally organized, and I truly believe anyone following my method can recognize abundance and success beyond what they thought possible. I’m working on a program right now, to be released in 2019, that shows you step-by-step how to have a lucrative, soulful-filling business!


  • What's your dream job?

  • Helping female, creative entrepreneurs make a million dollars!

  • Early bird or night owl?

  • Hmmm, I love getting up early and having a slow, full morning, but I don't naturally rise before 7:30/8A. I'm probably more of a night person — I don't mind staying in the studio until midnight!

  • What's your favorite hobby?

  • Recreational Movement — I love hiking, yoga, and biking, any time, any place.

  • Describe yourself in three words.

  • Fair, Inventive, Empathetic

  • What's your favorite PG-rated joke?

  • ​What nut has the worst allergies? Cashew!

  • What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

  • ​Alamo Drafthouse, Wednesday afternoon matinee, ordering the bacon-goat cheese-pizza and a beer. Something about being at a movie in the middle of the day, in the middle of the week, and eating a delicious pizza feels so good!!


I wanted to end the interview reiterating to hang in there, by writing a letter to myself last year.

Dear August 2017 Kara -

Wow! You just made the leap into Karacotta Ceramics full-time! I know you’re feeling really excited and very anxious - get used to those two feelings because they’re here for the long haul. I am SO proud that you were scared to do this, and truly did not have the ideal financial stability, but did it anyways - that is courageous bravery in a nutshell.

I want to encourage you to make a short list of the things that make you feel grounded and peaceful - cleaning the house, taking a long morning walk, journaling, etc. You are going to need this list on a daily basis, as everything else will be seemingly spinning out of control. Please maintain your basic self-care of exercising, sleeping, and eating vegetables - I promise you’ll work smarter when these are done.

This may be tough to hear, but you’re a little naive in your expectations for how quickly the business will grow. Don’t get me wrong, it WILL grow and exceed your goals, but it will be much slower in gaining traction than you’re thinking. I want to warn you about this, because missing the unrealistic expectations will be depressing, and make you question everything - hang in there.

Get clear on where you want the business to go. Say NO to projects that don’t feel right, and don’t feel guilty about it. Make space for the right projects to land on your plate. Keep challenging yourself with project concepts, pricing, and workload, you won’t believe how much you’ll expand in these areas this year!

Don’t forget to laugh at the absurdity of life. We are on a tiny planet flying through the universe, and I’m pretty sure you know your soul has been here before, and will go somewhere after. Things are going to get super intense over the next 12 months, and laughing as much as possible, will be the lynchpin to not losing your mind.

Last, you belong, you’re perfect as-is, and your products aren’t meant for everyone. I love you!


September 2018 Kara

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