Kia Alvarez-Abrera is an “educreator” who empowers fellow creatives including writers, photographers, videographers, and artists to become better entrepreneurs.
She is at the forefront of creative entrepreneurship—which she says is about finding the sweet spot between arts and business to “find who you are, what you enjoy doing, who you serve and how you help.”
It is also about serving clients and solving business problems using creative and intellectual capital. This can be in any form of creative industries such as digital marketing, social media, content creation, design, videography, photography, and others, she says.
“Business, after all, is all about solving challenges—giving people solutions. If you’re able to find that convergence between who you are and how you help solve people’s problems, you’ll find the mix between art and business,” she says.
A writer, communication strategist, business mentor, and social marketing expert, she founded a video company called Braveworks Inc. with her husband Mel. Braveworks creates videos and design with the foundation of a creative communication strategy to make sure all creative requirements reach their goals and help attain business, personal or organizational objectives.
Abrera is also an official TikTok educreator with almost 140,000 followers. Her quest for impactful creativity fueled The Brave Creators’ Lab, where she empowers starting creative entrepreneurs through affordable access to quality business learning. The Brave Creator’s Lab is a community where Filipino creative entrepreneurs can learn, unlearn and relearn the ropes of creative entrepreneurship, she says.
Abrera, who was a trainee for three years with the Philippine Madrigal Singers, earned a film degree from the University of the Philippines Film Institute and did her internship under national artist Kidlat Tahimik. She spent eight days in Baguio City and atop the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, following Tahimik and having him mentor her about the art of film and the Filipino ingenuity.
She also developed an interest in advertising. “Choosing a career path after graduation was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to do so many things, so the first few years of my career was basically finding my groove. Three jobs later, I landed my dream job of being a copywriter for advertising, and then a year later I became an account manager for a small creative agency,” she says.
Abrera worked there for about two years, and that’s where she met her husband. After dealing with some disagreements with management, the couple resigned together and with whatever skill they had, they started their own practice.
“We had to take a lot of small steps; we started growing our portfolio by taking in ten clients for free, and then we started talking to more clients—trying to get to our first paid YES. When we knew we had a sustainable offer, we resigned from our agency and worked on our marketing,” she says.
They went to networking events and gave out business cards. They took one small client after the other, until they had solid case studies that they curated into a deck. In one of their networking events, the couple came across someone who needed design services, and they sent an email right away when he gave his business card.
“It became a pitch, we maximized our time, we presented results, we were very transparent—and we won the pitch. It was for USAID [United States Agency for International Development], our first 7-figure client. When that gate was opened, we never went back,” she says.
They produced results for various clients, from microentrepreneurs to well-known ones like USAID, Coca-Cola, Huffpost and The Futur, to entire cities. They turned Braveworks Inc. into an eight figure organization within six years.
“Starting our own business was intimidating but here we are, eight years later, at 8 figures working with huge clients and earning 6 to 7 figures per project. We also opened our second company in 2021, and just recently hit 7 figures. The rest is history,” says Abrera.
Abrera was named one of the top 10 instructors who helped entrepreneurs establish and grow online businesses in 2020 by Yahoo Finance UK. For international entrepreneur networks like BossBabe and Future Females, she served as a featured guest expert in video and content marketing.
She was also the first Filipina guest on The BossBabe Podcast, which has had over 1 million downloads worldwide and joined the ranks of well-known figures like Jamie Kern Lima, Dean Graziosi, and Tony Robbins, to mention a few.
Additionally, she has been featured as a business mentor in local entrepreneurship groups like Go Negosyo and national podcasts.
Now they share their learnings to more people. The couple’s Brave Creators Lab is designed to help Filipino creatives become better entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to be better creatives.
“I found a love of teaching after I started giving workshops way back in 2017, and I found how impactful it has been. After being in the creative business for nearly 10 years, I decided to dive into being an educreator so I can impact more people who are in the same journey. I saw a need for creatives to be supported, and I know I can teach because of experience. I’ve loved it ever since. It has become a big fuel to my advocacy of helping Filipinos make their mark in the global creative economy and pursue a creative path that they love,” she says.
They also formed a free group called The Brave Creatives where they try to help support those who want to quit something that they’re tired of doing and help them in the pursuit of their creative path. “Once they are able to monetize, we then point them to our paid membership called The Brave Creators Lab, where we teach them more specific business skills so they can scale,” she says.
“We also have a basic DIY course called Creative Entrepreneurship Fundamentals where I teach people the entire process of creative entrepreneurship—from branding themselves, knowing their ideal audience and clients, closing on a first call, serving their clients seamlessly, and getting their first glowing testimonial. It’s a basic overview of the entire process. Then I also do 1:1 consultations, workshops, and custom training,” says Abrera.
She advises creatives on how to connect the dots. “Curiosity has to be insatiable, and like I mentioned before, there has to be a relentless love of learning. I always tell my students that they have to keep nurturing their thought process because they will be able to solve better problems when they know how to think strategically,” she says.
“Thinking strategically means you’re not just throwing solutions, but you’re asking the right questions. Finding the right questions is a challenge in itself. That’s why it takes a lot of practice. Get in conversations. Read powerful books. Consume nurturing content. Ask questions from people you look up to. When you get a concept, test it out and see if it works for you. Don’t be afraid to dip your toes in the water, or maybe even take a dive. You’ll never know what works if you only consume things—you need to test it out by taking action,” says Abrera.
Abrera considers the entrepreneurial mindset essential in any field. “You will always have an advantage if you think like an entrepreneur, even if you’re an employee right now. If you have this kind of mindset, this means you value your skills so you end up treating your employer as your ‘client’,” she says.
“It all starts with self-efficacy—the belief that you can succeed. When you know this, then you have to start looking at what you have and how your gift can serve people. As this motivates you, you’ll have a relentless bias for action. It all snowballs from there,” she says.
“My personal mantra is to always be brave and create. And that’s what I hope for everyone—I hope you reignite the fire in you,” says Abrera.