Kay Fabella

The Story Finder - Kay Fabella

I’m Kay Fabella, The Story Finder, and I help underrepresented leaders go from best-kept secret to trailblazing influencer — even when the world doesn't mirror you. I help tap into your identity, find your message and make it spread to the people who need you most.

What inspired you to start your business?

Growing up with, let’s say, a “non-European-looking face” in Los Angeles, California, you realize quickly that you’ll always get asked, “Where are you from?”

And then the inevitable second question, “No, where you are really from?”

At first, it used to frustrate me. After all, as a kid, all you want is to blend in, not be reminded of how you’re different.

But eventually, I started to see the “second question” as an opportunity to unclench my fists and open my hands to engage with them. I could tell them that I was the daughter of Filipino immigrants who moved to the US for a better life for themselves and for their kids. I could tell them that I was, in fact, really from Los Angeles. In this way, I honored my heritage while helping someone expand their view of the world — all by telling them my story.

That lesson of the power of stories to connect human beings and change perceptions never left me. When it came time to start my business, I realized the very same skill I’d been developing my whole life – storytelling – was exactly what brands were struggling to communicate with their audiences.

Today, I’m an expatpreneur running a bilingual business in English and Spanish from my home base of Madrid, Spain. I now get to help companies — whether they’re solopreneurs, start-ups or Fortune 500s — share their stories effectively to attract and connect with the customers that matter to them.

I’m especially passionate about helping underrepresented business owners increase their visibility to grow their audiences online, because eventually I made the connection that stories = visibility = representation = change. Rather than waiting for someone else who looks, loves or lives like us to light the way — we can be the representation for ourselves and our communities that we've been waiting for. And my job is to help your message spread to lead the change for others.

What is something you would say to someone who is struggling in their first few years of business? Is there something you struggled with and learned from in those first few years?

It took me many years to find my voice in the online space, which may be due to the fact that I'm a WOC (Filipina-American), a daughter of immigrants, and now an immigrant myself living abroad in Spain. I used to be scared of polarizing or scaring away people that could be potential clients, and often felt like the "only" one in the room in the online space and in networking events. I kept wondering when I'd start to see more WOC and expat business owners navigating multiple cultures, before realizing that I could also lead that change by starting the conversation for others like me. It was only when I started to put more of my beliefs, values and personality into how I showed up online that I started to gain traction and attract more of the opportunities, collaborations and clients I dreamed of working with.

What hobbies, causes, or activities are you passionate about aside from your work?

I enjoy music as a singer and former pianist who still likes to tinker on her keyboard (I not-so-secretly with my life was a musical!). I also unwind with yoga, hiking and meditation. In terms of causes, I care deeply about mental health awareness and diversity and inclusion. I've also, in my own way, worked to limit my carbon footprint by traveling less and cutting back on my meat intake — I'm no Greta Thunberg, but I'm inspired to do my part.

Image Credit: Heather K. Purdy, heatherkpurdy.com, @heatherkpurdy