“I started writing stories when I was 9 after reading my first Enid Blyton.
Plus my dad was an English teacher too. So it was natural that I took to language the way I did.
Everything that I’ve done in my life has revolved around communication
because to communicate well is to persuade, impact and influence.”
From Copywriter to Content Strategist
While other girls were dreaming of Barbie dolls, Krista’s proudest possession at 11 years old was a second-hand typewriter which she used to type up poems and stories.
At 16, she knew what she wanted to become – a copywriter! Back in the 80s, her teachers were puzzled because they didn’t know what a copywriter was!
Armed with excellent STPM results, she applied to Universiti Sains Malaysia to study Mass Communication, drawing raised eyebrows even from her lecturers themselves because she could have qualified for Law (in Universiti Malaya). She majored in Journalism and minored in English. A few years later, Krista returned to her alma mater to study for her Master’s Degree (English Language Studies) – “just for the fun of it!”
As co-founder and partner at Redbox Studio, Krista directs and manages the content strategy for the company as well as for their loyal clients. She also consults, speaks and trains from time to time.
“My forte is in uncovering what businesses do best and writing about them with humanity and heart. Copywriting is truly about knowing marketing and psychology and using it for good. I love knowing that the words I’ve written for clients are helping them attract clients as well as search engines and give their businesses the added oomph,” Krista says.
“My biggest peeve is lousy language that’s called content on most poorly designed websites. People need to respect content because content is powerful and persuasive when done right. The right stories can influence people and change lives and it can be used to help small businesses market better.”
What do you do when you can’t find a group to meet your needs? Well, you set one up!
That’s how Krista co-founded WomenBizSENSE in 2006, a networking group for women entrepreneurs, with her good friend, Josephine. Today, WomenBizSENSE is a much recognised organisation in Penang for women in business. She has been its president from 2012 – 2016 and is currently its adviser.
Her idea of setting up the group to bring small business owners together didn’t go unnoticed. For her contribution, Krista was one of the 18 Malaysian women who were nominated for the Great Women Of Our Time Awards in 2008 organised by The Malaysian Women’s Weekly magazine.
“I’ve always been involved with women and women’s issues, even as an undergraduate,” Krista acknowledges. “I’m a big feminist at heart!”
In 2009, she spearheaded Redbox Studio’s pro bono involvement in the design and development of the international website for The Pixel Project – a global campaign aimed to raise awareness about violence against women as well as raise US$1 million for the Women’s Aid Organisation Malaysia & the USA’s National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Optimist at Heart
“I am an optimist and I love encouraging people to always look at the bright spots in their lives. Far too many people don’t get cheered on and have too many naysayers in their lives. I love being the bearer of good hope – when people can see the future as sunny, they can start looking forward instead of looking back!”
The Accidental Entrepreneur
She calls herself an “accidental entrepreneur” because she never dreamt of being one! She fell into it by accident because she didn’t know what she wanted to do when she completed her Master’s degree. She decided to join Nic in the web design and marketing business and realised she quite enjoyed meeting people, marketing and most of all, helping others.
She’s spoken at events such as:
- 2011 Global Entrepreneur Week
- 2006 & 2007 KDU College
- 2008 Penang Tech Conference
- 2012 MAD Incubator DARE Biz Start
- 2012 USM Industry & Community Advisory Panel
- 2014 PSDC Women’s Forum
- 2015 Penang Institute Women & Work Forum
- 2015 The Incitement
- 2016 Piktochart WebCamp
- 2016 INTI College (MBA class)
- 2016 Women Entrepreneur ROCK Day
- 2016 Women Entrepreneurship Seminar (Pulau Tikus)
- 2017 Penang Women Chamber of Commerce
If you’d like to invite her or Nic to speak on topics such as entrepreneurship or marketing, please contact them.
Inspired by Lean In
In October 2013, she was among the top 30 women invited to Penang’s first ever Lean In @ Penang, a workshop based on the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. She became one of the facilitators for the second Lean In @ Penang workshop at Hard Rock Hotel in July 2014 and a Lean In Roundtable observer in October 2014.
She was also privileged to moderate a panel discussion which featured Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir at the Women’s Development Forum organised by the Penang Skills’ Development Centre in September 2014.
She is now working on a book about Penang women leaders as part of the continuing work she is doing for Lean In @ Penang under the aegis of Penang Women’s Development Corporation.
Her story and her work have also been featured in the media. She was interviewed by eHomemakers.net (September 2004), The Malaysian Women’s Weekly magazine (July 2005, August 2009 & September 2012), Guang Ming Daily (March 2011 & July 2012) and Malaysian SME (April 2014).
Connect with Krista
Based on the years of experience Krista and Nic have had with clients, they wrote and published their first book, Web Wisdom in August 2016.
She once had 14 hamsters, a parakeet and a snob of a cat called Margaret (the cat has since died of old age).
“Don’t take life too seriously. Always be good to yourself. You only have this one life.”