Conventional wisdom says taking risks is essential to success because you’ll never learn to trust yourself without them. And if this Georgia Peach had to verify the philosophy, she would say, “oh hell yes,” just like her childhood television idol, Maya Wilkes, from the hit television series “Girlfriends.” Because had it not been for the risks she took, Kalina Harrison would have never realized her dreams of entrepreneurship in this little neighborhood of ours called Germantown.
Kalina Harrison is a southern gal with roots in Atlanta, Georgia. For college, she attended Claflin University, in Orangeburg, South Carolina, for four years. After graduating, she moved back home before realizing it was time to spread her wings and fly north. In 2015, Harrison landed in Philadelphia, in Germantown, and has stayed put since.
In 2017, Kalina put faith over fear when she left her former career field to work for herself full-time, creating her business, Kreative Scribes. Kreative Scribes helps solve clients’ problems with strategy and solutions through professional writing services. The business offers resume writing, cover letters, press releases, search engine optimization (so customers can find you when Googling), proofreading, ghostwriting, and more.
Here are five things you should know about your friendly neighborhood copywriter, in her own words.
She used to work in television production and filmmaking before turning writing into a full-time career.
KH: So, prior to being a copywriter, I was in the television production industry. And I worked the Weather Channel as a production assistant. I helped with independent filmmaking, and I would help with producing different shows and things of that nature. And I honestly didn’t love it anymore. And I’m the type of person [that] if I don’t love it, I’m not doing it. I’m not forcing myself or making anything on what to do. So writing has always been a safe haven for me. It’s always been an easy thing for me to do. And so I decided, why don’t I just start a writing career? Creative writing only then turned into professional copywriting. And so it was really an organic thing.
Contributing to the culture of the community is paramount to her.
KH: Living in Germantown is contributing to the community that I love. Because people who are homegrown Germantown people, you all created this community space, so people like me can love, enjoy, and want to be here and call it my home. So, while this particular shelter is not in Germantown, it’s in the Stenton area. Stenton Family Manor, I volunteered there for months before the pandemic. And I will host writing sessions there. I would host goal-writing seminars with them. My friend who owns ARTrageous Brush & Flow in Germantown, she and I hosted a collaborative paint night with the families there. We also host healthy eating seminars. We just do a lot of different lifestyle goal-setting professional development for people in the shelter at Stenton Family Manor. So you know, and that was in 2019. And in coming to Philly because I love it so much, I would have felt horrible if I did not give back. So, while I’m always taking and inhaling the beauty of it, I’m also giving back some of that beauty with my gifts.
She once used her skills to reconnect a migrant with his family.
KH: One of my clients they are an immigrant here on an education and work visa. And they want to go home to Africa to visit their family. And they caught me in dire stress. I mean, they were totally distressed. And they were like, “hey, Kalina, I really need your help” because this letter that they wanted me to write to help them ask the immigration office to give them permission to go back home and come back to the States. So that we did this back in August, and they called me last night nearly in tears. And you know, they’re like, “I haven’t seen my mom in 20 years, I haven’t been home in 20 years, I haven’t looked at my family in 20 years.” And because of the work I did for them, they can now go home for three weeks.
She thinks of Germantown as her home away from home, deeming it her “mecca.”
KH: So Vernon Park is my stomping grounds. I have spent so much time meditating and healing and being and breathing [there]. Literally sitting under a tree to get my breathing and meditation right in Vernon Park. I remember when I started my business full-time and was short on some funds. I said I needed to figure out a way to make extra money. Vernon Park would have the Bazaar, and I would go vend there and sell my poetry there.
The diverse lifestyles in Germantown. So much Black centeredness here. The healthy eating style. I live next door to an alkaline vegan restaurant for years–All The Way Live, on Germantown and Walnut Lane. Then you have the Nile and Linda’s Village, which is now Powerup Cafe. Then also you have Our House Culture Art Center. And we have ARTrageous Brush & Flow, the art space serving the Germantown community. We also have the library at Greene and Chelten, where I tutor students. And really, it is my home away from home. It rivals so much. My heart is so divided. But nothing in the world can replace Germantown. Germantown is a mecca for me, honestly.
Fictional television “authoress” Maya Wilkes from Girlfriends inspires Kalina.
KH: I was born right in 1990. Girlfriends came on in 2000. I was ten years old, and I was able to see, I’m going to look like that. I’m gonna be like that. They were always having fun, but they were also getting sh*t done. They were lawyers, real estate agents, students, and authors. They literally were movers and shakers. And they were beautiful, and they were making it happen. But the best thing is, they were not perfect. And the one who impacted me most is Maya because she’s the “authoress” and a writer. She could always go in and command the room. She was also the hood one out in the crew. And I remember when people called me hood, I would get offended and feel like, “oh, they’re making me feel bad,” but no, that’s a stigma they put on all Black people when we don’t allow them to bullshit us.
I remember Maya applying to school, right? And she had all this stuff going on. And she couldn’t pay her tuition, but she made it happen when she decided to write a book, “Oh, Hell Yes.” She let go of all those limiting beliefs, and she told herself, “yes.” And “Oh, Hell Yes” by Maya Wilkes inspired me to tell myself, “oh, hell yes.” And then, even in 2021, I applied for a business program. I did not have the money to apply for that business program. But I told myself, “oh, hell yes.” And guess what? I created that income and grew my revenue because I said to myself, “oh, hell yes,” just like Maya would.