Karolina Wudniak’s journey began with a background in writing and journalism back in Poland. She started a travel blog along with her day job and fell in love with design work because it gave her a creative outlet. Upon moving to Canada, Karolina decided to dive deeper into freelance graphic design work and over time it became her passion. When she got a gig for designing book covers for a client, she knew she had found her calling. She launched Karolina Wudniak Book Design, and her story as a book designer began.
Karolina Wudniak Book Design specializes in book cover and layout design, bringing stories to life with minimalistic art. Karolina assists her clients not only with their book design needs but also works with small businesses, turning their long documents into visually pleasant reading experiences.
Karolina was dedicated to establishing her business when she moved to Canada; however, challenges began when the pandemic hit. Lockdown made it difficult for Karolina to meet people and build her network in a new country. Despite these challenges, Karolina was determined to make her business a success and was motivated by the need for flexibility while raising a young child. Through her research, she discovered WeBC and participated in a WeBC Peer Mentoring Group. Then, as she was growing her business and updating her website, she joined Discovery Foundation’s Strategic Mindset Program.
Within the program, Karolina found a safe and supportive environment to share challenges and connect on a deeper level with fellow entrepreneurs. The experiences and feedback from the group helped her and she implemented advice on strategies to grow her business.
The ability to join a supportive community was an irreplaceable experience for Karolina. It allowed her to bounce ideas off like-minded women and grow a network in her new home. Her journey reflects resilience, determination, and a willingness to embrace new opportunities despite the challenges of business ownership in a new country.
Q: Did you always see yourself being an entrepreneur?
A: I’ve never been an employee type. I think the longest I’ve worked for a company was about a year because I get bored quickly and need new challenges almost all the time. That’s why I love wearing all the hats I get to wear when working for myself. I also had my own business back in Poland, so I had some experience in the area before coming to Canada.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced owning your own business?
A: I think one of the biggest challenges I had was meeting new people. It was hard for me to get out there and be bold about what I do and what I can offer. Starting in the pandemic and without any connections in Canada didn’t make it any easier. I wanted to find not only clients but a community of like-minded people who are going through the same things. The WeBC programs I took were important milestones in building a stronger network and growing my support.
Q: What did the Discovery Foundation’s Mentoring program help with?
A: I had some marketing ideas that I was implementing in my business and while in the program I was redoing my whole website and adding some new offerings. I wanted to get feedback on the website, and new offerings from the group and I got a lot of great insights that I hadn’t thought of. It’s great to get a fresh perspective from other entrepreneurs, so getting a lot of eyes on my ideas from people with different backgrounds was very helpful.
The other WeBC Peer Mentoring Program I took happened to be a safe space to be vulnerable. I went deep into my internal blocks and imposter syndrome. All the support that I got from the other women helped me to start working on my internal blocks which resulted in more confidence that led to finding the clients I wanted.
These programs are amazing and worth the time. You can get a ton of support and new connections.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business, what would it be?
A: I would say it’s really important to have a community behind you. I was hesitant about networking because I’m an introvert. I thought I could work my way in the online space only. That’s why it took me much longer to come to the place where I am now with the business. I know now that if I had started networking from the beginning, I would have been here sooner.
Another piece of advice is to listen to your intuition. If your intuition tells you that this is something that will help you grow the business, it probably will. Trust yourself!