We had the good fortune of connecting with Caterina Potter and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Caterina, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I think there are lots of factors behind success, but for me, authenticity is a big one. If you are your true authentic self, I feel the rest just follows. I have learned a lot about who I am this last year and making myself a priority was a major factor in building my business. If I hadn’t done that first, I don’t think Cash + Kona would exist today. From that, I truly believe that another key to success is to never stop learning. Whether that is about who you are as a person, or just in general. They say you learn something new every day, but they never say about what. You can take that any way you want to. That’s the beauty of success. It has its own personal meaning to everyone. To me, it’s about being comfortable with who I am (and don’t get me wrong, I will always be a work in progress), but I think that translates into my business. If I am comfortable with myself and I am genuinely happy doing what I do, I think my work will always reflect that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s important to note that Cash + Kona never really started out as a business and that it was built rather organically. Just like a lot of people, last year was really hard for me. I have been dealing with anxiety and depression off and on since college (I still am), and last year, I finally decided to take the next step and start going to therapy. I had been working on myself for a few months and realized I needed something to project my anxious thoughts towards. Making bracelets was a fun and therapeutic way for me to cope. I posted some of my bracelets on my Instagram story and received so many responses asking me where I bought them. From there, the business began. I am still learning every single day and half the time, if I am being honest, I still don’t know what I am doing! If there is one thing I want people to take away from my story, it’s that taking time for yourself is the most important thing you can do. I ignored my anxiety and depression for years and was too scared to admit that I needed help. I just continued on with it, not even realizing that not doing anything was harming the situation more. Now that I have taken the time to help myself, I understand cause and effect more. Because I focused on my mental health, Cash + Kona was created, my relationships improved, and my attitude towards life has changed for the better. It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s also okay to take a step back and make yourself a priority too.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
San Diego is one of those cities where you go and instantly want to move to. As a San Diego native, every time a friend from out-of-town visits, they fall in love and end up moving here! It’s the best! Some of my favorite places to eat, drink, and visit are places that are San Diego staples! First off, I have to give a shoutout to my family’s restaurant/deli Mona Lisa. My Nanu Stefano (Grandfather) opened this location in 1973 and it is still standing as one of the first establishments in Little Italy. We have everything from imported Italian products such as meats and cheeses, to a full operating restaurant where you can dine in and enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner. My all-time favorite is the #11 sandwich in the deli though: A caprese, BUT make sure to add imported prosciutto! My favorite bar has to be the Waterfront! Just down the street from Mona Lisa, the Waterfront is one of the oldest bars in San Diego. Their beers on tap are some of my favorites and the people there are always friendly. Plus, the cookies they serve you at closing to get you out are the best! Hiking at Torrey Pines is another one of my favorite things to do, as well as visiting the San Diego Zoo. The soft serve ice cream is my favorite. (Weird recommendation at a zoo, but I promise it is SO good). I think the last place I would recommend is seeing a game at Petco Park if you can. The ballpark itself is beautiful and there isn’t anything like it. The whole atmosphere around there is so fun, especially when we win!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would definitely have to say my husband first and foremost. He has been undoubtedly the biggest supporter of mine. We have been together since we were 16, so he has been such a place of comfort, safety, and peace for me. He is always encouraging me to go after what I want even though sometimes, I feel insecure. I will be the first to admit that I am not the most confident person, so having him by my side is reassuring. He is the calm to my anxious mind and truly is my best friend. Secondly, I would have to say my family. If you know me, you know that my family is everything. I come from a family of immigrants who came here from Sicily and saw firsthand what hard work, ambition, and dedication can do. I have such a sense of pride seeing what my family has done and their successes have fueled my ambition. Without their tenacity and support, whether that is leading by example, purchasing something from me, or just giving me words of encouragement, it has helped me more than they realize. I am so beyond grateful for them and where I come from.
Sierra Solis Photography