I’m Ketaki Poyekar— brand stylist, web designer, and fine artist. I currently enjoy the life I always dreamt of, building my dream company, designing and living in Elkader— a cute little town in the beautiful river valley of the NorthEast Iowa, with my husband Tony and fur-babies Margaret & Cleo.
I am inspired by what makes me happy: plants, colors, books, patterns of all kind.
STUDIO K8KI began simply— with the desire to help create, hard-working, entrepreneurs, share their amazing talent with the world and stand out in a crowded marketplace.
My styles are thoughtful yet simple and unfussy. I gravitate towards minimalist design. I love playing with colors, fonts, and textures, to create something entirely unique for my clients.
You'd like your business to be more profitable and enjoyable, but your brand face and website is holding you back. You may know those who have built their own website, but you'd prefer to work with an expert. You can view my branding and web design services here. If you have questions, feel free to email me.
What’s behind the name?
When I moved to the United States from India, a lot of people had trouble pronouncing my name. Among all the names, birth name Ketaki (Ke-tuh-kee) and friends given name Kit-Kat. K8Ki that is a hybrid of visual representation of its pronunciation.
The name K8Ki reflects my philosophy on communicating something to a new culture as simply as possible and giving it a visual representation, too!
I specialize in working with creative entrepreneurs and small business owners who have:
recently discovered their passion and want to share it with the world
undergone a life-change or major epiphany — causing them to desire a rebrand
finally ready to start that side-hustle or maybe take it on full-time?
Is this you?
My role is to shape your brand and build a beautiful website that attracts the right customers — so you can focus on changing the world.
Growing up in Mumbai I always knew I wanted to be a designer like my mom. My parents took me to a lot of drawing competitions, and at 10-year old, I won a gold medal in a country-wide competition.
Five years later, I found myself graduating from college with my BFA degree in Applied Art and no real plan for what to do next.
I had this vague feeling that things were going to unfold naturally, so I wasn’t too worried about looking for jobs. Eager to learn more and increase my odds of success, I moved me to the other side of the world—San Francisco, to be exact. Here, I pursued my MFA in Web Design & New Media.
Halfway into my masters, I met my then-boyfriend Tony (in the most unexpected and beautiful way—at a networking event called Digital Detox where we had to check in our cell phones. We ran into each other by chance and almost spend the whole evening talking to each other. Because we didn’t have our phones, he wrote my name and number down on a piece of paper in a very old-fashioned way. Adorable fact: I found out later he spent our first several dates trying to collect clues on how to actually pronounce it).
It’s true. It seemed straight out of a novel— an Indian metropolitan girl falling in love with a small-town boy from the midwest. Both in an unfamiliar city, trying to find their way.
Then, just as I felt it always would, things started to really come together for me. Just a semester before I graduated, I landed a job as a product designer. Next thing I knew, Tony asked me to marry him. Of course, I said YES!. I felt I was living the American Dream!
Tony wanted to pursue his childhood dream of making video games which meant moving back to his hometown where life was more affordable. Because I was on a work visa, we decided to get married right away. We planned a non-traditional wedding in under a month, got married and moved to Tony's hometown Elkader, Iowa the next week.
I know, it sounds crazy and stressful, but honestly, it all felt so right and effortless.
In a new town, I was terrified of the idea of starting my own design studio, but my options were limited so I had to give it a try.
We had no idea where we’d be within a year or the year after that, and still, I have no idea how Studio K8Ki will grow! But there’s something special in not knowing... and just flowing through it.
It’s been a beautiful, scary, challenging, eye-opening adventure so far and I am just so grateful that I was brave enough to say yes.
...and that my clients have said ‘YES!’ to me as well.
Read what my clients say about my work…
Looking to chat or learn about how you can collaborate with me? I’d love to hear from you! Simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you soon.
Or if social media is more your thing, feel free to reach out to me there:
How do we get started?
First, you’ll fill out my contact form to say hi, tell me a little about your business and what type of design package you’re interested in. Then we’ll schedule a call to chat more and figure out how I can best help you. After that, I’ll put together a custom project proposal outlining an estimated timeline, pricing, and anything else you might need to know about how our project will go. If all looks good, you’ll sign a contract and pay your 50% deposit to reserve your spot in my schedule until our official start date.
Where are you based?
I am originally from Mumbai, India, but for the past 7 years I have lived in the USA. Moved to San Francisco for MFA and I currently live in Elkader, Iowa but I'm open to work with clients from all over the world.
Can you design in different styles?
Heck yes I can! My clients do typically choose me for my aesthetic and work I've previously done but I'm able to design in all kinds of styles. I want to make sure your business has the look and feel that tells your brand story whether that's flirty and feminine, dark and masculine, or even if you want it to look like a fairy unicorn explosion. While I do have our my favorite fonts and colors, I don't impose what's trendy or what's my flavor of the week onto your brand.
How do I know if we're a good fit?
First off, take a look at my portfolio and Instagram! If any of that makes your heart beat then we're off to a good start. Second, reach out and chat with me (or video call). Here's what typically is a good client fit for me: business that have a clear idea of their customers and position in the marketplace, a clear idea of how they'll earn revenue, and an appreciation for my established aesthetic and trust in my design expertise, and an easy-going personality.
How soon can we start my project?
As a one-lady-run studio, I have to been very intentional about scheduling projects to guarantee that I’m providing my full attention and talent to each client. My availability varies from time to time, but typically my wait time between booking your spot and actually starting the project is one month. If you have a project that is urgent, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do for you!
A lot of your branding projects have a "concept" behind them. Who comes up with that? What if I don't have a concept?
My approach to branding stems from the idea of telling your brand story. It can be as simple as getting inspiration from the name of the business and then grow from there. You might not feel like you have a concept but once we dig deeper into your "why" (ie why you started the business, why your customers choose you, etc) we'll discover that there is more to your brand story than you think. When your brand is rooted in your "why," your values and what makes you unique, it makes for more compelling design that customers can connect to.
I don't know what style my brand is, can we still work together?
Yes, we can! Have you ever gone to a hair stylist and wanted them to lead the way to a fabulous new hairstyle? I provide that for my clients that aren't sure what aesthetic fits their brand story while still keeping them involved every step of the way. Although many times the brands I create are extensions of their founder's taste and style, branding isn't just about what the founder likes or dislikes. What's most important is that the brand reflects the business and stands out in the market. That's where it's beneficial to partner with a designer that can translate your business' values into visuals and a powerful brand.