Each month we showcase some of the fantastic stories our community of business owners and professionals have to share.
Over the past month or two, the team at Virtalent have been working intensively to support Karina Melvin, Founder of Artful Eating, who recently signed up to use the Virtalent platform. Over this period we are proud to have been able to accommodate all of her requests and truly support her in bringing her new course to market.
Karina has kindly taken the time out of her very busy schedule to participate in this exclusive video interview to give you a brief overview of her amazing new course and how we have been able to help her along the way. Enjoy!
Please introduce yourself and your business
I’m a psychologist and the creator of Artful Eating, which is an online programme to help people lose weight without dieting. It looks at the cause of people’s problems, their psychological struggles with food and their body. Its about changing your relationship with food and feeling good in yourself!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have my online programme but I also run a clinic here in Dublin, Sandymount Psychotherapy Clinic. I also write and am studying for a PhD in the School of Medicine. I have lots of different things going on so I don’t really have a typical day, but usually its dealing with emails, engaging in the different strands of my work, studying, working with clients and developing my online business. Oh, and also walking the dogs!
Why did you choose to work in your industry?
I chose to work in this industry because I’ve always had a desire to help people. I guess for me this is very much a vocation and setting up the online programme was a continuation of that. The idea behind Artful Eating was an opportunity to help more people get the message out there that you don’t need to diet, you don’t need to restrict the food that you eat, that you can enjoy food and you can still have the body that you desire. This is how I ended up working online, which was a really steep learning curve because I am not the most technically advanced person! It was such a struggle for a long time because everything seems so insurmountable at first, but when you have a team like Virtalent a solution is a simple email away. They have the skills there at your disposal.
What has been the biggest challenge since starting the business?
Moving from being a therapist and being caught up in theory, as opposed to the practical application of WordPress or MailChimp or any of these wonderful tools that are necessary for an online business, there was a very steep learning curve. Initially I tried to do everything myself but it just took so much longer. I suppose its about how you value your time – time is of a premium.
What is your ultimate goal for your business?
That’s a great question! My ultimate goal is to help people feel more comfortable in their bodies, to help people enjoy food and to help emancipate people from dieting and strict regimes that aren’t serving them. So that’s my ultimate goal. Its so helpful to have that purpose because I think otherwise I’d lose it sometimes simply because there’s so much involved in an online business. I’ve no desire to have a massive enterprise. I’m an entrepreneur, but number one I’m a psychologist and a psychotherapist. That’s my mission, so the business side of things online is all about reaching more people and helping more people. I’m not interested in running a business per se; I’m more interested in doing my work, so having Virtalent there to step in and do the things that I can’t do, I don’t know how to do or don’t have the time to do is really incredible.
How did you hear about Virtalent?
My husband! My husband saw me tearing my hair out one day. He recognised that I needed the help but also that I didn’t want to hire someone full-time. Fortunately, he had come across Virtalent in a newspaper. Admittedly, I was wary as I had used other virtual assistant platforms before and really had found them lacking. Fortunately when I started working with Sam, Ellie, Alex and the rest of their team I quickly realised they were very helpful and supportive.