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Conversations with the Inspiring Annette Kalla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Annette Kalla.

Annette, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all began when I was a child… I was that one kid who would always chose art over playing outside. I enjoyed being creative and creating something out of nothing. I would be curious about the various techniques used to create certain paintings, sculptures, and drawings. When I was younger, I would constantly draw up sketches of different things such as portraits of people, the scenery outside, and so much more. I couldn’t wait to go show my parents what I had created. I vividly remember my dad always telling me to use my skills and make it a career. The thought of pursuing a career in design was something I always thought about yet life took hold and things changed. At the age of 16, I decided to get a part-time job as a bank teller. I realized how much I enjoyed it and was good at it and ended up working in the finance industry for a little over ten years. I realized over time that I just wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing and not loving it as much as I used too. My boyfriend, who is in the tech industry, introduced me to ways in which I can incorporate all the art, design, and creativity that I love so much to all things tech-related. That’s when I decided to take the jump and leave the finance industry and enroll into UCSD’s Coding Bootcamp. There, I learned how to code with multiple different languages but most importantly, create! I felt motivated and excited when I noticed how I have the capability to create a users vision to reality. I’ve thus far created multiple sites where I was able to showcase my creative side. After Bootcamp ended, instead of looking for a job I decided to start my own business. With a couple of months of brainstorming, Honey & Hive was born. I’m so thankful and happy for where it has gotten in just a few months, and how many people have already recommended me to others. This just further fuels me to continue pushing myself and chasing my dreams. There is still much more I hope to achieve for myself and my business. I know this is just the beginning and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.

Has it been a smooth road?
Life is about taking a chance; learning and growing. Has this been a smooth road for me? To be honest, it has not. I remember multiple times where I made myself stay in the job I wasn’t happy with because it was comfortable and I was afraid to make a change for myself.

Some struggles I have come across was trying to find out where to start. I knew I had a vision that I wanted to achieve but always got stuck when I tried to make a move or even begin. When I did make the move, I had many failures and at times I wanted to stop and go back to being “comfortable.” However, it takes a lot of time and patience with an added push to do what you set your mind to.

My biggest advice for other women would be to do what you love and just try! Honestly, even if you think you can’t quit the job you hate at this very moment because you need the money or are afraid, then just TRY, take that chance. Begin with baby steps. I promise you, once you feel the wheels turning beneath you and you know that you are that much closer to achieving what you’ve always desired or dreamt of, you’ll see that it was worth all the struggles you had to get through to get there.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Honey & Hive story. Tell us more about it.
I’m a full-stack web developer specializing in web design. If you need someone to build and create your website, I’m your girl! I pretty much use a range of tools and customize my work towards what my clients need. For example, if a client needs me to simply build their site using basic code such as: HTML/CSS, Javascript, React, etc. I have the skills to get the job done! I also have a ton of experience working with a WordPress site, Squarespace or WIX. I like to fully understand what my client expects for their website so that I can make it as personalized as they want and turn their vision into reality with the help of UI/UX. All websites should be unique so that the user gets a little glimpse into the personality of the business.

What I am most proud of as a provider, is that I can help others build their vision for their site using endless amounts of creativity and resources. I like to think that I have a creative eye when it comes to aesthetics and details. With that, Honey & Hive is all about catering to the customer’s vision and ensuring that they are ultimately proud of the final development, provided to them with excellent customer service.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
Remember why you started, remember what began that drive. Continue trying and investing and remember that all the long hours and stress right now are only temporary. All that hard work will not go to waste, whether it be to gain experience to better yourself in your career or learning about who you are and what you actually want to gain out of your career. As a young woman just starting your career, remember to not allow fear to stop you from second-guessing what you want out of life and go and take those risks! When’s a better time than starting now? Be yourself, find your focus and be confident! Like Sheryl Sandberg said, “There is no straight path to where you are going.”

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Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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